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Say no to corridors: Rebellion on Sniper Elite 3′s sandbox

Thursday, 6 June 2013 13:34 GMT By Dave Cook

Sniper Elite 3 gives players freedom to stealth their way to stylish kills across the sandbox of war-torn Africa. VG247′s Dave Cook speaks with studio CEO Jason Kingsley to talk about the next-gen project.

Sniper Elite 3

Sniper Elite 3 is developed by Rebellion and has been announced for a 2014 release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. It is the sequel to 2012′s Sniper Elite V2.

The game was announced in March and Rebellion offered some scant details about what new improvements will be made to the formula. Check out our reveal coverage here.

Rebellion has also released a new version of Sniper Elite V2 for Wii U, complete with enhancements and GamePad-specific control functions. We’ve covered the Nintendo build here.

There’s even a mad Sniper Elite spin-off called Nazi Zombie Army that you can buy right now on Steam. Check out all the details here.

I’ve harped on long enough about why stealth is empowering on VG247.

The predatory approach really does make you feel superior to your prey, and few things are as rewarding as finishing a mission without being spotted once. It’s hard-earned, but so utterly gratifying.

Rebellion knows this all too well, but is broadening its scope with Sniper Elite 3, it’s first next-gen project. Bigger sandbox environments are the key, offering players a wealth of vantage points, routes and ways to either skirt around or place bullets in an obstacle as they see fit.

Leaving the carnage of Berlin behind, the series has now shifted focus to the North African campaign of World War II.

I asked Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley if the team felt pressured to modernise the series, given the dominance of Battlefield and Call of Duty in the shooter arena.

“These trends are cyclical. A few years back it seemed the industry was obsessed with World War II shooters,” he told me. “Maybe it’ll swing that way again.

“We don’t concern ourselves with trying to follow a trend, we are just striving to make the best WW2 sniper experience possible – for ourselves, and for those people out there who love the genre as much as us.

“Sniper Elite 3 takes place among the varied exotic locales of the North African theatre of WW2 which has not been extensively explored in games but was actually historically pivotal to the whole conflict.”


Sniper Elite V2′s indoor sections still offered plenty of choice in your approach.

Rebellion’s effort in Sniper Elite V2 showed that it has a keen eye for creating large open areas that threw up multiple ways to complete objectives. It was a refreshing change from the corridor nature of the genre, and although the game didn’t have the aesthetic clout to roll with DICE and other teams, I for one found it to be an enjoyable stealth experience.

“We want you to feel you’re dealing with scenarios that are believable and that you can genuinely make meaningful choices on how to tackle them,” Kingsley said of Sniper Elite 3′s broader scope. “If you are sniping at the enemy from a concealed position, that should play out in a plausible fashion – the enemy won’t spot you immediately and even when they do figure out which direction they are being shot at from, they will still have to figure out how to flush you out.

“We don’t want sniping encounters to degenerate into predictable duck-shoots where all the AI are shooting directly at you while popping in and out of cover. Encounters with the enemy will be convincing and tense, and we will give you both the space and the tools to tackle them with whatever balance of stealth and gunplay suits you best.

“Many players are becoming a little tired of being rail-roaded down a cinematic scripted linear corridor of relentless Michael Bay-style explosive action as their health constantly recharges even as they are being peppered with hundreds of bullets.

“Don’t get me wrong, that can be a lot of fun, but we are offering you the opportunity to show you can be a complete badass by taking control of a situation, rather than passively riding a roller coaster straight through it.”


Do games like Battlefield 4 offer a different kind of empowerment? You be the judge.

It’s an approach that goes hand-in-hand with the stealth genre at large. Consider other darlings of the circuit – Metal Gear Solid, Dishonored and Tenchu spring to mind – and the way they deliver freedom of expression and tactical choices to the player. Rebellion could really capitalise on the sandbox approach if its environments are crafted carefully enough, and it’s clear from our interview that it’s a challenge the studio has been mulling over in great detail.

“We could discuss the game design of great stealth play at great length – as, in fact, we do in the studio,” he explained. “If you take a look at some of the most successful stealth games out there, I think you will find that there are definitely some key elements common to all of them.

“The player must be empowered to observe and analyse a location and the enemies within it without being spotted while making a plan of action. Then they should have enough skills and tools at their disposal to be able to express their own personal playing style in carrying out that plan. Sniper Elite 3 will follow that approach, while bringing its own particular flavour to the genre.”

Last year, Rebellion released Sniper Elite V2, a reworking of the original Sniper Elite that built upon what the team had learned over the years. While the first game was a solid experience, the new version went a long way in honing the stealth mechanics driving the series.


Sniper Elite V2 wasn’t perfect, but it’s a strong enough foundation to build on.

I asked Kinglsey to reflect on how development of V2 will drive Sniper Elite 3. “We are proud of the quality of the sniping experience we were able to deliver in V2,” he stressed. “Audiences have unanimously let us know what a satisfying experience it is to line up and pull off an accurate shot. We are also very pleased with the attention to detail we were able to bring to recreating an authentic WW2 experience.

“The atmosphere is a key part of the Sniper Elite experience. There are of course many things that we believe we can – and should – improve upon, including those things we things we succeeded with last time around. This time we are putting much greater focus on finding ways to make the player’s experience truly their own. It will be up to them how they approach objectives – whether silently and with precision -or killing everyone they meet along the way.”

Should the game truly offer this freedom across a wide range of vast, open locales then we could be looking at the pinnacle of the series so far. Although Rebellion hasn’t shown the game running to the press yet, the prospect of such an ambitious stealth shooter has me keen, but I – naturally – had to close our chat by asking about the team’s experience with PS4 so far.

“Naturally, we’re excited to be developing Sniper Elite 3 for the PS4,” he concluded, “and how helpful Sony continue to be in making sure that development for their hardware is as straightforward as possible. Sniper Elite 3 is going to look and play fantastically on PS4 of course, but it’s a little early for us to reveal anything specific.”

No worries. There’s plenty of time for that. But for now, are you excited for Sniper Elite 3? Did you enjoy V2 or the original? Share your thoughts with us below.

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12 Comments

  1. Kyle Jackson

    Needs more nut sack bullet shots, maybe with an exploding nut pudding cam.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 Big fan of nuts are you? ;)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. DSB

    In Red Orchestra 2, a nut shot is symbolized by a broken acorn in the top right where it says X killed X.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. ps3fanboy

    this will be the campers wet dream…

    #4 2 years ago
  5. silkvg247

    I haven’t tried a Sniper game,and it’s because I hate bullet drop. I know it’s realistic, but when I snipe I prefer hyper unrealistic zoom, point n click. e.g. I loved sniping in tfc.

    For me, the realism takes away from the fun. It’s the same in BF.. I went from a player that always plays a sniper to a player that never plays a sniper once all these game shifted to realism, adding bullet drop and in some cases, wind.

    If my bullet isn’t going to go where I’m pointing, I don’t see the point (no pun intended). I know that basically, nobody will agree with my views.. but hey.. it’s just my preference.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Noodlemanny

    Well I frickin loved V2, wasn’t perfect but it ticked more than enough boxes, so I’ll definitely be getting this no doubt. I see you said PS4 but nothing about X1. Is it an exclusive? PC?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Samoan Spider

    I also really enjoyed V2. Completed it on the 360 and after a long time away from it I started playing it again recently on the PC. Still a lot of fun to shoot nazis in slow motion :P
    Looking forward to this one too. Especially if the game space is wider, and stealth is more of an option. I often felt that V2 funnelled you down into moments of extreme bloodshed which didn’t fit with me. Maybe I’m doing it wrong :). I’m hoping I have a choice of formats for it though.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. DSB

    @5 Reality might be even more boring than adjusting for bullet drop though. The way real snipers do it is to adjust the settings on their scopes to account for bulletdrop and wind, so the crosshairs become as close to accurate as humanly possible.

    Personally I enjoyed it in V2. I was using the Kar 98, which had huge drop, but it was pretty fun to try and find that sweet spot.

    @7 Nah, that’s spot on for how it played. It became less fun once you got into the truly huge battles.

    The multiplayer actually had a ton of potential too. It just wasn’t very well done in terms of progression.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. YoungZer0

    @5: There are easier difficulty levels that don’t include these reality-like features. Just point and click. Also, if you stay still for a few seconds, use the breath button you should see a red dot that shows you where the bullet goes.

    Also, if I remember correctly, you could change different settings to create your own difficulty.

    You should definitely give it a try. The PC version enjoys some poor optimization though, so buyers beware.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Kyle Jackson

    @2 How many other games can you make a man crumple to the floor, after shooting him in his love potatoes. Pre-order :)

    #10 2 years ago
  11. L.Chabi

    I wont be part of a blog that has nut sack sadists in it – what rhe flying f is that about nut pudding cams besides Fubar cya

    #11 1 year ago
  12. L.Chabi

    Silver editions of this new SE ? talk to me one Im droooling over here already

    #12 1 year ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]

  • An average Evolve match takes less than ten minutes

    Evolve players are pretty quick at hunting each other down. Evolve developer Turtle Rock has released an infographic brimming with statistics garnered from its recent beta test. One of the key takeaways is that all three monsters, and all four classes, are working as intended – their performance in game matches Turtle Rock’s designs. If […]

  • Super Mario Amiibo can be pre-ordered on Nintendo UK, Mario and Peach sold out

    The latest set of Amiibo in the Super Mario series is now available for pre-purchase through the Nintendo UK Store. Each of the following sports a red base and will run you £10.99: Bowser, Luigi, Mario, Peach, Toad and Yoshi. It looks like Peach and Mario are both sold out, though. All six can be […]

  • The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 free to download now

    League of Legends has excellent music, and now you can have it too. The Music of League of Legends Vol. 1 collects 15 tracks from the MOBA’s history, and is available for free. You can grab the music from iTunes, Google Play or via direct download. Tere’s an example track below to get you in […]

  • Super Bowl 49 update arrives on Madden NFL Mobile

    With Super Bowl 49 occurring this coming Sunday, February 1, EA Sports has updated Madden NFL Mobile with new feature enhancements and Super Bowl-themed Live Events. Updates include: League vs League Tournaments Obstacle Course Super Bowl Bonus Players Tom Brady and Richard Sherman Super Bowl Legends Super Bowl Moments Upgraded Auction House The Super Bowl […]

  • See Super Smash Bros.’ unused custom moves

    Super Smash Bros. was originally intended to have 16 custom moves per character. The final version of Super Smash Bros. only features 12 custom moves per fighter, but Nintendo left animations for some of the cut moves in place. A Youtuber called RED has dug these cut mvoes out of the brawler’s code, and displayed […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt contains 16 hours of sex scene mo-cap data

    Sex is nothing new to the The Witcher games, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is no exception. In fact, it contains 16 hours of sex scene motion capture data. Giggity. There’s a reason for the bedroom dalliances though, as Geralt is a flesh and blood human, or a modified human at any rate, with […]

  • Here’s the launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

    A launch trailer for Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered has been released after an Amazon listing was revealed for it over the weekend. Key upgrades include: High-definition Graphics — All of the in-game textures have been meticulously recreated in HD for mobile and desktop. Widescreen Support – A true widescreen (not cropped) view strengthens the game’s […]

  • The open beta for Battlefield Hardline will be dated tomorrow

    The exact dates as well as more information on the Battlefield Hardline open beta will be shared tomorrow. This is according to the latest blog post from developer Visceral Games. “We’ll share the exact dates and info on the Battlefield Hardline open beta tomorrow,” wrote Visceral boss Steve Papoutsis. “Stay tuned, thanks again, and keep […]

  • Upcoming Hearthstone patch to apply balance change to Undertaker

    An upcoming Hearthstone patch will apply a balance change to the Undertaker card, Blizzard has announced. After the release of Goblins vs Gnomes, Blizzard said it kept an “eye on the state of game balance” as more matches were played using the additional cards. Released with The Curse of Naxxramas, Undertaker is considered an overly […]

  • February Games with Gold offers up Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

    The free games on offer in February via Xbox Live Games with Gold have been announced. Xbox Live Gold members on Xbox One can download #IDARB during February. Xbox 360 users can grab Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons from February 1-15, when it will be replaced by Sniper Elite V2 from February 16 -28. […]

  • Kinguin blames unidentified Russian for deactivated Far Cry 4 keys

    Third-party game key seller Kinguin is issuing refunds to those who found their games deactivated through Ubisoft’s Uplay service. Customers which purchased keys for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, The Crew and Watch Dogs are affected. Kinguin said 4,600 customer tickets were submitted over the last 72 hours and 35 out of 3,400 of […]

  • Video Unlimited to be re-branded as PlayStation Video starting in February

    Like Music Unlimited, Sony’s Video Unlimited service is being replaced and re-branded PlayStation Video. PlayStation Video will become part of PlayStation Network to streamline digital services for the over 64 million PSN users. PlayStation Video and PlayStation Music will be added to PSN which is already a destination point for the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Plus, […]

  • Spotify arrives on PlayStation Music this spring, Music Unlimited closing

    Spotify will launch on PlayStation Network this spring as part of a new music destination called PlayStation Music. PlayStation Music is a replacement for Music Unlimited, and those with a PSN account can link to Spotify which can be used just for music, or when playing games on PlayStation 4. Existing playlists from current Spotify […]