Sniper Elite V2 – A Preview Build and a Sniper Rifle
I’m tempted to tell all of you guys that this game is amazing and to go and buy it simply because they let me shoot two sniper rifles. ‘Tempted’ being the operative word there, I’d never do that to anyone, despite how awesomely cool shooting a sniper rifle is.
GodisaGeek.com was invited to check out the new Sniper Elite V2 game heading our way. A reboot of Sniper Elite, which was released five years ago, the game steps up to the plate once again to fill the shoes of making you feel like a marksman ready to blow heads off like never before.
Quickly nabbing myself the PC version of the game (There was only one PC version, muahaha), I jumped straight into the action. Sniper Elite, for those who don’t know, centers around playing Karl Fairburne, an American agent who is deployed in the Battle of Berlin, during the final days of World War II. The story will have you uncovering the operations behind the Germans use of the V2 bombs.
Of course, the game will be loved by 90% of the gaming community for one good reason; you get to kill hoards of Nazi’s. Not, zombies, unfortunately, which has recently took the world by storm, but waves upon waves of Nazi’s nonetheless.
Put your zombie woes aside, dear friend, for Sniper Elite V2 offers a much more satisfying feature for you. Instead of merely planting bullets into the skulls at long distance, pull off a good enough shot, and your camera will begin to follow the bullet, and show you a gloriously graphic mini cut scene as your bullet slices through the enemy, complete with X-Ray vision of bones breaking and skulls smashing; and yes, you can use this to earn yourself a most coveted X-Ray shot to the balls.
Whilst at first I thought this would be gimmicky, it had a very Fallout 3 feels to it, when using the V.A.T.S system. Both had me truly believing I would quickly become cynical of the gory extra, yet the more I was exposed to it, the more I wanted.
X-Ray ball shooting aside, the game plays incredibly well. Acting as a low-tech shooter, there aren’t any fancy gadgets and tools that are shortcuts on every button. You have a range of tools to help you in your job, such as tripwire bombs and rocks to distract enemies, but essentially, it’s you and your weapon, which is beautiful.
Sniper Elite V2 really captures the feel of a lone sniper. You’re on your own in this battlefield against many-an-enemy, and if you don’t go about it in a stealthy manner, you are going to die. You’re given an array of secondary weapons, but using them to execute the run’n’gun technique will quickly have you lying in a pool of your own blood.
While that straight pathway may be tempting to run down with guns blazing, each level will provide you with a multitude of ways to sneak around the outskirts and pick your enemies off one by one. Using your binoculars to scout enemies and tag them will keep you alive, but more often than not you’ll miss a large bunch of soldiers sitting in a cafe that will quickly run to aid their friends, or that sniper sitting in the church, hidden by smoke.
The game wasn’t completely great, however, the difficulty curve was horrendously steep, allowing me to storm through the first level, yet find myself struggling to stay alive in the next and, while I didn’t follow the level progression completely, I only missed out two levels in between. Either way, death wasn’t something I was alien to, and at some parts I saw my own dead body more than my enemies.
The level design was stunning, with each turn unveiling a new building, or piece of architecture that stunned, including an incredible church, burning to the ground, and crumbling around you, giving an eerie feeling from the destroyed bell tower to the shattered stained glass windows.
The controls are where things started to get annoying for me. Playing on ‘Cadet’ (beginner), as I was completely new to the game, I had need not worry about the wind, or trajectory paths. It was mainly aim and pull the trigger, yet still some of my blatantly obvious shots didn’t hit their mark. Instead, my target would merely act as if they had heard an unflattering noise before resuming their patrol.
In some instances I sunk 3 or 4 bullets into the chest of my enemy for him to just stand there, as if absolutely nothing had happened, before poking my head out of my hiding place to have him sink a surprisingly accurate round from a machine gun into my now lifeless corpse. On top of that, controlling Karl was a bit of a pain, with him jumping from buildings, running straight into enemies, or automatically coming out of crouch mode, so every bugger in the vicinity knew exactly where I was.
While this could probably be put down to bad controlling by yours truly, a lot of it left me getting angry, as I was sure I was doing the right things. The game wasn’t a final version and bugs may still have been present within the controls, but it definitely irked me enough to mention.
That being said, the majority of the time I had with the game was a beautiful experience, one that really did leave me wanting more. If you’re not that great at sniping, and usually reach for the heavy machine gun in other games, don’t worry (shhh, so do I!), Sniper Elite created a fantastic platform on which every level of player can enter. Just as long as it doesn’t scare off the more beginner players with dodgy, awkward controls.