To be a Sniper, you need the patience of a saint, finding a great location to scope out your environment, spotting enemies and setting up to take out your target. Then you have to consider the weather conditions, how will the wind affect the flight of the bullet?  Is the sun in my eyes? (Actually maybe not that one).

Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, developed by CI Games will certainly test your patience and that’s just in getting the game to load. Having to wait for 4-6 minutes for the game to load is frankly a joke and makes me wonder why the game got released with such a significant issue, it’s a shame more than anything because, in reality, the game isn’t that bad.

You play as Jon North and alongside his brother, Robert, you infiltrate a military base to destroy some nuclear weapons to stop them from being sold around the world, it’s not long before things go wrong. The game fast forwards in time and Jon has been sent to help break-up a separatist movement in Georgia. The story is pretty clichéd and I really didn’t care for the characters.

CI Games have clearly listened to feedback from the fans and moved away from the linear gameplay to bring you the world that you can explore. What I did like was the fact that you don’t have to explore at all if you don’t want to, I could just stick to the main storyline. Of course, exploring gives you the option to discover new parts of the environment, unlock extra weapons and spare parts to craft ammo at your hideouts. Unfortunately driving around in the beat-up jeep was tedious. Despite there being various other vehicles in the game, they were all locked. The map is a pain to use too, for some reason the GPS doesn’t work very well and I often ended up on the wrong road despite being told to travel that way. Thankfully there are plenty of fast travel points to discover meaning you could move around a bit quicker.

Gameplay wise CI Games did a good job. The missions actually felt quite varied, and depending on your style of play you could approach most missions how you felt best, except for the odd occasion where you weren’t able to alert anyone otherwise you would fail the mission. There are three skill trees, Sniper, Ghost and Warrior that you can work up as you play, depending on your style of play will determine which skill point within the three will unlock. For example, the more measured your are in your gameplay will see you earning skill points in the ‘Sniper’ tree allowing you to unlock perks such as being able to hold your breath for longer, therefore having longer to take out your target. The run and gun approach, however, would boost your ‘Warrior’ tree by boosting your stamina and health stats.

I was expecting to find the sniping most difficult than it actually was, during the tutorials you were shown how to adjust your elevation to ensure you would get the best shot possible but ultimately when you hold your breath to take a shot a small marker appears on your target and you have a small amount of time to make sure you press the trigger at the right time. Either way, it’s still satisfying as the bullet flies through the air in slow motion before taking out the enemy. I was impressed with the gunplay throughout, although I often found myself scrambling around for ammo because I had forgotten to replenish my stocks at the start of the mission.

The more you explore, the more weapons you will come across and as you collect more resources you can build attachments and gadgets to customise them on your workbench in the safe houses. The vast amount of weapons, modifications and gadgets are excellent and really allow you to approach every mission multiple ways, if the game didn’t take so long to load all the time I would have quite enjoyed the experimentation.

Visually the game is pretty good, the whole environment screams of Far Cry, of course all of the weapons have amazing detail on them, but then t lets itself down with some poor character models and some areas just feel unimaginative.

Having seen other reviews of the game I noticed a lot of complaints about the fact that multiplayer won’t be getting added to the game until later on in the year, I’ll be honest, I don’t really care. My main concern is the fact that the game got released in the state it did. It’s a shame because of the good points I have already mentioned, if they can get the load time issues sorted out, I’d be more inclined to get back to playing it again. I’d recommend waiting for that to improve before taking the plunge on this one.