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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 2 years ago
  12. L.Chabi

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

    #12 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]

  • Star Wars Disney Infinity re-release on the cards – rumour

    Star Wars is a no-brainer for Disney Infinity, and at long last it looks like it’s happening. A Star Wars re-release called Disney Infinity 3.0 has reportedly leaked from German retailers. We have to lable this one a rumour as we haven’t seen the original source, but the story was originally reported by DisKingdom, which […]

  • Award-winning mobile indie Monument Valley out now on Windows Phone

    Windows Phone’s game selection can be a bit restrictive, but has expanded delightfully today: Monument Valley is now available. Monument Valley is one of those gorgeous, mind-bending puzzlers the indie scene produces on the regular, winning awards and consuming everyone’s lives for weeks on end. Developed by Ustwo Games, with beautiful, understated art from Ken […]

  • Old-school EverQuest servers safe from legal troubles thanks to Daybreak agreement

    EverQuest rights holder Daybreak Game Company given its blessing to the wonderful Project 1999. EverQuest: Project 1999 is one of those lovely ideas that it are all too often crushed by the realities of the games industry. An entirely fan-managed affair, it provides an emulated version of the classic EverQuest experience, which is no longer […]

  • Free Dragon Age short stories fill us in on Corypheus’s followers

    Dragon Age: Inquisition developer BioWare invites you to learn more about the lore and characters that make up its beautiful role-playing setting. Dragon Age is set in Thedas, a world still only partially revealed by the three core games to date. BioWare puts a heck of a lot of work into its worldbuilding, employing a […]

  • Remember that gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo? It now utilizes DirectX 12

    Remember the gorgeous Luminous Engine tech demo Square Enix showed off three years ago? The firm showed it again at Microsoft’s Build Conference, this time utilizing DirectX 12. The Witch Chapter 0 [cry] real-time tech demo was created from research Square conducted using real-time CG technology and DX12 in collaboration with Microsoft and Nvidia. The […]

  • Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones sneaks onto GOG and Steam services

    Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones can now be purchased through GOG and Steam. On both services it will run you £12.99/€14.99/$14.99. Links here and here. The game features: Fully explorable ‘Metroidvania’ style overworld, laying siege to a diabolical cloning facility with varied and detailed environments. A variety of special equipment to unlock new […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC Ascendance has arrived on PC, PlayStation consoles

    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare players on PC and PlayStation consoles can now download the Ascendance DLC. The second content pack contains the OHM weapon, the OHM Werewolf custom variant, and the second entry in the Exo Zombies saga, Infection. Four new maps are also included: Perplex, Site 244, Climate, and Chop Shop. Ascendance was […]

  • Latest Xbox 360 system update is live, now supports 2TB hard drives

    Xbox 360 now supports 2TB hard drives via the latest system update for the console. Support for the drives was announced earlier this month and has been available for preview members. “In addition we will also no longer reserve space in advance on your hard drive,” said the firm. “If you are using 16GB of […]

  • Kickstarter for Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor Yooka-Laylee launches tomorrow

    Playtonic Games has announced the Kickstarter campaign for its spiritual successor to the Banjo Kazooie series, Yooka-Laylee, will launch tomorrow. The title of the game was announced today along with the Kickstarter date. Formerly known as Project Ukulele, the 3D platformer is said to be “between the size of Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie,” and stars Yooka […]

  • Console version of Mistwalker’s Terra Battle is in development

    Now that Mistwalker’s Terra Battle has surpassed 2 million downloads on mobile, the developer is now working on a console version of the tactical RPG. As part of the original Download Starter campaign, the 2 million milestone means the company will begin development on Terra Battle’s console version with details to be announced at a […]

  • Prison break game The Escapists is heading to PlayStation 4 from May 29

    The Escapists, Mouldy Toof’s prison break game originally released as a timed console exclusive Xbox One, has a release date for PlayStation 4. For those unfamiliar with the title, which is also a PC release, it tasks players’ time management skills as they do a bit of digging and crafting, and other prison-type stuff as […]

  • Dead Island 2 delayed into 2016 to ensure series is “taken to the next level”

    Dead Island 2 has been delayed into 2016 by Yager in order to ensure the sequel “takes Dead Island to the next level.” According to a tweet from the developer, it set “big goal” for the game, and in order to deliver what fans expect, the team needs more time to reach development goals. “We […]

  • Project Cars: here’s a list of all available cars at launch

    Project Cars will contain many, many cars and if we are counting correctly, there will be 74 total at launch. The standard edition contains 65 total, and when factoring the free car as well as the Modified and Limited Edition cars packs, you can add an additional nine cars to the mix. Comb through the […]

  • Competitive matchmaking support is coming to Team Fortress 2

    Team Fortress 2 will soon feature support for competitive matchmaking, which Valve says is a “high priority” project for it at the moment. According to a report from TeamFortress.tv, which visited Valve headquarters recently, Valve is looking into the possibility of 6v6 or 9v9 matches 9v9, a possible quick play option and it is also […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch fixes garage, Job crashes – full notes here

    Rockstar has pushed out a 353 MB patch for GTA 5 on PC The patch fixes a number of annoying bugs related to vehicles and garages, some deathmatch issues and purchase errors. It should also fix various freezing and crashing bugs, as well as a little issue with Steam. Time will tell if the patch […]

  • Fire Emblem If will come in White Kingdom and Black Kingdom versions with amiibo support

    We’ve finally got some juicy details on the next Fire Emblem game, but the most interesting aspect is that there will be two versions of the game. According to Siliconera, who translated an interview between Intelligent Systems and 4Gamer, there will a White Kingdom and a Black Kingdom version that offer different aspects of the […]

  • Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess heads west with “Golden Toilet” pre-order bonus

    Deception 4: The Nightmare Princess will debut on western PlayStation 4 systems this summer, Koei Tecmo has announced. It is also coming to PS3 and Vita. The game was produced by Keisuke Kikuchi of Fatal Frame fame and takes up where Deception 4: Blood Ties left off allowing players to relive Laegrinna’s pursuit to free […]

  • Nintendo US eShop update: Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario demo, Paper Mario, more

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with a demo of Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition, Paper Mario on Virtual Console, and amiibo Tap. The full update is below. eShop update amiibo Tap – free – Wii U Star Wars Pinball DLC – Wii U Paper Mario – Wii U […]