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Review: Sniper Elite V2 (Xbox 360 version tested)
This is the latest release from 505 Games – the published that recently brought us the new Top Gun title for the next-gen consoles. Now this is something different -set during the fall of Berlin in 1945, Sniper Elite V2 offers an entirely different type of shooting action. Your character is an American officer – a lone agent, tasked with tracking down and eliminating various key members of the Nazi regime, namely scientist and engineers working on the V2 rocket programme.
This is the latest release from 505 Games – the published that recently brought us the new Top Gun title for the next-gen consoles.
Straight away, the game gives some interesting options. Like many games, there is a choice of difficulty levels – Easy, Medium or Hard. They each have interesting quirks. With Easy, your enemies are less aware of your presence and your bullets always fly in a perfectly straight line, unaffected by wind and gravity. Compare that to hard, with super-alert enemies and realistic bullet trajectories affected by gravity and wind. The game also lets you choose a custom difficulty level – I chose Medium difficulty with full realism on the bullet trajectories.
So the game starts and all is well. The graphics are more than good enough, the environments and characters are very detailed – all fine. The game has a good selection of levels to ease new players into things. There are all sorts of various indoor and outdoor environments that have to be sneaked around, recce’d and navigated stealthily.
To prevail you have to learn not to rush in, guns blazing. That always will lead to a quick death. Instead, find a vantage point, get your binoculars out and mark your targets. Then get to the right position and take them out one at a time with your sniper rifle. When looking down the scope, it is important to manage breathing to reduce rifle sway. The game shows your character’s heart rate – this can combined with releasing a breath at the right time for a good stable shot.
So, once you have taken aim and fired, hopefully your first bullet finds its target. If it does, you are treated to a beautifully disgusting cutaway animation of the bullet entering your foe’s body. It shows exactly how they die – ever played a game where you can kill an enemy with a liver shot before? You can see the bullet plough all the way through in x-ray vision. Lovely.
There is a score in the game and skilful players are rewarded for long shots – there is a video on the net of a successful kill at over 700 yards – but be warned, it gives some spoilers away. The sniper rifle is not your only weapon. You also have a silenced pistol for stealthy indoor kills and a Thompson sub-machine gun as a weapon of last resort – when all is lost and you are truly spotted.
There is a good multiplayer mode also, with various competitive modes and an impressively strong co-op mode. One of the co-op modes enables a team of two to go sniping – one as the shooter, one as the spotter. Nice touch.
So, all in all, it’s a worthy and original game. Just don’t buy it expecting it to be a typical online Call of Duty clone – it’s very different to that. It’s a rewarding, lengthy, sometimes difficult game – but it’s definitely worth trying out!
Sniper Elite V2 is out now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC
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