You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts’ Is Trying to Fix Franchise Mistakes

Back in 2017, “Sniper Ghost Warrior 3” took the series in a whole new direction by creating an expansive open world for all the long-range gunplay fans could hope for in a game. Unfortunately, the third entry in the franchise was full of bugs and artificial limitations that made it a struggle to carry out a mission without running into technical issues. Fans went as far to make their own extensive patches and mods that fixed many of those lingering issues after release.

“Going into an open world setting diverted a lot of our resources,” CI Games senior level designer Daniel Sławiński tells Variety. “Without it we can focus on what matters.”

For CI Games, what matters is versatility in carrying out a deadly assassination from hundreds of meters out (or any other way the player can come up with). They’re trying to keep that vision alive by creating reasonably sized sandbox levels that still give players that freedom. They’re losing the open world but hopefully retaining the sandbox mentality that came with “Sniper Ghost Warrior 3.”

During a special demo behind closed doors lead by Sławiński, which I also played afterward, it was clear that the development team was trying to retain that player freedom. The demo put you in the middle of a snowy mountain base where you needed to assassinate a Russian defector and complete other side objectives if time and safety allowed it.

Sławiński showed us multiple entry points to the area of the map where the target was staying, using different types of gear to mark enemies and fortify his position, as well as the different play styles that could be used. At one point Sławiński slipped and set off the base alarm alerting dozens of enemies to his general location.

“Anything can happen when you play,” said art director Rick Nath who was brought on to help address the franchises technical issues. “That’s the kind of replayability it has. We’ve gone through the demo multiple times and this is the first time this has happened. The first time the alarm has gone off like this.”

The demo featured a long list of different types of gear that could be utilized during missions including tracker rounds that locate enemies, bullets that work like an EMP blast, special visors that help you track, as well as other items that can help personalize an assassination.

At the beginning of the presentation, Nath said they had listened to the fan reaction to Contracts predecessor and focusing on correcting the mistakes they had made, mainly talking about the extensive bugs.

My experience with the demo was mostly smooth, shots connected and the weight of the rifle felt powerful. Enemies reacted in intelligent ways. When I alerted a guard by killing two of his companions, he came back with an armored vehicle full of reinforcements. “Contracts” retains the methodical, decision-based gameplay the series is known for. Although I don’t know if it holds up for an entire game.

Both Nath and Sławiński believe that the structural change would help alleviate the major issues that players had with “Sniper Ghost Warriors 3,” although it wasn’t the primary reason for the shift away from an open world. “Some of it was based on technical issues,” Nath said. “Some of it was story based, there is an overarching story across the various missions in the game.”

On paper and on screen, “Sniper Ghost Warriors Contracts” seems like it’s steering the series in a better direction. We won’t know if that’s completely true until the full release later this year.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • JoJo Siwa'The Angry Birds Movie 2'

    Nickelodeon Star JoJo Siwa Gets Her Own Dance-Tour Mobile Game (EXCLUSIVE)

    Fans of JoJo Siwa will be able to join the teen influencer’s dance squad on stage — virtually — in a new mobile game. In “JoJo Siwa — Live to Dance,” players will become part of the Nickelodon and YouTube star’s worldwide tour on her professional dance team and experience what it’s like to be [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    The Game Awards 2019 Sets December Date, Will Live-Stream Across 45 Platforms

    The Game Awards 2019, the fifth annual video game industry kudosfest, will be held Dec. 12 in Los Angeles and will be live-streamed for free again on more than 45 different platforms worldwide. The Game Awards is an annual celebration of video games and the people who make them, created and executive produced by Geoff [...]

  • HTC Vive Cosmos

    HTC Replaces HTC Vive With New $699 Vive Comos VR Headset

    HTC is getting ready to retire the headset that was central to its expansion into the virtual reality market 3 years ago: The company announced on Thursday that its new Vive Comos headset will effectively replace the original HTC Vive, which was first released in April of 2016. “It was time to upgrade our consumer [...]

  • Sohu logo

    China's Sohu Seeks Games Consolidation With $500 Million Bid for Changyou

    Sohu, one of China’s Internet pioneers, is offering to buy out its games subsidiary Changyou in a deal that values Changyou at $532 million. Both companies currently have their shares listed on NASDAQ, but if the deal goes ahead Changyou would lose its separate stock listing. Sohu, which has interests covering search, digital advertising and [...]

  • marvel lenovo ar

    Lenovo, Disney Launch Marvel AR Headset

    Lenovo has once again teamed up with Disney to bring one of the studio’s iconic franchises to augmented reality (AR). After first launching the “Star Wars: Jedi Challenges” AR headset in 2017, the two companies are back with a new “Marvel Dimension of Heroes” experience running on slightly revamped hardware. News of Lenovo and Disney [...]

  • Cyberpunk 2077

    'Cyberpunk 2077' Deep-Dive Shows More of Keanu Reeves' Johnny Silverhand (Watch)

    The Keanussance continues. Keanu Reeves made a surprise appearance at E3 in June, announcing that “The Matrix” star would be appearing in the upcoming role-playing video game “Cyberpunk 2077” as a non-playable character named Johnny Silverhand. And in a deep-dive video shown at the PAX West conference on Friday, attendees got a few more details [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content