Sniper: Ghost Warrior PlayStation 3
Published by City Interactive
Developed by City Interactive
With FPS games being ten a penny, a new addition to the genre has to be something special to stand out. Sometimes it's difficult for the FPS games that are simply good to get any attention and for those which are simply mediocre or worse it's nigh on impossible. Sniper: Ghost Warrior for the PlayStation 3 is an enhanced version of the game that appeared on the Xbox 360 and PC last year. Enhanced it may be but the game isn't anything special and will struggle to hold most people's attention past the first few missions.
Set on the fictitious South American styled island of Isla Trueno, Sniper: Ghost Warrior puts you in the shoes of Marine sniper Sergeant Tyler Wells. Isla Trueno is ruled by the despotic General Vasquez and you and your team have been sent in to aid the rebels and assassinate Vasquez. The initial attempt goes horribly wrong however and what should have been a straightforward task ends up one heck of a nightmare. In regards to its storyline Sniper: Ghost Warrior won't set any pulses racing but who buys an FPS for its in-depth storyline?
Stealth and sniping should be the name of the game here but there are times when it's just not possible to snipe from a hidden position. As a sniper shooter Ghost Warrior is serviceable with such things as wind direction, the ability for Wells to hold his breathe to steady his aim, the type of stance adopted and the movement of your target having to be taken into account when aiming. However, things are not quite so good when things go awry, and they often will, and you find yourself in situations where a more daring approach is called for. More disappointing is how you seem to be led from one objective to another without the freedom to explore the environment and carry out the missions on your own terms. I personally found this restrictive and a dated approach to such a game.
The PlayStation 3 version of Ghost Warrior, in addition to having several elements of the game improved upon, also has several bonus features. The game claims to have fully upgraded gameplay and graphics in addition to a 'Hard Core' mode and improved AI behaviour. Having not played either of the Xbox 360 or PC versions of the game I'm not in a position to comment on either of these improvements but what I can say is that all of these improved elements can't have been great to begin with if they have been enhanced for this version. The AI, at best, is mediocre and lacks the sense of realism that the game claims to have. To make matters worse it's inconsistent and at times seems really alert and at others doesn't seem to notice that a bullet has whizzed past their ears. The bonus features are similarly unimpressive. I'm sure some will appreciate a Capture the Flag multiplayer mode, an extra difficulty setting, additional single-player missions and a handful of additional sniper rifles but for anyone that's played an FPS in the last five or so years they are hardly sparkling additions.
Whilst this may be a graphically improved version of Ghost Warrior, it's far from being a great looking PlayStation 3 title. There's a slightly blurred, almost out of focus quality to the textures that is a little off putting. Some of the shadows don't look quite right and there are some clipping issues. A less than consistent frame rate, overly long pauses whilst the game saves at checkpoints, disappointing level design and finding out that these apparently wide open environments have invisible boundaries that you must stay within are all elements that are disappointing and should have been sorted out.
The important dialogue in Ghost Warrior is subtitled but the subtitles are disabled by default. However, whilst they are disabled by default, it's great to see that the introductory cut scene (that you'll see before you get the chance to enable the subtitles) is initially subtitled so you won't miss out on the dialogue it contains. Whilst the essential dialogue in the cut scene and mission is subtitled, there is plenty of speech in the game that you simply won't be aware of. None of the peripheral dialogue from your enemies is subtitled and none of the sounds they make are captioned. In fact the game doesn't employ any method of visually alerting you to the noise you're making which certainly puts the deaf and hard of hearing gamer at a big disadvantage in a game where being stealthy is of prime importance. There are indicators to show you which direction enemy fire is coming from but at times the game can be frustrating. In essence then whilst it's not a terrible experience for deaf gamers, it could have been much more accessible.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior, whilst not a terrible game, doesn't do anything to make itself stand out in what is a terribly crowded genre. The game impresses neither in regards to how it looks or plays. That's not to say it's a poor game in any particular way but at best it's a mediocre single-player experience and a lacklustre multiplayer experience. To put it simply, there are several better options available on the PlayStation 3 if stealth-based shooters are your thing and Sniper: Ghost Warrior should only be considered when you've played the better games out there.