The year was 2012. Master Chief embarked on a new mission in Halo 4, and the Mass Effect trilogy was coming to its polarising conclusion. Around the same time, WWII shooter Sniper Elite V2 was gaining traction with gamers thanks to its gruesome, yet oh so satisfying x-ray kills. Sadly, where Halo and Mass Effect hold up well by today’s standards, Sniper Elite V2 does not. Even with a fresh lick of paint.
Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is the same game from 2012, enhanced with visual upgrades and additional content. Unfortunately, neither address the issues with gameplay. The controls are clunky and occasionally unresponsive. Sometimes stealth mechanics like taking cover and knife kills don’t work at all. The audio mix is all over the place. Even with improved lighting, textures, 4K and HDR support, the game still looks mediocre at best.
It’s hard to pinpoint why this partially broken remaster exists. Since V2 first released, the Sniper Elite franchise has spawned two direct sequels, a spin-off zombie series and recently, two more games were confirmed for the near future. Looking back, Sniper Elite 4 was one of the better games of 2017. The far inferior V2 Remastered feels like nothing more than a cash-grab from the developers while they work on the inevitable Sniper Elite 5.
Still, this game does have several things working in its favour, so let’s take a look at those. The x-ray kills are always satisfying. It never gets old watching enemy skulls shattering and organ exploding in slow-motion. The pure spectacle of it can elevate the gunfights to an art form even if it is less visually impressive than the games that followed. Moving forward, Mortal Kombat has some serious competition for the most gruesome franchise award.
Set towards the end of World War II, amidst the ruins of Berlin, the story follows elite sniper Karl Fairburne on a mission to prevent Nazi V2 rocket technology from falling into the hands of the Red Army. It doesn’t get much deeper than this. Each mission plays out through the standard tropes of a war game: Eliminate a high profile target, destroy enemy equipment, rinse and repeat. The campaign is lengthy, offering around 7 to 10 hours of single-player content.
Multiplayer is expanded to support up to 16 players (8 on Switch) across all modes. They include the usual Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, plus more unique modes like Dog Tag Harvest and Distance King. The main problem is not many people appear to be playing online, reducing your chances of finding a decent game.
Where Sniper Elite V2 Remastered shines is in its co-op. The entire campaign can be played with a friend, which does wonders for breathing life into the barren landscapes. The Overwatch mode expands the comradery as one player takes the sniper role while the other is the spotter, moving through the battlefield, ticking off objectives. Overwatch is one of the strongest features of the game although there’s not much incentive to return once the maps have been completed.
All the DLC of the original game is included as standard. The noteworthy content is the Assassinate the Führer mission where you have the opportunity to take out old Adolf in any way you see fit. A shot to the groin rupturing his testicles in x-ray vision is always a suitable option.
The Sniper Elite franchise has a lot going for it. The core gameplay is fun and unique, and the re-occurring co-op modes are great ways to spend a few hours with a friend. Though, this remastered version falls short of what’s expected of a game in 2019 and doesn’t even appear to try and fix the existing problems of the original release. Go play Sniper Elite 4 instead, It’s great! Or hold-out for the recently announced VR game.
Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is available now for PC, PS4, XB1 and Switch.
Man of Many received a digital copy courtesy of the publisher.