Title: Sniper Elite 3
Developer: Rebellion Interactive
Publisher: Rebellion Interactive
Genre: Adventure, Shooter, Action
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 16
Release Date: 1/10/2019
Price: £29.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What is Sniper Elite 3?
“Observe, Plan, Execute, Adapt in the award-winning stealth-action shooter for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC and now on Nintendo Switch. Sniper Elite 3 takes players to the unforgiving yet exotic terrain of WW2’s North Africa conflict in a battle against a deadly new foe.
Equipped with Tiger tanks and the latest weaponry, WW2 Germany’s infamous Afrika Korps have the Allies outnumbered and outgunned. Worse still, intelligence indicates that the Nazis are developing a superweapon that could destroy all hopes of victory.
It must end here. You are the turning point because one bullet can change history.
Rapid Historical Context
The North Africa campaign was one of constant struggle for the Allies. In which the forces of the Allies, led by Field Marshal Montgomery (and the British Eighth Army) were pitted against the legendary prowess of Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps.
The Fall of Tobruk on 21st June 1942 not only saw the capture of 30,000 prisoners of war, 2000 vehicles, 2000 tons of fuel and 5000 tons of rations; but it also signalled the beginning of Rommel’s drive towards Suez. A capture that would have resulted in the Axis having a route direct from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, thus opening the world to the might of the Axis onslaught.
Later that year, The Allies would turn the tide of the war in North Africa, in particular, the Western Desert, through the capture of El Alamein. A victory that would force Rommel to retreat to Tunisia and would eventually lead to the total Allied Victory in North Africa.
The North Africa campaign would rage on until 16th May 1943 when the Allies were able to invade Italy and mark the beginning of the end of Axis Occupied Europe.
Hitting the Target
The game kicks off at the previously mentioned battle of Tobruk, with the player thrown into the action following the most questionable British accent I have heard in recent years “Sniper’s are need at the wall”……. uh-huh. Sure, I’ll be right there. Thus the player is given control of SOE Sniper Karl Fairburne.
Once the player is at the wall, the basics of combat are introduced, i.e. the use of binoculars to locate and tag enemies. Then use your rifle to dispatch the targets. This is where the fun begins. There is an extremely satisfying gameplay loop with a nice rhythm that quickly establishes itself. Sneak to a random point, tag target, line up the shot, fire. Then, if the shot is right, you will be rewarded with an utterly fantastic slow motion shot of the bullet leaving the rifle, flying through the air and hitting the target. The impact on the target will be of the damage to the inside and is accompanied by some of the most satisfying guttural sound effects in gaming, not only will you see bones break and organ minced, you will hear it too.
This, understandably, will alert the nearby enemies who will begin to search for you. An approximate location will be established, causing the enemy to walk towards the area slowly. Unless they see you, in which case all hell will break loose, a ghost of the player will be placed on the spot you were seen, and enemies will attack this point. However a quick jaunt around the block, as it were, and the AI will give up, and you can go back to tagging, killing, hiding, rinse and repeat.
Between missions, you have the opportunity to modify your equipment, not only in terms of what weaponry you decide to take with you but also the build of the sniper rifle itself, choose your scope, muzzle, stock and action to build the rifle that best suits your play style.
Outside of the campaign, Survival mode can offer a refreshing change of pace, fend off waves of enemies as they attempt to storm your position, while this mode can provide a decent palate cleanser it does not have the same longevity of the main campaign.
For me, some of the most appealing aspects of gaming are sound effects and voice acting, which as hinted at previously is for the most part very good. The mission briefing voice-overs from Tom Clark-Hill (Fairburne) are perfect, offering just the right amount of tension and military matter of factness. Similarly, the gun sound effects provide a satisfying feedback loop which then helps as part of the general gameplay loop.
Can it be all good?
The simple answer to that question is no…. not it can not. The main issue that I came up against was the total random autosave feature. On more than one occasion I spent a good while moving to a spot, tagging my target, taking the shot, only to realise I had messed something up (this is not uncommon for me in games). This would not usually be an issue as a simple re-load of the game means you can have another go, haha! That’s where you’re wrong! Here the last auto-save was a good while ago, often close the start of the level. In one case the auto-save was roughly halfway through the previous level. While yes, there is a manual save option, I am also incredibly forgetful so yeah, that didn’t happen.
What about Multiplayer?
Sniper Elite 3’s multiplayer is made up of 5 different game modes, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Distance King, No Cross, and Capture the Flag. However, I was unable to play the multiplayer, as there were never any servers available, and I do not know enough people with the game to set up a lobby to play.
There is however the option to play locally and online in a cooperative mode in a selection of styles including the campaign, survival mode (fend of waves of enemies) or overwatch mode (in which one player is a spotter, and the other is the sniper).
How does it run?
The Developers have done a simply remarkable job in the port of Sniper Elite 3. The game is buttery smooth in both handheld and docked mode. I did not experience any slow down or anything else which might impact on the gameplay. The game is stunning and runs at the native resolution depending on the method of play chosen, which is nice.
Is it worth buying?
Well, that’s a matter of personal taste. The game is great fun with a reasonably interesting storyline (which I am intentionally not spoiling here), all be it a reasonably common plotline. Sniper Elite 3 is an excellent single-player experience, let down by some limited multi-player options as well as issues with the autosave.
However, the game is generally well polished. Offering a mostly unique and engaging single-player experience. The price tag seems a little high, given the age of the game. However, Sniper Elite 3 has been ported so well and has all of the DLC packed in (as with most Switch ports of older games) £29.99 is a steal for something so well crafted.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Sniper Elite 3, and I fully plan to return to the battlefield.
Rapid Reviews Rating
If you would like to buy Sniper Elite 3 for your Nintendo Switch, you can pick it up here: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/Sniper-Elite-3-Ultimate-Edition-1606484.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.