Game review by Jeremy Hardin
Game – Sniper Elite V2
Version – Wii U – $59.99
Rating – M for Mature
Obtained – Review Code courtesy of 505 Games
Gotta snipe ’em all!
Sniper Elite V2 is a year old port – found on XBox 360 and PS3 – that puts players in control of Karl Fairburne, an OSS officer and elite sniper who is assisting with an operation to recruit defected scientists over to America and keep them out of the hands of the Soviets. While on a mission to assassinate a scientist who has defected to the Soviets, Karl learns of a plot to launch V2 missiles filled with nerve gas on London. Seeing as how he is the hero type and all, it’s up to Officer Fairburne to stop this evil plot and take out as many Nazis as he possibly can.
Each mission has fairly simple objectives, mostly comprised of making your way to a certain point through stealth, shooting a specified target, or blowing something up. Each mission’s final goal is to escape, usually by backtracking the way you came. Considering that the title of the game uses the word sniper, one might expect a lot of high altitude positioning for optimal sniping, but where’s the challenge in that? Players will often times find themselves traversing linear paths, stuck in the corridors of streets, alleys, bridges, or tunnels as they fight their way to the objective. Along the way you’ll be able to make use of multistory buildings and hills to gain the advantage as you place your well timed shots into the bodies of one Nazi after another. The firefights are almost always tense and the results are always quite satisfying.
One of the coolest, if not most gruesome features of Sniper Elite V2 is the X-Ray Kill Cam. Whenever you fire off a well placed shot, a short cinematic plays showing your bullet as it travels the path in slow motion towards the target. Once the bullet hits them you are treated to an X-Ray perspective of their body as you watch the bullet destroy their organs and bones. It really is quite gruesome, but at the same time, it’s a nice, unique visual effect.
Every mission has a couple of optional objectives to complete, finding and destroying glass bottles (which can be difficult to find in such large maps) and finding hidden gold bars. Although these objectives are optional, I found it to be quite satisfying each time I sniped a bottle or grabbed a gold bar.
You won’t be able to rely on your sniper rifle alone, as there any many times when you’ll be engaged in close quarters combat. It’s at times like these when setting trip mines, using stealth, and having your smaller firearms at the ready will prove most valuable to your continued success. You will definitely find yourself cycling through weapons as you engage in multiple combat scenarios. One of my favorite guilty pleasures is shooting the grenade belt on an enemy and when the shot is just right, blowing up his belt and taking out the target as well as surrounding enemies. All the while, I’m enjoying the kill cam as it details the explosion.
At the end of each level you’re presented with some score information, which is recorded and then able to be viewed from the main menu screen. The information recorded is your overall score, highest scoring shot, bottles destroyed, gold bars collected, and then you can see how many scoped head-shots and explosive kills you pulled off and what your scoped shot accuracy was. I like being able to see my performance measured in this way. It’s just too bad I can’t share it with anyone.
As with most games these days, you can adjust the difficulty. The difference here being that you can adjust the difficulty in several ways. You can tweak tactical ballistics, which are affected by your breathing, the wind, and gravity. You can also adjust the enemy AI. So if you want to be challenged by more realistic tactical ballistics and really difficult enemies, go ahead you masochist. If you want nothing more than a cakewalk, you can do that too. The point is, you decide. I think it’s a great way to vary your play-through of the game, and it encourages you to replay the game more than once.
The main story will take somewhere between 7-10 hours to complete, depending on your skill level and the difficulty you have set. For the most part, the story is uninspiring and your character is dull and lifeless. Fortunately, the gameplay makes up for the lack of personality. Additionally, you can play in 3 maps of a mode called “Kill Tally”, which employs wave based combat. Unfortunately, there is no way to share your score. This is disappointing, but the mode itself is still a fun challenge to take on. A very glaring omission would be the lack of multiplayer, both local and online. Not to mention, there is no DLC. There really isn’t too much extra going for it, aside from the “Kill Tally” maps. This is quite disheartening considering this version was a year old port when released. At least the Wii U gamepad is put to decent use. The game supports off-tv play, a map on screen when playing on TV, quick weapon selection, and enemy detection (radar). Sadly, you cannot post your screens to Miiverse and it’s a disappointing exclusion. Either it was too mature to host the images on Miiverse (I doubt that) or it was a rushed port (I suspect this to be true). Whatever the reason, it would have been a great little addition to a very bare game.
Final Score: 6 out of 10
Sniper Elite V2, is at it’s core, a really fun, challenging third-person shooter game. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing through all the missions, sniping enemies and watching the X-Ray kill cam! There are two downsides to this version of the game. One is that in comparing it to other console versions, so much was left out, yet you’re still expected to pay the $60 price tag, which makes it very difficult to justify purchasing. The other downside is that you can’t post screenshots to Miiverse (why not?!) If you can get past the price and the lack of Miiverse integration, you’ll see what a fun and enjoyable game Sniper Elite V2 really is. Personally, I hope you guys give it a chance (even if you have to wait for a price drop.)
+X-Ray Kill Cam
+Decent amount of missions
-No local or online multiplayer
-Stripped down port
-Miiverse integration is missing (can’t post screenshots)