The year is 1945, and you are an American sniper based in Berlin during the second world war. Your mission, assassinate scientists who are involved with working in the German V-2 rocket programme.
Spread across wartorn cities rife with military presence, and underground military missile bases, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered takes players to the heart of the battle. Players will have to make their way through a bombed-out city, through half standing buildings and underground passages. Each level grants players a unique opportunity in sniping positions and setting up traps alongside stealth kills. Dare I say, the art of sniping has never been this satisfying or rewarding.
The right gear
Primarily, your main weapon throughout the game is a rifle equipped with a far-sighted scope. Since you are a sniper this is to be expected. However, there will be many situations throughout your missions where a rifle just won’t cut it, especially at close range when you need something a little faster. Thankfully, players will also have access to other types of guns. Sub-machine guns are perfect for quick succession shots in close quarters, especially if there are multiple enemies that need to be dispatched. Sadly, sub-machine guns also have horrible aim so it’s best to avoid close quarter combat when spotted by enemy troops. And then there are pistols. Which are slower than the sub-machine guns but they do have an added advantage as sometimes you’ll have a silencer equipped, allowing you to pull off stealth kills. And since the game promotes a stealth approach this is perfect. What’s more is that once you’ve pulled off a stealth kill, you’re able to pick up your victim and carry them to a different position. Either hiding the body or leaving it out in a more open space to lure more soldiers in and distracting them.
Guns aren’t the only weapons in your artillery though. You’ll also have access to an assortment of explosives including grenades, land mines, dynamite and trip wire explosives. The trip wire explosives are by far the most fun from all the explosives. Set up a trip wire across a doorway, lure the enemy towards the door by throwing a rock to catch their attention and then take cover. Alternatively, the trip wire can also be used as a backup trap when you’re trying to get away when pursued.
I’ve played many shooters in my lifetime, including competitive shooters. And admittedly the position or role I usually favour is the sniper role. Sadly, the sniper usually only gets off one or two shots if you’re lucky before being discovered. However, in Sniper Elite there are elements that assist in your sniping enjoyment and in my opinion make it a much more enjoyable experience. For instance, your character is able to take on three shooting positions. Standing, crouching and an all-out flat position, lying on the ground. Each position not only helps your character in steadying their shot but also grants you more cover to remain hidden. Your character also has the ability to hold their breath just before taking a shot, for a limited time. This also produces a red reticle to help assist the player in pinpointing the impact point on the target. Everything plays a role and can affect your shot. Not just your breath and stance but also the velocity of the wind. So, it’s best to raise your scope’s mid-point or bull’s eye higher than the point you intend on shooting to accommodate for the wind and distance falloff. What’s more is that during certain missions out in the open, the sound of airplanes flying over and dropping missiles will mask your shot, so you’ll be able to pick off enemies one at a time.
An intriguing element (and perhaps disturbing to sensitive players) is the kill cam. Upon a successful kill shot the game switches to an action camera that follows the bullet’s exit from your rifle and follows it throughout the path that the bullet takes. This includes the bullet’s travel through an open window across a street and into the target. The disturbing or intriguing bit is the impact. Upon impact with the target, the visuals switch to an x-ray mode showing the player not only the entry into the target’s body, but also the damage it causes to the skull and other bones, as well as the organs it punctures. This action camera also takes effect upon successful shots on a target’s belt carrying explosives, or on vehicles that are hit at their fuel tanks. Thankfully if this isn’t a feature for you, you’ll be able to turn it off from the options menu.
Upon impact with the target, the visuals switch to an x-ray mode showing the player not only the entry into the target’s body, but also the damage it causes to the skull and other bones, as well as the organs it punctures.
All in all, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is incredibly fun, pass the gore in the kill cam if that’s not for you. The remastered version includes all content that was released after the original game’s launch, a new photo mode and up to 16 players online with eight on the Nintendo Switch. And of course, better-looking graphics. Acquiring a one-shot kill or stealth kill is super satisfying. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for close quarters combat. Over and over again when discovered I found myself too slow to get away without setting up a trap prior to cover my escape. And the close quarter weapons just don’t function as well or retain high capacity magazines to do much. So, you’ll constantly be out of bullets. You are able to search enemy bodies, but more often than not, they only possess ammunition for other guns. The pistols also fire off one shot at a time so when taking on multiple targets, this poses a problem.
Perhaps it is a bit biased to complain about something like this in a game that primarily focuses on sniping, however, it does, and you’ll often become frustrated at this because every time you make a tiny mistake, you’ll find yourself starting all over again. Sniper Elite V2 Remastered does justice to many shooters out there in terms of sniping, and tactical espionage. Especially since you’re restricted to weapons from the second world war. But if you’re looking for more than that, especially a ‘guns blazing’ kind of game-play style, it may not be for you.