A few days ago we showed a trailer for some interesting DLC for 505 Games’ upcoming WW2 shooter Sniper Elite v2, and following that news of being able to stop Adolf in his tracks they’ve released the demo onto the PSN and XBL. Intrigued, we downloaded it and gave it a couple of plays through, and quite liked what we found.
The level provided gives you chance to try your hand at a good range of gameplay dynamics – you’ll be sneaking around buildings to find decent vantage points to take out enemies, sprinting away from enemy fire into cover as well as creeping up on dozing guards to try out a stealth kill. Gun play is varied too, with your sniper rifle and machine gun both getting an outing, plus the chance to use a range of explosives to cause chaos in the ranks. The mission involves taking out some street patrols, laying explosives to disrupt a convoy and killing a key character before he escapes. So with a name like Sniper Elite you’d expect plenty of sniper action, yes? You won’t be disappointed.
From the very start you’ll be aiming at long distance foes. Depending on the difficulty you choose you’ll have to worry about gravity and wind direction affecting the shots you make, giving this a far more realistic challenge than just sitting at the far end of a Call of Duty map waiting for someone to run across your direct line of sight. Get the shot right, and you’ll more often than not be treated to the tracking of your bullet as it sets sail. While this eases off during times of busy fighting, the effect this has is great. Taking out someone from a loooong way away and seeing your bullet slice through a lung in slow motion (complete with brilliantly disturbing x-ray imagery) won’t get boring for a fair while.
The gunplay feels good so far, and the machine guns have a nice weight and power to them. A game like this will hinge around the cover system too, and so far this feels pretty good. There are still times when you think you’re in cover but still get shot, but that tends to be a poor choice of cover rather than the system itself. Getting out of cover has a very Mass Effect feel to it, either dashing from cover or leaping over the item you’re hiding behind.
The game looks good too, with typically war-torn buildings smouldering around you. The only odd thing we came across was the noise your footsteps made as you ran round an empty street – there was an almost metallic echo, although it seemed to subtly blend with the background music so might be intentional. Who knows.
But so far, so good. We’ll be reviewing this quite soon so keep an eye out for that, but as things stand this is a very promising change of pace from your average shooter. A cross between sneaking and shooting could work out brilliantly, and we’re looking forward to seeing exactly what’s on offer in the final game. Give the demo a go, you won’t regret it. Meanwhile, take a look at a walkthrough by the devs of one of the levels from the full game.