Sniper: Ghost Warrior PS3 Review

Publisher – City Interactive – Developer – City Interactive – Genre – FPS – Players – 1-12 – Age Rating – 16+ – Other console/handheld formats – Xbox 360

As sniping in games is so popular, it’s really quite surprising that sniper gaming releases aren’t a more regular occurence. Sniper: Ghost Warrior is one of these rarities, in which you’ll often be viewing your surroundings through a scope, although it’s also a game that received a real rough time upon its release on the Xbox 360.

Indeed, Sniper: Ghost Warrior was initially released on the Xbox 360 in a rather sorry state, with numerous problems sullying any potential enjoyment. But developer City Interactive did attempt to sort its issues out with an extensive patch, which remedied many of its more major problems. The story of Ghost Warrior isn’t finished by any means though: the success of the game not only proved that many of us are open to more sniper games to fill the empty void, but it also brought about this eventual PS3 release, and a fully fledged sequel is also in the works.

Of course, this PS3 version of Sniper: Ghost Warrior is the improved version of the game post patch, although it also has some exclusive bonus content. There are new missions, multiplayer modes and maps and additional sniper rifles in there. The developer has also said that the visuals and enemy AI have also been enhanced, although I sadly never got around to playing the Xbox 360 original, so I’m unable to confirm how accurate this is.

No, the game doesn't have a third person view, if you're wondering.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior may have an emphasis on sniping, although rarely do you find yourself at any great distance from your enemies. Primarily you are equipped with a rifle, a knife, as well as a silenced sidearm, and the game regularly encourages stealth play – picking enemies off from afar , making use of your pistol, or any other weapon that you may have in your possession, to deal with closer threats in the jungle environment, and keeping an eye on the radar for enemy positions as well as the detection meter, which informs you when you are in sight of the enemy.

The sniping isn’t too bad at all, with your shot placement being governed by various things, and a nice slow motion sequence every now again of the camera following the path of your bullets as they travel towards the craniums of your enemies. This can be skipped or entirely turned off altogether if it begins to grate.

The unfair AI that initially was a part of the game before the patch on the Xbox 360 has been dramatically toned down; although that’s not to say that it’s completely fair, because it isn’t. Enemy aim often feels too precise during the moments you’re being shot at, but it’s hardly enough to really hurt the game. At least the shockingly sharp hawk-like vision of the AI is also something that was confined to the past by the Xbox 360 patch. But there’s still a touch of randomness to how each enemy reacts to you, or, in some cases, how they don’t react to you at all.

For those serious about the sniping, there’s a challenge mode that removes the majority of the aids. This mode is tough and requires a lot more patience, thus it certainly won’t be for everyone by any means, but, for those who truly enjoy testing their abilities, this will really hit the spot.

Health is a mixture of partial recharging and the more old fashioned manual healing.

The game also has a set of online options, although with only four modes, multiplayer is sadly a little limited. There’s Deathmatches, Team Deathmatches, VIP and Capture the Flag. The fact that all players are snipers is a neat twist, although I don’t think this will be the game that will empty the servers of the likes of the Call of Duty, Killzone and Resistance series’.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior does sadly feel relatively low budget. The visuals aren’t too bad until you notice the ugly and blurry textures, the music meanwhile is likeable enough, but repeats too often. With a bigger budget, perhaps the upcoming sequel will be more the game that the developer originally wanted to make. This first game isn’t awful by any means and certainly has its moments, but it has too many bugs and random moments to hold back from recommending it as anything other than a curiosity rental. It’s a shame it has issues, as the sniping gaming landscape is currently a pretty empty place.