I haven't played a Sniper Elite game before this past E3, but Sniper Elite 3 was definitely interesting enough for me to take notice of the series. I got a short hands-on with the game high above the show floor, from the great vantage point of the meeting rooms, where 505 Games had Sniper Elite 3 on display.
Sniper Elite 3 is all about the practice of stealth during World War II, in the fields of Africa. The short tutorial stage gave me a few easy targets to get a feel for the game, along with the stealth mechanics that allow for easy kills. The sniping aspect of the game is ridiculously detailed, requiring you to take in to account gravity, the wind, and even your own breath while trying to line up your shots. You can play with an easier difficulty that does away with this and makes things simpler, or you can ratchet up the difficulty to something authentic, which takes away all assists. Getting a kill can be a particularly gruesome affair thanks to the kill cams which show detailed ballistics of the shot you just took, as it takes out enemies, showing the kind of damage a sniper's bullet could do to the human body. It kind of took me by surprise and kind of made me feel bad about the results of pulling the trigger. There is also a new vehicle kill cam as well, which shows what happens when your bullet tears through the weak points of a vehicle.
The demo took me through a desert setting, and had me sneaking around an enemy encampment to take out enemies that were launching mortars on the Allied Forces. A second map took me to a different camp, only during a night time setting. It was interesting to note that sound played an important part in my infiltration. Since my rifle is particularly loud I had to be aware of noises that occurred around me, and use them to mask the sound of my shots. This second stage was quite wide and large, and gave me plenty of places to hide in the event that I was spotted.
Sniper Elite 3 is a little bit less than two weeks from release, and what I saw looked pretty damn good on the PS4 consoles that were running the game. The third person gameplay felt quite different from the usual first-person shooter affair, and definitely has me excited for the final product which will also be released on the PS3, 360, Xbox One, and PC on July 1st.