Elite!? Arcade they mean!

User Rating: 5.5 | Sniper Elite V2 PC
Sniping is one the coolest things in shooters, to make a distant covert kill over a huge distance and putting a bullet right between your enemies eyes is extremely satisfying so how could this game go wrong? After all, the developers pledge this will be the most realistic sniper simulation up 'till now. With that and its predecessor in mind I decided to pre-order the game.

The first glance at the game can make you really excited. The graphics look nice enough and you'll never forget that gruesome killshot after squeezing the trigger for the first time. But that feeling wears off pretty quickly when you start realizing that this is actually the game's only strong point.

To start with the worst: The AI is incredibly stupid. It's so bad that this gives you a gamebreaking experience that is only glued together by those great killcams. Well, how bad is it!? Answer: it's terrible; one of the worst I've seen in new gen games. To sum it up:
When your enemies hear a shot they "try" to find some cover. Somehow the majority seems to think it's a good idea to instantly drop to the ground and face a wall or something!? Even if they don't know where the shot came from, I'm quite sure it won't be from that direction!
When you make a covert kill and snipe out one of the so many patroling guards, his friends coulnd't care less. You can literally snipe one out of two guards walking next to each other without alarming the guy next to him. He will only be aware of it, next time he sees the body on his linear patrol round.
Also, the AI is triggered by crossing invisible lines on the map. It doesn't matter how stealthy you are, if you cross a certain line they will spot you immediately regardless what you position is. To make it even worse: the game is scripted from A to Z. Once you've played a level and you know where the enemies are, you''ll be God because the AI is just a one trick pony. Ai is always in the same spot and always reacts in the same way.

Now let's talk maps and missions. I always believed snipers were long range shooters, but not in this game. The longest shot I've seen was around 320 meters. The common range is anywhere between 200 meters and point blank. This is because of two things: the maps are too small and 70% of the game takes place in confined spaces or corridors and that's not a good thing in a sniper simulator. But my worst complaint is that the areas are just for show. You can't cram into a nice sniping spot once the devs decided that this is not the path for you to go. Really, there only is one approach and often the same amount of sweet-spots for a map. This makes for uninspired and linear gameplay with absolutely no replay value whatsoever.

The controls are just as bad as the rest of the game. The guy doesn't move fluently and often gets stuck in tight places. Say you approach an area crouching and stand up to make an estimate of your enemies, you'll often find you can't go back to prone because the game won't let you do that in that particular position. So you'll have to back up and slither into position again. Same thing applies to climbing walls or getting out of cover; it only works when you stand in the exact same spot that was meant for it. This get's really frustrating because now not only your environment is confined, but you have to wiggle your way through them as well. On top of that, sometimes the controls are unresponsive. Pressing the jump button three times before it executes really makes you want the gamedisc to get sniped.

When paying attention to the bulletdrop, you will be in for a surprise or two. Take any gun on any map and make two shots from the same distance, but from a different position on the map (say a different street) and you will find that the bulletdrop is very inconsistent. Sometimes you'll have to adjust one line in your scope for a hundred meters and the next block the same distance is compensated by two lines over the same distance.

The singleplayer campaign won't last long for you. Even if you take your time, there's no more than ten to twelve hours of repetitive missions. After that you can have some fun with playing a tally, only to feel that this is all the game really is: Shooting at herds. They had better called this Arcade Sniper run of the mill 'cause it certainly hasn't anything to do with realistic sniping.