Review - Sniper Ghost Warrior 3

The release of Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 onto the Xbox One hasn't been a very smooth one at all, and it all pretty much started the day some brainy person at CI Games thought that giving one console a free season pass was going to go down well. The day it was revealed that PS4 owners would be getting the season pass with the game, while people on the One would have to pay extra was pretty much the same day all Xbox owners took that small interest they had in the game and threw it right in the bin. Sure CI Games backtracked and fixed it after what was an absolute mess in terms of PR at the time, but by then the damage had been done, and it was too late to stop the game from being ignored by the hardcore fanbase of all that is Xbox.

What with my review being a bit later than most, you've probably read a bunch of other reviews about the game already, with most reviewers pointing out key flaws in their time with the game. So before I even get on with the good side to this game (yes it has some), I'm just going to come out with all that is broken in the game and get all the negativity out the way first.
A lot has been posted lately about loading times in the game on numerous websites, with time wasting these days being something gamers just cannot stand it seems. Now while these loading screens can take anywhere between 3 to 4 minutes to load up when they happen, you also have to remember that this isn't really a regular thing once you get past the first time it happens, with the game only wasting your life with this screen again when you change map location. So yes, while it's there and bloody annoying, you do kind of just know that now is a good time for that loo break when it kicks in. I've read somewhere too that CI Games is already working on a patch to fix this and many of the other issues in the future. So least we know this won't be a permanent thing in the game somewhere down the line (fingers crossed).

The second big flaw is the fact that with this game being all about sniping and planning out your attack ahead of time, why the hell you can only do so from a limited area away from where you plan to attack is perhaps the biggest fault of all. Take for instance the mission I recently uploaded onto YouTube called Blockout, a mission where you have two buildings facing each other, with both more or less on top of each other. My plan was simple, scan the area with my drone, then scale one building to wipe out all enemies and complete my mission. Watch the mission closely though and you will see even though I'm feet away from the other building, enemies only pop up onto my screen when I'm on the roof once I pop the drone out again and get a bit closer. Before the video began capturing I had done the scanning of the area from a cliffside just outside, so all enemy targets should have been visible both inside and outside of the building the whole time. This happens all the time, and it can be annoying if the area you are trying to attack is a big one, as you think you've cleared an area of all bad guys only to run in and mop up collectibles to find one guy around a corner you either missed or the game just decides to forget you had already spotted him.
The third flaw of the game for me was its story and this one might not bother many, but it was something I like in a shooter from time to time. Sure you lose your brother to an ambush early on in the game with your goal to go and find him as you go through the game, but as early as act 2 I just found myself losing track of its boring cast and story, and didn't really find myself investing into it at all. You do meet new people as you go through the game, but much like the world you just don't care about it at all. And that's another thing that I need to speak about briefly. People and animals are all over the place and cover the map the game takes place in, but all of them bar enemies act zombie like when you walk into them or try and hit the ones in cars off the road in your buggy. I gave this a good testing when watching a man walk with his cattle in the game one evening, I thought to myself how would a farmer react if a total stranger wiped out his whole cattle right in front of him. In other games, the farmer would at least swear at me or say something, or even better react to it by shoving me or something. Not in SGW3, oh no. Right in front of his lifeless face I took aim on his three cows and shot them and he didn't bat an eyelid at me and just kept walking. I then took aim to his face and watched him walk into my gun and keep trying to walk as I took fire. It's this sort of thing that just stops you caring about anything around you, both human life and animals. Making the world around you that the game takes place in feel nothing more than an empty shell with a few things in it to make you want to explore.
This is where it gets weird in this review, as even with the above faults and flaws I just sat moaning about for God knows how long, I sit here typing this sort of having had fun. I know, I have no idea how this as took place either, but faults and all I've sort of enjoyed my time with Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. Don't jump the gun and read this as me saying this game is worth the £39.99 asking price it currently has, as in no way am I saying that. But if I saw this sitting on a shelf for say £15.00, I might just tell someone it might be worth a go.

The place where I've had fun I guess is just me making up my own adventures, exploring the world on offer and just shooting many things in the head in the best way I can. I enjoyed the open world feel of games such as Far Cry 3, and this game is pretty much that but in a very budget title way. Sure it has faults, but loading up at a safe house and going out into the big bad world taking out outposts and saving dead behind the eyes civilians has seen me lose a decent amount of hours to it.
Points of interests are probably the things that have kept me coming back, with question marks all over the place, the gamer inside of me wanted to find out just what they were.  You have things like most wanted targets to take out, drone challenges, civilians to save, collectables to find to name just a few, with this being what I've found myself doing while wiping out enemy outposts along the way.

What the game gets right is what's in the title. You feel like a sniper and a warrior, cleaning out areas and exploring vast (yet pretty lifeless) lands for all that they can offer. Picking up crap along the way that you can put to good use on a workbench back at your safe house for items you will need as you work your way through them all. I mean you can also buy these things with cash you earn via a weapon cache also found at the safe house, but where is the fun in that? Along the way, you will unlock pointless skills with skill points you earn, and also new weapons and gadgets to play with, so the game also has all of that too.

Overall: At full price ignore this game if you expect value for money back, as it just isn't there, and Sniper Elite 4 offers a much better package when it comes to both quality and being a sniper (way better kill cams). If a budget Far Cry 3 sound likes fun to you then you might enjoy this though. Just hold off till the price drops a bit though, as at full price this just isn't worth it.

Fun if you not expecting too much from it
Feels great planning your attack and pulling it off when the game decides to load up your spotted enemies

Loading times for each area are 5 minutes or longer
Enemies going missing when walking a short distance away from the area
Story is as dull as watching paint dry