A very unique, challenging, and insanely addicting title. If you are a fan of sniping, this is the game for you!
This Review was actually born as a blog post. So, it does not cover everything about the game, but I think it is still worth posting as a review here.
This is one of my favorite PS2 games and I have played a lot of them. This is one of my favorite World War 2 themed games and I have played far too many games in this often stale and boring genre. Also, This is one of my favorite third person shooters. Yes it is set in a World War 2 setting, but it follows a fictional and interesting story. You play as a special agent guy whose enemy is not the Nazis or any other Axis power. His enemy is The Russians, but, more specifically, the enemies are the Russian secret agent people. They have a plot to get a hold of nuclear material in Germany to make their own Nuclear weapon. So in essence, you are starting to fight in the cold war while World War 2 is still going on. What is cool about this from a gameplay perspective is that in many levels you will encounter dueling German and Russian forces, but you do not need to kill them. They would rather shoot at each other than you. But of course I snipe all those guys for fun anyways muahaha.
Why do I love this game so much? It is just such a unique game. There is no other game that I know of that is purely focused on realistic sniping like this. You can adjust the difficulty/ realisticness of your single player campaign. I play on the rookie level.
,some of you less enlightened gamers may proclaim to yourself in a giggly prepubescent frenzy, but this game is very challenging even on the Rookie difficulty setting. You see, enemies in this game are tough and they are intelligent. If they spot you they will run from you and go hide. Unlike in other games, when they get shot at by a sniper they have the common sense to go take cover. They will even try flanking you if you stay in the same spot too long. They often will sneakily toss a grenade at you if you camp in one spot too long after you are spotted. This makes things very intense and makes enemy encounters play out difficulty almost every time.
As for the realism of sniping, it is really great. On the Rookie Difficulty setting, gravity affects your shots. This means that based on how close or far away your targets are, you have to adjust your aim vertically to compensate. It makes getting sweet headshots on far away targets or from quick shots even more satisfying. Your heart rate also effects how you play on the Rookie difficulty setting. Think real snipers can sprint for 5 minutes then dive to the ground and hold their breath for 30 seconds to stabilize their shot? Well, they can't. If you do lots of running around you see a little heart rate monitor thing act up and if you try holding your breath to stabilize your scoped in view, it won't work until you catch your breath.
On higher difficulty settings, you can add even more variables to the gameplay like wind for example. This means that on top of taking gravity into making consideration when placing shots, you have to adjust your aim to the left or right depending on how hard the wind is blowing in either direction.
You know what else is great about this game? Sniping is fun. It is really fun. Especially when this game lets you compete for high scores on levels. You get more points for lining up 2 or 3 people and hitting them with one shot. You get points for "remote detonations" which means sniping explosives or having somebody trigger a tripwire explosive you set. You get points for headshots. Even cooler is that this game compares your scores with other players online.
Even though this game is about sniping, you can use other weapons. You have various machine guns and grenades/explosives to use. However, relying on these weapons will get you killed very quickly since they are so loud and the enemy is just as proficient as or better than you at using them. So, the game forces you to be a good sniper, meaning that you are encouraged to try to engage enemies from far away and take them out without others noticing when you can. You can use a pistol to sneak up on enemies and get silent kills on them too though.
This game also has the coolest headshots out of any game ever. When you happen to land a headshot, as soon as you hit the trigger the camera switches over to a view that follows the bullet from the instant it leaves your rifle. It follows the bullet until it makes contact with an enemy's unfortunate skull. It will also do this cool zoom in camera effect if you hit multiple people with one bullet or hit moving targets.
I have probably played this game for over 50 hours total in the few years I have had it. Every like 6 months I start replaying the campaign and get addicted to it again haha. This game even has offline split screen co-op which I imagine must be awesome, since one player could draw out and spot the enemy while the other snipes those enemies. This game also has online multiplayer.
I played 2 or 3 matches of the online multiplayer in the last week. I had a blast. This is one of the most tense and most satisfying online multiplayer games that is still playable on PS2. The enemy artificial intelligence in the game was pretty great, but human intelligence is even more challenging to go up against. It makes your victories that much more satisfying and your defeats become even more devastating.
Me loves me some sniping. Pick up this game people! This is a gem! If you like stealth/third person shooters/AWESOME SNIPING get this game. You will not regret it. If you only play Run and Gun shooters then this game may not be your cup of tea, but I think that if you give it a chance you can come to love it as well. This game is a bit pricey for a PS2 game. A used complete copy will run you around 30 something bucks at the cheapest. It is worth it though, believe me, but make sure you get the game with the manual. It helps explain sniping tactics and aiming strategies which help you get better at the game quite a bit.
If you plan to get into the online aspect of this game, check out this forum (http://sniperelite.hqforums.com/ ) If you ever want to play this game online with me. Just Private message me. I will cry buckets of manly tears when this game's online servers are inevitably shut down. Until that time though, I will snipe as many people in the face as I can hehe.