OXCGN’s Sniper Elite V2 Review
A Ball-Busting Good Time
by Nicholas Laborde
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
While I personally had no problem with the setting, many gamers that were active in that era will recall that there was a massive market infestation of them, until Modern Warfare proved that we could move on, and successfully, too.
Sniper Elite V2 pays no attention to this, and is the sequel/remake to its fairly well-esteemed predecessor Sniper Elite.
Put me within one mile of Adolf Hitler
Set during the Battle of Berlin (April to May 1945), an American Office of Strategic Services (predecessor to the CIA) officer named Karl Fairburne has but one task: learn about, capture and/or eliminate all information and personnel related to the German V-2 Rocket program.
Throughout the game’s varied environments, players will stop armored convoys, infiltrate creepy Nazi bases, and prevent the utter annihilation of Europe by the devastating V-2 rocket.
It’s a story that will draw your attention, but it does fall into the typical checklist of World War Two media:
- Does it involve America? Check.
- Does it glorify America? Yep.
- Are the Nazis evil? Of course!
- Does America’s intervention save the world from tyranny? You’re damn right! [Editor: rolls eyeballs and sighs]
Regardless of the cliches, the narrative is just enough to draw in players and keep them interested.
As Fairburne, players will creep through dangerous combat zones, avoid patrols, distract guards and stick to the shadows as they get in position to acquire intel or take out targets.
As for the sniping itself, it’s solid. Bullet drop does make an appearance, and it causes players to have to carefully place their shots and take their time in doing so, else it can lead to their quick demise. It only takes a small burst of fire for Fairburne to be KIA.
By tapping a button, time can be slowed down and the scope becomes more zoomed in as Fairburne slows his heart rate to lock in his kill.
If there’s one aspect of Sniper Elite V2 that’s absolutely flawless, it’s that of the sniping itself.
Rebellion perfectly executed what it means to be a sniper: bullet drop, wind resistance, heartbeat and so much more combine to make this the cream of the sniping crop.
Particularly handy are the tripwire claymores, which are excellent to use at the base of a building if you’re going to be making the big kill and company is to be expected.
The most unique aspect of Sniper Elite V2 is that of the kill cam. Similar to games such as Max Payne, when you eliminate a target, the game goes into slow motion and follows the bullet as it travels from the barrel of your rifle into the body of the poor Nazi on the receiving end.
Most interesting is the sort of “x-ray” effect that takes place when the bullet connects. As soon as it enters the body, the camera shows a cutaway image of the inner anatomy, and specifically where the bullet impacts and what it affects.
I found myself laughing when shooting poor saps in the crotch… I won’t say more.
From the get-go, every mission of the campaign is available for online coop with up to one other player. Having an additional person with you not only increases the replay value and fun factor, but the overall intensity.
Along with this, three other modes are available: Kill Tally, Bombing Run and Overwatch.
Kill Tally is the Horde-esque mode of the game, which involves both players tallying up as many kills as they can across waves of increasingly difficult (see: angry) Nazis.
Bombing Run has the players scampering across a battlefield acquiring pieces of a vehicle, which must be assembled in order to escape.
Finally, Overwatch is the true bread and butter of Sniper Elite V2: one player moves about the map completing objectives, whilst the other covers him from a distance.
It all comes together to present a great package that you’ll want to play with a close friend.
The campaign, while it does have its shortfalls, is a satisfying, entertaining, and overall enjoyable World War Two excursion.
Cooperative play breathes a tremendous amount of life into the title, and adds for some of the most interesting cooperative scenarios I’ve seen in years. It’s reminiscent of one of the best stealth games ever created, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
Honestly, you should buy this game just for the ability to destroy Nazi testicles in vivid detail.