A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition, an expanded version of 2014's Sniper Elite III, is a third-person World War II shooter. In it, you have to use stealth and a variety of weapons (machine guns, explosives, and, of course, a long-range rifle) to kill numerous German soldiers, Nazi officers, and their fellow Axis allies. Though your mission is admirable, sometimes things get a little graphic, even for a shooter. When you kill someone with your sniper rifle, the game switches to a slow-motion, X-ray shot of the bullet tearing through your enemy's bones and internal organs. It also sometimes shows bodies flying when you set off an explosion with your sniper rifle or if, when aiming at someone, you hit a grenade on the person's belt, setting it off.
- Parents say
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What's it about?
Set in North Africa, SNIPER ELITE III ULTIMATE EDITION casts you as an American sniper who -- either alone or with a friend -- goes on a number of recon and sabotage missions. Armed with a variety of guns, explosives, and other tools, you have to sneak around large, open battlefields, taking out enemies before they see you, stealing their intel, and destroying their stuff. When that all goes awry, as it often does, you have to try to escape in one piece. An expanded version of 2014’s Sniper Elite III, this Ultimate Edition adds a new multiplayer mode ("Capture the Flag"), a new co-op-only mission, 18 new weapons as well as a shooting range where you can try them out, and a new three-part mission (also playable solo or with a friend) where you have to prevent British Prime Minister Winston Churchill from being assassinated.
Is it any good?
At its core, Sniper Elite III Ultimate Edition, similar to the original version, is a challenging and engaging third-person World War II shooter that lets you put your sneaky side to good use. Not only are the controls tight and intuitive, but the game lets you adapt the sniper controls, making them as easy to use as an arcade game and almost as authentic as an actual rifle. Also, by tasking you with numerous types of missions in some wide-open spaces, this game has a good amount of variety, since you can strategically attack from any direction … and get attacked from any direction.
Unfortunately, the game isn't without its flaws. Because some buttons are twitchy, you have to be in just the right spot to silently take out an enemy from behind or to search a body for supplies. The controls also are a bit oversensitive, though this is easily fixed by dialing them back in the options menu. Some of the multiplayer modes, especially "Deathmatch" and "Team Deathmatch," aren't anything special, and though the co-op-specific missions are engaging, playing the story-driven campaign with a friend ruins the game's lone-wolf vibe. But the biggest problem is that some of your enemies just ain't that bright. At one point, for instance, an enemy soldier might stroll right past you as if you aren't sitting there reloading your rifle. Overall, Sniper Elite III: Ultimate Edition may have some issues, but the action and the focus on stealth and strategy makes it a fun game for shooter fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games. Is it ever OK to kill someone in a game if he or she is evil? What if that character isn't evil but his or her bosses are?
Talk about the Second World War, and why it was an important event in world history. Do you know who was involved? Do you know why we went to war, and what prompted it?
Discuss cooperation and communication. Why is it important to be open to the idea of asking for help or working with other people toward a common goal? What’s the best way to communicate with other people so you can work toward a common goal?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: 505 Games
- Release date: April 13, 2015
- Genre: Third-person shooter
- Topics: Adventures, History
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.