Sniper Elite V2 Review
What we liked
What we didn't
Does Sniper Elite V2 hit its mark? Read on here to find out more
Despite having played several war games, and most of them revolving around the second World War, you think that gamers would be so sick and tired of playing games that involve shooting Nazis in the face. Despite this, Rebellion and 505 Games have released Sniper Elite V2, a tactical third-person shooter where you take aim through the scope of your sniper rifle and shoot a lot of Nazis and Soviets in the head.
Sniper Elite V2 is a remake of Rebellion’s 2005 Sniper Elite that came out on GameCube, Playstation 2 and Xbox consoles. The two game’s timeframe and locations are the same (the Battle for Berlin, April – May 1945), however they have developed the game further to have more depth than the predecessor by adding in a named protagonist. The main character is Karl Fairburne, he is an OSS officer who is inserted into Berlin in 1945, during the final days of World War II. Karl’s main mission is to take out or capture key Nazi Scientists who were involved in the V2 rocket production facility and to take out the Nazi V2 Rocket Facilities. Throughout the game, you can find references to actual World War 2 operations like Operation Paperclip and Operation Overcast.
That is generally the games plot which is structured well throughout the game; you know exactly who you are, what is your objective and how you are going to it, which is pretty much sniping a lot of people in the head. The problem I have with the story is that there is so little variety. Also it is very pro-American once again with them winning the war single-handed, despite the real input of the British, European forces and their allies also involved in the war before the Americans even got there! Then we have the main character, Karl Fairbourne, this is literally all we got, no development as to who he is, or what he thinks. The most we are treated to is just that during each loading screen you have Karl narrating his objective and his thoughts on the mission, nothing more to it really. So your attachment to Karl isn’t emotional or developing, you just control him and do the mission in the game.
There isn’t an outstanding story overall throughout the game, most of the time I was just learning my objective and then heading out to ‘take care of’ whom/what my target was.
There was so much more that could of been added to the game. You were an isolated ally soldier behind enemy lines! I felt that something more could of been added, but at the same time getting that to work in the game would just add a lot more unnessecary information.
Then there was the gameplay to Sniper Elite V2, this is the games saving grace. The one thing that they have captured in Sniper Elite V2 is the effects of the sniper rifle. To start with you have to select your games difficulty, the harder the setting the tougher the mechanics are. For instance at the lowest setting, Cadet (Easy), just aiming at the enemy and firing will pretty much kill them. In Marksman (Normal) you have to judge the distance of your enemy to make the shot and how many clicks up, down, left or right you need as well has heart rate as the higher the heart rate is the less accurate you become especially when holding your breathe when shooting, and then there is Sniper Elite (Hard) where you have to take into account all of the above as well as wind which adds extra depth to the shooting because you have to think very hard about the wind to make your shot because what may seem like a head shot could be dire consequences on the battlefield. As for the other weapons the pistols and submachine guns as well as grenades work as well you may expect to find in any game. On top of which the game features a fantasticly gorey finish known as the X-Ray Kill Cam, which details a few painful and violent death of a bullet flying into the skull of an enemy and showing the player the visual path of the bullet in slow-mo, this goes the same for the hitting enemy explosives attached to them, or if you happen to shoot them in the testicles!
However despite that the shooting mechanics in the game, it is let down by what you can do within it. Each level you have your objective that tends to end up with someone getting shot in the head or by finding some intel, there isn’t particularly much variety despite this, the game isn’tlong enough to really take much care at the repetitive nature of the game. On top of which the levels all are very linear to the point that all you have to do is follow the road and eventually you will reach your target. Yes there is enemies to kill and the few minor objectives like “clear out the area” before you can move on but it just kills time to do this and extends playtime. On top of which the game has designated buildings you can enter and their isn’t much room to explore the world you are in. To the point that you can just go to the tallest building in each area to get the best shots and you are near enough unstoppable, if it wasn’t however for the expert marksmen that is the Nazi and Soviet forces to the point that they seem to always hit you, but don’t dismay to much, they are also incredibly stupid that they will sometimes gladly stand still and do nothing till you get to shoot them in the head.
This all leads down to the games presentation that despite the demo being really good fun and seemed to look alright, however the graphics you see in the demo haven’t been improved at all by the time the game has released, which is disappointing, the environments do change in the game so you expect some variety as well but ultimately it changes from being a war torn city by day, to a war torn city at night, and the only different environments are the ones where you have to enter bunkers or a V2 Rocket depot and if you look around you will find the odd out of place texture or unfinished patches that just stick out like a sore thumb.
Ultimately Sniper Elite V2 is a game that has the protential to be something great! It has the idea, it has the gameplay almost down and the enviroments were almost there, but sadly they just don’t live up to the standard set by some titles releasing today, however Sniper Elite V2 is fun and worth a try if you are at all interested in giving the game a go . On top of which if 505 Games ever do continue the series and expand the franchise, then they can see what they can improve on for the next title. Although I won’t lie playing the downloadable content of assassinating Hitler, that was bloody good fun!