I lay motionless at the top of a broken down building. Nazi soldiers surround me at every junction. I have the clothes on my back, my trusty sniper rifle and a bag full of rocks. I am the stealth God, the elite sniper warrior. I take out one of the soldiers with a precision hit to the left ventricle. Amidst the confusion, I line up another shot and then another before all that lay before me are a pile of Nazi corpses. This is Sniper Elite V2.
You play as Karl Fairebune, an OSS officer dropped into Berlin, 1945 in the final days of World War II. Your mission is to eliminate key scientific evidence which, if left alone, the Russians would obtain and hold the plans to the German V2 Rocket and all the research to go with it. But this is as far as I bothered to listen as the story was of little interest to me or anybody else I spoke to. I cared about silently and cleverly taking out Nazi after Nazi.
You have an arsenal of equipment to help you assassinate these German adversaries. These include your trusty sniper rifle (although you’ll ditch it at the first sign of an upgrade), a handgun, a machine gun, grenades, trip mines, pressure plates and a whole pile of rocks. I haven’t gone into detail about the weapons themselves because they change a few times throughout the game as you find bigger and better ones, but to name a few that show their barrel: The M1903A4 Springfield Sniper Rifle, The M1A1 Thompson Machine Gun & The Colt M1911 handgun. A classic array of World War II weaponry.
With the sniper rifle being the key weapon in this game, you’d expect a lot of chances to use it and the satisfaction from it. Well, you’d be right on the money there then. There’s nothing close to the feeling of taking an enemy out with a clean headshot from 3/4 mile away but the guys over at Rebellion have managed it. If you pull of an extreme shot, you’ll be treated to a slow-motion x-ray killcam. You get to see the bullet twist and fly through the air, whizzing past the ears of the soldiers you are aiming past and an x-ray view of the bullet destroying the muscle and bone in the face of the opponent sniper on the adjacent rooftop you’ve just headshotted. Rinse, repeat and it never gets old.
With all of this said, if sniping isn’t your forte, you could just whip out the old Thompson and take a running, bullet ridden jump straight into an early grave by playing a more run and gun type approach. I’ll be honest, it never worked out too well for me.
There are also multiplayer options available in Sniper Elite V2. The biggest for me was being able to play through the main campaign with a friend as you can collectively clear an entire army in a matter of seconds if you time your shots correctly.
Along with this, there are a number of other multiplayer options to have a look at: Kill Tally, Bombing Run and Overwatch. Kill Tally is your standard “horde” mode where you take down wave after wave of enemies whilst Bombing Run, you have to collect parts of a vehicle that you then escape in before the time runs out and the area is nothing more than a pile of rubble. Overwatch is the final mode which consists of one person being a sniper and the other a machine gunner. I enjoyed being able to save my friend from being shot in the back but when playing as the machine gunner, I found myself getting bored as it’s pretty much just moving to the objective whilst your partner takes out all the enemies.
The missions themselves are all fairly samey; kill these Germans, retrieve this intel, move to new location, but the killcam really did save the replayability and made me keep coming back to it time after time after time.
With all of this said, I was slightly let down by the AI. It seems that not only can Nazis be zombies but they also have the eyes of a hawk and ears of a bat. You’ll find yourself crouching or lying prone everywhere because if you stand and walk for even a few metres, the cavalry come charging and won’t leave you alone till either they or you are dead.
Graphically, this game is beautiful. Leaving aside the x-ray killcams, the scenery itself sets the mood and can be explored extensively to give you upper hand. Although it all looks nice, this sadly doesn’t save the ‘samey’ feel of each of the levels but it’s nice to see the level of detail Rebellion have put in. All the models look realistic and the voice acting is decent. You don’t really ever see anybody's mouth move but for me which might bother some people but for me, isn’t a huge issue.
All in all, Sniper Elite V2 is a pretty slow paced, tactical shooter (unless you want to run and gun, of course). You get the pleasure of truly seeing the kill when you hit that perfect shot and must use gadgets and stealth to your advantage. The missions were a bit of a let down but the sniper action makes up for it. One for the library I believe.
Sniper Elite V2 (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
I lay motionless at the top of a broken down building. Nazi soldiers surround me at every junction. I have the clothes on my back, my trusty sniper rifle and a bag full of rocks. I am the stealth God, the elite sniper warrior. I take out one of the soldiers with a precision hit to the left ventricle.