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Review

Sniper Elite V2 Review

  • Game release: April 30, 2012
  • Reviewed:
  • X360

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.

Shot through the heart! And also, the lung.

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.

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.

Admiring the wreckage.

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.

Sniper Elite V2 is best when you are the one setting the pace. 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
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

72 comments
agarrard94
agarrard94

This is free on Steam. The deal ends on the 10th.

darrenfps
darrenfps

I've never played the first Sniper Elite, but this game is better than a 6.0 in my opinion. Its obviously flawed in many ways, yet its pleny fun  ...especially for under $20.00 nowadays.

BoHill
BoHill

This is a fine sniping game; you can adjust the difficulty of the AI if you wish.  It is not a run and gun button masher.  If you liked the first Sniper Elite, or if you like sniping, staealth, and games of patience in general, you will enjoy this game.  For single player, I rate it as at least an 8.0.

kapa89
kapa89

Scores for each games are totally SUBJECTIVE...For example "COD:World At War", even though they gave a score of 8.5/10....I scored it 10/10....easily!!...One of the best COD I ever played!

SachBro
SachBro

I have played this game, and let me tell you that its not a 6.0 material. Not a ground-breaking success but definitely not a 6.0. It is highly enjoyable and xray slomo cams never get old. If a piece of trash like COD can easily walk away with a 9.0, then this game should not be rated so low. In fact, some of the sniping elements (wind directions and gravity factors) are pretty good. Take my advice guys, only play it on Elite Mode.

cash_chabuk
cash_chabuk

in first PS2 version the enemy AI is much higher!surprisingly!!but its very interesting and enjoyable game

Tompika72
Tompika72

This time i cannot agree with the review. Well, partially. The enemy AI is poor, that's true, and of course everybody can find other flaws in the game, but... I started playing it, and i couldn't stop. I enjoyed the pinpoint shooting, and some other elements so much... So, what i wanna say, before anybody decides not to play the game after reading the review, just give it a try. Can be a lot of fun. The mistake i made, that i tried to play the game like Splinter Cell, tried to shoot the lights, tried being undetected, but after a while i noticed, this game is a different concept, you have to fight sometimes.

smokychikin
smokychikin

the game has some good elements but lacks the most important one, online multiplayer death matches. The original was soooo good with the multiplayer. 8 people sneaking and crawling around, using your binocs to spot people and waiting for the perfect single shot so not to give away your position to the other team. I can not believe that in 2012 this company would not add that to their game as it adds sooo much more for the price paid, plus add on maps are so easy to install. Not only does it add extra value for the purchaser but extra money for the company. I think Rebellion got lazy and should have looked deeper into the first installment when building this.

krysakbr
krysakbr

Liked the first game, and even though this one has good sniping moments , the graphics and some of the game elements are completely outdated.

In one moment I tried to shoot a light to avoid being the detected just to discover that this is impossible.. I mean I was able to do that on Splinter Cell Chaos Theory in 2004!!!!

I don't recomend this game

danielcools
danielcools

This i a waste of money. Outdated graphics, repetitve missions, and no fun in gameplay. I liked the killcams at first but now they all look the same going somewhere from the body. I would give this a 5.0.

merc-s500
merc-s500

Any of you Gamers out there shot the Enemy in the Balls yet , lol. Good to see the balls get chopped in half  for a change .If you dont play this game in Hard mode dont waste your time ,its by far to easy on any other setting ,awesome in hard difficulty .

TomJimJack
TomJimJack

The writer of this review swings back and forth to the concept of the game like he is under pressure to write a bad review while actually enjoying playing it. SE V2 deserves at least 7.5 for it's enjoyable action and great kill cams.

CyberLips
CyberLips

I payed the demo and i though it was great , very original in my opinion. I would have bought it if i wasn't so bad at sniping :)

 

ferntfactor
ferntfactor

not usually into the sniping, but bought this game anyway. i would have given it a 6.8 after the first few hours, but after completing the campaign and now replaying some of the best missions, i'd give this little gem 8.2. not perfect, a number of glitches, but overall, a nice surprise. the gratuitous bullet time cam shots become quite addictive. MP is a bit of a dead zone, but hopefully that will improve. 49.99 well spent.

Fubydoo
Fubydoo

If they had the Multiplayer in the XBox version this would be a 9.5.. Best Sniper game on any platform. The AI are not the brightest..but set to elite mode and have at it. They do have a bit of random when played through again.. Getting the Multiplayer maps(now 5 on PC) on the XBox would make this a big winner.. excellent Human vs Human game!

 

digdug113
digdug113

I agree with Zod777 and the review.  There are a lot of good things and a few annoying things.  I was a huge fan of the first version even though the graphics were pretty poor, but the gameplay and first gratifying sniper game were very satisfying.  I still have the game and break it out from time-to-time.  My biggest complaints are a little different from ZOD and the reviewer, however.  First, the original game had more open worlds, allowing you freedom of movement with complex objectives.  This version feels more like a walled garden.  Second, no matter which level, soldiers can see you at great distances and in cover.  This is frustrating.  Third, the single player campaign was shorter than 10-hours for me and I was hoping for a longer, richer experience.  Fourth, if you're sniping without the ability to muffle shots through explosions, you're pinpointed immediately and then the waves of pawns begin towards your position.  In real sniping, determining ballistic direction is often confusing and not known until multiple shots are taken.  I would've hoped to fire a round, move my position, fire another round and keep my enemy guessing - real world tactics don't apply here.  Finally, the pop-up of snipers and their accuracy can be very annoying, but this was similar to the first version, so I digress.  I'm hoping the dev team listens to the criticisms herein and updates/patches.  But since my big complaint is the lack of a more open world with differing pathways, I doubt this will be fixed.  Finally, I've not played the co-op missions and have played co-op on other games and it gets creepy playing with strangers, but I really want to try this out.  I think single player unique modes, similar to some of COD's past incarnations (waves, zombies, etc.) extended gameplay.  I'd still recommend purchasing this game and would rate it around a 7 to 7.5, but with corrections to the above criticisms, this could've been gold.  (PS They did a great job on graphics and the kill cams and this is what truly makes the game like crystal meth.  Additionally, killing Hitler level makes me cry tears of joy from the sheer fun factor.)

ZOD777
ZOD777

This review is actually very fair.  After playing the demo, I was convinced that this review was a bit harsh.  However, after buying the game, this review is more than fair.  I play on Sniper Elite difficulty because I don't like assists and floating red arrows over enemies.  

The kill cam is this game's only real saving grace, the rest of it is somewhat of an abomination.  The rock/grenade throwing arc is not very precise, nor is the reticle for your pistol or sub machine gun.  For how precise the sniper scope is, you would think they could have made it a little easier to aim the other guns.  I am sure that the inaccuracy of the other weapons is somewhat intentional, but it is somewhat absurd how accurate the enemy sub machine guns are compared to yours.  Sometimes the binoculars come back up when you try to switch from binos to your rifle again and again.  Enemies tend to run in a strange toward you then away from you pattern at times, then stopping and crouching, then getting up and moving the opposite direction.  It makes no sense.  The wind is not always a factor, but at times there is wind INSIDE a building (no blown out windows/walls).  There are several other issues like not being able to go prone at times and enemies spotting you behind cover.  You also cannot throw a rock or grenade while in cover and when you lean out of cover, your entire body pops around corners.

 

There are more things that aggravated me like level design, but quite frankly, there are too many to list.  This review is more than fair, and perhaps even somewhat forgiving, but that is probably largely due to the kill cam animations. 

GrimJesta
GrimJesta

It's times like this that I am glad I can "Red Box" games. I wouldn't want to drop $65 on this game, but $2 a day, or whatever Red Box charges? I can live with that for a game that has crap AI but awesome kill cams.

marlobc
marlobc

im buying this ,looks like fun ,i think i can platinum it

mohannad1988
mohannad1988

well it needs to be more realistic specially the enemy snipers they should change their position  after the shot 

 

Blank-DIsk
Blank-DIsk

it's important to remember that this is a game, not a simulator.  What Chris Watters wants out of this game is a realistic depiction of sniping, where he sits in a bell tower for 3 days straight, peeing in a coffee can and waiting for one guy to walk through an alley a quarter-mile away.  THAT'S NOT FUN.  Shooting lots of guys at once IS fun, games are supposed to be fun.  This game is fun, therefore it's a good game.

rangegear
rangegear

Loved The Demo. ill Wait till the price goes down a little though.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

I think a score of 6.0 is really unfair.

Loved the demo, bought the full game and love that too. The AI is a minor issue. It didn't detract from my enjoyment of the game one bit. An 8.0 would have been a fairer score in my opinion.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

The Demo was quite fun, but i agree the AI is terrible, it just kills the whole immersion for me.  The kill animations are very good and provide great satisfaction.  I always found myself going for the longest ranged kills possible, and i also agree that 'Elite' difficulty is definately the way this should be played.

 

The MP modes sound very interesting, but would i pay full price for this, or simply get a Pre-Owned copy..........

Cbordi
Cbordi

Soo, on the good side, it is brutal... but the rest of it is shit?

slimco
slimco

I really enjoyed the first game and I'm definitely going to try this one as well.

VilandasUK
VilandasUK

Fuck yes, I'm so getting this :)

LoganDaDestroya
LoganDaDestroya

I hear the level design is linear and constricted. Is this true? I was very put off from the demo where the game forced me into action sequences (stealth being impossible) and forced me to stop the convoy in a certain way.

 

What people led me to believe about this game was that it would be very open, with multiple methods of taking down a target including gathering intelligence (e.g. finding a map of the planned convoy route) And that the game allows you to be stealthy to the extent that you can go through an entire mission while only killing your target.

 

Is it anything like that? Was the demo misrepresentative of what the game offers?

ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

The idea is to "snipe and move"... leaving the enemy the illusion that you're still in the same spot.  There are many that were looking forward to a SNIPER game and this is the best one out there.  If you're not into planning your attack and taking things slow like a Sniper would.... there are a zillion other shooters out there for you. 

UltraredM
UltraredM

This review is ridiculous. "Unnatural enemy spawning" is not a negative, and you can curb the enemy AI by upping the highly customizable difficulty. Also, when it comes to stealth, "crouch-walking everywhere is tedious". This man clearly has never played Metal Gear Solid nor Splinter Cell, both the best video game series of their genre.

controlz101
controlz101

I love this game. I'd give it a 9.5/10, for sure. Like simplypowerfull stated earlier , put it on hard and its perfect. You can customize the gameplay, including the enemy skill. Put that on elite level, and see how fast they hunt you down. Its intense and the killcam never gets old.

jagdedge124
jagdedge124

Loved this game on PS 2 but playing the Demo (Xbox 360) and watching the Vids it's not at all like the same game. Seems very linear as compared to it's PS 2 counterpart and i don't know why they made the decision to keep with the one Skin on the Campaign. On PS 2 you wore the German Uniform with the cap and got to change the camo . Now you're stuck with the one Skin (American Uniform) with no changes during the whole Campaign (at least from what i've seen). A bit boring and given the times you would think it would be an upgrade from past gen consoles in having more choice in that regard, as well as being less linear. I was definitely gonna buy it but i'll pass. Ghost Recon and Dragons Dogma come out later in the month.

wilson336
wilson336

I'd give this more of a 7.5. It's a solid game with unfortunate AI issues, but still fun if you are the sniper type. It is much better than a 6.

simplypowerfull
simplypowerfull

but is good! onli problem is the dumb enemi. but in Hard mode is prefect

 

jdrizzle117
jdrizzle117

@kapa89 The pinnacle of irrelevance.  This is not a review of Call of Fucking Duty.  How dumb do you have to be to think that?  Wow

omegalaz
omegalaz

In the same vein of your comment, but to all the AI downers out ther. AI should be rated relatively to other games. All games do the point defense at all costs run and similar boneheaded things, but 'real AI' that everyone craves would be as fun as real sniping. You get one shot then everyone finds hard cover and waits for a mortar team or panzerfaust to blow up the building you are in. Game over. You lose. Gimme overly aggressive AI anyday. At least it brings urgency (and so difficulty) to the naturally slow pace of stealth games.

slickok
slickok

 @rangegear

 I agree with your idea,wait till the price drops,you won't be sorry,alot of bugs!

slickok
slickok

 @BoabDreeps

 Once they fix some things,it could be a 8,until then 6 is fair!

Hackwalker
Hackwalker

 @BoabDreeps I think a 6.0 is exactly the score this game should get. Sure yeah the animations are cool but thats it. Repetitive gameplay, boring storyline, pretty much kill nazis. The game is like hitman just without too much brain behind it. the game is fine, nothing more, isnt worth the money.

slickok
slickok

 @slimco

 I also play the first one off an on,it was ahead of its time back then,but this one has too many bugs to enjoy it,after a few patches,it will be great!

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters moderator staff

 @LoganDaDestroya I didn't find the level design to be too constricted, though it varies by level. Some are more wide open, offered a bunch of different positions, while others offer more limited space to maneuver. 

 

Intelligence finding is pretty much just moving from checkpoint to checkpoint. Stealth is certainly possible, moreso if you are very patient, but there are section when the enemy know where you are, so it isn't complete stealth. 

Chris_Watters
Chris_Watters staff

 @UltraredM Upping the difficulty definitely makes for tougher enemies, but there is some seriously weird spawn logic that goes beyond the simple "enemy closets" featured in other games. I found it had a negative impact on my experience, but like you alluded to below, everyone's taste is different and a review should help you make your own judgement about the game. 

 

As for those other series, I think the thing that makes MGS or SC games feel less tedious is that the level design is better balanced with your movement speed.

phatsanta
phatsanta

 @UltraredM but that was splinter and metal gear man o.o no comparison to this game at all.  You felt bad ass in those games this your just some rag tag military guy in 1940s.

DuaMn
DuaMn

 @wilson336 6 is not bad. My favorite game of all time got an 3.5 from Gamespot, but it was still a good review since it told what I wanted to know and it was accurate. Reviewer didn't like some features, but I did. So don't look at the score, look at what review says. Then decide if it's good or bad.

BoabDreeps
BoabDreeps

 @Hackwalker Fair enough, I respect your opinion. But I'm getting a lot of enjoyment out of it. Maes a change from all the gun'n'run titles that have swamped the release schedule.

Certainly getting my moneys worth.

I don't see an issue with the storyline. It's set in Berlin during WW2, what else are you gonna do but kill nazis?

slickok
slickok

 @Chris_Watters

 I have read all these reports of this game and some are right on the money as to the problems. S ome I agree with ,some I don't. There is one thing that most do not think about,and that is there were alot of different sniper rifles in this war, and availiable to a sniper,also there were silencers for rifles,and other pistols in this war. Just thought I would mention these long forgot things. The game does need some patches though.

Sniper Elite V2 More Info

First Release on Apr 30, 2012
  • PC
  • PlayStation 3
  • + 2 more
  • Wii U
  • Xbox 360
Sniper Elite V2 is a third person tactical WWII shooter and the sequel to 2005's Sniper Elite.
7.5
Average User RatingOut of 1050 User Ratings
Please Sign In to rate Sniper Elite V2
Developed by:
Rebellion
Published by:
Rebellion, 505 Games, E-Frontier, Mastertronic, Ubisoft
Genres:
Third-Person, Tactical, Shooter, Action
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Mature
All Platforms
Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language