REVIEW: Sniper Elite V2 Remastered (Switch)

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Sniper Elite V2

In the grand scheme of war, the smallest thing can make a difference. A new weapon, the person wielding that weapon, weather conditions, troops numbers and terrain all have a play in how a battle will transpire. In the case of Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, and the backdrop of World War II, the biggest deciding factor is a bullet, one bullet can change everything.

Sniper Elite V2 Remastered by UK-based Rebellion Studios, is a remaster of the 2012 classic stealth-action sniping combat game, Sniper Elite V2. Combining action with stealth, and featuring the cinematic flair of WWII Hollywood epics, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is a very welcome return of one of the most distinct wartime experiences in video games. It features a plethora of levels and unendingly satisfying takedowns of German forces.

The year is 1945, and the city of Berlin is burning. After many years of fighting, from Dunkirk to the Atlantic Ocean to the beaches of Normandy, the once seemingly invincible Nazi army is on its knees. The Lion’s Den, Berlin Germany, lies in a with hellscape of smoke, fire, and rubble. With constant rocket fire and aerial bombardment from Soviet, U.S, and Allied Forces, the Germans are on the verge of surrender.  In desperation, the German turn to their wonder weapons, and among them is widely regarded as the most infamous in history: the V2 rocket. The world’s first true smart weapon, the V2 was a missile that could be programmed to launch track and crush targets on the ground. Well over 3,000 rockets were fired in short succession, destroying targets as far away as London.  Their launch positions were seized following the beach landings in Normandy in June of 1944, but the masterminds and scientists behind the V2 went into hiding.

Now, with Berlin burning, the remaining scientists and leaders behind the V2 program are out of time. In the endless sea of rubble and destruction, they attempt to flee with either the Americans, the Soviets, or the countries in between, all in an effort to avoid international trial and punishment. As Army Sniper and OSS agent Karl Fairburne,  your objective is to eliminate any future threats to the United States and hunt down the members responsible for the V2 missile weapons program.

Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is a stealth-action sniping action game that puts players within the crumbling concrete walls of Berlin. Players will sneak about the ruins, searching bombed-out homes and roadways in pursuit of their targets. While the Nazi Army is on the verge of defeat, players will have to rely solely on their stealth mechanics, and of course, their skill with a sniper rifle. Using the sniper rifle is the biggest focus of the game. Unlike most shooter, sniping isn’t deduced to shooting a target from afar with a laser-focused shot. On the contrary, learning and ling up your shot is an important part of the gameplay. When focusing on a distant target, players will need to pay attention to attributes such as gravity, the wind, movement, the attributes of the rifle they are using, and even loud sounds, such as bombs falling, to mask their sounds and make the best possible shot.

When the time is right, they may take their shot. If their shot is done correctly, the game will enter slow-motion and an incredibly detailed cinematic camera will be shown, showing the discharge of their bullet straight to their target. Sniper Elite V2 Remastered will then go into a Mortal Kombat-like X-Ray camera, in which players will witness the gruesome and wince-inducing carnage of their bullet entering the target and wreaking havoc.

Points will be made, depending on distance and where the bullet lands. Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is scary accurate on its realism and anatomy, and if players are really skilled, players can eliminate a Nazi soldier by shooting them in the groin region. The X-Ray camera will show that as well.  Players will also fight vehicles, shooting at fuel tanks to detonate and destroy targets. Players will also engage in close combat, using stealth, traps, and submachine guns to quickly dispatch enemies. As each level is wildly different, players will have to adapt, think, and rely on their skills to complete their mission.

Sniper Elite V2 was a game that was fantastic to play back in the Summer of 2012, and revisiting it with Sniper Elite V2 Remastered has been better than ever. Perhaps, it’s even stronger than ever as the game’s distinctive gameplay makes a sharp impression in today’s gaming lineup, often consisting of neon-soaked futurism or decaying dystopia. Playing this game again has provided a refreshing gameplay experience. For me, it was rather nostalgic, learning the tricks that I employed during the course of the game my first time playing it. Sniper Elite V2 Remastered provides a synergy in which it not only looks great and sounds great, but plays great as well. Sneaking across a ruined battlefield, feeling the end of a terrible regime and firing the very last bullets of World War II provides a sense of desperation and finality.

At the same time, it brings a sense of secret ambition. In the context of Sniper Elite V2 Remastered and the historical period it takes place in, there is a sense of irony and an agent managing that irony. World War II is ending, but the Cold War is beginning. A great conflict that took the lives of millions of people is coming to a close, but the weapons for the next war are being built. The V2 rocket has science that will eventually take humans to the moon, but also be used to build nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. It’s an interesting world in the context of World War II video games, which often put players in a boots-on-the-ground moment within the fire and fury of the War’s biggest battles.

Sniper Elite V2 Remastered provides immensely satisfying and rewarding combat taking pages from movies such as Enemy At The Gates, Saving Private Ryan, and Inglorious Basterds. Lining up a remarkable shot is surprisingly streamlined, making each successful takedown of a target all the more rewarding and satisfying. The X-Ray camera is absolutely brutal to observe, with bones being broken, and the tearing of muscle and tissue being shown in painful detail.

Being able to use the environment, such as the gas canister of a truck, is tremendously satisfying. If players are skilled enough, they may even snipe a holstered steel grenade strapped to the belt of an unsuspecting soldier, destroying the target and anyone else in range. Even when detected,  Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is thrilling! Gunning down enemies in rapid succession and seeing them fall for traps you made is quite fulfilling.

Sniper Elite V2

The variety of weapons and characters leaves plenty of options for players, especially as they eventually go up against stronger enemies, such as the Soviet troops. This experience is also brought forth by the game’s accessibility.  Players do not have to be a former military operator to play Sniper Elite V2 Remastered. Several difficulty settings exist to make the game more accessible for players, introducing guides and some aim assist. For those who want a true combat simulator, there is an elite mode that turns off all assists for shooting, creating a harrowing and dangerous gameplay experience in which players will need to strongly take into account every detail, including the crosshairs of their sniper scope to achieve their mark.

The accessibility also includes checkpoints, which are incredibly appreciated, as many missions will last an hour on average. Additionally, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered features a bevy of enhancements for those familiar with the original. Re-done textures, a higher frame-rate, and all DLC are rolled into Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, which also includes the “: Assassinate the Fuhrer” mission. Finally, players can embark in co-op mode, where the second player is a spotter or multiplayer for up to 16 players.

For Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, the game experience is great and second-to-none, though some players may be taken aback to the more primitive design of the game. Following Sniper Elite V2 in 2012, Rebellion Studio released Sniper Elite III and Sniper Elite 4. Sniper Elite III took players into the North African desert, putting players into a hostile warzone surrounded by sand. The game had a very open-ended mission design which gave players plenty of targets to eliminate, as well as a bevy of tactical options. Sniper Elite 4 introduced even larger missions, including a tremendous display of verticality to the shooting as it took place around the oceanside cliffs of the Mediterranean.

For Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, the game is more linear and straight-forward. There are still plenty of options available for combat, but most of the time, the player will be hunting down streets, alleyways, and rubble, limiting their approach to objectives. That isn’t to say there aren’t memorable moments. From eliminating a moving target about to escape to actually destroying a V2 rocket at night, each level offers something new and challenging.

Compared to other entries of the series, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered feels more akin to a corridor shooter than an open-ended sniping game.  However, the gameplay is incredibly sublime, making this revisit to early levels of Sniper Elite a very minor setback.

Whether this is your very first time hunting targets in the ruins or Berlin, or you are signing on for another tour of duty, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is a sublime WWII combat game, featuring a still very polished gameplay mechanic, great combat, and satisfying reward. The remastering makes the experience fresh and new, and while the level design is rather dated, the game still feels great, and even many degree better now than before. Whichever platform you choose, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is a headshot of satisfaction, hitting the bullseye on all platforms.

Sniper Elite V2 Remastered
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL; DR

Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is a sublime WWII combat game, featuring a still very polished gameplay mechanic, great combat, and satisfying reward. The remastering makes the experience fresh and new, and while the level design is rather dated, the game still feels great, and even many degree better now than before.