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Sniper Elite V2  is a remake of Rebellion Development’s sleeper hit, “Sniper Elite: Berlin 1945”. In both titles you play as an OSS Secret agent inserted into Berlin during the final days of World War II to stop the Soviets from obtaining some deadly new technology. Your targets are German V2 scientists. It’s a change of pace for locale/time frame as most WWII games takes place during or following the D-Day landings on Normandy Beach. If you’ve ever seen the movie, ”Downfall,” you get a pretty good idea how chaotic the final days of the war in Berlin must have been. Although a fascinating backdrop, ultimately playing a shooter game for its backstory is like eating soup because you like the spoon. If I want a cinematic experience, I’ll rent a movie; if I want to shoot Nazis in the face from three football fields away, I play Sniper Elite . . .

Say,”Auf Wiedersehen” Fritz

I fired up Sniper Elite V2 with a little trepidation. I had enjoyed its predecessor, but only after waiting for it to hit the bargain bin. This isn’t to say that the original Sniper Elite wasn’t enjoyable – on the contrary it was excellent and offered unparalleled ballistic realism for its time. But in a 1st or 3rd person shooter video game that isn’t terribly popular, the replayability of the title is limited by the longevity (or lack thereof) of its community. So long as other people play, so too will I.

SEV2 attempts to alleviate this issue with the inclusion of collectables such as Nazi gold bars and bottles of french wine. Then I noticed SEV2’s new, “Challenge Mode” where your character attempts to survive endless waves of belligerent Bolsheviks and vindictive Nazis. And challenge mode definitely lives up to its name. I’d say it’s easily twice as difficult as the campaign. This new feature coupled with the inclusion of two-player cooperative mode, customizable difficulty levels and unlockable weapons will definitely add some serious replayability to the game.

I had the most fun in SEV2 when I was given a little bit of wiggle room to create and execute my own plan. In one mission I had to pick up some high-explosive filled satchels and place them at two choke points. When the armored car in front of my target convoy passed the second charge, I was supposed to shoot the satchel and take it out. The remaining troops behind it would bail from their transport and attempt to locate and eviscerate me with the infamous MP-40 submachine guns.

I failed the mission once before with a poorly-tossed grenade that vaporized my character. Having learned where the troops would run for cover, I caught a clue – or so I thought – and planted some grenade trip-wires in those locations. But I was both delighted and surprised to see that the AI didn’t follow its previous course of actions and most of the troops used a closer piece of rubble for cover. A few gerries failed to wise up though, and sought cover next to my tripwire-activated grenade. Seeing my ambush to fruition was  awesome and very satisfying.

While all of this is well and good, Sniper Elite V2’s claim to fame is its new X-Ray Kill Cam. This feature shows the damage a round from your rifle does to an opponent with gruesome detail. The camera doesn’t activate during every kill, only those that require significant skill to pull off. This is made vastly more difficult by Sniper Elite’s inclusion of bullet-drop and windage.

Much like in real life, bullets don’t travel at the speed of light (yet) and are affected by wind. What this means to the player is that, based on his wind meter and the range to target, you have to utilize the mil dots on his scope to compensate for the ballistic trajectory of the round. That makes you really “earn” each kill unlike more mainstream games like Call of Duty which utilize instant hit-scan projectile tracking.

You may be thinking to yourself,”This is all very fascinating, but what does it have to do with guns?” Simply put, everything. The game is centered on the rifle and its user, the sniper. The game features dozens of real World War II weapons from all sides of the conflict, and the ballistics of which are more accurately modeled in this title than most. The realistic graphics combined with the accurate weapons and physics create a striking verisimilitude of the second world war.

As the campaign progresses, the environments become more and more desolate as the once mighty third reich is ground to a pulp by the vast soviet war machine. You’ll see historically accurate uniforms for both the German and Soviet forces. Unfortunately, some of the weapons are incorrect.

For example, every German infantryman is equipped with either a G43 or an MP40. Towards the end the war the German forces consisted primarily of the young and invalid and were known as the Volkssturm. They were equipped with a myriad of oddities, from captured Carcanos to the Volkssturmgewehr, with the only pieces of equipment common amongst them being hastily manufactured PanzerFausts and Stielhandgranate. While the Soviet forces seemed more accurately equipped with PPSH 41 and 1891 Mosin-Nagants, every one of their officers carried the Parabellum 08, AKA the Luger.

Historical discrepancies aside, the game offers players a fairly realistic WWII sniping experience with the addition the fleshy, flashy X-ray kills. This makes for a very entertaining package and after all, isn’t that what video games are all about?

RATING (out of five stars):

Sound * * * * *
From the distant clatter of smalls arms to incoming artillery rounds, the game sounds will make you feel as if you are in the middle of Berlin during its climactic downfall.

Graphics  * * * *
The graphics are what you’d expect from a Next-Gen title – realistic and the animations are fluid and precise.

Gameplay  * * * ½
Sniper Elite V2 is a lot of fun; if sniping is your thing, look no further. However the other small arms feel worthless even at medium range. I also wish the missions were a little less linear.

Value  * * * *
The single player campaign offers approx 10 hours on the hardest setting with multiplayer and co-op offering endless variety.

Overall  * * * * ½
A solid purchase you won’t likely regret so long as the online community stays intact.

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  1. I played the demo and was quite impressed, will have to give it a shot once there’s the inevitable Steam sale.

  2. I don’t play video games often, but I just had to pick this up today. I’ve been waiting for a realistic game like this for quite some time.

  3. I try to limit myself to Battlefield 3 in multiplayer mode. For the genre of a first person shooter, there’s more strategy and team play than with games like Call of Duty, etc.

    I saw a YouTube video on this game last night, and it does look interesting. I might have to give it a try.

      • Bitch Bf3 is nad nerd madness if you have played it you would know its better then any cod and insulting it makes you a doosh because I like you to develope a game that overtops bf3

        • *Cough*
          ArmA with A.C.E and A.C.R.E
          battlefield 3 is a hell of alot of fun. i own a majority of the battlefield games but when it comes to military shooters ArmA tops Battlefield 3 by miles.

          BF3: 300-2000meter maps
          ArmA2: maps can range from 7square miles to 200square miles

          Battlefield 3 Urban and Open Settings
          Arma2 Vast open terrain from urban centers to vast mountain rangee

          Battlefield 3. US vs RU
          ArmA. USMC/USAF/US Arma/ British / German/ Takistan / Russian. with mods you can have up to any army you wish.

          I Could go on and on but yea, Battlefield 3 isn’t the BEST out there. its one of many though.

  4. Definitely a game you guys would enjoy is the Operation Flashpoint / Armed Asault series (specially ArmA 2), it is by far the most realistic military simulator.
    Sniper Elite V2 was OK but it is mostly a “Shoot ’em up” game… a single sniper turkey shooting 100’s of Germans is fun for an arcade game but not realistic at all.

    • ArmA is a fantastic simulator, but not a terribly fun game. The most realism I can personally handle comes in the form of Red Orchestra Ostfront 41-45

    • I’ve had a few teste shots. I laughed myself right out of my chair the first time I saw some Kraut’s left nut explode into fifty pieces before being blown out his right asscheek.

  5. “if I want to shoot Nazis in the face from three football fields away, I play Sniper Elite”

    +50 don’t we all?

  6. The sniping in the COD/MW series is pretty lame, the longest shots in the game could be handled by a competent rifleman with iron sights. This is a limitation of the engine, they just don’t model more than a couple hundred meters.

    The engine in the BF series does a little better, you can pull off some long shots there and while BF3 does not use windage, you do need some bullet drop compensation. I think my longest headshot in BF3 was something around 380m, but I haven’t played since MW3 came out. The old Battlefied 2 on the PC looked like it had some long shots, but in truth the longest shots were no more than 270m, and then you were shooting at 3 pixels. Great to make the shot, but ultimately not satisfying to do with a “M24” what I can do with an AR-15 and a Burris 3x red-dot at the range.

    Sniping is the one part of the game that will improve with better graphics and larger maps. One advantage of hardware & software innovations is that at least camping is not improved.

  7. I would mutilate myself for a game where a person could take two hits max. A game that attempted to implement true ballistic principles. Bf3 is the best for me so far, and it’s far from perfect. The big corporations have a monoply on first person shooters, even so far as to sue (with no basis) startups. Its a crying shame 🙁

  8. This is awesome. I still bust out the old PS2 version from time to time. That was a bad ass game.

  9. Hey There James Grant,
    Thanks for your thoughts, Without a doubt one of the most growing fields of the entertainment industry continues to be the computer games industry. The PC (Personal Computer) has developed into a total entertainment package with movies, music, games and more. Along with this growth has developed the personal games consoles. One of the most successful of these is the PSP – Playstation Portable – because of its small size yet capability to play games, music and movies.
    BTW great blogpost

  10. okay….
    im playing this right now. its fun but it isn’t as realistic as you’d think it is. the bullet drop and wind is there, that’s about it. but you have no idea of the range/or size of target or velocity of your bullet and bullet drop at certain distances or if scope is a fixed focal plane and what magnification it’s supposed to be to set for measurement. the bullet drop in inches(depending on yardage) to convert over to mills in the game is also missing to make your shots. there’s no ACTUAL WIND SPEED EITHER. and angled shots still shoot like straight shots as well. there is no elevation as well.(which is important) because higher elevation has less drag on the b.c of a particular bullet. there is no temperature adjustments either. the hotter it is, the more pressure the round will shoot at will cause greater velocity. i bought this to have some fun while waiting for weather to get cooler in az to go out shooting again. for those of you who have never held over 4 to 4.7 mils on a 12 inch tall target that measures .3 to .5 mills @ 650 to 700 yrds out with a .308 200 grain bullet traveling @2550 feet per second that will drop 94.3 inches @650yrds zeroed at 300 yrds…will probably not even have the slightest understanding about what im talking about. but don’t sell yourselves on thinking this game will teach you how to shoot or that its realistic…because it’s not. the real dynamics aren’t there and shooting in this game will leave you more confused. thats about it. two stars for half ass engineering and poor game play mechanics as well as lack of polish of graphics.

  11. Got the game a few days ago and set my kill cam to always and nearly every shot is a headshot or through the heart. it is a definite buy and never gets boring

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