Sniper Elite V2 Review: “more than just another shooter”

Filed under Game Reviews, Reviews

More than just another shooter game, Sniper Elite V2 focuses on stealth and technical ability; appealing to the calm, cool, cold and collected killer that exists within us all. The run and gun tactics that work so well in most other shooters will not serve you here. Much like in a real war situation, the man that runs in with all guns blazing is not going to be part of the battle for very long. That’s not to say that you can’t go running round and blasting with your SMG from time to time. But the game focuses on sniping; the clue is in the title.

Sniper Elite V2 is set towards the end of the Second World War. You are on a mission to take out or disable the scientists and important personnel before they can complete the V2 rocket. Arguably this is not the most original storyline ever devised, but WW2 has had so many games around almost every aspect, there is bound to be a bit of repetition. In honesty the storyline is quite unnecessary. It seems that the story behind the game was just tacked on because games has to have a storyline. Arguably the story could have been switched to any of the other WW2 clichés without it making much difference.

Graphically the game is impressive. There is a definite war torn feel to the locations; many dark colours with many areas for the player to hide, having said that the graphics appear a bit dated. Character models do not have the definition that you find in similar titles. There are elements of physics in game, bodies and limbs fly around convincingly. But in areas the physics suffer, huge explosions are unable to cause damage to buildings.

The sounds are not as good as they could be but adds to the war torn feel. And there is a lot of good use made from the sound (in particular areas for example, you have to time your shots to be at the same time as explosions to avoid blowing your cover). In general I found that the sounds seemed a little infuriating, particularly in the running sounds. I can accept that running is noisier than crawling, but in the real world there is no way that a person would have been given such a stealthy mission with clumsy fat feet.

The playability and fun factor of sniper elite v2 are where the real work has been put in and it shows. A new feature for V2 is the ‘x-ray kill cam’, which expands on the kill cam of the previous game by showing a Mortal Kombat style x-ray shot of your victim. You get to see your bullet entering through the ribcage, tearing through the lungs and exiting out the back with realistic gore and splatter. You can shoot a soldier’s grenades on his belt and see the pieces of him flying away.

The drawback of the game though, which put me off in the end, was in the ability of the AI. I read an article once that described how artificial intelligence needs to be tempered. There is little fallibility of the enemies. You could move an inch out of cover and enemies 300 metres away will immediately start shooting. Enemies instinctively know exactly where you are after you fire the first shot. That aside, Sniper Elite V2 is a fantastic game. If you enjoy sitting in cover and taking out your enemy from a massive distance then this is for you. You could spend an absolute age timing the perfect shot. In the end, you know that it was worth it.

– mushroom

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