Going The Distance In Sniper Elite III’s Multiplayer

Sniping in online shooters isn’t as much a thing as it used to be. Sure, YouTube is still packed to the rafters with no-scope videos and some crazy Battlefield montages yet the art of sniping isn’t as pronounced it once was. Unless you happen to be playing Sniper Elite III, that is.

If you haven’t heard already, Oxford-based studio Rebellion is back, arguably delivering its best game to date. Since V2 the developer has introduced a bucketload of new and intuitive features while updating just about every other aspect of the game.

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One new addition is Sniper Elite’s suite of dedicated multiplayer modes, a feature that was added to its predecessor post-launch. Among these are your standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch with a number of variations also thrown into the mix.

The first of these is Distance King. As the name suggests, players are awarded points based on the distance of a killshot. Of course, you’re still free to run and gun but the mode encourages you to find vantage points and take out enemies from afar. This can be played either in teams or with free-for-all rules. The only other unique mode on offer is No Cross, which essentially bar players from stepping into enemy territory, creating fertile ground for intense sniping duels.

In terms of gameplay, everything is carrying over from the campaign, literally. All of the collectibles, weapons, unlocks, and experience you have earned whilst toiling the North Africa with Karl Fairburne is ported into the multiplayer experience.

Either standing, crouching, or going prone, you’ll inevitably find yourself darting for cover and idly scoping different sections of Elite III’s sprawling online arenas. In some online shooters, huge maps can be a dampener but here they are borderline essential, each once stacked with a fair amount of verticality.

Shooting is exactly the same, minus the slow-down you get from holding your breath. This is pared down and replaced for a few seconds of steady aiming, helping to pick off long-range targets and score headshots. Aside from that, the game is largely unchanged, even to the point that mines and tripwires can be set, adding another tactical dimension to the online action.

Overall, it’s a fun experience and often gripping when you find yourself hemmed in by two or more enemy snipers. Naturally, if you’ve played Sniper: Ghost Warrior or its sequel, there is plenty of crossover though Elite’s third person focus seems more fitting somehow.

The only issue I had with multiplayer was actually finding a game. Getting into my first match took maybe thirty seconds to a minute, which is pretty regular. After that, however, it took a solid half-hour of waiting and getting disconnected from lobbies to get into another match. Even then there were only a few players, to the point that I didn’t see, let alone shoot, someone for a solid five minutes.

Needless to say, it’s a real deal breaker, especially considering that the game launched less than a fortnight ago. Developer Rebellion is on the case, however, recently announcing that a patch is in the works and will hopefully resolve any matchmaking issues players are encountering.

The PlayStation 4 version of Sniper Elite III was tested for the purpose of this article. 

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5 Comments

  1. I can’t help think the co-op feature of this game is far more interesting but my personal bias gets in the way here. Teflon and I very much enjoyed Sniper Elite 2 and it feels like a refined version of that. You have someone who has your back or can potentially get you in so much trouble it’s untrue (which Tef has already done to me several times and then laughed as he’s run away leaving me in an utter shitstorm of bullets and raised voices).

    Some co-op games can be genuinely terrible but most are fun if you have the right company. The game provides a platform for us to bugger around with (or take seriously) and that’s how we like it.

    When it comes to the multiplayer, though, Jim… I can’t believe it took so long to find a match! Rebellion really need to sort this out as the momentum/mass of fans will be at its greatest during the launch period. Silly buggers.

    • Thankfully, they’re on the case. Haven’t checked back with SE3 yet but I’m sure a patch will be available soon.

      Yeah, the co-op seems like a massive draw. Will no doubt give it a spin at some point!

  2. Rebellion issued a statement over ps4 regarding them working on a fix which is good news for future buyers but i’d think it’s only hardcore trophy hunters who are still trying to get a game.Even when it works it’s not alot of fun.

  3. Been trying for the last 2 hours to play this online… In that time I’ve managed to jump in to 2 games that were nearly finished anyway. The rest of that time has been dogged by sync issues, time outs, or “host ended game”.

    It’s completely broken and I’m very surprised they’ve not fixed it yet – as said above, all games online components reach their popularity peak in the first few months following launch. By the time they get around to sorting this no one will be interested!

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