In a world filled with shooters set in historical time periods, Sniper Elite has always been unlike other games in the genre. We know what to expect when it comes to World War I or II shooters like Call of Duty or Battlefield. But Sniper Elite has always been a little different. It’s a little slower paced and strategic compared to other shooters. It makes sense that Sniper Elite V2, arguably one of the best shooters in Rebellion’s library of games, is ripe for a remaster. After all, remasters are becoming more prevalent in order to introduce a new audience to classic games from the past. So how does this remaster play on current gen consoles? Well, while it’s not exactly a perfect headshot, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered still shows how fun it is to be a sniper.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Sniper Elite series, let me first tell you that you should rectify that mistake immediately and check out all of the games in the series (including Zombie Army). They are some of my favorite games. Sniper Elite V2 tells the tale of sniper Karl Fairburne towards to final days of World War II. His mission is to hunt down some German scientists who are developing a pretty devastating missile. The Soviets are also trying to track these scientists down, so you are in a race against time against both German and Soviet enemies.
To be honest, the story feels like it takes a back seat to the gameplay. Granted, the gameplay is awesome and I’ll talk more about that in a little bit. But the story is played out using voiceovers and pictures between missions. I was hoping for some more animated cutscenes to go with the exposition, but that’s not the case here. The voiceover work is good, so I’m happy with the results.
The real winner here is the gameplay. The Sniper Elite series is known for fantastic sniper mechanics and they are on full display in Sniper Elite V2 Remastered. You must deal with sound, bullet drop, your breathing disrupting your shot, and other elements. It’s really fun to take your time and plan out the perfect assassination. When playing at the lowest difficulty setting, these elements don’t really matter. But when you are on harder difficulties, you need to hold your breath for a specific amount of time and be mindful of your surroundings.
You are rewarded with kill cams rather frequently in Sniper Elite V2 Remastered. But not just any kill cam. Sniper Elite is known for x-ray cams, which gives you a look at how the bullet destroys the area that you shot. Headshots are pretty brutal, but I found shots to the chest to have the most detail. Seeing the bullet go through multiple organs and out a shattered ribcage is disgustingly awesome. It’s really a reward for taking your time strategically taking out your enemy. If you go in guns a blazing, then you see less of these x-ray kill cams.
Since stealth is crucial, you have some tools to help you get from point A to point B without the enemy storming your position. You can set mines on bodies or put up trip wires to keep enemies from following you. At higher difficulties, you need to be stealthy. Enemies will come storming at you if you are caught in the open or if you make too much noise. One of my favorite mechanics occurs when the enemy spots you. If you move positions, you will see an outline of where the enemy spotted you last. As enemies focus on that spot, you can flank from another location and take them out.
The sniping gameplay works great, but the rest of the game suffers from some technical abnormalities. For example, enemies patterns are not very responsive, in that enemies get stuck in very simple patterns and stick to places out in the open for too long. I found weird instances of getting stuck on corners and other areas of the environment. These anomalies were not frequent, so it didn’t disrupt things too badly.
Another unfortunate aspect of the remaster is the linear gameplay. Nowadays, we are used to seeing alternate routes or areas to explore. In the case of Sniper Elite V2, it’s pretty obvious as to where to go, where to hide, and where to place traps. There are many vantage points, especially in levels with multiple buildings. But you can’t go into the majority of them. I still had a blast with this remaster, but little things like this kept it from being a home run.
I will say that the remastered graphics and sound design are great. The game looks wonderful with HD graphics. It feels like there are extra details in the environment and kill cams with this remaster compared to the original. The weapon sounds are unique to each weapon. The long range rifles sound particularly great, especially with the echo of the gunfire reverberating off of walls. It feels like the majority of the remaster was focused on graphics because they turned out great.
Sniper Elite V2 Remastered still has the great shooting mechanics as the original. I had a blast sneaking my way behind enemy lines and seeing all of the glorious x-ray kill cams. Single player is really fun, and the multiplayer modes can be fun with the right set of friends. The graphics are great, but I wish some more time was put into remastering some of the linear levels and technical anomalies. Overall, if you are a fan of the series, this is a great addition to your gaming library.
Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is available now on Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC, and Nintendo Switch.
Note: GameOctane editor Ryan Welch received a digital code from the publisher for the purpose of reviewing this game. Any code or product intended for reviews is distributed to the team to review and stream for our audience.
Check us out at Opencritic!
Traps to protect yourself and take out enemies
Graphics and sound upgrades are great