Rebellion is once again taking aim on the Nintendo Switch with the release of a new Sniper Elite for Nintendo’s hybrid platform. Earlier this year, the Switch found itself in the sights of Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, but now it finds itself being the target of Rebellion’s Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition.
With there being no Call of Duty or Battlefield on the Nintendo Switch, the Sniper Elite franchise has carved itself a nice little place in the Switch library. While Sniper Elite V2 Remastered gave players a chance to tour the European front of World War II, Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition takes the player to the North African campaign. Despite the setting change, the mission remains the same: kill Nazis.
Just as its predecessor, you play as Karl Fairburne and are tasked with the difficult task of assassinating high-ranking Nazi official, General Franz Vahlen, and putting a stop to his evil schemes. Unlike Sniper Elite V2 Remaster, which had linear and contained map design, Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition operates with a larger and more open map design. This design choice grants you the freedom to approach missions in whichever manner you see fit; either by sniping enemies from a distance, stealthily slaying enemies or by using a mix of close-range combat and long-range weaponry.
Blending these two keeps things interesting and provides moments of satisfying headshots with the sniper rifle, all the while giving a sense of adrenaline by sneakily searching an enemy encampment and silently slitting the throats of your enemies. Of course, you could always opt to avoid confrontation and complete your mission that way, but then you deprive yourself of that perfect kill-shot.
Speaking of satisfying sniper kills, the sniping mechanics are as pleasant as they were in Sniper Elite V2 Remaster, perhaps even a touch better. Just like its predecessor, the game offers several skill settings, each having a direct influence on how you experience the game. For those looking to enjoy the game and score a few headshots, you’ll want to set the game to a lower skill setting, so that you can setup a pinpoint precision sniper shot. For a more realistic experience and greater challenge, you’ll want the set a higher skill level where you will have to anticipate for bullet drop, wind, and other external factors.
By giving the player such options, you can create an experience specifically for you. As you grow more confident in your skills, you may opt to increase the skill setting and put your sniping skills to the test. Otherwise, those looking to experience the story or just want to enjoy a war game will likely keep things more sensible. By utilizing the in-game assist system, one can make the experience more thrilling and enjoyable as you kill Nazis with a perfectly placed shot or explode the occasional vehicle in flashy fashion.
Furthermore, to make sniping even more enjoyable, the game uses the Switch’s gyro-aiming talents to their fullest. Slight movement will allow you to adjust your aim and perfectly center your shot on the desired target. Standard control is an option, but gyro is leagues ahead. Gyro allows for quick aim corrections and makes it easier to hit your target with flawless precision. Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition is one of the best uses of gyro controls on the Switch.
While sniping is the highlight of the game, there are other play styles worth exploring. Certain sequences may require you to snipe an enemy target or enemy convoy; however, there are many other instances that present the player with the freedom to choose their style of play. Searching an enemy encampment or barrack will offer the choice of continuing to use your sniper, a machine gun, pistol, or use stealth and sneak your way past guards, collect intel, sabotage equipment, and exit without alerting suspicion. Mixing all the styles creates a nice balance and keeps things interesting; especially if you attempt to complete certain bonus tasks within each mission.
The campaign of Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition is a satisfying main course, but it serves up some delightful multiplayer as dessert. The Survival Mode is the highlight of the multiplayer modes, as it challenges you and your partner to eliminate waves of Nazi enemies. Each wave gets progressively more difficult but gunning down dozens of enemies and using your full range of weapons makes for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There are also cooperate missions and a deathmatch mode featured in the game.
Visually, Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition is clean looking. The environments are vibrant, the desert setting is dry and dusty, while the shrubbery is lush and green. Seeing a bullet pierce the flesh of an enemy and the X-ray kills show the bone shatter are each wonderfully detailed. Whether played in handheld or docked, the game is pleasant to gaze upon.
With the Nintendo Switch lacking in war games and good third-person shooters, the Sniper Elite franchise has managed to fill the void with a well-placed bullet. The setting of Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition is engaging, the campaign is varied, the gyro controls are remarkable, and the experience is entertaining. Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition is an excellent Switch game and one that fans of World War 2 shooters will thoroughly enjoy.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Rebellion