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Sniper, Ghost, or Warrior? Explore, craft, and kill to become the specialist you want to be.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is an open-world tactical shooter being developed and published by CI Games. As detailed by the “3” in the title, this is the third game in the series and is said to uniquely feature triple-A production values.

Hiding in foliage and other environmental regions will make you a difficult target for your enemies to track.

In Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, you play as a highly specialized Marine Captain known as Jonathan “Jon” North, who has been deployed to the country of Georgia to deal with the civil war between three hostile factions. Through a series of story missions and side missions, players are expected to quell the unrest in Georgia, before the insurgency there can start another Cold War.

In addition to the setting, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 features a fully exploitable open-world, where the environment orchestrates a direct role in how missions can be approached. Players are given creative freedom to decide when and how objectives are completed.

Playing as a Ghost, a silenced pistol is your best friend.

Gameplay

Gameplay-wise, players are given the opportunity to utilize three different types of general approach methods to each mission: The Sniper, the Ghost, and/or, the Warrior. Each style features its own set of items and upgrades that can be obtained through their respective game play. For example, playing as the Sniper awards you Sniper experience that can be spent to improve your sniping ability. Playing as the Ghost incorporates your typical stealth game-play at a closer range than the Sniper role. Things like performing stealth takedowns and kills award points for the role. Finally, the Warrior role plays like your typical first-person shooter. Running in, guns blazing, sufficiently awards Warrior experience. One thing to note is that all three roles can to utilized at the same time. Sniping guards from long-distance and then stealthily killing a guard with a knife to the throat will awards both Sniper and Ghost points.

As the game is open-world, there are numerous activities on the map, besides the main story missions. The entire playable map, at least what was available in beta, had numerous outposts full of hostiles that were approachable, even without a main or side mission acquired. Each hostile stronghold contained a large amount of crafting materials that could be collected, and enemies there also served as free experience for any of the three roles desired.

With proper stealth-play, it is possible to completely elude your foe’s gaze.

Speaking of crafting, your HQ, lodged into the side of a large rock, serves as your primary means of enhancing your arsenal. In the HQ is a workbench where all upgrading and crafting is done. There are many different types of crafting materials that all focus on crafting specific items. Crafting specialized bullets for damaging and piercing armor generally required different materials than crafting or repairing damaged silencers, for example. Producing explosive ordinance, like frag grenades, also required its own set of materials, giving the impression that with so many different craftable items in the game, resource gathering may play a large role in the final version of the game. This was personally my favorite part of the game.

As far as actual combat goes, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is typical of most shooters, with the exception of sniping. Playing as a Warrior or Ghost was generally the same as most first-person shooters, but sniping requires an understanding of other mechanics in order to be properly utilized. Distance from the target, location of the target, elevations from the target, wind direction, and wind power also served as obstacles to landing shots on targets. Gracefully, you are given some help with most of these problems. For example. the rangefinder and wind reader on your sniper scope help to minimize the impact of distance and wind variance. Still, it took a few solid attempts before I could actually land a few decent shots. For those interested in sniping, know that there is enough here to keep your interest.

Efficient use of your scouting drones allows you to plan out your course of action much easier.

AI in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 varied from being mediocre to downright poor, depending on the situation. When enemies were patrolling, I felt that the AI was adequate enough to be immersive in stealth game-play. There were a few instances, however, where I noticed patrols getting stuck on obstacles they would often cross. In addition, when being searched for or spotted, the AI was nearly psychic. One soldier spotting me for a moment, then dying the next was enough for the entire enemy complex to pinpoint my exact location despite solid efforts to lose them. This behavior is made worse when a hiding spot is a choke-point, because I regularly experienced the AI herding together, only to all be instantly killed by a grenade. This was probably the lowest point of the beta for me.

Final Thoughts

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 left a strong enough impression on me that I may consider purchasing it so long as the developers improve the AI in the game. The game world is gritty, and the three roles of game-play all stand-alone enough that I never felt like I was forced into playing one way or another.  If this beta was just a taste of what is to come in the final release of the game, then I am excited to see what comes next. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is scheduled to release April 4, 2017 on the PC, PS4, and Xbox On.