Whenever a new title from Rebellion is nearing release, there is an aura of excitement amongst players. When that new title is a game from the Sniper Elite series however, then you can bet your bottom dollar that what you’re going to experience will be nothing short of spectacular. With the original Sniper Elite being one that many missed out on, Sniper Elite V2 proved to be a huge hit when it arrived back in 2012.
In the shoes of series icon and American OSS Officer, Karl Fairburne, players were sent to Berlin during the final days of World War II to track down and eliminate key targets involved in the development of the superior V-2 Ballistic Missile. Of course, that was something many enjoyed thoroughly, and after the huge success of the following sequels – Sniper Elite 3 and Sniper Elite 4 – as well as spinoff mod-come-official title Zombie Army Trilogy, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is back with all the usual bonuses that come accompanying a remastered title. But is the trip back to Berlin as good as we remember it?
For those who missed out on Sniper Elite V2 first time around, the game is played as a third-person tactical shooter which sends players in to the infamous Battle of Berlin during 1945. Throughout the game, you take on the role of one of the finest officers from the American Office of Strategic Services, and your role is to head into the war to find and eliminate the key scientists involved in the German V-2 rocket program that is nearing completion.
In a fantastic opening tutorial-esque mission that teaches the basic controls of the game, players are tasked with heading into the war-torn and ravaged city of Berlin, attempting to assassinate the German Major-General Hans von Eisenberg, whose attempts to defect to the Soviet Union have been unearthed. During this mission, players will learn the key mechanics such as the use of stealth, basic controls such as changing weapons and equipment and how to shoot – including how to judge wind direction, which can affect aiming accuracy dependant on the difficulty you are playing. As well as that it’ll teach you how satisfying it is to pull off the perfect shot as an X-Ray kill-cam begins showing your bullet flying through the air before piercing the skin, bones, and internal organs of your target.
From this point on you are sent into the thick of it, with mission after mission sending you after a new target, whilst putting your skills to the test within a number of incredibly well built, perfectly detailed and expansive environments that test your stealth and shooting capabilities.
Of course, if you played the original, then you don’t need me to tell you that it was a fantastic adventure, and I could easily sit here and tell you about the specifics of every action and how brilliant it is to watch a bullet fly into an enemy from 300 metres away. But similarly there are a ton of new features on show in the remastered version of this incredible game.
The first thing that will hit you is the stunning visual upgrade, with Sniper Elite V2 Remastered now rocking complete 4K visuals and HDR support on the Xbox One X – and compatible PCs with Xbox Play Anywhere. And boy does it look good! Further to that though is the addition of Photo Mode and in Sniper Elite V2 Remastered you can now share every glorious moment with others, with in-depth options allowing players to go through each action frame-by-frame, applying filters and adjusting lighting to make those spectacular kill-cam shots really stand out.
As you’d expect with any updated game, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered does indeed come packing all the rather exciting DLC that was released for the original game and should you be wanting for a little more after mastering what is already a fairly lengthy campaign, then the ‘ASSASSINATE THE FÜHRER’ mission is one that you can be getting involved with for no additional cost. In this infamous mission, players are tasked with – as the title suggests – assassinating none other than Hitler himself, and with the number of ways to do so proving plentiful, this is without a doubt a content pack you will have plenty of fun with, as you try to capture an iconic testicle shot!
There are also additional characters included now too and whilst I for one will always be found donning the shoes of Karl Fairburne, there is now the option to play through any of the multiplayer modes or the full campaign with 7 new characters from the aforementioned classic, Zombie Army Trilogy. It’s nothing major but extra options are always nice.
Talking of multiplayer and Sniper Elite V2 Remastered isn’t just a game that will have you running through the campaign and should you be interested in Online Multiplayer or the occasional bout of cooperative play, then you can find it here with 7 incredibly tense game modes available for both online and local multiplayer, along with 4 co-op modes to be getting stuck into.
Multiplayer works a dream too, and whilst I was only able to jump in with local play due to limited players prior to release, the beloved Distance King and Deathmatch modes that players have long enjoyed in the Sniper Elite franchise once again prove a highly enjoyable experience. What’s new with multiplayer this time around however is that support has been increased, with up to 16 players now able to battle it out in online play, across events such as Dog Tag Harvest, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Team variations of both Dog Tag Harvest and Distance King.
The cooperative play is just as good. The four modes on offer include Campaign, Kill Tally, Bombing Run, and Overwatch, and as is usually the case with any Sniper Elite offering, these can be made as hard or as easy as you like. Play them with Custom settings maxed out and you may well be in for the hardest sniping experience available on Xbox One. As you’d expect, these run silky smooth and with full online co-op available, are certainly modes that are worth checking out.
And then we get on to the audio and one thing that is still hugely impressive is that of the booming soundtrack. From the moment the catchy theme song hits, you know you’re in for a treat, and if you’re looking for a game to set the tone with each mission, this is one that does it well, with everything from sound effects to background music that fades in and out proving to be on point.
If you’ve yet to play Sniper Elite V2 in any way, then this remaster is a fantastic opportunity to jump into the game that kickstarted the series as a whole. With mouse and keyboard support, gameplay that brings together some incredible stealth opportunities, visuals that shine from start to finish, incredible storytelling that pieces together the adventures of our protagonist into a heroic script, and some truly satisfying gunplay, this is definitely a game for both casual shooter fans and series veterans alike. With each mission sending you deeper into the V-2 rocket storyline and tons of incredibly well hidden collectibles in the form of Gold Bars and Wine Bottles ensuring you need to be found exploring every nook and cranny, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered on Xbox One does a fantastic job of reiterating what has made the series so popular.
It’s one we should be applauding once more.