I fancy myself a pacifist. I’m kind of hippie in the sense that I don’t believe in violence unless it’s carefully orchestrated and involves submission holds. But the first time this happened I, like, reflexively pumped my fist and shouted, it’s been almost a year to the date since we reviewed the original Sniper Elite forth Nintendo Wii, a lazy port of a 3DS game that wasn’t that great to begin with.
But this man, this is something else entirely. I’m not going to tell you Sniper Elite V2 is an incredible 3DS game or anything, but when it clicks, it’s a really satisfying and unique shooter. Sniper Elite V2 is set near the end of World War II. You play as an American sniper charged with taking down key figures in the German missile program. So there’s an interesting story in theory, although it’s never really told all that well.
But where the 3DS game scores major points is the whole “taking down key figures” part. Unlike a lot of other military shooters, Sniper Elite V2 is designed entirely around a single style of combat—sniping. You don’t just charge into the battlefield and shoot your enemies in the chest with a shotgun. You scope the area from a distance, you sneak in, you find a shady spot, and you take people down completely undetected.
Or at least undetected for as long as possible. Of course, that was the case with the original Sniper Elite, as well. But V2 makes everything better. The 3DS game controls easier, the stages are more interesting, kills are more satisfying. For example, you can actually use a dead enemy to distract another enemy.
And when he runs over to see what happened 3DS game over, pal. And that leaves me open to take down the last two enemies with one bullet. Three down, none alerted. That’s the essence of V2, and at times, it’s really rewarding. And in fact, compared to the first, V2 almost feels like a whole different 3DS game. It’s more cinematic, production values are way better and it also makes some nice changes to the core 3DS game play. Your health regenerates automatically this time, and it also adds some checkpoints.
That makes V2 a lot less frustrating than the first Sniper Elite. Despite fixing a lot of the original’s issues, it also keeps the things that made it so interesting. In particular, the bullet physics that are added to higher difficulty levels. They’re back, and if you’re good, you’ll love them. And of course, the slow motion bullets are back and they’re more horrendous than ever. Now, this isn’t one of the year’s best 3DS games, but it is a really good one. The sniping is incredibly satisfying, especially when you manage to eliminate an entire group without being noticed. Sniper Elite V2 is a smart little tactical shooter, and uh, if you like anatomy ugh gets over here.