Set in the late days of World War II, Sniper Elite V2 puts you in the role of an American sniper who’s tasked with stopping the Russians from recruiting Germany’s top rocket scientists. As the game begins you’ll quickly realize that the game is not your typical WW2 shooter. Instead it’s a tactical sniper simulation layered on top of your typical WW2 shooter.
At the beginning of your missions it behooves you to remain stealthy and observe your surroundings before making a move. Breaking out your binoculars you can scan the beautifully destructed cities or locations for hostiles and make a plan of action. It’s up to you to decide how to play the level. Unlike other WW2 shooters, Sniper Elite V2 gives you the option to approach each level in different ways. You can try to take out enemies from behind stealthily with your silenced pistol, go in guns blazing with your Thompson machine gun, from a distance with your sniper rifle, or a combination of all three. However the majority of the time you will be using your trusty sniper rifle, the game is called Sniper Elite V2 after all.
So after you’ve scouted the area and made your plan you have to execute it, or more specifically, execute the enemies that stand between you and your missions objective. Lining up a nice sniper shot and pulling the trigger will switch the view into x-ray kill-cam mode. You will watch as the bullet leaves your rifle and heads for your target. When the bullet hits the target you will see it pass through any vital organs or bones that stand in its way. While this doesn’t happen every sniper shot, it does happen on the majority of the kill shot ones. The first couple hundred times it’s pretty cool, however it does get very repetitive, and the constant gore may be too much for some players.
As you progress through the storyline of the game you will unlock various new weapons, sadly most of the weapons offer no significant bonus over your default ones, the only exception of which is the sniper rifles. Besides being able to carry three main weapons (Pistol, Sub Machine Gun, & Sniper Rifle) you are also able to use mines, grenades, various other explosives, rocks, as well as stationary weapons to progress through each level. The single player campaign is fairly long, it took me approximately 11 hours to play through the game on the hard setting. The long campaign is not a bonus to this game though, it’s more of a hindrance, the more I played the more I realized how repetitive it is, and how stupid the AI was. I could take out one of two guards on patrol with my sniper rifle and the other one would freak out for a minute then he would just go back to walking around on patrol again. Enemies at times would constantly run toward a machine gun emplacement I was on while I killed them one after one. Then there’s the issue of respawning enemies in areas you already cleared just to make the level last longer.
Overall the game is good, but not great. It has really good graphics, the best bullet physics of any game I have ever played, a unique x-ray killcam, good multiplayer co-op, and a decent storyline. It does have a couple graphical anomalies and animation issues, the AI can be very stupid, and the game can get repetitive. I recommend that you rent the game first, or wait for it to go on sale instead of purchasing it outright.