Sniper Elite V2 may be a game where careful planning is paramount, but it’s the eye-watering attention given to shooting Nazis in their crown jewels that it will be remembered for.
Set during the Battle of Berlin in World War 2, the game casts players as a lone Allied sniper charged with assassinating a bunch of Nazis. Reaching a suitable vantage point to snipe from requires subtlety so there’s plenty of sneaking, guard distraction and trap laying to do before you get your trusty sniper rifle out.
These sneaky antics are, however, just the warm up to the moment when you look down the scope, line up the perfect shot, hold your character’s breath to steady your aim and squeeze the trigger.
The pay off for precision sniping is gore galore. The makers of Sniper Elite V2 have spent a frankly disturbing amount of time studying how bullets impact flesh and bone. While this means we wouldn’t want to be alone with them in a dark alley their macabre knowledge means Sniper Elite V2 rewards players with some grotesque yet spectacular executions.
A well-placed shot will cause the world to enter slow motion so you can see your bullet tear through the air before puncturing your unsuspecting victim in a shower of blood. If it’s an especially good shot you also get treated to an x-ray vision view showing how the bullet rips flesh, splinters bone or bursts vital organs. Ouch and urrgh.
Grim as this is it’s also a satisfying reward for the meticulous planning that the game requires before you strike and without it the game would be unremarkable.
Its visuals won’t astound and its third-person action isn’t packed with variety, but the sadistic pleasure of those sniper shots makes Sniper Elite V2 something of a guilty pleasure.