Sniper Elite V2

Sniper Elite V2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCWii U

A modern take on the critically and publically acclaimed classic Sniper Elite.

Review Verdict Read Review
6Out of 10
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Sniper Elite V2 screenshot
Sniper Elite V2 screenshot

Sniper Elite V2 won't serve us well in any video game violence debate. "Honestly, games are wholesome and culturally important!" we'll cry as a slow-motion bullet rips through a Nazi's liver.

The big addition to this sequel of a 2005 original is a preposterous new killcam that activates every time you land a perfect hit. Think VATS from Fallout 3, only with more gruesome anatomy. You fire your shot and the camera whizzes along with the bullet, then shows a cut-away of your adversary's innards as they tear apart. Pleasant.

As ridiculous as it is (and, yes, it is utterly ridiculous), it's an oddly satisfying payoff for your sniping proficiency. As the name might well suggest, this is a game that does sniping wonderfully, painting it as a tense and skilled process that's more about readying yourself for the perfect shot than actually pulling the trigger.

Set during World War II, and in the aftermath of the first Sniper Elite, V2 leads you through a life of subterfuge as you sneak and deceive your way around enemy-infested cities and baddie-riddled factories. Missions tend to unravel in an established pattern: creep your way in, snipe some targets, sprint and blast your way back out.

My advice? Resist the urge to play on a low difficulty setting. Doing so leaves you with a bland and predictable shooter that offers no real incentive to press forwards. Start ramping up the challenge, though, and several important factors come into play. You'll need to steady your breathing. You'll need to consider the trajectory of the bullet, and any wind that might veer it off-course. And you'll need to compensate for any movements your target might make in the last second before you take the shot.

Sniper Elite V2 screenshot

Cleverly, Sniper Elite V2 allows you to tweak specific difficulty options to your liking, which is helpful in a game whose harder settings pit you against properly ruthless AI. I found myself settling on the most complex sniping mechanics coupled with enemies of middling intelligence, so I still had to think about staying as silent and unseen, but didn't have one million troops all zeroing in on my position the minute my figure popped up in a distant window.

The game asks you to plan several moves ahead, inviting you to set traps that might assist you in your eventual and inevitable escape. There are also usually a couple of routes you can take around the game's large areas, though it's crying out for a little more flexibility at times. While you can booby-trap corpses or set up trip mines, that's about the extent of your sneaky skills. The game doesn't even register light and shadow, so while crouching makes you deadly silent, sitting down in broad daylight doesn't always expose you as much as it should.

A cover system is included, meaning there are plenty of chest-high obstacles to hide behind, assuming the game's decided you're allowed to hide behind that one in particular. They're most useful during V2's inevitable action sections, which generally leave a lot to be desired. The flaky, frantic and imprecise cover shooter you're forced to plod through at various points is a stretch away from the excellent sniping and passable stealth. These typical action moments didn't need to be here, and Sniper Elite V2 would have been a much stronger package had it focused purely on what it does well.

Outside of the main game there are single-player challenges and co-op play (only the PC version gets competitive multiplayer). The best distraction is an interesting take on the now-ubiquitous Horde mode, which sees you working to evade increasingly deadly waves of enemy soldiers, rigging traps and picking vantage points from which to most efficiently pick them off.

Ultimately, Sniper Elite V2 shoots itself gruesomely in the foot by frequently diverting you away from its best bits. On the 360 it's also a visually inconsistent game: grand views of city squares impress, but you'll be battling blocky geometry and muddy textures alongside Nazis and Communists. It adds up to a title whose heart is in the right place, but whose legs have been shattered by the bullet of bloated game design.

Version Tested: Xbox 360

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User Comments

draytone's Avatar


I played the last one, and it was pretty entertaining and I enjoyed certain parts of it before being utterly frustrated by either broken AI or just poor gameplay mechanics. Not bothered by the score, it's by a smallish studio who are kind of doing something different.
Posted 22:07 on 19 May 2012
InvalidUser's Avatar

InvalidUser@ Bloodstorm

Is he? well I guess they can squeeze the assets stock a little more.

The truth really is out there.
Posted 19:43 on 02 May 2012
Bloodstorm's Avatar


Woods is a clone.
Posted 18:26 on 02 May 2012
InvalidUser's Avatar

InvalidUser@ squidman

It's 2025 here in the poo portal that is the internet, Woods is now CIA operations director in a nursing home, and his uncanny valley son is fighting the war in the future.

Amidst the chaos and carnage, Gaston is frantically flicking through Activision weekly sales figures compiled in sticky paged ring binder.

The truth is out there but is it a 6 or an 8.

Argh!!!! it's the numbers again.
Posted 16:18 on 02 May 2012
squidman's Avatar

squidman@ InvalidUser

Posted 15:06 on 02 May 2012
InvalidUser's Avatar


So on par with Fable Heroes o_O.

But worse than the "officially licensed" UEFA 2012 DLC which is actually half licensed and half baked.

I see people have left and Gaston is still talking to himself about COD in a corner.
Posted 14:02 on 02 May 2012
jcalberta's Avatar


good review ... insightful. and i like your advice about adjusting the difficulty level. i could actually do without the gory killcam - wish there was an 'opt out' on that. so i am a bit disappointed to be sure. so much potential. but maybe they can make some adjustments. ?? otherwise i guess im waiting for Sniper Ghost Warrior 2 ...
Posted 03:36 on 02 May 2012
dazzadavie's Avatar


About the score I was expecting. Might pick this up later this year when the price has dropped way way down.
Posted 17:27 on 01 May 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Sniper Elite V2
Out of 10
Sniper Elite V2
  • Often tense and engaging
  • Fantastic sniping mechanics
  • Cries out for more stealthy opportunities
  • Action-centric sections are below par
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 04/05/2012
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC , Wii U
Developer: Rebellion
Publisher: 505 Games
Genre: Third-person shooter
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 2,675 526
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