Review - Sniper Elite V2
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 08:17
Pure sniper games are few and far between, even the sniper class in fps has a bad rep when it comes to multiplayer games but for everyone who loves to sneak around and pick off targets at your own pace there is always that sense of joy when a pure sniper game is announced. Back in 2005 Sniper Elite surfaced and now, in 2012 it has returned again in the form of Sniper Elite V2.
As mentioned the first Sniper Elite game came out in 2005 and I played through that game on the PS2 a total of three times, I simply loved it. I was eager to get my hands on the re-release of the classic game and see if it still would be able to hold my interest and keep me entertained enough to make me want to finish it at least one time, and it did.
The scenario is World War 2, picking up just about when the Germans are on a retreat at the end of WW2 in 1945. You play as Karl Fairburne which was the protagonist in the original game. As you start off the game you realize it is a third-person perspective, and you are quickly introduced to some of the many ways you can finish a map in the form of a newbie friendly tutorial, which literally holds your hand through the first mission. This is a great way to get old gamers back into the action while also letting newcomers get familiar with the concept in a slow paced tutorial.
The thing that Sniper Elite did so good was holding true to the concept of a pure sniper game, sure there are times when it is better to run and gun but with the ability to kill off enemies with silent attacks you always have the ability to go through most of the levels without being noticed. It do however take time and patience’s as some enemies needs to be lured away from places you need to reach, and this is where the stone comes in handy. You can throw stones to trick the enemy into moving towards the sound, giving you the option to sneak up and kill them or just sneak past them.
If you do take down an enemy you have the option to plant traps on the bodies, so if another soldier finds the body you left behind and goes over to check on it the trap will set off a detonation which kills off the unsuspecting soldier, also generating enough noise to pull any nearby soldier to the scene of the crime while you might be already miles ahead or at another roof top picking off the left over soldier one by one. You can also put up tripwires, or plant bombs which you can also make use of at a later time.
The true meat and bones of the game back in the days was the bullet cam, which is when you pull off a kill shot, the camera pans out and into slow motion, following the bullet as it leaves your rifle, travels through the environment until it hits the enemy with devastating impact. Also a nice feature is the X-Ray vision you get when the bullet enters the enemy, sort of like the finishing moves in Mortal Kombat, you get to painfully watch how the bullet passes through the enemy and takes out inner organs, takes off limps or just goes through a helmet, into the skull and out the other side, and if you are lucky, takes out the soldier standing next to the one you just picked up, which is possible by the way, speaking from experience. And you might think that this would get repetitive after a while but the truth is that it actually didn’t for me, might be a personal thing but it never wanted me to skip past it, and it only lasts for a few seconds depending on how far you are located away from the victim.
The difficulty level is as I remembered it, if you start off easy you will cakewalk your way through the game, which might be a good way for newcomers to get to know the weapons and the character before they move up the ranks in difficulty, because when you do the enemies are relentless. This pulls out the first negative aspect, because when you are spotted by an enemy, every enemy nearby will all of the sudden know your location and start hammering you with shots, making some situations on the higher difficulties almost impossible to survive without running for your life. However, if you get spotted you leave a silhouette of yourself which shows where the enemy spotted you and gives you the ability to know a little better where the spotter is located.
Also another little tidbit for those that are hung up on graphics, this game isn’t the most impressive looking game and to some gamers it might look a little outdated, but in my mind it served the purpose it needed and I never had a problem with the graphics, some might disagree but there are screenshots and gameplay videos you can watch to get a feel of how the game looks before you make up your mind about it.
The game takes about 7-9 hours, all depending on how you play the game and if you just follow the story, but there are also challenges for you to fulfill like collecting gold bars or shooting off bottles spread across the map. Replay value is there because of this and the fact that you can solve the mission in different ways each time gives the value a boost.
You can also take the game online in a few different modes, Campaign, which is co-op missions where you and a friend go through different parts together, Killy Tally, which is best described as horde mode in other shooter games where you and a friend take out hordes of enemies, Bombing Run, where you collect parts that are spread all over the map, to fix your transports and last but not least is Overwatch, which is where one player is the locator while the other player tries to plant bombs and other traps. Every online mode is two player co-op only, which in a sniper game isn’t really that bad and the lack of a Deathmatch mode or a versus mode is kind of self-explanatory, it would take forever with you and your friend both running for the best scoping spot and just sit around and wait.
Sniper Elite V2 is fan service in my eyes, pure and simple fan service. SE V2 gave me the same feeling, however I am aware that not everyone will share the same love that I do for this game simply because they didn’t experience the original game and except the best shooter game at the moment, however this may not be the best shooter, it sure as hell is the best sniper game out there bar none.