Snipers! As many of you know, last week we hosted a Q&A with the developers on the official Sniper Elite Facebook Page. We had some great questions coming through, and have made a selection of some of the best here.
Q: What are the big changes between SE2 and SE3?
A: Where do we start?! 3 X larger levels. More tactical choice (especially stealth options). Sabotaging equipment to make sound masks for your shot. Multi-stage vehicle takedowns with X-ray camera. Smarter, more believable AI enemies, more enemies in each level. New relocation mechanic to fool enemies and drag them out of position. A new ‘non-sticky’ cover system, much smoother vaulting and movement, new weapon selection options and equipment combos. New customisation options and cross-mode XP system. Multiplayer developed from day 1 with a dedicated team… tonnes of stuff basically! Oh and it looks beautiful :)
Q: What rifles can we expect to see?
A: The launch release starts out with weapons used in the conflict - so the favourites are back - the M1 Garrand, the British Lee Enfield and Gewehr. We’ll be adding some popular V2 ones and some all-new rifles at a later date!
Q: How long is the story?
A: We’re hoping for about 12 hours for single player. It can be shorter or longer depending on play style, but if you explore every detail of our very big levels it will take some time!
Q: Who is the new antagonist?
A: The Afrika Korps are a fearsome unit from World War 2 and will pose a serious threat to Karl at all times - but Vahlen is the villain. He’s up to something out in North Africa and it’s up to you to stop him
Q: MP was everything to me in V2. Will V3 MP exceed my expectations?
A: Oh yes. New modes, improved modes, new mechanics and an XP system that works across all game modes. The most important thing though is that this was developed by a dedicated MP team in Rebellion’s second UK studio near Liverpool, so its been a focus from day 1, compared to V2 where it was added once we had time. It’ll be available from launch on all formats
Q: Will multiplayer have more options this time and will it allow more players online?
A: Yes and no. There is the same number of modes - but we’ve tweaked some favourites and swapped in some new ones. It’s up to 12 players in MP, which is up from the 8 on consoles last time around
Q: Are the controls the same as Sniper v2?
A: Similar, but with some cool additions like a radial menu for weapon and item selection
Q: 1. Can we move dead bodies in #SniperElite3 and hide them? 2. Can we hold and interrogate Enemies?
A: Yep, you can pick up and hide bodies, but no interrogations
Q: Will there be any character customization, cause I would love to run around as a Russian officer in every game I play.
A: Yes, weapon and character customisation are both in Sniper Elite 3!
Q: Will the AI be able to detect you while you’re hiding and they haven’t seen you? I.e.: their vision cone going through solid cover and being able to see you when they shouldn’t?
A: No, so long as no one saw you enter cover, and if you make sure you are crouched or prone, and behind cover they won’t know you are there. We try to make it feel as fair as possible. Of course, take an un-silenced shot they will hear you and begin to work out where you are. Take more shots form the same spot and all the cover in the world won’t hide you - they’re soldiers after all!
Q: Will be there intel information to reinforce the history of the game? I believe that a WW2 theme is not enough… and the big absence in the previous game was the intel. So I hope the response will be yes!!!
A: There is collectible intel throughout the game that drives the narrative, but we don’t want to trick the player into thinking that this is a historically accurate story - it’s very much to set up to make it a very fun campaign, but we do play off some of the real secret projects the German’s were working on! As I’ve covered in some other questions here we love our history at Rebellion and have bookshelves worth of sources, interviewed sniping experts and even got inside some World War Two vehicles, so there is a real feel of authenticity to the art.
Q: Are there any plans for a PC demo?
A: There are no immediate plans for a dedicated demo on any format for launch, but we haven’t ruled out one later. Demos are essentially a separate (but small) game and so require the same lengthy submission process as a new game, and more work for all the teams. We wanted to concentrate on the final game instead rather than take developers off the main project
Q: System requirements? It would be good to know
A: We’ll be announcing these soon - there are LOTS of hardware configurations to test! Safe to say it will be similar to Sniper Elite V2 but with some modernisations
Q: If I have it on PS4 can I still play with others on PS3?
A: No there is no cross-platform multiplayer
Q: Are you going to be able modify/alter maps e.g. change the size of sandbags rocks etc. after you have been informed that there are glitch/soft spots?
A: Well that’s a very specific question but yes we will certainly be reviewing gameplay data and bugs in all modes and then patching the game with tweaks and balances, so if you have any problems get in touch or chat to us on the forums!
Q: Have you aligned the third person crosshair with the scope this time to eliminate all the cheaters that shoot you from behind walls without being exposed?
A: We’ve certainly learnt a lot of lessons from V2 on when and how players exploited this situation so we’re hoping it’ll be much less of a problem. This is a challenge inherent in all third person shooters that have cover because of the separation of the camera from the player, so we can’t lie and say it’ll never happen again, but we hope players will be pleased with the improvements
Q: Will there be real time destruction and dismemberment from grenades, mines, etc? Thanks!
A: Not in Sniper Elite 3. We’ve certainly had discussions about it before but we decided against it for this specific entry in the series
Q: 1) How does the save game work, or is it checkpoint? 2) Are there enemies coming out of nowhere like in sniper elite v2? 3) Stealth and camouflage, is there any indication how well we are hidden from enemies? In Sniper Elite v2 the enemies have eagle eyes; even if your leg is visible, they see you from even 300m 4) While moving with the body of an enemy, is it possible to use one hand guns like a pistol? 5) Are missions more open world?
A: 1) Auto saves AND manual saves (this was a popular addition for console players) 2) No, AI doesn’t spawn randomly - enemies are exist in each level whether you can see them or not - or until you kill them! Of course we may throw in the odd tank to spice things up … 3) Yes making players aware how visible they are was a key focus - there is an ‘eye’ marker that tells you how visible you are, which contracts the more in shadow you are, the cover you’re in and the smaller your body shape (e.g. crouching). On the flip side, we’ve added clear markers to enemies so you can work out just how alert they are. Enemies won’t be able to spot you in cover from far away - but if you start firing they’ll begin to work out your position. The more shots, the better they know where you are, so it’s best to not camp for too long in one spot. 4 ) No! 5) Levels are 3x the size of V2 and objectives can be tackled in any order, so there’s room for all kinds of different tactics
Q: Will it be censored in Europe (Austria)? Zombie army is NOT censored, Sniper Elite v2 is…
A: We’d like to point out that we never ‘censor’ games. We do however have to submit to the regulatory bodies of different regions - for example USK in Germany has specific rules around Nazi iconography and also violence. However you should know that there is now a ‘full’ version of V2 in Germany that includes the kill-cam. Sniper Elite 3 should be near identical in all territories.
Q: Will the player participate in famous historical battles that really happened? In case yes, which ones?
A: Yes most of the levels are crucial locations from the conflict. Karl is there for the fall of Tobruk and will also visit Halfaya Pass, Kasserine Pass and other landmarks, which were all fought over constantly. These aren’t like-for-like, rather they are inspired by the locations to make them suitable for a sniping videogame! You won’t be taking part in mass battles; instead your job is the dirty work - crucial assassinations, intelligence and sabotage missions in the background!
Q: What are the benefits of buying it on next gen not including graphics
A: Graphics are important actually - long ranged shots are that much clearer and easier to pull off in 1080p with a higher frame rate. Aside from that you have streaming to Vita and 3D support on PS4 and you can feel Karl’s heart rate through the Xbox One’s very cool impulse triggers. A lot of things are behind the scenes. Next gen versions are a much more connected experience, especially in MP. We can’t go into detail now but we will be rolling out new features after launch
Q: Buy or no buy question here: Will PS4 owners of the game get access to all the extra content and expansions after the game is released, or will they be left without it like the Xbox 360 owners were with Sniper Elite V2? (Nazi Zombies, etc.)
A: For the initial DLC releases yes! If we plan more however, the decision on PS4 is completely with 505 Games our publisher- we can’t control that - which is exactly the same for V2 (and we couldn’t bring NZA to 360 because we weren’t a publisher. That was Microsoft’s [old] rule - you had to be a publisher to bring a game to that console. And we weren’t. Simple as that!). We have some cool plans for DLC which we’ll be announcing soon, and 505 WILL be bringing the initial content to consoles - but if you want to see all continuing DLC on consoles make sure to support the early DLC and let them know!
Q: What was your archive documentation for this game ?
A: We have multiple bookshelves of respected historical books and periodicals. We also consulted a real sniper and worked closely with Martin Peggler - one of the world’s leading historians on sniper warfare and also an expert on North Africa. We visited the world famous tank museum at Bovington and our art team got to examine tanks from the inside - including one of the world’s only working Tiger tanks! Add to that internet research, and image searches at the Imperial War Museum and German Federal collection - we covered a lot of bases
Q: Is the ‘have to relocate time’ fitted into multiplayer mode? Would stop glitch campers it would.
A: Yep! The relocate mechanic is core to the game. If you take an enemy out in MP and then relocate you’ll get a multiplier!
Q: Will we be able to drive vehicles, tanks and run over enemy troops? Will we be able to shoot through wood but not stone or metal?
A: No, we didn’t feel driving vehicles was a good fit for a sniper - we wanted the game to be about stealth and sabotage. Tanks are a LITTLE too unsubtle :). The general rule of thumb is that you can’t shoot through cover, but you can kill drivers through windscreens on vehicles, and some elements of the environment are interactive - such as equipment which can be sabotaged and ammo dumps
Q: Where did the idea come from to be able to fire at vehicles… then they explode… Mythbusters did that… didn’t work… the open slit on the left-hand front side of the tiger tank had a block of glass behind it, so as to stop bullets coming inside….????
A: Cool, we haven’t seen that episode - did they really do it with a Tiger tank?! Actually we know from research that even if you DO take out the laminate protecting a tank’s vision slits with a sniper rifle, the drivers have spares they can clip in! In all seriousness though, almost every element of a video game - from the speed you run, to the damage you can take, the mechanics of stealth - and yes - vehicle takedowns, are exaggerated to some extent. The point of this is to entertain the player by empowering them - and the vehicle takedowns require a lot of skill. We wanted a precision shot that would make players feel awesome, and the multi-stage destruction and the X-Ray vehicle takedown camera is key to that. We love our history though, and we’ve tried to remain authentic where it’s most appropriate - the weapons, outfits, vehicles and so on.
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