Sniper Elite V2 Remastered Nintendo Switch Review by SwitchWatch

Developer: Rebellion

Publisher: Rebellion

Release Date: 14 May 2019

Price as of Article: Sniper £29.99/$34.99/€34.99

Game code provided by Rebellion

Visuals & Performance

We are going to start this review, as we usually do for ports like this, with visuals and performance. This has the added caveat of being the remastered version which is launching at the same time on other platforms. If you want to play this in 4K  then you will, of course, need to consider another platform as this is not available on the Nintendo Switch. What the Switch does bring with it though, is a good amount of improvements over the original release in 2012 in terms of the visuals. The environments, weapons, and vehicles have all had extra detail added and look very good on the Switch. There is also improved lighting and a number of refinements which just makes the game seem to run smoother. In docked you are getting 1080p and 30 frames per second, I could not see the performance mode here which will allow the game run to at 60 FPS but this is only available on other systems, which is a shame as it would have been nice to have the choice like in the recent Darksiders Warmastered Edition.

In handheld, the game performs very well and I did not come across any stutter or slowdown which meant the game ran very smoothly indeed. Touching on the controls yes there is Gyro controls which work both well in handheld and with my pro controller so those of you that prefer aiming like this will enjoy it and it certainly adds to it being more realistic especially moving the crosshair around but it’s not for me as I found more precision using analogue controls but that’s my personal preference. 

One of the things I love about this series is the x-ray camera and it really is gruesome seeing how a bullet entering a body can have such dire consequences. It’s interesting to see a bullet take out a person’s testicles or when a bullet goes through someone’s eyeball in slow motion, gruesome yes but something about it is satisfying. 

If you have never played this game before then I am going to go into the rest of the review now starting with a story and the gameplay. For those of you who played the original and want to know if it’s worth buying on the Switch then there are no performance issues that were notable in my playthrough other than a tiny bit of pop in from time to time in the single-player campaign. 

 

Story

As the protagonist, Karl Fairburne, an elite sniper, you are parachuted into Berlin amidst the German’s final stand. The mission is simple, prevent the Nazi V2 rocket from falling into the hands of the red army. You must do whatever it takes to help get the job done. The story sets up the game nicely but I never really felt drawn to the character or cared too much what happened to him as there wasn’t too much character development. I wasn’t too bothered, though, I was there to complete the missions at hand and the little dialogue that there is was enjoyable and served the game well adding that much-needed drama to proceedings. 

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gameplay

Gameplay in Sniper Elite v2 has not really changed since the original when talking about the campaign, other than being able to choose up to 8 characters from Rebellions Zombie army series. All DLC has been included also including the “Kill Hitler” Mission. If you are looking to go in all guns blazing then you are not going to survive very long here. This is very much about taking cover and reeling out a few well-placed shots to your enemy, only getting into close combat when absolutely necessary, at least for me as I never lasted too long when the enemy got close. 

The campaign gives the player a decent trek through environments which have been pretty beaten up by the war. Missions vary which keeps the game from getting stale but most of the time you will be manoeuvring through environments stealthily, trying not to get seen, although the foes here have an uncanny knack of seeing you no matter where you are which is a little annoying, to say the least.

You can lay traps from down mines to trip wires to take out the enemy. Missions vary from assassinating a certain person, taking out convoys by laying down bombs and then shooting them from afar, blowing up bridges to stop the enemy getting to where they need to go and so on. It’s all set out well and each area will give you a decent challenge although the enemy AI leaves a little to be desired at times.

The difficulty here is trying to get through each setting without letting the Nazi’s know you are about but that can almost prove impossible in certain areas. Kill someone and your location will be revealed if not using your pistol with a silencer which is about as useful as a chocolate teapot from afar. Take a shot with your sniper and you need to make sure you make each shot count and, in here, in lies a huge issue – the sniper seems to often be very inaccurate. I have often aimed right at a foe and for whatever reason completely missed and don’t tell me it’s because of the wind. I have played both part 3 and 4 of Sniper Elite and the series has certainly moved on quite someway and if you have played those coming back to this will expose some of the limitations of this game. 

Stay in the same place you will not last too long so it’s about getting into cover and one of the frustrations I found is no matter how quiet I was or how well I tried to avoid being seen I would often be spotted and once you’re spotted all hell breaks loose and you are fired upon until you are dead. For a game that’s about getting through using stealth, it felt at odds especially as fighting enemies close by is not something you are best equipped for. 

Some missions involve you getting past or taking out vehicles, there are always some nice surprises to keep you on your feet. Finding high ground is essential to give you the best view, best shots and to not be taken out by the enemy. There are lots of buildings where you can explore to do this. 

There are some aids if playing on a lower difficulty from being able to mark your targets when using binoculars which really proves handy to leaving a ghost of you behind when you move so enemies will shoot at the ghost instead of you, giving you time to move elsewhere. For those that want the ultimate challenge than playing on a higher difficulty will remove all of this. Another problem I had was the controls at times. Someone on my gameplay video in handheld asked If I was getting cramp in my fingers and to be fair they were not far wrong. 

To zoom in with your scope, take a shot and hold your breath will require three of the Nintendo Switch buttons on the top of the console which does not feel great but you do get used to it after a while. Gripes aside I found the gameplay to be rather compelling and I said in my gameplay video my favourite in the series for me is Sniper Elite 4 but this is a close second for me.

There is nothing quite like moving your soldier into position, scoping out an enemy for some movement using your binoculars, looking around patiently for any movement, a reflection of light or listening for any sort of noise. Once found, you then change over to your sniper scope and line up the shot, hold your breathe and hit the trigger and if done right the X-ray cam will take over for a closeup view of your shot doing some serious damage to your foe. What makes this even more compelling is receiving points for the quality of shot taking into account such things as distance and the part of the body you hit.

Headshots will always fair well for you. There are other ways to take out enemies, short range and use your pistol with an attached silencer or get close enough for a stealth kill. You can move the bodies so they don’t get noticed and you can search them for goodies that you may need. You can get into firefights with enemies using your machine gun but you seldom come out on top when choosing to take on your enemies in this way and will often result in death. There are other things you can do like throw a rock to distract the enemy while you sneak by. All of these things give you options in successfully completing the missions. There are also lots of secrets to find for those of you who are completionists. 

There is a photo mode for those of you who want to capture your best shots and share which is novel but best of all is you can play the game in Co-op mode with a friend which is really fun also but these can only be played online which is a shame if in docked as there is no split screen option. However, having two switches in the same room and playing is superb fun.

There are seven online modes which you can take part in for some great tactical fights with friends. From deathmatches to capture the flag and I have to say I was impressed with how well this worked on Switch.  

Then there are the other modes which can be played in Co-op or single player which is a range of DLC missions like capture the Furer which is awesome to prolong this experience long after the campaign is finished as well as shooting hidden bottles and finding gold bars for those collectables. 

Audio

The sound design here is of triple AAA title territory, bullets sound fantastic especially when ripping through a corpse, there are narrated parts which add to the immersion and story. Nazi’s speak in their native tongue and the music is also excellent at setting the tone. 

Value

The game costs the following £29.99/$34.99/€34.99 and you will get a 10% discount if you order a digital copy. These prices are the same across all platforms. I think it’s an ok price for a game which has a good-sized campaign coming in at about 7 hours with lots of difficulty options. There’s also co-op play, both locally if you have two switches and online with modes to play with friends or randoms across the world. This also comes with extra missions and all the previously released ~DLC which is good but the Switch shop is so competitive right now so this could have done with being cheaper although for those of you that are collectors you may want to think about the Physical edition. 

It is an old game but the remaster has had a lot added to it so if you have never played this before then I would have no issues recommending this at its current price. If you have played it but you enjoyed it then this is worth considering again as it really is quality playing this in portable mode. 

Pros

P

Compelling gameplay

P

Triple A audio design

Cons

P

No performance options

P

Unreliable controls