Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sniper Elite V2 Impressions

On Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 there is a demo available for Sniper Elite V2, it is a fairly short demo that takes you through only one level in the game, but it gives you a full idea of how the game handles and how the singleplayer campaign will work itself out. Rebellion Developments made the original Sniper Elite back in 2005, a game that I tried and didn't find to be appetizing, like many others as it earned decent reviews (60-80%), but with V2 they are looking to remake the game into something fantastic, something that casual players and hardcore gamers can each respectively enjoy. They seem to have made sniping fun again. I haven't played any sniper centric shooters in quite some time, nor I have ever played any that are based in WWII and I thought were well done, so take the forthcoming impressions as those coming from someone who is not normally a fan of this type of game. Read on for full impressions and some general information on the game, plus plenty of gameplay.

As someone who hasn't played any decent games like this in a very long time I must say that Sniper Elite V2 completely surprised me. I was expecting something mediocre, something that would have some redeeming qualities, but unlikely to make me want to throw $50 at it, but my pessimistic expectations were crushed by the demo. It is well crafted game with many options and exciting gameplay. Like I previously said the demo is small, less than 1 GB, and it only gives you one level to run through, but it does give you a full breadth of the difficulty options. One of the most interesting and pleasant surprises for me was the option to customize the difficulty, on top of the three preset difficulties that were basically easy, medium, hard.


With the custom difficulty option you could set the A.I. difficulty, sniping difficulty and the many assist options. So if you are a casual player and you want to feel like the best sniper in the world, but still be challenged a little, you can crank up the enemy A.I., but make sniping incredibly easy. On the other hand, if you are a masochist, you can crank up the enemy A.I. to the max, make it so that when you are sniping bullet drop and wind must be accounted for and then you can turn off all the assists. The assists that I keep refer to are user friendly options that let you what direction enemies are shooting at you from and a couple other helpful little UI indicators.

On top of having a sniper rifle you also have a silenced pistol and a secondary gun, like a sub machine gun, plus you have plenty of inventory items. The inventory items they let you play with in the demo are land mines, grenades, trip mines and rocks. Yes, you can throw rocks, but it has a purpose. Got one nazi soldier in front of you looking your direction? Well just throw a rock behind him and create some noise, then you can quietly take him with the silenced pistol. If you make noise, like with any other gun, the A.I. responds rather well. I played through the demo on the medium option and the A.I. acted intelligently. They used tactics, like taking cover, suppressing fire with one or two units while the rest move up and spreading themselves out. They also figured out where you shot from very quickly, making staying in one spot against a bunch of enemies a bad idea. The only disappointing thing I saw with A.I. in the demo was how I shot from a building at one point, high up from a window, and instead of raiding the building they merely focused on firing at me instead. They still moved around and took up different positions to suppress me, but it would have made a little bit of sense to send one or two infantry in after me. I guess I was just mad I didn't get to hear my tripwire go off that I put in the hall behind me.


All this talk and I haven't even talked about sniping, how senseless. Sniping is very satisfying, can I just say that, suppose not. First off, it's generally a good idea to mark enemies with binoculars, just merely so you can keep track of them if you mess up and they come charging up to your doorstep. Then you generally would want to take some cover, behind a wall, window, whatever, as long as you are pretty far away. When you focus on enemies they are rather far away and you can zoom in a little, but only if you are heart rate is down and you can focus. If enemies are firing are you, or you just sprinted, then you have to accept long distance sniping. Focusing also gives you an indicator of where to shoot, if you focus long enough, and with that you make your first shot against a group of enemies a fantastic one. My favorite was shooting an enemy in the head from very far away. Often when you hit enemies with a bullet it will go into a slow mo of your shot as it flies through the air and you can watch it tear through an enemy soldier. If you hit a vital organ it will show the bullet ripping through that organ, it's an interesting system, but it's really satisfying and hopefully it remains satisfying after an extended period of time.

Before I go into some final details about the game let's take a look at the game in action, it is quite lovely in action. This is a lovely gameplay showing off gameplay of one of the pre-order bonuses, a special level called Hunt Hilter.


In that video the biggest threat to the player was riflemen/snipers, while the smg infantry were so far away that it didn't really matter. In the demo you are actually moving through a European city, through buildings and street, so it's fairly easy to get killed. I really appreciate that the game doesn't feel "light", there is no twenty shots into an enemy and he dies, or magical shields, if you shoot someone 1-3 times they are dead, if you get shot a little bit more than that you are dead. It's challenging and of course customizable, like I previously talked about, but most importantly it's very fun. The game also looks great. Animations are smooth and the physics based system is well done. There are some low scale textures, but the maps are pretty open and impressive. 

Lastly, some details on what the full game entails. There will be a fairly long singleplayer campaign, eleven missions in total, plus a couple of multiplayer modes. One of the multiplayer modes is a co-op mode called Overwatch, in which one person spots while the other snipes. The spotter can fight too, he just don't get a sniper rifle. There looks to be some basic versus modes as well, like the recently announced 6vs6 team deathmatch for PC, but they haven't revealed if there are competitive modes for the console versions just yet. Check out some co-op multiplayer in action, by Gamesradar.

The game comes out on May 1st on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 for $50. The demo is currently available on PS3 and Xbox 360, while the PC version will be available sometime this month, find out more on that here. *PC demo just came out on Steam today on 4/19, check out the Steam Page below. If you are interested at all in sniping games or even just World War 2 games then take a look at Sniper Elite V2 and give it a try, it may just surprise you. Thanks for reading and check out the links below for more info. 
Main Website:
Steam Page:

*Uploaded my own gameplay from the Xbox 360 demo.

Want to see more gameplay videos? Check out this forum page for a ton of videos of all kinds. 
Sniper Elite V2 Forum:

-Written by Sean Cargle


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