Scott Watson reviews Sniper Elite V2 Remastered…
When done right, remasters or remakes of older games can re-invigorate a series, or give a wonderful slice of nostalgia to fans. They sometimes though, can come across as something of a head scratcher as to why they were re-released. Sadly, Rebellion’s Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, while given a lovely and detailed makeover, falls into this latter category.
First released in 2012, the game was a well received follow-up to the 2005 original, and continued the adventures of Karl Fairburne. American OSS officer and sniper extraordinaire, inserted into Berlin during the final days of World War II. Since then the series has spanned a number of zombie spin offs, and one of my games of the year in 2017, the fantastic Sniper Elite 4. That pinnacle of the series is the biggest issue the V2 remaster has to contend with.
Don’t get me wrong, Sniper Elite V2 is a solid enough game, but graphical overhaul aside, it feels like a game that was released in 2012. Game mechanics and expectations of what you can and can’t do within the environment feel restrictive. Animations and transitions aren’t as smooth when it comes to making your way around the environment or performing stealth kills. Sadly, I always find myself comparing it to Sniper Elite 4, which isn’t a particularly fair comparison to make I know, but is perhaps testament to how much love Rebellion have put into the series that you can really see how much the in-game experience has grown since then.
Before this review descends too much into doom and gloom though, the solidity of the sniping mechanic and the wonderful x-ray kill cam are still a joy to behold, the environments around Berlin are gorgeously grim and war-torn given the age of the engine, plus the flexibility of the game to provide you with a difficulty level to match your expertise still mean there’s enjoyment to be had within this remaster. Working your way through the levels too, finding the best ways to keep confrontation to a minimum, or misdirect enemies is still rewarding, as you try to find every and any excuse to make use of your sniper rifle instead of your secondary, and often noisy and ineffective secondary weapons.
The joy of co-op and competitive multiplayer is prevalent too, a huge element of Sniper Elite 4 that I’ve loved to bits, that helps lift the game beyond the single player experience. Kill Tally’s horde mode can get overwhelming very quickly if you’re not paying attention, while Bombing Run remains a tense as ever battle against the clock, Overwatch however still gives you the closest co-op experience to the single player story where communication can be the difference between winning and losing!
Yes, the Sniper Elite v2 Remaster, is indeed quite the curiosity. On the one hand, I understand Rebellion’s need to give fans the opportunity to play through and show love to the series if this earlier edition had passed them by, but in contrast, it’s been surpassed so much by its later iterations, Sniper Elite 4 in particular, that if you’ve already own this version it’s hard to recommend this nostalgia trip.
- The x-ray kill cam is still a thing of beauty
- Multiplayer components still stand out as enjoyable experiences
- Game mechanics feel very dated
- Transitions and animations can be a bit jarring
Rating – 6/10
Platform reviewed on – Xbox One (also available on PS4 and PC).