Sniper Elite V2 is a new first person shooter set during World War 2.We applied our camo face paint to get stuck into the game review.
Snipers are awesome. The ability to strike from the shadows, undetected, and deliver a single bullet through the skull of an unsuspecting enemy is about as romantic as warfare gets. Sniper Elite V2 puts you behind the rifle of a deadly convert sniper near the end of World War 2 and ensures that you use every bit of his talent in order to survive.
The story is a huge disappointment for SEV2. The game takes place in one of the most interesting and story driven era’s in the last 100 years and yet struggles to thread together a decent story. Each mission feels like a list of things that you need to complete in order to get another chance to shoot more Nazi’s (which is not a bad thing I guess). In a genre that is full of WW2 shooters this game really needed a decent story to make an impact.
While the missions and locations vary quite a lot, the game is extremely linear with little to no options to explore on your own and find a better vantage point. I was often frustrated that I could not enter a random building and get onto the roof to get a better angle on my targets. Instead you are forced down specific streets and made to take cover behind rubble and old cars. Although you get plenty opportunities to get up high, seeing enemy snipers on top of building or in well positioned places when I was on the street, made me a bit jealous.
I was surprised by the excellent graphics in SEV2. Sure its not a Crysis or Far Cry, but it does a great job of providing detailed landscapes that add a distinct atmosphere to the game. The textures and lighting are all very good. One of the main visual features of the game is the gruesome impact engine. When you make a kill the camera follows the bullet straight through its target, showing the bones and internal organs breaking as it passes through. This x-ray style kill cam provides some satisfaction when lining up a tricky shot and definitely ups the maturity rating of the game (you do however have the option of turning it off).
The kill cam provides an unprecedented sense of power as you rain down fury from your hidden perch, which makes the game a lot of fun. You get a great sense of satisfaction when you catch the glint of an enemy sniper’s weapon from high up in a building and manage to put a bullet through his eye, in glorious detail, before he has even had the chance to reload.
The core aspect of the game is sniping (as indicated in the game’s title) and the game does a pretty good job at it. The longer you stay still and slow your heart rate the steadier your aim. When your heart rate is below a certain level you can empty your lungs in order to get a perfect shot. However this is not particularly challenging which makes it quite easy to pop off enemies from a distance. I would have liked to see more emphasis on wind direction and distance effects on moving targets, things which a real sniper would struggle with. The AI doesn’t help this aspect by being extremely dumb and often hovering around in the open while you pick them off one by one.
There is the inclusion of a basic achievement system rewarding you with points for hitting moving enemies, killing two enemies with one shot etc which is great, but again could have been taken to the next level when coupled with the x-ray kill cam. Shooting someones throat out from 200 yards away feels like it should have some form of reward attached to it?