Shot Through The Heart
When I reviewed Sniper Elite 4 back in 2017, the Sniper Elite series gained a new fan. Sure, these aren't huge big budget masterpieces, but they're a fun time in an age where B-games are a rare sight. So, when Rebellion announced their future plans involved not only a new entry but a remaster, it's like they were catering directly to folks like me. The whole of Sniper Elite V2 Remastered won't be a new game for many veterans of the franchise, but that doesn't matter too much. Whether you're taking on the Germans for the first time or taking a second tour of duty, Sniper Elite V2 provides a solid campaign with plenty of highlights.
Once again, Karl Fairburne airdrops into enemy territory, aiming to stop Germans from defecting to Russia during the last days of World War 2. This narrative plays out in briefings before and after each mission, which works but isn't the best. It's easy to gloss over key plot points and then have no idea what you're actually trying to accomplish. It's just as well, as missions typically devolve into finding a good spot and landing headshots anyway. The Sniper Elite games are hyperfocused on the art of long-range murder, which is both fun and limiting at the same time.
Navigating the "Rooms" of Sniper Elite V2 Remastered
Take the level design. Most missions in Sniper Elite V2 split up into huge "rooms" with a certain number of enemies and pathways to travel between them. The environments look expansive when you arrive, but levels are fairly linear and don't leave much room for explanation. Especially considering just how observant some of the enemies can be. In some levels, walking just slightly out of cover will alert an entire battalion, forcing you to hole up at the start and take potshots for fifteen minutes. Once you clear the area, you walk past hiding spots and potential traps that just go unused because there was no way to maneuver towards them.
When Sniper Elite V2 does let you maneuver, it gives you some pretty fun tools outside of your long-range death machine. Landmines and tripwire let you lure Nazis into an explosive trap or protect a defensive position if you happen to want to play the game as the developers intended. There are multiple grenade types as well as an endless bag of rocks perfect for distracting guards. Overall, it's a fine collection, and it's always fine to successfully hear an explosion downstairs that takes out two of your targets.
Nailing Nazi Domes in Sniper Elite V2 Remastered
While the bombs go off in the doorway, you'll be in the window landing headshots. As I mentioned in my preview, the gamepad controls are in line with what you'd expect from Sniper Elite 4. Aiming is on a trigger while scoping in with the sniper is on a bumper. It's awkward to learn but the placement works amazingly well once you get the hang of it. By the end of the campaign, I was switching weapons and scoping without trouble, swapping close and long-range kills at will. It really makes you feel skilled.
Which is good considering how punishing some of the higher difficulty settings can be. I already mentioned the enemy's perceptive nature, which only gets better as you raise the stakes. You'll also contend with scarce ammo reserves and more realistic bullet drop, making every headshot count. The difficulties provide a good range of challenge for all types of players, but it's in the checkpointing where Sniper Elite V2 truly shows its age. Clearing away an area is fun once, maybe twice if there are some red barrels about. Going back several "rooms" after death means that you might have to clear an early area much more than that. The AI really isn't that dynamic here, so it's an issue of rote memorization that is just no fun.
Graphics and Game Modes in Sniper Elite V2 Remastered
The only fun you'll have in these scenarios is seeing if you can pull off more explosive X-ray shots. As you'd expect from Sniper Elite, V2 has over the top depictions of bullets piercing bone, vital organs and all manner of tissue. They're the reason I originally wanted to get into Sniper Elite and they're just as good here, if a little less graphically impressive. You don't have quite as many distinct targets in V2, but the kill shots are just as satisfying here as they are in later games. The Xbox One X's 4K output really shines here, making these decade-old models pop in a way that almost matches up with skeletal contemporary Mortal Kombat 11.
Once you're done with the campaign, you can hop into multiplayer, which has gotten some new content injections with this new release. Characters from Zombie Army Trilogy make a cameo as playable avatars, and a few new modes (like Distance King) come in from other games in the series. Even a standard deathmatch is pretty unique with Sniper Elite's mechanics, and we don't really get these types of deathmatch modes in games these days. It's not going to sell copies, but it's certainly worth a bit of your time if you're already in for the experience.
Sniper Elite V2 Remastered Review | Final Thoughts
Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is everything you could want from a game bearing that title. For series veterans, it revives an old favorite with a new coat of paint and some minor upgrades. For newer fans, it gives you a reason to go back and play through what many consider to be the true starting point of the series. Anyone undecided can just take one look at an X-ray kill and know exactly where they stand. Neither the campaign or multiplayer is going to last you more than a few sessions unless you're really dedicated, but that's just fine. The world needs more B-games, and I'm happy that Sniper Elite is still carrying the torch.
- Intense Sharpshooting
- Bag of Explosive Traps
- Impressive Remastered Visuals
- Dated Level Design
- Unforgiving Checkpoints
- Occasional AI Quirks