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Review

Sniper Elite V2 Review

  • Game release: April 30, 2012
  • Reviewed: May 1, 2012
  • PC

Sniper Elite V2 is a satisfying shooting gallery, though it often does a lackluster job maintaining the illusion.

by

There are many challenges that await the virtual sniper. Infiltrating an area undetected, stalking your prey, and acquiring an uninterrupted line of sight--the tension of the hunt. Picking off targets, moving to a new position, setting traps, and evading your enemies--the thrill of the chase. Taking aim, calculating distance, slowly exhaling, and squeezing the trigger--the release of the kill. The satisfactions of sniping are many, but Sniper Elite V2 serves them up inelegantly, making it an uneven game for those who love the long shot.

Like its predecessor, Sniper Elite V2 is set during the closing days of WWII. You're an American sniper sent in to stop the Russians from scooping up Nazi scientists. Naturally, things don't go as planned and you have to improvise. The story plays out in nicely acted voice-overs and perfunctory cutscenes, providing a decent backdrop for your missions. The solid level design makes good use of the setting, as bombed-out buildings and barricaded streets provide lots of nice hiding places for a lone sniper. Unsurprisingly, PC players get a much-better-looking version of ruined Berlin, enjoying crisp details and lovely skies while Xbox 360 owners deal with softer, more muted visuals.

The beginning of each mission starts out stealthily. You are behind enemy lines, and your only allies are the weapons and munitions you carry with you. You can carry a rifle, a submachine gun, and a sidearm, and though you unlock new weapons as you progress, the differences are slight. More crucial is your choice of explosives. Trip wires, land mines, dynamite, and grenades all blow up in different ways, and having enough firepower to set an extra trap or take out a cluster of advancing enemies can be a big help.

But before you start blowing things up, it behooves you to remain quiet as long as possible. Crouch-walking everywhere gets tiresome, but loud footsteps attract hostile attention, and even one enemy in close quarters can spell doom for the fragile sniper. You can often make good progress with sneaky melee kills, silenced pistol shots, and timed rifle reports that are masked by the noise of exploding bombs or tolling bells. Guards usually move in predictable patterns that you can exploit, or you can lure them closer for a cleaner kill.

BOOM! Headshot.

While your SMG and pistol are great teammates, your rifle is the franchise player. Shots to heads and torsos usually kill or incapacitate your foes. You can hone your targeting by slowly exhaling, which slows time and zooms in slightly. If your aim is true, you are rewarded with one of the many gruesome and gratifying camera shots that Sniper Elite V2 lovingly serves up. The camera tracks the bullet and gives you a front-row seat to the moment of impact. Sometimes you just watch the bullet enter and exit the body, leaving a blooming exit wound behind. The more dramatic moments offer an X-ray view of the bullet smashing through bones and tearing through organs in grisly slow motion. These are brutal and gratuitous (perhaps too much so, for some), but even after hours of sniping, they never get old.

Once your enemies have a bead on you, things get trickier. They close in on your position and pepper you with gunfire. Their erratic advances can make it tougher to hit them, but just because they are moving doesn't mean they are moving smartly. Foot soldiers sometimes just scurry back and forth willy-nilly, while countersnipers occasionally fire repeatedly into the windowsill right in front of them. This is when Sniper Elite V2 veers away from feeling like a proper sniping game and starts to feel more like a flawed shooting gallery.

Like shooting fish in a barrel (that also shoot back and might kill you).

A mounted machine gun is a powerful weapon, but seeing enemies nonchalantly man these emplacements despite the mountain of bodies nearby brings the AI shortcomings into stark relief. When a fresh crop of foes spawns and populates improbable places in the area you just finished clearing, it feels like someone has simply reset the gallery for the next round. And when vehicles roll in with big, shiny red caps on their gas tanks, you'd be forgiven for wondering if wobbly yellow ducks are far behind.

This feeling is exacerbated on normal difficulty. You can easily take a hit from a sniper, use the visual assists to locate him, get him in your sights, and take him out long before he can kill you. It isn't easy per se, but you get the feeling that the only time you die is when you are careless. Hard difficulty swings the balance back the other way. If you aren't able to acquire an enemy sniper, calculate bullet drop, compensate for wind, and fire quickly, an enemy sniper will take you out. Even a foot soldier with a submachine gun can be deadly from a distance. With aim assists and enemy tagging off, this difficulty makes careful planning a must and successful shots that much sweeter.

The campaign is lengthy, clocking in at over 10 hours long, and it can be played cooperatively online. There are also some other game types for two players, including Kill Tally, in which you take on increasingly tough waves of enemies, and Bombing Run, in which you radiate outward from a central point to retrieve airplane parts. These offer the same cooperative fun of the two-player campaign missions, but Overwatch provides something a bit different. One player is the sniper, confined to an elevated position, and the other is a foot soldier, carrying out objectives on the ground and spotting for the sniper. Though there are some cool moments, like seeing your sniper buddy ace the enemy who was bearing down on you, playing as a vulnerable, rifle-less grunt is a drag, because the best strategy is often just to wait until your overwatcher takes care of business.

It's amazing what a single bullet can accomplish when it puts its mind to it.

PC players also get to enjoy some competitive sniping courtesy of the deathmatch and team deathmatch modes. These play out on mazelike levels where lines of sight are prevalent. You must risk exposure to maneuver, and this creates a lot of tension. Facing the cunning of a human opponent is a daunting and exciting prospect, especially when death can come so quickly and dramatically. The pace of these matches can vary widely depending on the players involved, ranging from frantic firefights to methodical exercises in careful maneuvering, and they make for some of the most intense combat in the game.

The rest of Sniper Elite V2 can also be quite intense when everything is clicking into place. Lining up good shots and laying low dozens of foes is a lot of fun, though it can get tiresome to fight your way through yet another area newly populated with thick-headed rifle fodder. Your tolerance for transparently game-y elements will go a long way toward determining how much you enjoy this glorified shooting gallery, but if you relish a good headshot, Sniper Elite V2 has got you covered.

The Good
A pinpoint shot over long distance is immensely satisfying
Delightfully gory kill animations
Nice array of explosive traps
Tense competitive multiplayer
The Bad
Enemy AI can be transparently dumb
Unnatural enemy spawning
Can feel like you are exploiting rather than outmaneuvering your foe
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Sniper Elite V2

About the Author

/ Staff

With his Apple IIGS as the spark and his neighbor's NES the fuel, Chris Watters' passion for gaming caught fire early. Years later, you can find him aiming down virtual sights, traipsing through fantastical lands, and striving to be grossly incandescent while desperately avoiding sunburns.

Discussion

66 comments
mulder_000
mulder_000

Well this is available in the Indie Royale bundle this week with 3 other games for $6.  That makes it quite the good buy.

Also, a great reason why PC gaming is less expensive.

BoHill
BoHill

This review is biased.  The game is very good as a sniper game.  It should be rated around 8.0 to 8.5 at least.  Very fun to play.

naser444444444
naser444444444

please giv me key for sniper elit v2 please

thank you.

 

hellkick
hellkick

The game has zero longevity. No randomness in the game. Enemy snipers dont change position, soldiers stand and get shot. The maps are full of dead ends. The engine is good the graphics are good but the gameplay n AI are terrible.Music and sound is again not very good all sniper rifles sound the same.

jeanlucsan
jeanlucsan

Played recently on line with another player: definitely much more fun than on single player. 

First sniper elite version was fun on single player, much more than V2. 

I would giveV2  a 8.5 for co-op game play. 

But still stand for a 6 for single play.

maanuaanu
maanuaanu

Not a bad game, but i agree with the reviewer that AI is stupid.

jauhars07rmcf
jauhars07rmcf

I play this game 3 weeks ago and I think it's good especially the kill cam. I think it deserves 7.0

crysisftw
crysisftw

original was much better. this one feels stupid. enemy ai is horrible. so many bugs. that's exactly the problem with small developers. hell do they even check the game before releasing?!?!

razor66666
razor66666

game remind me to IGI 2 but it make me bored in a few mission . and mission briefing is suck ! last time i saw that was in cod 2 !

but also multi player is briliant !

jeanlucsan
jeanlucsan

I enjoyed sniper elite a LOT.

Sniper elite V2 (ps3) is not close to the 1st version, boring, and as you said in your review, it is more of a shooting alley than anything else. A1 are just too dumb. 

I felt the map does not give us enough freedom and the respiration sound just covers all external sounds.

 

I am really deceived with this game.  I want my money back! 

outlawst
outlawst

it worth playing more than once .

brianthesnail12
brianthesnail12

from a personal standpoint i like this game..... however game preference is just that... so were i think games such as skyrim and world of warcraft are utter tripe many guys love them....

the game itself wont win any awards... it storyline is a bog standard nazi adventure and the storyline is narrated by the same guy who done the voice for "rogue warrior" .... however thats not suprising since both are developed by "rebellion"

ok gameplay may be a bit repetetive but its fun... and isnt that what pc games should be

     well worth buying..... and significantly better than the original sniper elite ( which was bad )

 

smiffy555
smiffy555

The game is just flatout terrible.

slickok
slickok

What happened to common sense in this game,I realize this is not a simulation,but as a vet myself,things like the range of fire of a machine gun,the different types of weapons available,and after a shot everyone drops,and hides until the sniper is found. Then a few men are sent to find him,or if available a tank or other things are considered,also you can carry more ammo than 64 bulletsan can find alot of ammo on bodies,not just 2 or 3 bullets,I know these are games,but cmmon sense would save alot of patches! And yes I bought this one,as the first one also,t least you did not have to push three buttons to set a trap,or throw a grenade,don't you think one button would do ,COD did and I played every COD an Battlefield so far,MOH did great also!

CreayBsD
CreayBsD

I had a go at the demo and it was good. But there was not as much stealth to the demo as I hoped. I cauld just be being a full and giving my self away to easily. I shore I'll give the game anuther go but I'll probley see is theres a deal on steam befor I buy.

RYPER
RYPER

The game plays good, sounds good, it's a little bit on the easy side compared to the first one. A BIG minus is the crap AI. It's like all the enemies you encounter are drunk and you catch them by surprise. Ow, and they also have super vision and perfect accuracy. Seems like those dudes from Deus Ex traveled into the past and genetically altered the Nazis and the Russians. I like to see things this way rather then admitting that the AI sucks.

AVM1986
AVM1986

The competitive online mp gives that little extra.

The stealth proportion could have been so much better, because it's more focussed on loud sniping right now. Still fun SP.

But seriously, pc version get's the same score as X360 version? that's not fair.

Or has X360 version also have online competitive mp?

AVM1986
AVM1986

7,5 for single-player plus co-op.

But with the competitive online mp (pc only, published by Rebellion) i would say a 8,5.

Crap reviews, game is just awesome.

The only bad thing is the A.i. in the SP, but still a fun SP.

RobertBowen
RobertBowen

Judging by the video review, I'm surprised at this low a score.  It seemed more like a 7.5 to me. *shrugs*

 

Anyway, I never got to play hardly any of the first Sniper Elite because I fell foul of the horrendous game-crashing sound bug (that was never patched).  Always got to about five minutes in, and then 'screeeeeeeech'...crash. :/

 

So if this sequel doesn't suffer from that, I might give it a whirl.  I like stealth and sniping action.

rattboy666
rattboy666

This game is the best dumb fun I've had in a while. 

xDeadP00lx
xDeadP00lx

Was anyone else cringing at the video play? Was wondering if the player was a sniper, or an infantry man. Pinned down on the open! C'mon walleye, how many shots did you take :D

circus2050
circus2050

as far as I remember in the first sniper elite u were able to disguise urself by taking the clothes of an enemy after performing a stealth kill, I think this is gone from this one and it kinda blows. I played the first one on hard difficulty, the binocular was my  BFF but this one feels a little dumb ed down. All it has to show is the new bullet cam

Kobuspoes
Kobuspoes

This game gets a 6, meanwhile, Modern Fuckfest 3 gets an 8.5, even though it basically is MW2 with different weapons. This is the last time I go to GameSpot for reviews.

totto210
totto210

sorry GAMESPOT, but this is the only descent game exist for PC ..... bye

ksdlass
ksdlass

Geez guys, if you dont like the rating, then just put it out of your mind, not everyone is the same. Just look at only the good ratings if that makes you happy.

 

HeemaHamdy
HeemaHamdy

this is a fu%$@# bad review...stupid enemies..are you serious?they looks for you everywhere...gameplay is fucken awesome..what's wrong with you writer?..i give it 8.0 or 8.5 ..i'd give it 9 if the game was puplished by another company like EA

TheDominatorX1
TheDominatorX1

6.0? Are you kidding me? I think this guy is a lock-n-load FPS fan. So, he couldn't feel the pretty slowish gameplay of this game. He underestimated this. A 8.0 rating is what I expected.

X-7
X-7

@ShienYeh He probably played on easy and mainly on XBOX. Just playing the demo from PS3 to PC the PC version was far superior. But that's what you get when you go to a console oriented site. From demo impressions I'd say it was a 7.5 and I'll get this when it goes on sale on steam.

Keedar
Keedar

Show me the game where there is no stupid enemys.

ShienYeh
ShienYeh

Why did Gamespot clear all comments before ? And this game is definitely underrated ! I just tried for an hour after Steam unlocked it and it's fun and exciting. And the enemies are not that "Easy" in Sniper Elite mode.

simboes
simboes

How does this review warrant a 6? The video review as well says 90% about the good parts. Sounds more like an 8 to me from what was said!

elusivewater
elusivewater

I beat the game just recently, it was too short with no story, but the killing never got old for me and i'm glad to play with friends on coop, but i do admit it can get boring at times but it's one of those games i'll just get bored of then come back eventually to.

sbdb
sbdb

And the killing animations will get old pretty fast and what will be left is a game not worth more than a 6, even videogamer and computerandvideogames agree with Chris and me. Chris knows what he is talking about, I do too and the rest of you who claim it's a good game simply don't.

sbdb
sbdb

44montana97 said "WTF who the hell is paying gamespot to give call of duty 9.0(there alright, but there copy and paste) and giving solid games like this a 6.0" What on earth does a 14 year old like you know about games....sigh, trust me... this game is rather poor and nobody will talk about it anymore in 4 weeks.

Raxyman
Raxyman

 @circus2050 You're remembering wrong then. There's no disguise in the first Sniper Elite. I liked a lot of this one. More coop modes, new bullet cam, improved physics for the shots...

 

The only thing i truly didn't liked it was that the scenarios wasn't as open as the first. But only that.

shockersousa
shockersousa

 @Kobuspoes

 how true

the guys at Gmespot don't really know what they are talking about

 

xDeadP00lx
xDeadP00lx

 @totto210 "but this is the only descent game exist for PC ..... bye" WHAT? GTFO of here.....while this is a good franchise, there are a TON of good games for the PC. Spoken like a true 12 year old Wii console kid.

crysisftw
crysisftw

 @TheDominatorX1 i think the rating of 6 is justified. its not so much that you can base a game upon just a story or its gameplay, little things matter too. you know like quality... frankly speaking, this game was far from what i expected. may be your's is a different perception.

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters staff

 @X-7  @ShienYeh I played primarily on PC, splitting time between Marksman and Sniper Elite difficulty modes. I agree that the PC version is better.

xDeadP00lx
xDeadP00lx

 @Keedar R.U.S.E.! I'm a long time RTS fan, but that game torn me a new one ;) I'm just playing devil's advocate though, I know what you mean. AI is totally what it is...AI, nothing is ever like playing a human, in which if it's that big of a deal to someone, they should go play online.

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters staff

 @ShienYeh Any comment clearing was an unfortunate byproduct of installing our new commenting system.

Raxyman
Raxyman

 @simboes Learn something, GS is a big site. The big ones help each other. That's why BF, CoD and Crisis get great review while gems like these goes underrated... I just hope the game profits enough to support the developer. We need a break of derivative shooters, and only Valve and 2K are in charge of it recently.

Tidal_Abyss
Tidal_Abyss

@Chris_Watters I've been off site for a few months, I come back and- another new commenting system -keeps changing, and it is getting worse. Whoever gets to decide what you all have to implement isn't after function and keeping the commenter satisfied or happy using the system. Feels like they're chasing one bad trend after another!lol. 

O.K. done venting, thanks for listening. On topic, I liked the game more than you, but I've not played it all so I'll reserve comment beyond that.

Sniper Elite V2

  • PC
  • PlayStation 3
  • Xbox 360
  • Wii U
Sniper Elite V2 is a third person tactical WWII shooter and the sequel to 2005's Sniper Elite.
ESRB
Mature
All Platforms
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language
Check out even more info at the Sniper Elite V2 Wiki on Giantbomb.com
Average User Score See all 1038 Player Reviews
7.5
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Most helpful Player Reviews

A sleeper Hit + subsequent cult following.<br />

User Rating: 8.5 | Read Full Review
13 of 17 users found the following review helpful