With so many shooters out there, it’s hard to find one that really differs or brings something new to the battlefield. Sniper Elite V2 is a remake of Rebellion Developments’ original title, Sniper Elite, which takes you out of the battlefield and onto the rooftops with nothing but a sniper rifle, a pair of binoculars and a few pieces of equipment; but is this unique gameplay enough to lure the hardcore shooter fans away from their favourite games? Let's find out.
The game takes place during the final days of World War II, where OFF officer, Karl Fairburne, has been given a top secret mission to stop the Germans and Russians from launching a deadly attack on the Allied forces. The prologue is a great start to the game and gives you the mission to assassinate a high ranking German General. You get to learn most of the features in the game by doing this prologue, such as setting up landmines and trip wires, how to take out soldiers in a stealthy manner and, of course, how to fire your sniper rifle.
There are three difficulties which drastically change the way you control the sniper rifle. The basic difficulty allows you to easily aim at your targets and take them out, but the hardest difficulty will require you check the wind speed and direction to make sure your shots are on target. There is a middle ground to this, where your shots tend to go where you aim but still become affected by wind direction every now and then. You also have your handy binoculars, which allow you to mark your targets so you can keep an eye on them when they go out of your view.
Although you will spend most of your time sniping, you will have to run around the somewhat open levels collecting Intel, settings off bombs or rescuing captives. Although the sniping is done from a first person perspective you actually control Fairburne from a third person perspective. You can take cover from enemies and you do have a pistol and sub-machine gun to help you in those close-combat situations – which can crop up a little too much for some people’s liking.
Moving back to the main point of Sniper Elite V2, the sniping, the best feature in the game by far is the kill cam that will occur when you take a focused shot. You will only be able to attempt a focused shot when you are not fatigued. You can become fatigued from either spending time taking focused shots or sprinting from point to point in a level. When you take a focused shot time will slow down a little and a red reticule will appear on the screen and decrease in size allowing you to make very accurate shots. With this mode on it’s possible to shoot people through pretty much every body part, and after following the bullet to your target, they will appear in an x-ray form to show you just what parts of their body you have managed to penetrate. Also, with a well-timed shot, you can shoot the grenades that soldiers carry to cause an explosion, which is very useful for taking out groups of soldiers. The same can also be done to the fuel tanks on vehicles that can make for some nasty deaths.
There are also some multiplayer modes in Sniper Elite V2, most notably the co-op campaign, which allows you and a friend, or random partner, to go through the campaign and give you a much easier time on the harder difficulties. Out of all the multiplayer modes, the best one has to be Overwatch, which makes one player the sniper and the other a spotter. In this mode the spotter is required to use their binoculars to spot enemies and is also solely responsible for completing the objectives while their partner covers them from a fixed position with their sniper rifle. The only disappointment with this mode was the lack of levels, only 3, but hopefully that’s where DLC can be implemented.
The levels are quite open and there are many spots where you can snipe from, but the scenery itself is quite similar in each level. This mostly compromises of destroyed buildings and the odd landmark – where your target is positioned or where you’ll snipe from. The use of sound is brilliant however, and running down the vacant streets will alert soldiers to your position, as will a poorly timed sniper shot. To help you mask the loud sound of the sniper rifle, there are a variety of environmental sounds such as planes flying over, church bells or artillery guns being fired that periodically take place and allow you to take out targets without giving away your position.
Sniper Elite V2 is a fantastic game and is definitely something different from the usual shooter we have come to know and love. While the close combat can be frustrating at times, the sniping is brilliant, and there’s nothing better than getting that kill cam right between the eyes of an enemy. If you’re looking for something fresh to play this is a must buy.