Sniper Elite V2 DEALS
After a good two weeks away gallivanting across from Barcelona to Rome on a cruise ship full of Americans (they were alright by the way before you prime up the petition calling for my head). I’m now back, refreshed and reviewing Sniper Elite V2. Set during the time when Brits and Yanks were also gallivanting around Europe for more important purposes rather than emptying a cruise worth of alcoholic drinks and developing a love for Singapore Slings.
For you history buffs out there, the Sniper Elite series began way back on the PS2 with Sniper Elite in 2005. Which first introduced realistic sniping (wind, gravity, posture and breathing). Then after a soft reboot with Sniper Elite V2 in 2012 which firstly brought in the infamous X-Ray Kill Cam, 2 games later one in North Africa with Sniper Elite 3, again in Italy with Sniper Elite 4 which for the moment is the peak for the series. There was also a spin-off game involving nazi zombies which was alright.
History lesson over, now as the remaster of Sniper Elite V2 is out right now I thought it would be a good time to see how it stands by today’s standards. The story follows Karl Fairbourne, OSS Officer with a penchant for sniping and “irregular warfare”. He is sent into Berlin during the last days of World War 2 to assassinate key members of the nazis V2 Rocket program, who are considering defecting to the Soviets (part WW2 shooter, part Cold War prequel). Anyway, after working through his hit list of targets. He then stumbles across a plot of a last-ditch attempt at revenge by launching V2 rockets with a nerve agent in them and also has to put a stop to that as well. Story-wise, while almost could be considered for a Tom Clancy novel, it is enjoyable enough to serve context to the game itself, with some twists. While Karl Fairbourne is a shoo-in for Mr Generic with no real sense of bonding with the character bar that he isn’t a Nazi (improved in later games). Overall, it certainly not a memorable one by any stretch of the imagination, but does its job well enough.
Now, we come to the gameplay and for me its fun in most places but frustratingly awkward/aged poorly. Let’s look at the main selling point for starters the sniper rifle, unlike where most shooters that wherever the crosshairs is where the bullet goes (Call of Duty). In the few games, that distance/gravity is factored in (Battlefield and Kevin Mcloud simulator called Fortnite). Sniper Elite factors wind, gravity, posture and breathing and what kind of rifle you’re using. You can change the settings around if you want the full experience or just a point and shoot sniping experience. Or if you want markers so when your lining up the shot it points out where the bullet will be going before you pull the trigger, or turn off the help completely and work it out for yourself. The sniping is very much customizable to suit your needs, also as you’re in the midst of a war there is a lot of war going on with explosions and other stuff which can be handy in let’s say “muffling a shot from a rifle”. Also can take down vehicles with well-placed shots to fuel tanks.
I had it all set up to realistic but with some assistance with the markers and its great fun to line up the perfect shot with the rifle, with or without the assistance. When you do nail it you’re treated to a slow-mo of your bullet ripping through the poor soul in anatomically correct detail causing damage to the organs and bones. So, shoot someone through the heart and see the bullet rip through them, or shoot them in the balls and see their testicles be utterly atomized. It’s something to admire but also to wince at, you can also trigger their grenades as well which never gets old. You have the option to also aim in 3rd person if your target is quite close which is handy in a pinch. Annoyingly the left bumper is aiming through the scope and the left trigger is aiming in 3rd person, which on Xbox is wildly unnatural for me and did take some time to adjust, all and all sniping is great fun to do so.
There are also Pistols and SMGs to use as well, which while it does against its ethos on sniping, but can be helpful when Nazis are gunning for you and need something for close encounters. There is an assortment of grenades and mines and other tools to utilize, sou can be stealthy if needs be, but don’t really matter much when the level design limits this (more on that later). There are binoculars to use to tag enemies which can be very helpful to keep track of the blighters, but both the pistols and SMGs are fine and fun to use while not-so amazing to use compared to the rifles.
Now, can we talk about the level design? For a sniping game, it’s incredibly linear for the type of game it is. It doesn’t offer much benefit at all to be stealthy when it mostly developed as a shooting gallery for your rifle so it can get tiresome to play through, and my word the Enemy AI is pathetically stupid. Not adorably stupid, pathetically stupid. Enemies are easily outwitted as there have been a number of cases where they get stuck running on walls or into boxes. At times they can work well and hunt me down like a dog, but it’s so inconsistent.
Other than the single player campaign there is a lot of content. For starters, all of the DLC that there was for the game is included so new guns and also new mission including one where you can kill Hitler. Other game modes including Kill Tally which is fighting off waves of Nazis and tanks, there is also co-op which you and a mate can take on the campaign and also a number of other game modes to boot. Online multiplayer as well which while not a whole lot to it is still a good laugh. So even after beating the campaign, there is still stuff to work your way through.
As it’s a remastered game for the current gen of consoles. There is of cause is updated graphics which for the most part look fine enough and with a camera mode so you can take photos if you so wish. Also, remember that spin-off game involving nazi zombies that I mentioned earlier? Well, you can also play as the characters from that game as well. Technically while not a AAA game in its own right is competently put together is runs well enough at a steady framerate on the Xbox. While there can be a few physics cock-ups that are funny, there were no major game-breaking bugs or glitches to report from my time with the game and the servers are much better than most game companies can do notably Codemasters.
Rounding this all up while yet compared to its successors and in most regards inferior. Sniper Elite V2 is still a fun game to play. Campaign fun and enjoyable, sniping is the highlight of the game with its realistic physics and customizable options that make it fun and yet accessible. And with the X-ray kill cams make it brutal and yet somehow brilliant to watch. With plenty of content to play through it does look good value. Although the level design does let the side down and does turn the game into a shooting gallery with Nazi hats and testicles. Not so good AI, and stealth being rather unloved. This does dampen what is a fun game overall.
Sniper Elite V2
Sniper Elite V2 is a fun game with sniping that is great fun and with the X-ray, kill cams brutal and yet applaudable. with the remaster throwing in all of the DLC and updated textures does make it good value. Though bad AI and Level design that turns most encounters into a shooting gallery and lack of benefit of using stealth. And that its sequels are much better games does dampen on what was for me a fun return to war-torn Berlin
- Excellent sniping mechanics
- X-ray Kill Cam
- Plenty of content with the remaster
- Very inconsistent AI
- “shooting gallery” level design
- Good but forgettable story