Ahem, excuse me while I get my inner Slim Shady on…guess who’s back. Back again, reviewing a game, for the Switch. It’s remastered, it’s remastered, it’s remastered, yes it is, yes it is, yes it is. Right, sorry, just had to do that. But yes, here we are again with another remastered game for the Nintendo Switch. This time it is a rather interesting choice of a remaster: Sniper Elite V2. Now, I have thoroughly enjoyed the last two Sniper Elite games. They offer huge, open levels for you to complete your missions in numerous ways. Before replaying Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, I remember it being a good game, but will it hold up in 2019? Short answer, no, no it doesn’t.
A quick recap of events here in Sniper Elite V2. You play as Lieutenant Karl Fairburne, and you are deployed to Berlin in the final days of the Third Reich. Your missions are to assassinate Nazis and leading scientists who had been working on Nazi Germany’s V2 Rocket programme. The plot loosely follows the real-life Operation Paperclip, in which the Americans were trying to recruit these scientists rather than shoot them in the face. It’s a decent story and one that offers some interesting twists and turns along the way to the final showdown.
War-torn Berlin is an interesting setting for a video game. Running through the streets and seeing the destruction the Nazis had brought onto their own country is a daunting experience. The problem is, it doesn’t look great, especially compared to Sniper Elite 3 and 4’s settings. 1945 Berlin is just a pallet of greys and dark shades. The remastered version has done a great job with some dynamic lighting effects, but it isn’t enough to make the setting interesting and certainly doesn’t encourage you to explore the levels.
Not that there will be much exploring, really. This is where Sniper Elite V2 really shows its age, in the linear levels presented to you. It can be frustrating when trying to complete an objective, where your imagination is going wild at all the different approaches you can take or the different methods in how to dispose of your target. Basically, you have an objective at A, and you are at B, get there and do it. It’s not a bad way to play out missions, but it’s sadly outdated now in comparison to not only the sequels in the Sniper Elite series but in other games that use a similar formula.
What Sniper Elite V2 does still do well is allow you to kill Nazis in an oh-so satisfying way. The main weapon of choice is, obviously, the sniper rifle, which still feels incredibly powerful. Thanks to the X-Ray Kill Cam, shooting Nazis in the face, arms, legs or balls, will never, ever get old. A great feature for the Switch version of Elite V2 is how you can use the motion sensor in the console to aim the rifle. I suck at motion controlled-aiming, like properly suck. It has to be said though I did okay with aiming here. Will it be something you’ll use to replace the traditional thumbstick aiming? Probably not, no, but it is a cool little feature to show off to people who haven’t seen it before. Warning though, you will look like a complete psycho on public transport if you choose to play this way.
Where it is fun to shoot Nazis with your powerful sniper rifle, it is quite hard to remain stealthy while doing so. There are times where you can use your rifle without fear of it being heard by the half dozen soldiers on patrol. You will have to wait for a loud sound, a PA announcement, for example, to be able to use the rifle without consequence. There will be times though where you have to use your rifle with no sounds to mask your shot. This is when Sniper Elite V2 becomes just an ordinary third-person cover shooter. Again, not totally a bad thing, but it can become a bit frustrating going from back-to-back shooting battles when, for all intents and purposes, this is a stealth game.
Sniper Elite V2 runs incredibly well on the Switch, both in docked and handheld. That should come as no surprise as it was released in 2012, and even with all the tweaks made to the remaster, it is not a graphically intense game. With this remaster you get all the DLC, which does include a bonus mission where you actually kill Adolf Hitler.
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 14th May 2019