Intense, suspenseful, and unique - this is one of the best WWII games I've played to date.
The story behind Sniper Elite is one of the best I've seen yet: You're an OSS agent who has spent most of his childhood in Berlin, and now returns there in order to intercept the Russians' efforts to acquire nuclear technology from the dying German war machine. Must I say more?
No, this isn't HL2. Neither is it Far Cry or Doom 3, but there's nothing here that's gonna gouge your eyes out if you stare at it too long. Graphics are decent, and are actually pretty good at times. Most of the game takes place among the ruins and rubble of Berlin, but some levels are set in train yards, prodigious old monumental buildings whose names I don't know, ruined train yards, and an airport. Contrary to what some reviews say, from my experience with this game I don't find the settings repetitive at all. Even though 70% of the game takes place in ruined Berlin, there are still noticeable differences between each level.
Best sound I've ever heard in any game, period. And not only that the sound is so detailed and immersive, it also plays an actual part in the gameplay, as you sometimes must mask your sniper shots by synchronizing them with the bombardment of nearby artillery in order to remain undetected.
This is a stealth game, so as you probably knew already before reading this particular review, all out super soldier crap doesn't work very well here. As a matter of fact, it doesn't work at all... The paranoid, midst-of-battle atmosphere of the game, as well as the intelligence of the AI, forces you to keep low (although this doesn't necessarily mean slow), think before you shoot, and think about how to counter the enemies that your shot has inevitably drawn. Enemy soldiers will work together to suppress and flank you, by the way, so be warned! As I've mentioned, however, you can use artillery barrages on most of the levels in order to mask the sound of your shots and therefore remain hidden.
The sniping portion of this game is, obviously, extremely well done. Not only you have to account for bullet drop, but you also have to set up your shots while considering the wind as well (although both of these factors can be turned on/off when you choose a difficulty level). This might sound fairly meticulous, considering the hundreds of enemies in the game, but thanks to the detailed, useful tick-marks on the scopes, you can pull off a head shot fairly easily, in most cases, if you take the time to judge your shot right. And speaking of headshots, when you do actually get a head shot (as well as in a few other situations) the camera will switch to slow motion and follow the bullet as it makes its way to take a substantial portion of your prey's head off (literally), which makes sniping and headshots even more gratifying.
So, what can you expect to actually do in this game? If you've seen the movie Enemy at the Gates you probably already have a pretty good idea. Assassinate officers, counter snipers, intercept convoys and messengers, rescue allies, play guardian angel for friendlies down below, blow up lots of stuff, and so on. Also, it's worth mentioning that this isn't your average 10 hour game; it's pretty darn long, especially if you actually try to stay covert for the majority of the time.
I enjoyed every minute of this game, and I believe that the so-called professional reviews out there have been extremely unfair to it. If you're sick of the abundant run 'n' gun games that swamp the market today, and you like stealth games or tactical shooters (doesn't necessarily means having lots of patience) Sniper Elite is definitely worth every dime.