Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Sandy Wilson 03.11.2019

Review for Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition on Nintendo Switch

Porting to switch can be a mixed bag, with the highlights being games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and one of the worst being Saints Row 3, which struggles to maintain a smooth gameplay experience. Rebellion has taken a successful stab at porting over to the Switch with Sniper Elite 2 and now it's taken on the considerably harder task of porting its successor. As Sniper Elite 3 had previous-gen versions, it was probably that those may have been the base of the Switch instalment to ensure something smooth. Enough stalling, though. Time to leap right into the African warzone, and hunker down with some portable sniping action!

The visceral combat and stealth action of Sniper Elite seems like it might be a hard sell on the Nintendo Switch. The Joycon controllers often leave players underwhelmed by the range in the joysticks, or the size of the buttons, and yet Rebellion has cut no corners and has given Switch players a very solid port that has all features and functions of its "larger" console brothers and sisters. This release features all previously released DLC as well, as well as its online multiplayer modes, which were unfortunately not tested in this review, as there was no access to a Nintendo online account.

Resolution-wise it runs in the dock with a lower boundary of 720p and in handheld with a lower boundary of 630p, this means that there is very little compromise in resolution in handheld mode, and a little bit of blur on bigger TV screens but the dynamic setup allows this to run smoothly at an almost locked 30FPS. The bottom line is: it's a very technically complete and solid port.

Screenshot for Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition on Nintendo Switch

Now, for those who might not know what this is all about, this is WW2-era stealth action game series that covers many real and less explored scenarios from the wartime. This third entry takes players deep into the African campaign run by the axis forces during the height of its warmongering. Here one can take control of the series hero Karl Fairburne, an American sniper (because every WW title "needs" to feature a prominent American presence), as he seeks to thwart the axis forces' advances by sniping his way through important bases, stealing documents and shooting the literal testicles off important enemy figures. This setting allowed the developers to move from the more confined streets of German cities, into a much more open and vibrant African setting, with plenty of suns, sand, and tropical bushes.

In expanding the scale of the levels, Rebellion managed to find a great balance between scale of areas, enemy numbers, and areas for sneaking, but that's not to say that there aren't still confined areas to play through too - more than once there was an enemy patrol that caused trouble and destroyed a stealthy run by kick-starting an aggressive machine gun battle drawing enemies from all areas of the compound. Gladly the game is prepared for this, giving players a great arsenal of abilities and weapons to blast through a level, should things devolve into machine-gun fire-drowned sections of gameplay.

Screenshot for Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition on Nintendo Switch

To sum up, the level design is really satisfying, and is rarely cumbersome. The environments are not only well-laid out, but they also have a ton of detail, with tents, munitions, lakes, foliage and more all looking very sharp, but understandably with lowered geometry on Switch, so objects are a bit more angular and with lower texture detail versus it's older siblings. These objects and areas are shown in a great light, with what seems like a nice strong lighting model with awesome-looking moonlight, and nice vibrant sunlight making the world pop.

Overall the controls are punchy and lag-free. Playing using the Joycon in both TV and handheld modes was no problem, and was actually set to a good default sensitivity allowing for precise aiming, even with the small twitchy analogue sticks of the switch, which this critic has personally never had an issue with. The controls are the same with this game's predecessor, with crouching, sprinting, shooting, and interacting, being mapped the same way allowing newcomers and veterans to nail headshots right out the gate.

Screenshot for Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition on Nintendo Switch

Speaking of headshots this port retains the series much-loved bullet cam, with its crunchy organ bursting sound effects and visuals. As with other versions, it's possible to adjust the frequency of the bullet cams so players seeking a more realistic experience can turn it off and just see the bullet impacts via the sniper scope instead of the slo-mo zoom and Xray cam.

With all the positives you'd be forgiven for thinking that there may be no drawbacks in the port, but there is one that will stand out, although it didn't seem to stand out so much on other platforms: the enemy dialogue. While it's recorded well, and in the characters' native languages (mostly German but also Italian), the enemy cries are limited in quantity in relation to being seen, enemy co-ordinated searches, and even the dialogue between men at various separate camps. Obviously while running around and headshot-ing enemy soldiers it's easy to tune the repetitive dialogue out, but if spotted and needing to hide, it becomes the emphasised way of distinguishing if you are free to move again.

Screenshot for Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Distilled down to a very, very strong portable title, Rebellion brings its A-game with Sniper Elite 3 on the Switch. It's not just that it's one of its best creations to date, but also the fact that it comes with so little sacrifice, and the series unique and visceral gameplay. It seems that the multiplayer is getting a lot of praise as well from those who could play it so. With that in mind there is no reason not to pick up this port, especially if you've not had the chance to play through it before.

Developer

RebellionInteract

Publisher

RebellionInteract

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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