Life of a sniper is not all guns and glory as most modern shooters would go to show you and there’s more to it than picking a ranged weapon, crouching and pulling the trigger at unsuspecting soldiers.
Following up on the original that was released at the end of the PS2/Xbox era, Sniper Elite V2 puts you in the combat boots of an OSS agent thrown in to WW2 Berlin in an attempt. to rescue or assassinate scientists working in the rocket research program. It’s a simulation that has you planning your every move, keeping your head as low as possible to avoid emnemy gun fire and eye sight. Though Slow paced at times, it delivers on the experience of a sniper and contains stand out moments that will have you pat your self in pride at the engineered blood shed you just caused.
Unfortunately, Where it flourishes in mechanics, it suffers for in graphics and presentation. From a distance, war torn Berlin looks as brown and beige as you’d expect it to be. Up close, the textures are muddy, character models lack detail and the environment is littered with sprites that awkwardly force you to side-step, pulling you out of the illusion the game tries hard to put you in. I’m not talking about a wall of sand bags here, but chairs, debris and doors that do not open. In this day and age, the least I would expect in such a simulator is destructible environments and the freedom to navigate and traverse a level.
Gameplay receives a couple of blows as well with excessively linear level design. Being smart does not pay off, and I found myself back tracking multiple times in order to satisfy a solitary pre-determined path. Additionaly, I went through the first few missions, which translate to about 5 hours of play, and never put any of the grenades to use. Lobbing them is inaccurate, clunky and do little to satisfy your fire-in-a-hole approach. There are also more weapons thrown around for you than you’d need and with no obvious differences between them, I was exclusively going for the guns that had more ammo.
Fully equiped or not, however, your best shot in any conflict is your trusty sniper rifle, and that’s where the game ultimately lies. Depending on your desired difficulty setting, you have to pay attention to wind speed, ballistics and your heart rate as the more you run, the less you will be able to hold your breath and focus your shot.
If you favor sitting in one place, scanning the area for that enemy sniper who seems to be shooting at you everytime you step out of cover, I highly recommend this game to you. Regardless of graphical hitches and some odd game decisions, nothing equates the joy of taking aim and delivering a well deserved head-shot.