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Video Game / Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3

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Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 is an open world First-Person Shooter, and the third game in the Sniper: Ghost Warrior series by Polish developers CI Games (formerly City Interactive). It's notable for being the first game by CI Games with a AAA level budget. The game uses the CryEngine and seems heavily influenced by the Far Cry series in terms of design and gameplay. Like the previous games in the series, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 uses semi-realistic sniper mechanics such as having to compensate for bullet drop and wind deflection. New to the series is the ability to manually adjust the elevation of your scope based on distance-to-target to compensate for bullet drop.

The story takes place in the disputed Northwest region of Georgia, in which U.S. marine sniper Jon North is tasked with waging a one-man guerrilla campaign against the Russian-aligned separatists that have taken control of the region. However, Jon's primary reason for taking the assignment is to search for his older brother Robert, who was kidnapped by mysterious elite mercenaries 23 months prior to the events of the game and was recently sighted in the region. In the process, he stumbles upon a secretive international conspiracy and finds himself facing off against a mysterious, seemingly superhuman enemy sniper known as Armazi.


Distinct tropes of this game:

  • Action Girl: Lydia is former Georgian special forces and a expert sniper. You even play as her in the Escape of Lydia DLC mission. Mossad agent Raquel is also indicated to have advanced combat training, though she mostly operates as a non-combat intelligence agent in the game.
  • A.K.A.-47: To the point of a few weapons actually having their calibers and relative stats be completely different from their real-life equivalents for balancing reasons. Bonus points for the AK-47 assault rifle (actually an AKM if you're going to nitpick) actually being called an AKA-47.
  • The Alleged Car: One of these serves as your primary means of transportation throughout the game. It's a really old Eastern European model that breaks down surprisingly quickly if you accidentally ram into a tree or rock a couple of times, and isn't exactly going to stand up well to gunfire. On the plus side, it's fully repaired and dropped off next to you every time you fast-travel. Notably, pretty much all other cars and trucks in the game are locked, so you're stuck with your trust old jalopy.
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  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: The homing smart bullet "DARPA rounds" really do exist (an electronics system inside the rather large bullet expands and contracts bands to change the bullet's air resistance and steer it mid-flight); however, they're highly experimental and not really practical for real world usage.
  • Another Side, Another Story:
    • You play as Lydia in the "Escape of Lydia" DLC campaign, in a short series of 2 missions showing the incident that got her kicked out of the Georgian military.
    • "The Sabotage" DLC campaign has you playing as Robert as he is on the process of becoming Armazi.
  • Armor Is Useless: Played straight with Rank 1 assault soldiers, who are very bulky, which makes it look like they're wearing significant armor underneath their heavy cold weather clothing. However, they die pretty much as quickly as the regular soldiers. About the only thing that sets them apart is that they're trained to throw grenades. Averted with shotgun troopers, Heavily Armored Mook Heavy Armor soldiers, and the 23 Society Super Soldiers, who all wear noticeably better armor than other soldiers and as a result can take more bullets before dropping.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Averted. The named "Most Wanted" assassination targets as well as Davit, the supreme leader of the Separatists are all about as durable as the lowest rank Mooks and can generally be killed with a single shot from any weapon. In contrast, the unnamed officers that appear in each enemy base are at the level of Elite Mooks.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • .50 caliber sniper rifles are massive BFG rifles that kill pretty much anything short of a Heavily Armored Mook or Super Soldier in one shot to any body part (and even those 2 particularly tough enemies can be downed with 2 shots). They also can't be silenced and are incredibly loud, so prepare to alert every murderous asshole with an assault rifle within a 2 mile radius whenever you fire one.
    • The Galeforce Long (a fictional version of the Israeli ACE assault rifle) can only be found in a hidden stash and is, stat-wise, likely the best assault rifle in the game, but due to a bug the crosshair on the reflex sight is off-center, causing you to completely miss your shots when aiming at targets. It also can't be silenced, unlike most of the other assault rifles.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dr. Sergei Flostov pretends to be a Reluctant Mad Scientist captive of the 23 Society when you first find him, but is actually the leader of the 23 Society and the Big Bad of the game.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Armazi turns out to be a Brainwashed and Crazy Robert, who's been reconditioned by the 23 Society into their ultimate weapon.
  • Bullet Time: Like in the previous games in the series (as well as Enemy Front, a similar game made by CI Games on the same engine), time slows down when you hold your breath while sniping; however, this can only be done when your heart rate is low enough, so you have to wait several seconds after moving before you can use it.
  • Cain and Abel: Davit arranged the assassination of his twin brother Tomas in order to take full control of the Separatists. And of course Armazi turns out to be a Brainwashed and Crazy Robert.
  • Call-Back: The final mission in the game is an assault on a uranium mine where weapons-grade uranium is being produced, just like the penultimate mission of the first Sniper Ghost Warrior game.
  • Disc-One Nuke: Several of the game's weapons are found in hidden stockpiles in the open world; quite a few of them are significantly better than the weapons you unlock through completing missions, and can be a Disc One Nuke especially if you find them relatively early on.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: While Dr. Flostov is the actual Big Bad of the game, Armazi does all the heavy lifting and for most of the game you'll be hearing about him instead.
  • The Dreaded/Shrouded in Myth: Armazi is often mentioned as being this. You yourself also become this through your actions over the course of the game as your one man war against the Separatists does increasingly more damage to their cause.
  • Elite Mooks:
    • Separatist officers (marked with a star in the HUD) are noticeably tougher than normal troops, requiring several assault rifle shots to kill instead of just 1 or 2.
    • Likewise, rank 2 Separatist soldiers and rank 2 assault soldiers (marked with 2 chevrons in the HUD instead of just 1 chevron), are tougher than rank 1 soldiers and require several assault rifle shots to kill instead of just 1 or 2.
    • Rank 2 and rank 3 snipers are tougher than rank 1 snipers and can't be instant-killed with a torso shot from a sniper rifle, requiring a headshot to put down instantly. This is particularly challenging on Challenge Mode which removes the red dot telling you exactly where your bullet will land, making you much more reliant on torso shots while sniping due to your reduced certainty of where your bullet is actually going to hit.
    • The gas mask wearing Separatist shotgun troopers are well armored and can take about twice as much damage as regular soldiers of equivalent rank, without being slowed down by their armor, unlike the Heavily Armored Mook Heavy soldiers. They're usually limited to about 2-3 per enemy base. The rank 1 shotgun troopers are still very weak and die in just 2-3 assault rifle shots instead of 1-2, but the rank 2 and rank 3 shotgun troopers are quite tough, able to take a dozen or more assault rifle rounds before falling, and even being able to shrug off a sniper rifle shot to the chest, requiring you to shoot them in the head or use armor-piercing ammo to ensure a clean stealthy one-shot-kill.
    • The 23 Society Super Soldiers are well-armored, explicitly superhuman opponents; they're significantly faster than normal troops and are tough enough that it takes 30 rounds or more of assault rifle fire to the torso drop them. They can even survive a sniper rifle headshot, unless you use armor-piercing ammo or a .50 caliber rifle, although if you use a semi-auto sniper rifle it's possible to double-tap them in the head for a kill before they can sound the alarm. Unlike regular soldiers they also carry 2 weapons at once, a futuristic assault rifle and a futuristic .50 cal sniper rifle. However, due to flaky A.I. they seldom use their sniper rifles even at long range.
  • Enemy Mine: Towards the end of the game, Jon briefly works with a splinter faction of the Separatists under the leadership of Inna "the Black Widow" to track down and defeat the 23 Society as well as the rival Separatist leader Davit. Notably neither party is at all happy with the arrangement, Inna wanting to have as little to do with Jon as possible and making it very clear their cooperation is only a very brief alliance of convenience.
  • Everything Fades: Generally averted; bodies don't disappear as long as you remain in the same general area, which complicates stealth since enemies will investigate any corpses they see and sound an alarm after determining the stiff is dead and not just sleeping on the job.
  • Evil Counterpart: Armazi is this to Jon North, just like Maddox was to Cole Anderson in Sniper Ghost Warrior 2. However, unlike Maddox, who was simply an equally skilled U.S. military sniper gone rogue, Armazi is an explicitly superior, superhuman opponent who even manages to defeat Cole Anderson, the hero of the previous game, in an off-screen sniper fight.
  • Fanservice: Raquel wears an outfit that prominently displays her impressive cleavage, and (as Yahtzee himself noted in his Zero Punctuation review) Lydia's shapely rear is rather emphasized by her form-fitting pants. Fanservice this blatant has noticeably become something of a Discredited Trope in Western-developed video games in the past few years, though it seems Poland didn't quite get the memo.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: Shotgun troopers wear gas masks and serve as Elite Mooks; they're even marked with a gas mask in the HUD when scanned. Amusingly, their gas masks don't actually protect them from gas grenades.
  • Harder Than Hard: Challenge Mode significantly increases the awareness of enemies, as well as disabling many of the HUD elements that help you significantly, most noticeably the red dot that shows you precisely where your sniper bullet will hit when you hold your breath, forcing you to manually compensate for wind deflection and bullet drop. You also don't have Regenerating Health in this mode, but since the game's Regenerating Health is so limited anyway the difference isn't actually that big.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Separatist Heavy Armor soldiers are slow-moving opponents who wear Juggernaut-like suits of heavy armor and fight with light machine guns. Their armor lets them soak well over 100 rounds of assault rifle fire or several sniper rifle torso shots and also makes them immune to melee takedowns, but they can be instantly killed with headshots and are also vulnerable to armor-piercing sniper ammo or being shot in the back (or, oddly enough, pistol rounds, which can kill them in just a dozen shots or so for some reason). One variant wears a ballistic mask that can deflect one or two headshots before breaking, but can still be killed with a single shot to the back of the head.
  • Hide Your Children: Children are nowhere to be seen in the entire region. There is a token aversion/subversion though - in the dam area you can find a little girl at one of the huts. And no, [Improbable Infant Survival [you can't even scratch her]].
  • Hollywood Silencer: Averted in the sense that many of the sniper rifles still sound remarkably loud even with a silencer attached, but played straight in that the silencer will still prevent enemies from being alerted when firing the rifle as long as they're not right on top of your position.
  • The Illuminati: The 23 Society is pretty much an Expy of them, even being named after the "23 Enigma", a pseudo-science phenomena that appears frequently in Illuminati-based works of fiction.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Armazi supposedly possesses these due to being a drug-enhanced, genetically engineered super soldier, although since he's The Unfought you never actually see him in action other than in a couple of cutscenes. Averted with the other 23 Society super soldiers that you actually do fight, although this seems to largely be due to their sub-par A.I.
  • It's Up to You: Unlike the Far Cry series from Far Cry 3 onward (or many other similar-themed open world games like Homefront: The Revolution or Ghost Recon Wildlands), there are no friendly rebel troops on the world map, so the game consists of just you going up against the entire Separatist army.
  • Jerkass: Jon North has a fairly abrasive personality and is pretty strongly implied to be a Christian Conservative, and rubs pretty much every single one of his allies the wrong way at some point. Though he's at least willing to admit that he's kind of an asshole.
  • Just Train Wrong: In the mining town area there is a trainyard. Miscellaneous freight cars and numerous M62 locomotives are randomly placed all over it with no regard to how cars should really be queued/assembled into a train. Switches/junctions are positioned in a way that serves no useful functions. Signal lights are placed in the middle of platforms and don't even look like real ones. Said M62 locomotives have ladders on them which the real ones don't have and also exceed the loading gauge. Randomly scattered large wheels are obstructing many tracks.
    • The worst of all is that the trainyard is not really connected to any line. The whole thing is comletely useless and makes no goddamn sense.
    • There is also a single freight train running on one secluded line. It consist of aforementioned M62 locomotive note  hauling three flatbed cars. It's astonishingly quiet baring some mild clunking. The headlights are off despite constantly being night. The flat cars just invite you to hop onboard and take a ride. If you try that, the train just slips from under your feet and runs off leaving you standing on the track like a complete moron. At least it is still capable of flattening you if you happen to stumble in its way.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • The Separatists routinely engage in war crimes that would be worthy of the Nazi S.S. Later in the game this is somewhat hand-waved when it's indicated the dominant Separatist leader is a Social Darwinist secretly in league with the 23 Society, and his leadership is part of the reason the Separatists are so brutal. The Sabotage DLC goes into more detail about the centuries-old conflict between the native Georgian populace and the ethnic Russian minority, and how atrocities on both sides have resulted in a cycle of violence.
    • Pretty much all of the optional "Most Wanted" assassination targets are mentioned as having committed many heinous war crimes in their bios.
  • La Résistance: There's a local Georgian resistance group known as the Rotki Lions who you do various side-quests for, but unlike the Far Cry series they have no actual combat presence in the game world.
  • Ludonarrative Dissonance: Jon waxes lyrical of the atrocities committed against the Georgian people... but that doesn't stop the player from looting mass graves.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: Armazi and the other 23 Society Super Soldiers wear futuristic helmets with white skull emblems painted on the face section.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: All of the enemy Mooks you face in the game are male, although several of the optional "Most Wanted" Separatist leader assassination targets are female combatants. The female targets even have their own unique combat dialogue, although if you try to interrogate them they have nothing useful to say and use the standard female civilian dialogue.
  • Mission Control/Voice with an Internet Connection: Frank Simms, your JSOC handler, acts as this, with your partner Lydia and Mossad agent Raquel also periodically taking on the role.
  • Never Mess with Granny: One of the first optional "Most Wanted" assassination targets you can encounter is a Separatist leader in her 50's. She'll come at you with an AK-47 just like any other Separatist. In fact it's rather easy for her to catch you by surprise as it's entirely possible to mistake her for a civilian due to her appearance and civilian clothing.
  • Numerical Motifs: The true villains of the game are The 23 Society, an Expy of the Illuminati. The game mentions their name is a reference to the 23 phenomena, but due to their focus on genetic engineering to create augmented humans it could also easily be a reference to humans' 23 chromosome pairs as well.
  • Regenerating Health: You have very limited regenerating health, just like the previous 2 games in the series. Only your last segment of health regenerates, which is only enough to survive 1 or 2 bullet hits before dying. And that's only on the lowest difficulty setting. On higher difficulties you don't get any regenerating health at all, and must heal with healing items to restore health.
  • Religious Bruiser: Jon is a highly skilled Marine sniper who's pretty explicitly indicated to be a devout Christian (although the word "Christian" is never actually used at any point in the game), in contrast to his brother Robert who's heavily implied to be agnostic or atheist. Armazi even gives Jon a villain speech about death and resurrection at one point in the game.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: The .44 magnum revolver is the most powerful handgun in the game, doing more damage than even several of the sniper rifles, but is limited to 6 shots before reloading and (realistically) cannot be equipped with a silencer, which defeats the primary purpose of a sidearm in this game. It also suffers much faster damage drop as range increases compared to sniper rifles.
  • Sequel Hook: After Robert's death in the ending, Jon vows to have his revenge on the remaining members of the 23 Society. He may have his work cut out for him, as it's suggested that 23 Society has infiltrated the highest levels of government in the U.S., Russia, and China.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: Stealth is encouraged since you die quite quickly in a direct firefight, but unlike the previous games you don't instantly fail at any point if you do get caught and start a shootout. You also don't have to worry about an alarm summoning enemy reinforcements, although it does alert every enemy nearby.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Cole Anderson, who was the secondary protagonist of the first game and the main protagonist of the second game, appears towards the end of the game as a captured prisoner being held by the 23 Society. Having been tortured beyond the point of recovery, he asks you to give him your pistol so he can die on his own terms, then shoots himself as you leave the room.
  • Title Drop: Armazi aka Robert refers to himself as a "Ghost Warrior" at one point. Also in the skill menu.
  • The Unfought: Despite the massive build-up throughout the game for a final confrontation between Jon and Armazi ( aka Robert), you never actually end up fighting him, with him breaking out of his brainwashing and pulling off a Redemption Equals Death Heroic Sacrifice in the ending cutscene. Big Bad Dr. Flostov is also never confronted directly, as Robert kills him in the ending cutscene.
  • Unique Enemy:
    • There are only 30 of the 23 Society Super Soldiers throughout the entire game; they only appear in main story missions, and usually only a couple of them appear in a single mission.
    • Davit the main Separatist leader is the only enemy in the game who fights with a NATO 5.56mm Herstal assault rifle instead of an AK-47. It doesn't make him noticeably tougher than any other Mook, though. He's also the only named villain in the main storyline that you actually confront in normal gameplay rather than in a cutscene.
    • The Criminal Heavy encountered only in the vinery.
    • Georgian soldiers are only ever encountered in the "Escape of Lydia" DLC. They're essentially the same as basic Mooks, only equipped with Galeforce Long assault rifles instead of AK-47s.
    • LOKI mercenaries in The Sabotage DLC. Despite having their own databank entry which seems to build them up as some sort of Elite Mooks, they only appear in one side mission and aren't noticeably tougher than standard Mooks.
  • Unusable Enemy Equipment: The 23 Society Super Soldiers are equipped with futuristic rifles that disappear when you kill them, preventing you from using them yourself.
  • Videogame Cruelty Potential: You can freely kill all the civilian without any penalties except for wasting ammo, as shown in this video.


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