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Sniper Elite V2

“Wolfenstein 3D” was the very first shooter I had ever played, but it wasn’t until “Call of Duty” that I realized that I really enjoyed games based around World War I and World War II.  In this case, you’ll be taking control of Karl Fairburne, an American sniper, who’s been tasked with preventing Germany’s V2 rocket program from falling into Soviet hands.  I was anxious to see how this World War II sniping simulator stood up against the earlier “Call of Duty” games (before it became modernized).  Before we get started, I’d like to thank Michael Molcher from Rebellion for providing me with a free review copy.

Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2 (PC, XBox 360, PS3)

The main menu has a variety of different options available.  You’ll be able to start / continue a single player game, play with others in co-op & multiplayer, view leaderboards, check out extras, and adjust game options.  The options menu is extremely meaty, letting you adjust things like screen resolution, bullet cam frequencies, volume sliders, mouse sensitivity, keybinds, graphics detail, brightness, and a number of advanced graphics options.  There’s too many to list here, which impresses me.  I’m glad to have so many different ways to customize my experience.  The extras include credits, career stats, and benchmarks.

Starting a new single player game involves choosing a difficulty level, though you can customize your settings if you wish.  You can set enemy skill level, ballistics realism, and tactical assistance, should you decided to forgo picking one of the presets.  Co-op allows you to play a quick match, create a private game, and view leaderboards.  Multiplayer has your typical lobby menu and from what I saw, there is plenty of activity.  You can either join an existing server or create your own, having various modes like team death match and capture the flag to choose from.

Sniper Elite V2

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the “CSI Cam.”

The single player campaign starts you off with a tutorial to help you get acclimated to all of the keybinds and gameplay mechanics.  You’ll have a lot of different keys to keep track of, though luckily the game keeps track of custom keybinds and displays help when appropriate.  The pacing is a mixed bag, as sometimes you’ll be in some pretty intense action sequences and other times you’ll be sneaking around, trying to find ways to get to your map marker without dying.  Things don’t get as hectic and crazy as the “Call of Duty” games, but you’ll still be fleeing from tanks and ducking behind cover to avoid being blown to kingdom come.  In between missions, you’ll be able to customize your loadout and view a map of the area in question.  There are also some hidden items to find, should you have an inner completionist that needs appeased.

The overall gameplay is much different than “Call of Duty.” Rather than run from one scene to the next mowing down everything in sight, you’ll be using your brain a bit more to strategically take out targets of opportunity.  That way of thinking reminds me of games more along the lines of “Metal Gear 2” and “Batman: Arkham Asylum/City.” You’ll be thinking about who you want to hit next and how you want to hit them, making the game a bit more intense than run and gun scenes found elsewhere.  I found the grenade / tripwire feature to be a nice alternative to the long distance sniping.

Sniper Elite V2

Tripwires provide a nice defensive perimeter.

One of the coolest features of the game is the “X-Ray Kill Cam.” I’ve heard various things about this feature…some claim that it is too gory or slows the game up while others applaud it for, you guessed it, being too gory and slowing the game up.  I personally enjoy this feature, as I’m in no hurry to fly through the game at warp speed.  It is definitely not appropriate for kids to see, but as a mature adult, I find the special effects to be outstanding.

Besides that, the game sports a realistic bullet drop and wind resistance mechanic.  While most games simply tell you to line up the enemy in their sight and fire, this game will make you work for those kills.  While this may serve to frustrate newcomers initially, the end result is much more rewarding when you land that successful shot.  Those who don’t want the challenge can set the game to an easier difficulty, which ignores bullet ballistics altogether.  The sniper rifle is obviously the main focus of the game, but the player will also have pistols, grenades, and sub-machine guns available to get them out of tight spots.

Sniper Elite V2

You’ll unlock new weapons as you go, pick what’s right for you.

In the grand scheme of things, “Sniper Elite V2” is an excellent game.  It introduces some pretty unique mechanics that helps to separate from other first person shooters on the market.  I personally enjoyed taking my time, scoping out the environment, and being rewarded with a bullet kill cam for my efforts.  It’s a great game for when you’re in the mood for something with action, but prefer to use your brain a little as opposed to shoving a Thompson up the nose of every enemy in your path.  The game is currently $49.99 on Steam (as of 2/28/13) which might give some pause, but luckily there is a demo available that should help guide you into making a decision either way.  I recommend it at its full price, though those of you who are tight on money in today’s economy (I’m one of them), may want to wait for a Steam sale.

Final Verdict: 7/10

You can learn more about and purchase “Sniper Elite V2” by visiting the following websites:

http://sniperelitev2.com/

http://store.steampowered.com/app/63380/

You can check out video play sessions here:

 

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