Title: Sniper Elite 3: Ultimate Edition
Developer: Rebellion Games
Publisher: Rebellion Games
Genre: Real-Time Strategy
Available On: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Official Site: Sniperelitegames.com
Release Date: Oct. 1st, 2019 (for the Nintendo Switch)
Version Tested: Switch
Where to Buy it: Steam, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Sniper Elite 3: Ultimate Edition from Rebellion is a fun yet slightly repetitive experience. The game looks good on the Switch, but the controls can be clumsy at times. For Nintendo Switch owners looking for something a little more grown-up, this could be just the answer.
Sniper Elite 3: Ultimate Edition (Which will be called SE3 in this review moving forward), is a prequel to Sniper Elite V2 from 2012. The story takes place three years earlier and follows officer Karl Fairburne of the office of Strategic Services. Officer Fairburne navigates the North African conflict during World War II as he uncovers a devious Nazi plot.
The Ultimate Edition contains the main game and nine additional DLC packs. Players also get free updates to the main game, six new multiplayer maps, capture the flag mode, Twilight Strike Co-Op mission, and Shooting Range.
I should point out that I have never played any of the other Sniper Elite games, so what I am reviewing, I can’t compare to any iteration before or after.
As the title of the game suggests, the sniper rifle is your main weapon of choice. For close quarters, Fairburne has a silenced handgun, as well as machine guns, grenades, dynamite, and his bare hands.
The use of x-ray cameras in Mortal Kombat delivers a bone-crushing sense of devastation. So too does this mechanic in SE3. If you fire and miss, nothing happens, but line up a kill shot, and you’re treated to a lovely gruesome scene. The camera follows the bullet as it leaves the gun and flies straight to its intended victim.
The second the bullet enters your foe’s body, the camera follows it inside and shows the sheer destruction it causes. The first shot I took in the game, I watched as my bullet ripped through the enemy, destroying his lungs and blood spraying everywhere. I was instantly reminded of the first time I saw it in Mortal Kombat. It’s graphic but very cool to see.
The quasi open-world format of the game is nice, but realistically there is a set path to follow. As you kill enemies, you can loot their corpses and swap out guns. Each mission gives you a set of base objectives, followed by optional ones as you make your way across the map. As I mentioned in the beginning, it can all get a little repetitive. Start at point A, kill enemies violently, clear the map and finish. It’s not to say it gets any less enjoyable, but after a while, I was a little tired of playing.
Stealth is the name of the game here, and it’s highly beneficial to keep it that way. The moment you’re detected, every enemy in the vicinity becomes alerted. This makes your tasks exponentially more difficult. Players even get more points for silent takedowns. This isn’t a run and gun shooter, so if that’s your cup of tea, stick to Call of Duty.
The controls can be a little stiff at times. I personally preferred to use the pro controller over the joy-cons. The use of the detached controllers allows you to aim with the built-in gyroscopes, but it takes a little getting used to. With the Switch in general, I use the pro controller ninety percent of the time, but that also boils down to personal preference.
Weapons and items can be switched with relative ease. It was all rather intuitive, though I found I never really needed much other than the sniper rifle or the handgun. I occasionally threw a grenade, but again, that defeats the stealth aspect of the game.
SE3 supports local wireless multiplayer. Players can team up through the entire campaign in 2-player local co-op and in the Overwatch and Survival modes. The game also allows you to face off against friends in local multiplayer for up to four players. There are five modes of competitive gameplay, consisting of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, No Cross, Capture the Flag, and Distance King. Each one was quite fun in their own right.
Graphics and Sound
Like all Switch games, you can choose to play in handheld or docked modes. SE3 is one such game that really needs a large TV to enjoy to the fullest. At times you need to scout an area and look for all the Nazi soldiers in a given region. Granted you have binoculars, but the big screen really helps to spot the enemies more efficiently. I also enjoyed the auditory experience coming from my stereo speakers as bombs dropped around me and bullets flew through torsos. Sounds morbid, but hey, it’s just a video game.
As you spot enemies, you can also use the binoculars to check for weaknesses of the surrounding vehicles. This allows players to shoot out gas tanks and take out surrounding baddies with one explosion. Just a bullet ripping through a body, the x-ray camera showing the gas tank blowing up is immensely satisfying.
Verdict: Sniper Elite 3: Ultimate Edition is a flawed, slightly dated, outing but offers enough fun to make it worth the try. The controls are clunky at times and the story is more or less forgettable. I enjoyed the look and the sound of the game, and the x-ray camera is just so delightful every time. SE3 is a very adult game on a system that tends to cater to younger players.
- X-ray camera follows bullets to their targets
- Looks and sounds great on the Switch
- Offers something more adult on the Switch platform
- Clunky controls (at times)
- Can be repetitive
- Feels a bit dated