Sniper Elite V2: The Review – One chance. One bullet. Make it count.
With the plethora of World War II shooters out there, like Call of Duty: World at War, the Medal of Honour and Brothers in Arms franchises, you have to wonder why 505 Games and Rebellion decided to reboot Sniper Elite?
The game, Sniper Elite V2, like its predecessor is set during the closing days of WWII. As an American sniper (an OSS agent) you’re dropped into Berlin in the last phase of WWII, with orders to either extract or kill scientists working in the Nazis’ rocket research program. As with any good story, things don’t go as planned and you have to improvise… A LOT.
While Sniper Elite V2 looks a bit rough around the edges, don’t be fooled, there’s a gem of a game underneath full of headshot-tastic and gratifying moments.
Firstly – This is not a first-person shooter. The game predominately takes places in 3rd person, aside from when you’re sniping. This moves the emphasis of the game to tactical stealth and long-range attacks. As Jason Kingsley, CEO of Rebellion, said in a recent interview: “This is no run-and-gun shooter, it’s an authentic sniping experience – rewarding stealth, forcing the player to use their brain as well as their thumbs.”
The beginning of each mission starts out the same – stealthily. You’re behind enemy lines, and your only allies are the weapons and munitions you carry with you. You can carry the typical WWII weapons; a sniper rifle, a submachine gun, and a sidearm. Aside from your rifle, the most crucial weapon is your choice of explosives. Trip wires, land mines, dynamite, and grenades all blow up in different ways, and having enough firepower to set an extra trap or take out a cluster of advancing enemies can be the difference between life and death.
But by far the most effective form of taking out the enemy is your sniping abilities. As you scan the battlefield tagging your enemies using your binoculars, you need to consider your upcoming shot. Before taking the shot, you have to account for bullet drop, wind strength and the effect of holding your breathy when making the shot. Successfully shots brings a very nice prize with it, the celebrated “kill cam” – Skilful shots are rewarded with slow-motion sequence of the bullet running its full trajectory in graphic x-ray detail, showing the bullet entering the body.
The missions play out in properly acted voice-overs and interesting cut-scenes, which all provide a welcome respite and backdrop for your missions. The solid level design makes good use of the setting, as bombed-out buildings and barricaded streets provide lots of nice hiding places for a lone sniper. Obviously, PC players get a much-better-looking version of ruined Berlin, enjoying crisp details and lovely skies while Xbox 360 owners deal with softer, more muted and moodier visuals.
The games campaign is lengthy by FPS standards, clocking-in at just over 10 hours long, and it can be played cooperatively online. There are also some other game types for two players, including Kill Tally and Bombing Run. These offer the same co-op fun of the two-player campaign missions, but Overwatch provides something a bit unique. In Overwatch, 1 player is the sniper, confined to an elevated position, and the other is a foot soldier, carrying out objectives on the ground and spotting for the sniper.
As a whole Sniper Elite v2 has some big points in its favour and these are big enough to make you forget the rough graphics. The game truthfully does a really good job of the main business: sniping.
All-in-all, if you relish a good headshot, Sniper Elite V2 has got you covered.
Final Score – 4/5