Last week I spoke to Tomasz Kutera, the PR manager at CI Games, developers on the Sniper series. He was good enough to chat to us about the latest iteration in the franchise, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3. As an avid Sniper fan who enjoyed the flawed fun of the first two entries, I was excited to score the inside scoop on the development of the third instalment with my hard-hitting questions.
DYEGB: You’re aiming to create the most authentic sniper experience, have you gained insight and ideas from current or ex military personnel with sniping experience?
TK: Of course! Actually, the Creative Director of the game, Paul B. Robinson, is a combat veteran and former Marine.
DYEGB: Given that the first two games featured linear game worlds, what were the key reasons for moving to an open-world environment in number 3?
TK: This time realism is absolutely the key aspect for us. Linear game worlds can be fun but are not very realistic, so it was natural to move to an open world. The game’s not only about sniping, it’s about actually being a sniper deep behind enemy lines. In general, snipers are taught two things: how to shoot and how to survive. In Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 you will have to prepare yourself for the mission: find your target, craft your own weapons and tools (bullets and traps for example), plan your actions, execute the plan and even exfiltrate from the area after killing your target. Doing all of these in a linear world wouldn’t be fun, we really focus on giving gamers the freedom and choice necessary to feel like a real sniper.
DYEGB: You mentioned you have to plan your mission, what will this entail?
TK: Let me give you an example: you’ve been given a mission to kill a leader of some group, but you don’t know who he is. You don’t know his name, don’t know how he looks like or where he lives. You must gather all the necessary info, find out his daily or even weekly schedule, find a good way to execute him and actually do it. And this is just a simple example, right? I know it’a a very general answer, but stay tuned, we’ll be showing a lot more in the upcoming months.
DYEGB: Number 2 was criticised for being excessively short, can we expect a longer campaign this time around?
TK: Definitely! The campaign itself will be longer and of course, thanks to the open world, there will be a number of side activities to discover. Some will be optional, so it’s only up to you how much time you want to spend with the game.
DYEGB: You mention the game will feature side activities, what is the Dev team doing to make sure these don’t feel repetitive or like filler missions?
TK: For us, side activities are a great way to tell stories. Remember, there’s a proxy war going on in Georgia and during the game you’ll be able to discover some of the worst aspects of war. We’ll be showing more in the future, so stay tuned. And again, we want you to feel like a real sniper. It won’t be about receiving an object from an NPC and taking it somewhere else.
DYEGB: A new feature in the third game is the scout mode, can you explain how it helps your character complete their mission?
TK: First of all, you must understand what scout mode is. It’s not magic, it’s not using a high-tech military equipment, it’s not a superpower. Scout mode is you, a skilled scout sniper, accessing your training. You see and know more than regular people do. For example, you may be able to analyze footprints and find out more about your surroundings or see some other points of interest or naturally feel that some spots are actually great sniping spots. And these are just few examples. So, how does it help the character? Well, it’s him being a highly trained scout sniper.
DYEGB: The game is said to be releasing in 2016, is there a targeted quarter?
TK: Yes, we’d like to release the game in the second quarter of 2016 or somewhere between Q2 and Q3, 2016.
DYEGB: Will there be multiplayer or are you focusing all your efforts on the single player experience?
TK: Right now we’re focusing on the single player part of the game, we want to deliver the best experience possible. But yes, we want to develop multiplayer as well, we have some really cool ideas for it, however it’s possible that it won’t be available at the day of the release.
Personally I believe the Sniper series is brimming with unrealised potential, and when Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 was first announced my anticipation was at a cautiously optimistic level. But after speaking with Tomasz, reading a few E3 demo impression pieces and watching the developer’s diary, it’s beginning to look like that massive potential for the game may finally be realised. I especially love the realism that the developers are trying to achieve: the pre-planning, how the open-world allows for multiple ways to complete an assignment and the fact you must escape in order to complete your mission. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 has shot up close to the top of my most-anticipated releases for 2016, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
For more information check out the games official site and watch the developer diary below.