Games: Sniper Elite 3: Ultimate Edition on Nintendo's Switch puts strategic shooter in the palm of your hand
Sniper Elite 3: Ultimate Edition (Switch)
AFTER a month of stunning Far-Eastern releases, the Switch has settled into a well-worn groove of sanitized Japanese whimsy. But once the wee 'uns are tucked up, red meat-eating dads won't have their well-earned bloodlust sated by watching a green fairy battle pink ghosts. Sometimes, you just need to bathe in Nazi guts – so thank god for Sniper Elite.
The low-rent series has defied the odds to become one of gaming's guiltiest pleasures by turning the once-obligatory sniping level from first-person shooters into full-fat campaigns of beady-eyed ultraviolence. And, though rough around the edges, their lean focus on marksmanship has appealed to our lizard brains across three generations of console.
Five years since its first release, the third in the Boche-blasters is dusted down for Nintendo's portable with all the trimmings. Set during WWII, players fill the hobnails of American sharpshooter Karl Fairburne, sent behind enemy lines to hunt the deadliest of game – Nazis.
You'll Lee Harvey your way through various compounds with Africa as your grassy knoll, squinting at Jerry from afar. You can even line up Charlie Brooker's Toby jug mug in your sights, as the telly-wit goose-steps into the motion-captured fray.
Raining death from afar, you'll skulk in the shadows with a beady eye and steadier pinkie. It's not simply a matter of lining up your sights, though. Players must manage their breath, account for gravity and crosswinds and predict where their Teutonic target will be when Mr Bullet comes a–knocking.
Get it right, though, and the money shot is worth it. The series' famous X-ray kill-cams track your hot lead on its merry way through flesh and bone. With the right chops, you can literally pop off a Nazi's goolies.
SE3 saw the series' first steps into sandbox territory, with multiple objectives and use of engine noise to mask your hi-jinx. If discovered, your quarry will sniff around your last known location – though to be fair, the dumb AI is unbecoming of Hitler's master race.
SE3's main campaign is joined by all of the content since released, tasking players with foiling an assassination attempt on Churchill and lining up the Fuhrer himself in your crosshairs. The Switch's toybox is used to great effect, with motion controls fine-tuning your aim and controller rumbles teasing Fairburne's heartbeat.
Long-distance sniping on the portable screen, however, is a nightmare, and there are some obvious graphical trade-offs in a game that wasn't exactly dripping in polish first time around.
Sniper Elite 3 isn't the most advanced shooter (it's not even the most advanced Sniper Elite, which saw its fourth game released two years ago) but for skuzzy thrills on Nintendo's sanitized doodaa, it's always – and brilliantly – in the worst possible taste.