GAME NAME: Sniper Elite V2
PLATFORM(S): Xbox 360
RELEASE DATE(S): May 1st 2012
There are lots of games about war out there, but it’s not often you see an entire game focused on the role of just a sniper. There have been a few games that have tried to put you in the shoes of a sharpshooter before like the recent Sniper: Ghost Warrior, but they usually fail. The reasons for them failing, besides just being a terrible game like Ghost Warrior, is because it’s hard to convey the role of a sniper into a video game while keeping it fun to play. A sniper is never usually in the heart of the action, they are usually in a window somewhere far away from all the exciting stuff waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Sniper Elite V2 aims to get the right balance between playing as a sharpshooter and fun factor, and their accuracy is pretty spot on. Developers Rebellion’s latest Sniper offering is a remake of their 2005 release titled Sniper Elite: Berlin 1945.You fill the shoes of an Elite sniper named Karl Fairburne, who is put into the heart of Berlin towards the end of WW2. Karl is assigned the task of capturing a group of scientist working on a V2 rocket program, and shooting hundreds of German soldiers in the head along the way.
Where Sniper Elite V2 hits its mark is in its execution, literally. When you achieve a perfect kill-shot the camera will follow the bullet exiting the rifle as it sails towards the enemy, where an X-Ray view empasises the bullet shattering bones and ripping through other internal important mush as it makes its path through a soldier doing what bullets do best. The satisfaction from these kills is immense, and you will find yourself craving your next target. Your right bumper is used to stabilize your breathing which also slows down time while zooming in a bit to give you an extra edge to pull off that perfect shot.
This gameplay mechanic coupled with some decent looking visuals, stealth elements and some classic third person run and gun action help Sniper Elite V2 stand out from previous sniper games. Where it miss-fires is in the lack of polish. Animations can look a bit weird at times and the stealth kills from behind are notibly weird as it looks like you are giving an enemy some kind of awkward bear hug gone wrong. Controls are also not up to AAA quality. On the odd occasion you will find yourself running up to a car to take cover in the middle of a fire fight only to finger-tap-dance on the buttons as you struggle to stick to it, leaving you standing exposed and acting as a human bullet sponge.
Sniper Elite V2 feels like it is aiming in the right direction. Online co-op missions and the X-ray system are great additions but the series still needs a bit of work on the technical side before it truly earns its title as the elite sniper game. It certainly is worth a look and we will definitely keep one eye on this series going forward.