Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is an excellent Far Cry clone. Plus bonus content.

If like me you like the premise of Ubi open-world games but hate the cookie-cutter drudgery they're filled with this game makes a refreshing alternative. I can't speak for the console performance (which is meant to be baaaaaaad) but this game is the real deal.

You play as standard US special forces guy looking for his brother in the midst of a Georgian civil war. The story was fun and had characters you could actually remember as distinct. The gunplay and ballistics feel very nice - the pistols especially. Which was handy as they're your main stealth CQC weapon. At times it felt like a first-person MGS, but mostly it was on a par with Metro 2033's stealth.

Like Far Cry it uses a big wide-open map with RPG trimmings. There are 3 in total - a generic forest/village one, a snowey mountain one, and one centered around a dam. The locations are heavily detailed with tons of prop objects. If like me you love over-budget Cold War military architecture you'll love the various enemy fortresses with their sheer granite foundations. Even caves were as visually impressive as the main Tomb Raider setpieces. It has trains trundling around and each map has a base where you can upgrade your weapons with drum mags, scopes, etc.

They're are tons of "areas of interest" on the map like Far Cry that usually resolve into a hostage situation, hostile wildlife, or treasure. Like Far Cry you drive around in first person, but for DLC owners you'll get a buggy that also doubles as a resting mount for your sniper rifle.

The sniping handles a hell of a lot better than the two dire previous entries of the series. Still not as good as Sniper Elite, but they do have a basic gore system where heads dynamically fracture like melons if you use a 50 cal or explosive round.

Where the game absolutely shines is when you wander off the main roads and through the forests and mountains. There it actually managed to approach the same feeling I had when playing STALKER or Oblivion. Nothing's more intense than scaling a mountain to reach the shrine and sniper point up top with its unique collector rifle, and then hearing the *whiiiirrrrrr* *bizzzzzzt* of a Bouncing Betty mine.

My favourite missions was actually a sidequest where you have to infiltrate an old Soviet missile complex and blow them up in mid-air.

Me liking the game was rather stacked in my favour as:

  • I love Euro-jank
  • I love the Eastern European biome
  • I love realistic weapons
My loading time on a GTX770 were no longer than CoD IW's. I was fortunate not to encounter many bugs and there is a generous checkpoint system. In 25 hours of play I've had about 7 CTDs and one time I jumped out of the buggy whilst it was moving and was catapulted through the air. Another time the buggy was blown up and wouldn't respawn until I'd quit the game entirely.

The DLC mission lasted only 30 minutes and didn't have any unique content. And, yes, they did once release a patch they had to roll back 2 days later because it broke everything.
Whilst unrelated to the quality of the game, I dug into the game's files and there is a ton of cut content. Enough to populate an open world. Most models are remarkably complete, with full interiors. A few are just boxes. Going by what's in there it seems the story was meant to bring in Russia & US in the 3rd act. There were Georgian, Russian, and Mercenary (separate from 23Society) character factions each with regular, heavy, sniper, leader, and General NPCs. Then again, maybe they just bought a model pack off-the-shelf though I imagine it's hard to find Georgian specific models.

Initially your car was meant to be upgradeable.
Some objects, like the Tavor and AK12, were used in pre-release footage. A few are probably from Ghost Warrior 2. Others are in the game but I've included for completion's sake.
That's a to-scale Mechem NTW-20 up above. And just below it is a fictional rifle that uses the TrackingPoint auto-targeting scope.
Transport and attack helicopters for both sides.
That's the Ka-58 up there, a fictional stealth Ka-52 that only exists as an Airfix model
Georgian police, SWAT, fire, ambulance, and prison vehicles. Characters for all services were also included
A rather large naval component, including the Admiral Kuznetsov.
The top ship is enterable from a hull breach and has fully modelled corridors and interiors. I'm fairly certain it's taken from their WW2 game Enemy Front.
A 2km airport. There's a ton of airport baggage vehicles and NPCs as well.
Low-poly transport planes, regular-poly civilian and drones (different from the one used in the game).
It's hard to see in the screens but plane interiors and cockpits were again fully modelled and detailed enough to stage a cutscene in.
Military vehicles. If they'd included them in the game it would have been the first appearances for things like the Zulfiqar tank and Bumerang IFV in gaming.
All the civilian and utility vehicles. Including a rebel JCB outfitted with hastily improvised armor.
Choo choo! As mentioned in the OP trains are in the game. I just think they're cool.
There were meshes for hospitals, schools, asylums, town halls, casinos, subways (all Soviet specific). Too many to include pics for.
This the game with the massive draw distance problem that messes up your sniping, right Yup!

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 has a really big flaw

Still, glad to hear you enjoyed it. Might try it down the line in a sale.

As far as recent Far Cry or STALKER likes, I like The Signal From Tolva which also has faction vs faction in-fighting and an interesting robot world. Much shorter game, max 7 hours, a bit repetitive but solid gunplay and mechanics like going around with your own robot crew mopping up baddies and capturing bases.
My review.....

Well..... finished SGW3 a few weeks ago. 98% overall completion. Long story short, if you know what to expect, you'll probably enjoy this game but if you're expecting a lot, you probably won't enjoy this game.

Story and characters weren't bad but the execution and ending were. Seriously, unless you're near the end, you're not missing much. Wasted potential on a few characters, a decent swerve that was also wasted in the last few missions.

Missions were for the most part good as were the objectives but the game reuses the same areas for a lot of these missions, side ops and the wanted criminals which is a shame because there's a good amount of areas in the game that aren't really used in any of these areas which is disappointing to say the least.

Played on hard mode. 67 hours with 98% completion. Scout Mode Enemy highlight was set to NO. Aim assist was also set to NO. Extended enemy tagging options was set to YES. Bullet camera was set to NO for the entire game.

World is literally dead even in the small town areas. Limited to one car and the buggy if you have the season pass. Literally no life at all in the game. Probably saw more wolves and dears than actual NPC's. Three maps wasn't needed at all. One, maybe two would have been good enough. Mainly because like I said, you never go to several areas so it's like, what's the point in them existing?

Visually, the world itself looks good in 4K/HDR. I can't complain about that. Character models leave a little to be desired but the facial animations were still better than MEA at launch in my opinion based on what I have seen from that game. Music was okay at best mainly because there wasn't a lot of it. Here and there during missions and it was pretty much the same or similar throughout. The sound effects were good and the voice acting was passable at best but not horrible or anything.

Gameplay wise...sniping is excellent. Stealth is solid. General gunplay though not so much. Just too loose and not good compared to other FPS. Basically, it's serviceable.

Now the bugs/glitches/etc.

- Fell through the world twice while jumping off a ladder (amazingly, you can't step off the ladder as you literally have to jump off despite being on the bottom step...I avoided this for the most part by just falling from the top to the bottom as opposed to climbing up or down...most part, didn't even take any damage).
- Game froze on me three times.
- Had one system error while playing.
- Completed one mission by going out of the exfiltration area to watch me blowing something up but because I was outside the area, once I did that and completed the mission, it didn't register so I had to replay the mission.
- Played for an hour or so with no tires on the car you use to drive around. Literally no tires. Reloading solved the issue.
- Had a glitch with the assault rifle secondary weapon where at times, pressing the square button or any button for that matter while having this weapon as the main weapon in use didn't work. I had to change weapons. After a few minutes of doing various nonsense, this somehow reset and fixed itself but it happened at least twice from what I can remember.
- During one later mission that had buddies on your team, I was advancing, died and restarted from checkpoint. The buddies were literally a few feet in front of the enemies and weren't seen.
- Enemies appear/disappear based on how far away you are. While some will say 250m is the minimum, I literally walked around a base with no enemies despite it being a mission. I had to restart the game and the mission.
- Map has problems...outposts will appear and disappear depending on if you did them or not but if you go back to that area, they respawn which honestly, I hate. Once an outpost is cleared, it should be done.
- Also on the map, you can see the collectable locations but only when you're in one of the other maps. For example, if im in the Dam map, I can see the collectables for the Mining Town map but when I go to the Mining Town map, they disappear.
- Killed a few enemies with stealth kills yet I would be knifing air as the enemy would disappear behind me or whatnot dead. In fairness, I have seen this bug in other games including Far Cry.
- Initial map loading is long. On the Samsung EVO 850 SSD, this load took about 2 1/2 minutes. Once the map is loaded, dying and restarting from checkpoints and fast travel were super quick. On the base HDD, I have read reviews that said the initial map load takes about five minutes.

Can't remember anything else off the top of my head. Oh crap. Just came to me. HORRIBLE Escape of Lydia DLC. Mentioned this in an earlier post. It's only two missions which are basically linear cut off maps of the main game. Think Sniper Elite 4 but smaller.

Can definitely see why the game received low to bad ratings but in fairness, I did enjoy the game for the most part. Hell, if I didn't, I wouldn't have played and completed 98% of it in 67 hours. Overall, a 6.5/10 (6/10 is above average and 7/10 is good on my own personal rating scale). I can say however that this game craps all over Homefront: The Revolution (I quit after ten or so hours) in pretty much every way and that unlike that game, SGW3 did in fact give me my Far Cry type game fix and I should be good until the eventual FAR CRY 5.
Multiplayer coming on January 26th

Three game modes:
– Bounty hunter, which will test your survival and risk managing skills, more risk = more reward!
– Sharpshooter, which will require high reflexes!
– Classic Team Deathmatch, all in!
4 maps, each one is set in a unique environment and they vary in size
2 additional exclusive maps included in the Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 Season Pass for a total of 6 maps
Over 10 weapons that will give you unique possibilities
Over 10 gadgets to help you in your quest for victory
Over 15 different characters to choose from with various outfits for different environments

As you progress in-game, you can apply new camouflage to your weapons to become more recognizable or feared on the battlefield.
Yeah got this on sale and am loving it. Have had very few technical issues, and the sniping is super satisfying. Playing through it slowly, jumping in whenever I want a sniping fix.