Silent Scope 2 is the sequel to Konami's popular arcade gun game. In arcades, the game gave you a sniper rifle with a small screen inside the scope. The idea was that you'd get close to your target with your free eye, then switch eyes to the scope for an up-close-and-personal view of your target. Additionally, the game took a cue from Namco's Time Crisis II and included a two-player link mode that put players in the same world, sometimes covering each other as they progressed from level to level. The game was gimmicky, but the gimmick worked well enough to make the game worth playing. Now Konami has brought the game home, sans the rifle. And while the gameplay and graphics are just about identical to those of the arcade version, the lack of that big gimmicky sniper rifle makes the game downright silly.
The story is your typical "stop the terrorist" fare. A faction of bad guys has taken hostages and stolen a batch of missiles, and it's up to your two-man team of snipers to keep them from getting away. The story branches a bit differently depending on which sniper you choose, giving you slightly different vantage points in some situations. But the action remains unchanged. By default, your cursor is a slow-moving zoomed-in scope view of the action. You can hold the circle button to ditch the scope view for a faster-moving but normal-sized and less-accurate cursor. So the game simply requires you to find your target (which is usually surrounded by an onscreen indicator), quickly move the cursor over to the target, let off the circle button to return to the zoomed-in view, make any necessary adjustments to your aim, and fire. Then you move onto the next target. If you take too long on any one target, it will fire on you. You also have a time limit to worry about. Killing enemies adds time to your clock, so fast kills are a must. Aside from the main story mode, there is a training mode that requires fast shooting and accurate target identification. There is also a mission mode that gives you short, almost minigame-like objectives, such as eliminating a screen full of enemies in less than 10 seconds. The main game can be played with two players if you have an iLink setup, and there's also a two-player duel mode. All these modes would be icing on the cake if the main game had any sort of depth to it, but sticking true to its arcade roots, Silent Scope 2 can be finished in around 20 minutes. The game isn't especially difficult, either, so it shouldn't be too hard to finish the game on your second or third try.
Silent Scope 2 does look arcade-perfect. The graphics are decent and the game runs along at a pretty nice pace. However, the arcade version of the game wasn't exactly an impressive-looking game, so graphically, it isn't really anything special. The audio is a little rough. The sounds of gunfire and the game's music are pretty good, but the voice acting is simply awful. The poor script doesn't exactly help, either. If you're into hearing nearly monotone voices proclaiming, "Now let's play Metal Gear for real," before entering a building, then Silent Scope 2 is right up your alley.
It'd be silly to demand that Konami release a sniper rifle controller for the PlayStation 2, as the cost would surely be downright prohibitive at best, and standard GunCon support wouldn't really work here. Considering how much of the game's appeal was based on the sniper rifle alone, removing it leaves behind a substandard game. In the end, the game's lack of difficulty and low replay value make the game worthy of a rental at best.