505 games has announced Sniper Elite 3, developed by Rebellion, for both current generation and next generation systems, including the PlayStation 4. With the game set for release in 2014, we have awhile before it actually sees release; in the meantime, let's take a look at the history of the Sniper Elite franchise, as many gamers are not only surprised by the existence of a third game but that this series exists in the first place.
History of Sniper Elite
The original Sniper Elite saw release in 2005 for all systems available at the time: Xbox, PlayStation 2, PC and the Wii. The premise is simple: as Karl Fairburne, your job is to prevent the Soviet Union from obtaining Germany's nuclear secrets at the end of World War II. As the name implies, you'll do this by sniping your way across war-torn battlefields and bombed out villages. Honestly, there isn't much to the plot in this game, but that's not really the reason you play it: it's for the sniping.
Remember the sniper levels in Modern Warfare 4, full of tension and excitement as you sniped enemy soldiers without getting seen? Sniper Elite is an entire game based on those elements. As the name implies, the sniping mechanic is very involved to simulate actual sniping: you'll need to compensate for bullet drop, wind strength and distance. Just having your crosshairs on the enemy isn't enough; without properly calculating these factors, your bullet will fall short of the enemy. Luckily for players who don't want to deal with these advanced strategies, you can merely turn them off and have fun sniping. While the game does include various other weapons, trust us and just stick to the sniper rifle whenever possible.
Additionally, the game provides a stealth element, in the form of a camouflage index, that helps you stay hidden. And you'll want to stay hidden as well, as you will quickly die in combat, which one would expect being just a sniper.
All in all, Sniper Elite was an interesting take on a first-person shooter concept that's rarely explored and, while it didn't light the sales charts on fire, it did gain a cult following. It wouldn't be until 2012 that a sequel, Sniper Elite v2, was released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. The game's name pulls double duty as Sniper Elite v2 is the second game of the series but also a remake of the first game as a means to reboot the story. You once again play as Karl Fairburne in World War II with a game that is more story focused than the original but still follows the same plot as the first.
However, Sniper Elite v2 is known not for its story but for one key feature: the x-ray killcam. Occasionally when your bullets hit an enemy the game will show you the inside of that enemy's body as the bullet pierces him. The results are gruesome and give weight to your bullets; for some players it was too much gore, but for others it only intensified the experience. Sniper Elite v2 also enabled you to place traps, such as tripwires and mines, and use additional weapons for those times when you are spotted and need to engage in close combat. While all the non-sniping sections are a bit subpar, the game balances itself out with the sniping, with harder difficulties adding more obstacles to overcome in terms of properly sniping much like the first game. Additionally, the game added both co-op and competitive multiplayer modes. It's not the greatest game on the planet but it's decent for what it is and has its fans, as it has sold 1.1 million copies since release.
To whet the appetite of Sniper elite fans, a standalone expansion was released titled Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army. As the war ends, Hitler, with his back against the wall, executes "Plan Z" and well, it's about what you'd expect: a game about sniping nazi zombies.
With the franchise going strong, seeing two games in the past two years, it was inevitable we would see a proper sequel (or at least another reboot, knowing Rebellion), so it was no surprise when 505 Games announced Sniper Elite 3 for PlayStation 4.
Story and Setting
Information is scarce but here's what we can expect: you once again play as Karl Fairburne in a game set in World War II that is surprisingly not a reboot, remake or spinoff. The game is still set in World War II, though this time the setting is in North Africa, a refreshing change.
Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley, in an interview with VG247, explained why he feels this change is a good idea:
“Sniper Elite 3 takes place among the varied exotic locales of the North African theatre of WW2 which has not been extensively explored in games but was actually historically pivotal to the whole conflict.”
It was also recently revealed the game would be host to a larger, more open world than past entries in the series, with a focus on stealth gameplay similar to Far Cry 3. Kingsley tells MCV what impact this will have on the game's sniping:
"The player must be empowered to observe and analyse a location and the enemies within it without being spotted while making a plan of action. Then they should have enough skills and tools at their disposal to be able to express their own personal playing style in carrying out that plan. Sniper Elite 3 will follow that approach, while bringing its own particular flavour to the genre.
If you are sniping at the enemy from a concealed position, that should play out in a plausible fashion – the enemy won’t spot you immediately and even when they do figure out which direction they are being shot at from, they will still have to figure out how to flush you out."
In addition, Kingsley has mentioned that he believes players are tired of the scripted "on-rails" sequences that Call of Duty and other games in the genre provide and that he aims to make Sniper Elite 3 stand out due to its flexibility.
Rebellion has revealed that multiplayer will be present in Sniper Elite 3 in two forms: co-operative play and competitive multiplayer.
In co-op play, up to two friends can take on the story campaign together.
Competitive multiplayer pits sniper against sniper, with some changes made to the mode to make it more exciting. For more information, check out Rebellion's Developer Diary 3 video, linked below, which goes into both modes in-depth!
First Gameplay Trailer
Rebellion has released the first pure gameplay trailer for Sniper Elite 3, showcasing every feature about the game in one stunning five minute trailer. Check it out below!
PlayStation 4 Advantage
While no PlayStation 4 specific features have been revealed, Kingsley told MCV how much he enjoyed working on the console:
“Naturally, we’re excited to be developing Sniper Elite 3 for the PS4 and how helpful Sony continue to be in making sure that development for their hardware is as straightforward as possible. Sniper Elite 3 is going to look and play fantastically on PS4 of course, but it’s a little early for us to reveal anything specific.”
Like the previous game, Sniper Elite 3 will offer a pre-order mission that tasks you with killing Hitler. How did Hitler get to Africa?
Titled "Hunt The Grey Wolf," this special mission has Hitler and his body double travelling to Libya. You must infiltrate the German-run town where Hitler is residing and assassinate him once and for all... until Sniper Elite 4, that is.
Sniper Elite 3 may have never moved beyond cult status in its early games, but these new changes look to make it stand in a league of its own. Sniper Elite 3 is launching June 27th, 2014 in Europe and July 1st in the United States.
Keep your scope on PS4 Experts for when additional news about Sniper Elite 3 comes into view!
Game Category: First Person Shooter
Article by - Joshua Phillips
Insert Date: 3/25/2013