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OOOH DID YOU SEE THAT!,
This review is from: Sniper Elite V2 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
The original Sniper Elite on PS2 was something of a sleeper hit with those with the real know, namely the gamers not the reviewers, raising it up to legendary levels of worship. With its suitably sneaky monkey gameplay and uber-violent, uber-up-close, kill cam providing more twisted thrills than a preliminary, leather-clad, fun-run with a new safety word it was a sure-fire winner: pun intended. So how does the new one shape up - does it stand head and shoulders above its touchstone predecessor? Or does it stand above its predecessor only to have its wig split from a suitably safe distance? Read on to find out...or just skip it all read the end bit...sigh.
THE GOOD STUFF:
- Let's get it out of the way: The x-ray based kill cam is one of the finest constructs in gaming history. It is awesome and provides so many nasty, often hilarious, awe inspiring, skull smashes and nad splatterings that it should be in every game ever - even Barbie's Horse Adventure (maybe they could add a glue factory level).
- The levels are massively detailed and massively massive - there are a ton of places to sneak into and blast your opponents from giving a real sense of an actual bombed out maze of hidey-holes.
- The ability to set up a network of tripwires and land mines to lead the baddies into is as ever a beautiful thing and adds to your feeling of battlefield superiority.
- The aiming is precise, exactly what you need, but we are talking sharp as a tack precision - you could take the `tache hair off my mate's missus' top lip from ten miles away if you so desired - god knows she needs it, drench that bullet in nair while you're at it.
- Tagging gas tanks on vehicles is cool as can be.
- Hopefully this will mean more sniper elite's will be pushed out and they can get better and better. It deserves to be a fully fledged series; with Ghost Warrior disappointing almost universally and a lot of folks wanting a pure sniping experience without a whole load of other gubbins thrown in there is definitely room; here's hoping eh.
- The levels as well as being detailed in both detail and layout are nicely varied sending you from rain soaked factories to war torn city centres and everywhere in between.
- Tons of scenarios exploited - triple kill set ups, explosive tanks next to gun nests, rival snipers trying to take you out and blowing your cover - sweet.
- Finding Nazi gold and shooting bottles is a great distraction.
THE BAD STUFF:
- The AI is not the best - waves of dumb-a**es apparently populated the ranks of the SS - I find that hard to believe, even though I'm British and would often like to think so. This leads to cheap tactics meaning that one shot from your rifle can often mean that every single enemy across a massive area will instantly know where you are despite their positioning and any visual blockages in their way. Not great.
- It may be a small thing but the character models hair makes them look like a rubbery action figures - small thing like I said but it looks weird.
- The soundtrack cannot be turned fully off - I don't want music over silent, sneaky, sniper game, or at least the option to turn it right down - I want to hear what's going on around me but even if I could turn the tunes off the surround sound doesn't seem the best mix.
- Sometimes the waves of enemies just get tedious.
- This is definitely a play a level then play something else for a bit then go back for a blast a while later type of a game, it's thrills are short lived and soon become tiresome - but it will draw you back, of that I assure you!
- There are tons of details in the levels but lots are repeated too often - like "oh there's that pile of three books again.....wait...is it following me?"
- Because of the skittish AI you will often not get to use many of the cool hiding places to their full potential - let alone get to them.
- The up close sneak kills don't rock as much as they could.
- Close quarters combat with machine guns and pistols ranges from not that much fun to just plain all over the place.
- Multiplayer = a bit meh, but then the single player is a snipers bread and butter - the solitary way...still it would have been nice to meet other snipers.
- I can never find those bottles!
- The voice acting is a bit slack and a lot of the enemy phrases are used over and over and over and over and....add infinitum.
Sniper Elite V2 is a great follow up to its superb original outing - it could have been absolutely stunning with better AI and a bit more oomph in the close quarters combat, but as it goes it's an exercise in brutal fun; so on that level it feels a bit more like the Burnout of sniper games rather than a full on sniper sim, and more of a balance between the two would have been a bit better. Still it's a top little game that I have had a lot more fun with than Max Payne 3 which is a boon for a much smaller studio with a much smaller franchise. Well done rebellion.