PC Preview

Sniper Elite 3 Preview

The bullet cam has been further enhanced in Sniper Elite 3, with some visual effects that are either gruesome, or quite tasty, depending upon how mentally disturbed you happen to be. As the bullet hits a target, usually a head, it cuts to a skull view showing where the bullet hit accompanied by some explicit skull shattering and blood spurting. It’s graphic stuff.

The bullet cam also works on vehicles, and in one sequence a truck needed to be blown up in order to cause a nice, noisy diversion. Taking aim at the engine cover it was blown off with the first shot. The second shot was fired directly into the engine, whereupon the camera switched to the bullet cam and you could see exactly where the bullet hit the engine as it cut to an internal view of the technical workings. A nice touch.

As we progressed through the level there were sniper nests, a new feature for Sniper Elite 3. These locations are dotted around maps and they make for perfect sniping positions. In one particular case, directly above a large petrol tank conveniently placed next to an armoured vehicle. You can probably guess what was going to happen next. By shooting off the petrol tank’s tap mechanism the explosion caused a chain reaction with vehicle after vehicle going up in balls of lovely flame.

Sniper Elite 3

Just catching some rays.

While the game is about sniping, there’s more in the Sniper Elite 3 arsenal to trick the enemy into dangerous situations, including traps and detonation devices. A cleverly placed mine at the top of a ladder can easily dispose of an enemy, and it’s best to think ahead by placing them down so that when you are spotted you can make an escape and leave at least one foolish pursuer dead. Even better, throw a stone and lure them to the mine with the noise then laugh as they explode.

TNT also proved useful in taking out the artillery gun which was one of the demo mission’s objectives. For some reason known only to the AI Germans, and Rebellion, there were petrol canisters placed directly below the artillery placement. Sneak underneath the gun, set up some timed TNT and it’s mission accomplished. Big gun goes up in flames taking the guards with it.

The big question is whether Sniper Elite 3 will be an improvement over the previous two games.

In terms of numbers, at least, this installment has the edge over previous entries. In Sniper Elite 2 the single player campaign was around 8 hours long; this time it’s 12. In Sniper Elite 2 the maps were linear, while in Sniper Elite 3 they look to be larger, and offer more approach routes. The previous game had around 8 AI on a level, but now there can be 30+, or “no limit” as Rebellion put it. In Sniper Elite 2 there were 5 vehicles, but now there are 9. There’s now more equipment to play with such as TNT and there are also more artillery units. Finally, there are now 15+ custom reticules and four loadout slots.

Sniper Elite 3

Packing more stuff in that belt this time.

There is one thing that does stay the same however, and that’s the actual weapons. Rebellion plan to release more weapons for Sniper Elite 3 as DLC once the game launches later this year.

Sadly, our demonstration did not include any multiplayer action, but we can tell you a little about what to expect. Sniper Elite 3 will handle up to 12 players in multiplayer as opposed to 8 in the previous game, with the promise of an improved lobby system. The whole campaign can also be played co-operatively with dual roles, the Agent and the Sniper, each with different tools at their disposal. I thoroughly enjoyed playing Nazi Zombie Army 2 in co-op so this has similar potential.

Sniper Elite 3

Klaus thought it was a lovely day for camping.

I would like to point out that the demonstration we were shown was the PS4 version (booo!) but Rebellion did show the great strides they’ve made to make the game extra special for the now more powerful consoles and the PC.

The demo was in 1080p and the good news is that the PC version will be able to go to whatever your rig can handle. But it’s Rebellion’s tessellation technology that has vastly improved the visuals. An artillery gun model was shown with the old tech and it was square and really not very smooth. When the same model was applied to the new tech it looked brilliant. It was round, smooth and just a lot more detailed. This explains why Sniper Elite 3 is vastly improved in the visuals department, and why the characters now have more components for you to burst like bulging blood sausages with your bullets of death.

With consoles having caught up slightly with the PC it’s good to see that we’re going to be playing a Sniper Elite that can make use of the extra power.

With only one level on show it’s hard to tell how diverse the overall game will be, but so far it’s looking very promising. The thought of playing through this co-operatively actually excites me in a non-sexual way.


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  • Elly

    I’m not a fan of the bullet cam (this new souped-up one), yeah I know, I’m in a minority here but I don’t need to see how the skull shatters.

    I love sniping in shooters but I’m not convinced of an entire game of it. Perhaps with the other components (TNT and mines) that will add enough variety. I’m definitely impressed with the graphics.

  • Lazerbeak

    the the bullet cam was way of the top in the last one turned it offf

  • Peter Parrish

    Kind of with you guys on the bullet cam stuff, to be honest. I think it’s difficult to maintain a tone of “this is a semi-realistic sniper game” when you have a “lol look at the sick gore dude!!” feature breaking in every few minutes.

    Nothing wrong with games dabbling in the latter, but it’s weird alongside the more serious stuff.

    • Lazerbeak

      your coments reminds me of a rather revolting game called “Army of Two” were you would massacre a African village then the two men you played would “Woop, Cheer and slap hands” afterwards

  • DavidTheSlayer

    Thanks for the preview, tis good. I think they should include an option like they have the tagging feature you mentioned, so you can get that minimalist HUD for realism and bare-bones style or go all out arcade like. I remember that sniper bullet cams are what attracted me to these games in the first place, but the linearness and poor stealth of such games were what let me down. Looking good graphically in the screenshots at least.

  • Asteria

    Nice to see a decent length preview…I’ve read a couple on this today and they’re filled with vague waffle.

    I would like to see some more maps for it to see the settings and terrain – any city settings?