They say that you shouldn’t revisit your former glories. I don’t think the video games industry heeds this advice, though, as remasters are prevalent this generation. The Switch has already seen its fair share of remasters. A fair few of these have come from Nintendo themselves, giving some of the best games on Wii U a new lease of life. Well, now Rebellion is getting in on the action with a remastered version of Sniper Elite V2. The game was originally launched in 2012 (though the Wii U version was released in 2013). So, how does this remaster hold up now?
A sniper’s life
You play as an American sniper in the Battle of Berlin during the Second World War. Your goal isn’t to capture the city, though. Instead, you are tasked with taking out (or capturing) the German scientists responsible for the V2 rockets. This is basically an excuse for you to go around killing a lot of Nazi and Russian soldiers. And you will kill a lot of them! Despite being a sniper, you will wipe out hundreds of soldiers. About two-thirds of these will be with a rifle. The rest of the time you will either be sneaking around using a silenced pistol or just trying to survive with a machine gun.
Using the sniper rifle feels amazing. Holding L will aim down the sights. Holding ZL will look through the scope. Pressing R will slow your breathing to make you more accurate. The best bit about this, though, is that it provides a red diamond that shows exactly where your bullet will hit. This takes into account both wind and the drop-off in the bullet arc the further it travels. Hitting a target that is hundreds of meters away from you gives you a real buzz. Take out a few in a row, and you feel unstoppable. The shooting mechanics are really good, and the higher the difficulty, the more realistic (and harder) it becomes.
Weapons and enemies
You start every level with a rifle, Thompson machine gun, and Welrod pistol. This pistol is suppressed and will be your main weapon when creeping around. It doesn’t fire very far and isn’t pinpoint accurate, but it will take down an enemy without drawing any attention. The machine guns should only ever be used as a last resort. It’s not just that they will attract every soldier on the map, but they are inaccurate as well. Whether this is a way to force you into using your rifle, I can’t say. Your enemies don’t seem to have the same issues, though. Their weapons seem to be far more accurate and deadlier.
Speaking of your enemies, their AI is generally pretty good. They will try to flank you, take cover, and (usually) attack you from appropriate ranges for their weapons. Once they spot you, all the enemies in the vicinity will become aware of you. When this happens, you will have a real fight on your hands. You will either need to trust in your weapon skills or make a hasty retreat. The AI is not flawless, though. I did come across a few occasions where an enemy soldier got stuck either underneath a staircase or on the other side of a door. These were very rare occasions, though.
Content and visuals
Visually, this is a bit of a mixed bag. Sniper Elite V2 is a game from the last console generation. While the remaster does polish elements, it still looks dated. A good example is lighting. The team at Rebellion has added in some really nice modern lighting effects like God rays and lens flare. However, some light sources provide a rather fake looking glow. The textures have had a bump in fidelity, but they still aren’t close to Sniper Elite 3 and 4. It also has to be said that there isn’t much variation in the look of your surroundings. I understand that this is set in Berlin during the final days of WWII, but nearly all the buildings use the same type of dark grey bricks and there is repetition of the same destroyed house models. I just wish there were a bit more variation and use of color.
Content-wise, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered provides a pretty good bang for your buck. The main course is obviously the campaign, and this will take you around 7-8 hours to complete. There are collectibles, which will provide you with many more hours of hunting around. This package includes all of the DLC that was released for the game, adding another hour or two of missions. Then, of course, there’s multiplayer. This comes in two flavors: co-op and competitive. There are four co-op modes to play where you can blast your way through enemies with a friend. If you’d rather kill your friend than play alongside them, there are seven different modes to take part in. Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the multiplayer, as I was unable to find any matches. If it’s anything like Sniper Elite 3 and 4, though, there will be a lot of fun to be had.
As a fan of the Sniper Elite series, I loved going back to Sniper Elite V2. It does remind you of how far the series has moved on this generation with the third and fourth games in the franchise. This remastered version of the second game is still a worthy entry, though. It’s a great jumping in point for Switch fans before Sniper Elite 3 arrives later this year. The sniping is great, and the gruesome X-ray kill shots rarely get dull. The visuals may not be truly current-gen, but at a budget price and with a lot of content on offer, it’s forgivable. If you’re after a realistic World War II shooter, then this is your only choice. Fortunately, Rebellion not only knows how to make a great game, but they know how to port it to Switch.
Release Date: 14 May 2019
No. of Players: Up to 8 players
Category: Action, Adventure
A review code was provided by the publisher.
Founding Xbox Enthusiast member and serious guitar player. Basically, Steve rocks. Need we say more?