When I saw the game in stores I barely noticed it. Another war game poorly optimized with a droll plot and weak gameplay. Well it does have its flaws, some massive even. But it’s always the attention to detail I appreciate. And it doesn’t matter if the graphics suck, or there’s a stupid plot, if it’s fun to play it’s fun to play.
Sniper Elite V2 does not stand for version 2.0, but in actuality, refers to the V2 rocket program ran by the Germans in an attempt to reverse the results of the war. The whole plot so far is to kill off the big wigs behind the whole thing, and when in the thick of playing, it doesn’t matter. The plot can be thrown out the window, go to a bunch of authentic German places and try to get headshots. Basically the whole game is just a really fun sniping simulator. I can’t say much about the graphics, other than the game is poorly optimized, and falsely advertised. Many websites state that the minimum requirements allow a 256MB card, but even with a 512MB there’s a lot of lag on the lowest settings possible.
The gameplay sticks to realism while also allowing for outrageous moments. This is underlined by the fact that a pre-order bonus included is the chance to shoot Adolf Hitler in the face. The mechanics of this game are pretty nifty, and while I haven’t played a lot of sniping games, I’ve played hundreds of FPS’s and I’ve never seen scope glint implemented before. The game also
takes a page from the new Mortal Kombat and uses an X-ray cam, something I wish was included in every game ever. For those of you who hate fun and awesome views of death, there’s an option to increase, decrease, or completely turn off the slow-mo kill cam, which follows the bullet from your gun to the target. Another mechanic I was thoroughly impressed by was that once you hit an enemy, the bullet will go though his body, and you can see the bullet has been flattened on the tip and banged around a bit. If some unlucky nazi happened to be standing behind your target, the bullet has the ability to hit him too. Get off an incapacitation shot and other soldiers will try to carry them off the battlefield. Laughably noble. They won’t get far, and just paint targets on their back, but it’s another interesting detail.
You can also bounce rounds off the ground up into an enemies body, which is fun for trick shots and a valid strategy if you can’t get a clean shot off otherwise. You may play the game any way you want, be it a super stealthy sniper assassin, or if you’re like me, find a nice bit of cover and headshot the entire Third Reich infantry. Although you can’t really run and gun it, you have very limited ammo for anything besides your sniper rifle of choice and the submachine guns are far from accurate. You are also equipped with a variety of explosive sub weapons. You have trip mines to watch your back and block pathways, landmines to do the same, and dynamite to place on the ground to shoot later. There are also F1 and Stalingrad grenades and rocks. Yep, toss a rock to lure those crafty Germans into a clean shot or landmine.
The game is highly violent and gory thanks to the kill cam and X-ray mechanics, so if you’re young or haven’t the stomach for it I suggest you skip this one, what with all the shattering of bones and all sorts of balls. In the end it’s the details that matter, with fun mechanics, this game is going to forever sit on my shelf. I love it despite the crap story, it’s ludicrous fun. So if you’re a fan of shooters hurry up and grab this one, it’s special.