Contrary to assumptions, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 isn’t just a Call of Duty clone. It remains entirely true to the franchise’s central gameplay pillars: challenging, long-distance sniper shots that require you to calibrate your scope, compensate for wind, adjust your stance, check your breathing, and more; tactical infiltration and exfiltration that demand patience, planning, and stealth; and a near complete lack of support should you find yourself outnumbered. Running-and-gunning — while technically possible — will still get you killed more often than not. In short, the game is geared towards a specific type of disciplined, hardcore first-person shooter fan.
That said, there’s plenty that’s new or expanded compared to previous iterations, some of which should appeal to a slightly broader swath of gamers. Most importantly, Sniper 3 offers the largest, most open world the series has ever seen, one filled with dense forests, rural outposts, and even thriving cities. Structurally, it actually feels like a grittier Far Cry 4 (and incidentally, the game is powered by CryEngine 3). The basic premise casts you as a self-sufficient American special ops sniper dropped illegally behind enemy lines in the midst of a Georgian civil war. While you’ll be given several general objectives that guide you through a narrative arc, you must uncover specific missions as you go, meaning you’re simply let loose on a completely open world map dotted with activities to explore in basically any order.