Through the campaign, Sniper Elite 3 does a good job of mixing up the pacing of the missions. While some have you hanging back and eliminating enemies one by one, others have you sneaking into areas and finding the best position available to do the same. You'll rescue prisoners and cover their escape, and blow up convoys filled with enemy soldiers, and blow up plenty of artillery guns.
While the single player campaign is fun enough, it's when you bring a friend into the foray that the strategy of the game takes a whole new turn. The entire campaign can be played in co-op, with both friends taking the role of a sniper. Using the binoculars you can tag enemies that both you and your partner will see; this aids in setting up attack routes and covering fire as you progress through the maps. From what we saw the game doesn't necessarily change up the enemy patterns or numbers when another player is present, but we didn't find the missions overly easy - just more easily paced. Of course with twice as many snipers it's twice as easy to alert the enemy, so that is something both players need to contend with.
Numerous times while playing our partner and I would fall into natural roles of spotter and sniper, splitting up so we could always cover each other from the high ground. The downside of course to this is when one player goes down, the other has a long trek to revive him, but in the end the strategy is a sound one.
This is exemplified in one of the game's special co-op modes called Overwatch. Co-op players take on two missions that are designed for this setup, stripping one player of his sniper rifle and the other of his automatic weapon. The carefully laid out maps and objectives force players to communicate and work together to complete their mission. It's so immensely satisfying to tag enemies from the ground, have my partner tell me to go from cover to cover and watch the enemies drop from his sniper fire as I move. It's a total adrenaline rush. Sadly, right now there are only two maps for this which take about 45 minutes each to complete, so it's a bit content light.
Finally Sniper Elite 3 features a survival co-op mode where you'll take on waves of enemies, trying to garner for a high score. It's a pretty standard affair and feels a bit more like the Nazi Zombie games in pacing, especially in the later waves, but it's a nice distraction if you just want to see some slow motion headshots.
Sniper Elite 3 is another solid entry into the series, it refines its own formula with new tools and more open maps for you to play in. The co-op is enhanced with new modes of play that work extremely well, we just wish there was more there to enjoy. All of the content throughout the game is enhanced with collectibles and unlocks to customize your character, further adding to the replayability of the title. If you're looking for a shooter that's a little bit slower paced, offers satisfying enemy kills, and interesting co-op play - Sniper Elite 3 will scratch any or all of those itches.
The Co-Optimus review of Sniper Elite 3 is based on the PC version of the game. A code was supplied by the publisher for review purposes.
The Co-Op Experience: Up to two players can team up online to play through the entire campaign, or the exclusive co-op modes: Overwatch and Survival. In Overwatch, one player snipes while the other spots enemies and carries out objectives. For Survival, players take on an endurance challenge against everything the German Afrika Korps can throw at them.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.