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Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Review

  • First Released Apr 25, 2017
  • Reviewed Apr 25, 2017
  • PS4

Misses the mark.

Previous entries in the Sniper Ghost Warrior series have been justifiably criticized for their stifling linearity. Missions would regularly guide you by the hand through one cramped corridor after another, with a succession of targets ripe for elimination along the way. It wasn't a formula conducive to the type of freedom and choice one might hope to find in a game focused on the act of long-distance sniping, and Polish developer CI Games has seen the error of its ways with the latest entry in the series. Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 ditches the restrictiveness of its predecessors by shifting the action to the gritty open world of a separatist-controlled Georgia. With an increase in scale and the flexibility inherent therein, it's a positive direction for the skull-splitting series--albeit one that's still frequently disrupted by myriad flaws rearing their ugly head.

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The jagged cliffs and dense forests of the Georgian wilderness are notable for their expansiveness, yet the muted color palette, lackluster lighting, and some muddy, low-quality textures do little to inspire awe. Conceptually, this is also an open world without a clear, defined purpose. There are a few nebulous activities dotted across its three maps--like rescuing civilians and capturing outposts--that net you XP, money, and materials that can be used for crafting. But I gradually ignored these minor distractions and still had a surplus of cash and materials on-hand to acquire the weapons, ammo, and items I desired. With little in the way of interesting locales to entice exploration, it's also a particularly barren world. Pockets of civilian life do their best to present the illusion of a living, breathing society, but their nonplussed reactions to a burly marine barging into their houses aren't exactly believable. Ghost Warrior 3's depiction of Georgia is neither a convincingly realized place, nor an emergent sandbox like the Far Cry games it shares many similarities with. This slice of Eastern European landscape is little more than a glorified path to get you from point A to B without a loading screen interrupting the flow.

For as disappointing as this is, it matters little once you've reached the whereabouts of your active mission. Each one is generally contained within a single, sizable location, whether that's a decrepit block of apartments or a busy airfield. Objectives are refreshingly varied, and there are often optional tasks to complete if you're up for, say, retrieving a downed drone or completing the active mission with no alerts.

Ghost Warrior 3 is at its best, however, when simulating the methodical precision of being an elite marksman. There's a rhythm to the planning and execution that goes into these missions. You usually begin by sending your pocket-sized drone up into the Georgian sky to get a lay of the land, using it to tag enemies and make note of any advantageous vantage points. Once you're comfortable with the layout, you infiltrate the perimeter, using your sniper vision to reveal a climbable surface up the side of a nearby cliff. At the top, you go prone on the cold, hard granite, and prop up your rifle on a tripod for extra stability. With the target firmly in your sights, you twist the dial on your scope to 400 meters and adjust your aim to compensate for bullet drop and a gusty wind coming in from the east. Then you take a deep breath and pull the trigger. The bullet arcs through the strong breeze before darting downward and colliding with your target's temple. Blood spatter covers the bedroom wall behind him, and a convenient zipline covers your exfiltration.

Sniping is the winning card in its deck, and yet CI Games regularly plays other hands to the game's detriment.

While this sounds short and sweet, missions like this can take upwards of 20 minutes to complete if you're willing to take your time. Sniping is all about being cautious and taking a measured approach, and you're rewarded for your patience with some immensely satisfying killshots. For first-person shooters, it offers a unique approach that sets Ghost Warrior 3 apart from its histrionic contemporaries. Sniping is the winning card in its deck, and yet CI Games regularly plays other hands to the game's detriment.

There are three binary play styles for you to adhere to: Sniper, Ghost, and Warrior. Completing actions in each group (sniping for Sniper, performing close-quarters stealth kills for Ghost, and going all guns blazing for Warrior), nets you XP that can be spent on some humdrum upgrades in each, like auto-looting bodies or increasing the effect of health items. It's not the most exciting system, but the added emphasis on different play styles makes them all viable options. The ability to react to an ever-changing situation and completely alter your approach adds a sense of variety to each mission. Sure, the stealth is incredibly simplistic, and open gunfights are ponderous, but as minute complements to the sniping, they serve a functional purpose.

Where this falters, is when these styles take center stage. There are missions where your sniper rifle is taken out of your hands, and others where the tight confines of the level render your sharpshooter too unwieldy to seriously consider. These missions dilute the game's strengths and put it on a playing field with the likes of Call of Duty and Battlefield, where it does not compare favorably. AI issues are more noticeable here, too, as enemies reveal their idiotic tendency to follow each other into a killzone. And in the latter half of the game, new enemy types adopt a bullet sponginess that makes the close-quarters shooting even more of a drag.

Similarly irritating are the glitches and rough edges peppered throughout. In the PlayStation 4 version, I had enemies T-pose in front of me, disappear in the middle of a stealth takedown, and repopulate before my eyes, inside what I thought was an empty outpost. The game also crashed on four separate occasions. Whenever you boot up the game or change regions it takes almost five minutes to load, which is excruciatingly slow. And even something as simple as tagging enemies is frustratingly inconsistent. Sometimes the ability won't work when you're directly aiming at someone from a few yards away; other times you'll pull up your gun and inadvertently tag someone in another room. The framerate is also consistently shoddy, whether you're simply walking or popping in and out of your sniper scope. Sometimes sounds don't play, and pop-in is a constant eyesore.

There have already been three updates pushed out before release, yet I still encountered these issues with the most recent patch installed*. CI Games is certainly working hard to iron out the kinks and address what needs fixing, but after multiple delays, it's disappointing that it's still arrived in such a buggy, unpolished state.

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 feels like a B-tier, budget-priced game. Even the predictable, profanity-laden story is reminiscent of the type of gritty B-movies Steven Seagal is known for. There's certainly merit to its accomplished sniping mechanics, especially when missions hone in on the planning and precise execution that makes playing as a sharpshooter so thrilling. Yet it falters whenever it veers away from its strengths, and the plethora of nagging glitches and technical problems are a persistent nuisance that make Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 difficult to recommend.

*[Editor's note: CI Games has released another patch in time for Sniper Ghost Warrior 3's launch. This review was conducted prior to the patch's release. GameSpot will update this review after testing the patch.]

Back To Top
The Good
Missions are often spacious and promote choice and variety
Sniping mechanics are satisfying
Simulates the methodical precision of being an elite marksman
The Bad
Barren open world is little more than a time sink to get you from point A to B
Emphasis on stealth and close-quarters shooting dilute the game's strengths
Poor technical performance and a multitude of glitches
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

Richard spent roughly 15 hours in the muddy boots of protagonist Jon North. At least 45 minutes of that was probably spent in loading screens.
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Avatar image for deactivated-5bfc8187829ef

on pc on ssd load are normal and gameplay is good fun to scout areas and buy weapons . it is enjoyable . i like it who cares about scores ??

oh my god these critics expect HAlf life 2 form every game!!! LOL

Avatar image for Barracuda54

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

@ Load times on start up take way too long..

@ Graphics for the PS4 very disappointing, not as sharp and clear as I hoped.

@ Was shocked when I continued game after loading it that the screen graphics popped up on the screen instead of just appearing.

@ I had high hopes for this game and was looking forward to its release but at the end of the day, my opinion of this game is that's it's a huge disappointment.

For me, the first two GW games were much more enjoyable to play but overall, the SE Series puts this franchise to shame.

Avatar image for Sniper

What is ghust? Ghost, you rotten excuse! Maybe I should be thankful he did not devolve to the sibilant S: Shtrike, shilent, shociety, shweet...

Wait, because he did it: Shtrengths.

Hey, CBS Interactive: Why is speech impediment the ticket to employment?

Avatar image for depman1972

This game is buggy as hell, it keeps crashing for me on ps4, trying to complete final mission and its crashed at various points, soon as I complete it (if I can) its being traded in.

Avatar image for ici_chacal

Great game... I have played this game already for 5h and I love it. Nice Graphics with amazing weapon details. Best sniper game ever ! 7,5/10

Avatar image for Barracuda54


Well I can't agree, the third SE game buried this one.

I found this one to be mostly unplayable, the graphics were muddy, the load time in the beginning of the game allowed me enough time to go take a nice healthy dump.

The first two GW games were much more enjoyable to linear as they were.

Avatar image for swantn5

to those wondering why theres no audio over coms check your audio settings and switch speaker off worked for me on PS4

Avatar image for kobz

5 is about right.

I'm trying to get into this game, but I'm already getting bored. It's too bad that every game designer thinks their game should follow an 'open world' philosophy. It just doesn't work for me in Sniper Ghost Warrior 3. Instead of being focused on specific missions, the open world map is tedious and a bore, going from one mission to another doing the same things over and over. The game would have been much better had it been linear and focused on one storyline instead of trying to do too many things and making it all mediocre and boring.

Avatar image for Barracuda54


Bammo....Thank you my friend, I've never turned my back on either SE or GW games but this one, if it didn't bore me, it frustrated the heck out of me and I finally gave in and said "@$&! It!"

Avatar image for swantn5

@kobz: i think that they switched to the open world genre due to its popularity but its hit or miss the open world genre is becoming very linear in its self

Avatar image for redhouse3

Where is the multiplayer? havent played a story mode game in 4 years. Multiplayer (ex. BF4) is the only way to play a game like this and feel like a real sniper. and no sniper game should have stupid thing like the ability to highlight your foes. How is it sniping if your foe is highlighted in some sort of red /orange glow?

Avatar image for crashchaos

This series has always been trash. Sniper Elite has always been the best sniper simulation.

Avatar image for swantn5

@crashchaos: i would love to see the first sniper elite get a total remaster overhaul because i think alot of people havent even played the PS2 one

Avatar image for Barracuda54

@swantn5: I've suggested that more than once to the developers.

I think hopefully in the next game maybe they'll include it ala CoD: Modern Warfare in the Infinite Warfare game.

Avatar image for muzza93

I enjoyed the hell out of Sniper Ghost warrior 2. Which was surprising to me at the time because the reviews weren't great. I think I'll enjoy this too regardless of the 5

Avatar image for depman1972

I'm playing it atm and I think the game is quite good so far.

Does not deserve a 5, i'd say a 7.

Avatar image for vinceb

Anyone not received everything in their season pass? I'm missing McMillan 338 and Sabotage mission. Emailed CI about it yesterday. No response yet

Avatar image for vinceb

@vinceb: Finally heard back from CI games. This was their reply,

"Dear Customer,

The Sabotage and McMillan 338 will be released at a later date. Multiplayer will be availabe in the 3rd quarter of this year.

Best Regards,

CI Games Support"

Avatar image for anthonyjames338

I bought my copy of Sniper 3 yesterday, played it today and I have to say I am disappointed. I died three (3) times in the prologue and it sent me back to the main menu to start a new game. Never has a shooter game done this. If they still have glitches why release the game? I rate this game a 2. This game definitely falls short compared to the other sniper games I have played.

Avatar image for stealthy1

@anthonyjames338: Y? It isn't their fault your failing the training lol

Avatar image for pedrolopes1313

Far cry 4 looks better plays better and cost 1/3 of the price of this thing

Avatar image for Scottisme

@pedrolopes1313: its 36 CAD/28 USD on with the season pass, but yeah if you haven't played far cry 4 get it.

Avatar image for ps3gamer1234

From Worthabuy from YouTube Don't believe all the bad stuff on steam about this game, it is fun but it is also frustrating. It's very much an arcade game rather than a proper sniper game and for me it was too much in that direction with stupid announcements telling me a zone is clear, tagging systems (that can be turned off) perk system that has numerous Xray choices, a bland empty game world with bad voice acting and a shitty story. The good news is the missions are fun unless you set up a killzone for the sheep to run in too, I much prefer putting the difficulty on hard, disable all the aids and try finding the enemy before they find you or they will kill you. No health regen in this game :) It's great fun, just not worth the £40 tag. I have noticed other reviewers complaining about stuff that I never saw but after checking their reviews again I saw that they were playing on consoles! Does no one review PC games at all now? Both Gamespot and IGN reviewed this on console so why even bother watching them as a PC gamer? What can they tell me about this game for my PC? Nothing at all is the answer. Then I check youtube reviewers who advertise "PC review" they are all using fucking PS4 footage and complaining about stuff that is NOT in the PC version of the game. Has the entire world gone "Console"? So buyer beware, you may be making your PC gaming decisions based on a console gamers information.

Avatar image for aroxx_ab

To bad, i really wanted this game to be good. People say it is to many shooters out there but it is not many GOOD ones:(

Avatar image for rhythm1989

This game may have its flaws, but it is a lot of fun for those that don't enjoy the myriad of run n gun games out there. I would rather support an attempted effort to make a game that veers away from the cod/halo style of fps than support another predictable game. This game isn't perfect. It improved a lot from the previous games and when the difficulty is put on higher, it's quite fun.

Avatar image for m_nay2008

Bad graphics and in the same time bad frame rate WTF.

Avatar image for Scottisme

@m_nay2008: that's the cry engine for you, un-optimised poop, and some bad coding on their part im sure.

Avatar image for jasonb520

Looks like the trend these days is just making bad games. This one was never that great to begin with but after the 2nd you think they would have learned

Avatar image for Mogan

@jasonb520: They wouldn't have made 2 and 3 if the series wasn't selling. And I can't imagine the Sniper games need to sell a whole ton to turn a profit.

Avatar image for xenomorphalien

Surprised this franchise made it this far. Just let it die

Avatar image for Barracuda54

@xenomorphalien: I doubt we'll see another, this last one blew serious vomit chunks.

Avatar image for vuori2003

Ok, so there's a lot of bugs right now. next patch, Hope that this will fix some of them. Pity, because game has huge potential, or the idea to create such a game. SE is great game, but SGW has something that is missing in SE, and that's the reason I really like this series.

Avatar image for eilegz

it is me or the game looks like a ps3 or xbox360 era game...

Avatar image for hippos

On PC this game looks very nice. For me sniping in this game is great. We need consider wind and distance to shoot accurately. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is morre tactical game than Sniper Elite 4 in my opinion.

Avatar image for mrbojangles25

not surprising; a budget title just like the other two.

Don't be fooled by the marketing, this game is a cheap POS.

Avatar image for WarFox89

CI Games - Just cancel the GW series please. Can't you see it's not working good after 3 attempts ?

My humble suggestion would be - Take your time, Create new IP, Gather decent production values - Make it big and make it Right! We don't need more mixture games of Far-Cry/GTA/Ghost-Recon/Crysis etc ...

PS - Game Devs: Please stop that flood of "Open World" games. We don't need every game to be open world if you can't make it right, unique and alive. Linear will work great with great story, characters. sound and gameplay.

Avatar image for cyberpunk_2077

@WarFox89: It could be internal pressure where they must release something and so we have un polished fillers.

Avatar image for cthulu_fhtagn

@cyberpunk_2077: City Interactive is not CD Projekt RED and not Techland. :)

Avatar image for heitkamper

Is there long distance sniping in this game? I bought the Xbox One version and if I send my drone out to scout over an outpost and tag half a dozen enemies, and then pull back to snipe them, the enemies disappear if I pull back more than 250m. Is this a glitch? There are rifles in this game that are able to cover 3x that distance, but what good are they if you have no one to shoot at.

Avatar image for thekittenofwar

Another open world game with game play and mechanics that fail to compliment an open world... and another reason why when I hear "linear" I see it as a net positive.

Avatar image for livedreamplay

@thekittenofwar: Me too, getting real annoyed with empty and shallow open worlds. Either make a good world, or just make it linear and be done with it.

Avatar image for aroxx_ab

@livedreamplay: yeah me too, that is why linear CoD singleplayer is so good

Avatar image for livedreamplay

@aroxx_ab: Just because open worlds are usually shit doesn't mean that all the linear games are good. ;)

Avatar image for yukushi

I disagree with the writer, linear games have their place, every game should not be open world because then it becomes generic and when you buy all these games you feel like you are playing the same thing.

Avatar image for thekittenofwar

@yukushi: Exactly. So many games are adding open worlds and then filling them with nothing of interest. They might as well go linear because the fact is these worlds only give you an illusion of freedom.

Avatar image for Gbullet

One of the few games that got a 5 that I still want to play. I don't know, it looks fun. Will buy when it's 10 bucks.

Avatar image for risingdawn


I've still played and enjoyed games before that have scored around 5, sometimes if you're a fan of a series or certain type of game you can happily look past flaws and still enjoy it for what it is.

Avatar image for csward

Reviews don't matter to this games target market anyways. Still I can see people getting confused over whether to by Sniper Elite 4 that came out in Feb. and this game. They would probably choose this game b/c it's the 5th entry, so people might think it's the sequel to Sniper Elite 4, when in fact they are different series.

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Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 More Info

  • First Released Apr 25, 2017
    • PC
    • PlayStation 4
    • + 2 more
    • Wii U
    • Xbox One
    Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 sees you caught between three warring factions in a modern day conflict in Eastern Europe.
    Average Rating59 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3
    Developed by:
    City Interactive, CI Games
    Published by:
    City Interactive, CI Games, Ubisoft, Deep Silver
    Action, First-Person, Shooter, Tactical
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language