Sniper Elite V2 Review
The game has also made headlines for it’s gory “X-Ray Kill Cam,” which depicts the bullet as it passes through an enemy’s internal organs. Not caring for this level of pornographic violence, I was happy to see that it could be adjusted in the options menu, and I opted for the lowest setting, which only triggered slow-motion and X-Ray gore for certain special kills: German rocket scientists and enemy armored vehicles (dispatched by firing a bullet at the caps on their fuel tanks).
Not being an experienced sniper, I struggled to adapt myself to the chaotic influence of bullet drop and wind direction — many successful shots were the result of trial-and-error. Still, it was a nice contrast to the unrealistic sniping in other shooter games, and even the introduction of a triggerable “bullet time” function didn’t spoil the fun. Waiting for two enemies to line up and dispatching them with a single bullet was particularly satisfying.
The game keeps careful track of the distance of your shots, assigning each a point value. In fact, everything you do in the game is scored and tabulated, from a silenced-pistol headshot to a successful land mine trap. This arcade-style overlay felt more at home in multiplayer, and while it may be intended to provide replay value, it was a jarring contrast to the seriousness of the subject matter.
Also jarring was the extreme accuracy of the enemies in the game, who can pick you off from seemingly any distance. This is particularly true of enemy snipers, who need only two shots to put you down. Though this challenge isn’t a problem in and of itself, it’s toxic in combination with the game’s frustrating checkpoint save system. One mistake — alerting a guard in a stealth sequence, or not noticing a hidden sniper in the distance — can require repeating long sections of content. Frequently, the experience of Sniper Elite V2 is doing the same thing over and over until you get it right.
Competitive multiplayer is similarly unforgiving. Players wait patiently in cover, scanning the environments obsessively in the hopes of catching someone in the open. If a target appears, careful aim and calm under pressure are the keys to success. It’s not a model that will appeal to everyone, but I can imagine enthusiastic snipers getting hooked. The server browser works well, if a little bit slowly. Cooperative multiplayer is also available, although I didn’t manage to find a partner using the automated matchmaking during the time I was reviewing the game.
The mulitplayer is indicative of the game in general. If you have a particularly affinity for sniping people from afar, Snipter Elite V2 probably a good buy — if not, you’re left with a decent if forgettable World War II game without a lot of real ambition. Playing on the highest difficulty, it will provide around 15 hours of content — long for a shooter these days, although, again, much of that time will be spent repeating content. Rebellion deserves credit for delivering a solid experience, but censure for the game’s conspicuous flaws.
- Realistic sniping is well-designed
- Striking, varied environments
- Made WWII feel fun and almost fresh
- Underdeveloped story
- Bad voice acting
- Frustrating checkpoint saves
- Repetitive gameplay
Final Score: 60/100