2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Video Game Haiku Review – “Sniper Elite III”

Published: July 6, 2014, 3:29 pm, by Terry Terrones


Title: Sniper Elite III
Format: Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4, PS3
Price: $39.99-$69.99
Publisher: 505 Games
ESRB Rating: T (Mature 17+)
The Grade: B-

Sniper Elite III Haiku Review

African setting

 Bloody, slo-mo, sniper shots

AI is not too bright

What’s it all about:“Sniper Elite III” is a third person shooter. You play as Karl Fairburne, a soldier single handedly taking on the Nazi Afrika Korps in Northern Africa in 1942. As the name of the game indicates, sniping is the best way to tackle enemies but there are a number of other weapons and gadgets to help get the job done. Fans of the series will be happy to know that the X-ray Kill Cam (a slow motion, quick cut scene that shows an x-ray of your sniper rifle’s bullets going through an enemies body) now includes vehicle takedowns.

Summary: Playing “SEIII” reminded me of the early “Call of Duty” games when they were set in World War II. In fact, the gameplay in “SEIII” will feel very similar to any “CoD” or “Battlefield” veteran. There’s much more stealth involved but this is a game that’s simple to pick up and play. That simplicity also includes the plot. There isn’t much of one in “SEIII,” not that it really matters in a game of this ilk. Most likely, all you’ll want to do in a title like this is shoot Nazis and that’s where “SEIII” excels. There are plenty of targets and all of them seem to be just aching to be featured in the new and improved X-Ray Kill Cam. It’s like a basketball arenas Kiss Cam, except much grosser.

Stealth is all but is all but required “SEIII” but all is not lost if you get spotted, just run away and hide for a bit and the enemy AI will forget you ever existed. Dead comrades on the ground? Meh, hazards of the job. A dopey AI (they will follow a thrown rock like a dog follows a thrown stick) takes some of the gratification out of headshotting a guy from 200m but if you appreciate setting up a shot as much as taking it, there’s still fun to be had. An enjoyable challenge mode, campaign co-op and multiplayer mode will allow like-minded gamers to shoot, run and hide, and shoot some more to their heart’s content.

“SEIII” is as basic as it gets both in gameplay (sneak around, shoot bad guys, lather rinse and repeat) and features (standard shooter fare). But if you’re looking for something fun to do while you wait for the next Triple A shooter, “Sniper Elite III” is a good way to bide your time.

+ Easy to pick up and play
+ Lots of collectibles and upgrades
+ Campaign co-op! Yeah!
+ Enjoyable challenge mode
+ Requires patience but not enough to be frustrating

- Throwaway story
- Average game presentation
- Moronic enemy AI

Gazette Media Columnist Terry Terrones is a veteran video game journalist. He has written for numerous publications including GamePro, GamesBeat, PC World, GameZone, and Official Xbox Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/terryterrones.