Platform: PS3, 360, PC
Publisher: 505 Games
Sniper Elite V2 is the follow-up to Rebellion's 2005 game Sniper
Elite (also known as Sniper Elite: Berlin 1945). It takes place in
the same location and timeframe, set in Berlin during the last days
of the war between April and May 1945. This time around players are
cast into the role of an American officer tasked with capturing or
eliminating key members of the German V2 rocket programme before
they fall into the hands of the Russians.
Sniper Elite V2 is a third-person shooter that emphasises
stealth and tactics. Equipped with a variety of WWII sniper rifles,
a silenced pistol, sub-machineguns and grenades you must carefully
plan your course of action as you carry out your objectives. The
game offers are a variety of options in which to complete your
tasks, however it will reward stealth over a guns blazing approach.
You can set trip wires, plant mines, explosives, booby-trap fallen
enemies and conduct silent kills.
But where the game really comes to life is in the sniping, once
you have done all the hard work of getting into position you will
need to take into account factors such as breathing, distance (for
the drop of the round) and wind. Then if you are successful you
must be prepared to make your escape. The escape is as important as
the shot where all that careful planning and booby trapping will be
New to the game is the 'X-ray Kill Cam', this event occurs when
you make a particularly skilful shot, it triggers a slow motion
cinematic cut-scene of the bullet's journey from the point of
firing through its trajectory until it reaches its target where you
will see all the damage done including the devastating effects on
internal organs and shattering of bones. Some may find it
disturbing but it is also deeply satisfying.
The game does let itself down in certain areas; it lacks the
polish of an AAA title, especially with the third person
animations, and there is the occasional minor bug to deal with. The
AI can also be a bit inconsistent -- enemy snipers seem to be able
to detect you at distance and nail you with ease, whereas you can
march right past other soldiers without them ever suspecting you
were there. In the crouching stealth mode you will hardly make any
noise, but switching to standing will make you sound like a clumsy
Clydesdale complete with metal shod hooves - not what you want on
the cobbled streets of Berlin.
I played the game on the hardest setting and found the challenge
much more rewarding; with the checkpoints at regular intervals it
won't frustrate you to any major degree. A lot of thought has been
put into the game to add variety and make you think carefully how
to conduct each mission. You could easily play at the lower levels
and simply blitz your way through in a tank mode fashion but doing
so would cheapen the experience - this game is all about taking
your time and getting it right the first time.
I was always keen to have a look at Sniper Elite V2, but didn't
have high expectations, which is perhaps a little unfair as
Rebellion do have a lengthy list of decent titles under their belt.
With games like Aliens vs. Predator, Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6,
Shellshock 2, and NeverDead, they may not have any blockbusters on
their books but they are certainly not lacking in experience.
Sniper Elite V2 is not a perfect game, but performs a very
admirable job as a sniper simulation. When all the hard work is
done, and you settle into position to take that all important final
shot, it is genuinely satisfying when you take out a