At the very beginning of the Sniper: Ghost Warrior project, we were aiming to have the game available on all platforms from day one. In the end, we had to make the tough decision to delay the PS3 version for several months so that we could fully maximize the experience for its audience. But with that delay, we knew that when we did ship the PS3 version (in stores today!) we could make sure that it was superior to the version available on other platforms.
One of the first things we did in the interim period was to really look at every element of the game to assess what we could do to make those improvements. Bug fixing was the first and most obvious step, but we desperately wanted to use the extra development time to give PS3 owners more content and therefore a better sniping experience. We added two bolt-action sniper rifles that we discovered had a profound impact on gameplay; if you can’t kill enemies quickly then you have to choose your target more wisely. But this fundamental addition in gameplay then created new the necessity of new missions designed to really get the most of the new weapons; new missions require story changes, new cut scenes and new environments.
We dug into this with much excitement. Ultimately we ended up adding a bunch more exclusive content than we intended, which created a lot of work but also gave us the perfect opportunity to implement many good ideas that hadn’t made the cut for Sniper: Ghost Warrior on the other platforms. That’s the story behind how we added the awesome sniper duel and the Challenge mission for the PS3 version.
The creation of this additional Challenge mission was especially tricky. We wanted the mission to be tough, but we had to look for ways to do this without frustrating the player. We couldn’t simply ramp up the AI and make enemies more deadly, so we decided to force the player to be much more careful. First, we designed the level with a lack of obvious cover for the player. This way we forced the player to really hunt around for sniping positions and plan their approach. Then we created enemy patrol routes in such a way that the player doesn’t have time to switch cover. The last step was to remove most of the HUD elements to increase realism – real snipers know how many shots they’ve fired and how many are left in the clip and it is a sensory experience so they must rely on their awareness and instinct more than ever.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior carves out a new path in the first-person shooter genre with its mix of strategy, stealth and tactical gameplay. This is not the typical “run and gun” approach that most FPS games take. We have expanded the class of the Sniper into a full-fledged shooter and our route requires much more patience and strategy to be successful. We want players to experience and utilize all of the elements that make the perfect headshot. We challenge the single player in creative ways with our campaign mode, we pit Sniper against Sniper in our multiplayer matches (some of which are available exclusively to PS3!) and we strive to bring a new energy to the FPS with the Sniper: Ghost Warrior series.
Creating the PS3 version was hard work but we hope players will get a real kick out of the fact we have devoted so much effort into crafting something unique for the platform. For us it was an opportunity to improve what we felt was a strong game and evolve it into a stronger one.
Look for Sniper: Ghost Warrior on PS3 in stores today. If you pick it up, let us know what you think!