Officially announced by developer Rebellion back in March, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered has hit consoles and PC, adding some spit and polish to the third person stealth shooter for a new generation of hardware, including the Switch .
If you’re unfamiliar with the original 2012 release, the WWII-set adventure puts you in the shoes of crack American sniper Karl Fairburne who is sent behind enemy lines in Berlin to investigate and foil the construction of the Nazis’ long range V2 missile.
For the most part, this involves sneaking around war torn parts of the city, distracting or silently taking out enemy soldiers, using mines as boobytraps and – as the title suggests – picking off bad guys at a distance.
The sniping mechanics have a more realistic edge than most shooters, with factors like wind speed and bullet drop affecting where your shot will land.
For those of us who aren’t John Wick, there’s a breath holding mechanic that, as well as steadying your aim, will bring up a small and shrinking red diamond to indicate where your shot will actually land. A successful long range hit will occasionally trigger a slow motion X-ray killcam (a mainstay of the franchise), showing the path of your bullet as it rips through the bone and muscle of the foe who was unfortunate enough to appear in your crosshairs.
In terms of gameplay, everything that was true of the original V2 is intact here. The sniping gunplay is well designed and endlessly satisfying, and you may even find yourself holding your breath alongside Fairburne as you line up your scope on a key target. Some of the more open levels give you a small amount of freedom in going about your grim business, adding to the sense of being truly dropped in unfriendly territory by yourself and relying on your wits. The close quarters stealth isn’t as slick, with the cover mechanic feeling a tad clunky.
The game’s graphics have received a bit of a touch up, with some slightly nicer textures. The biggest caveat of the whole experience is that Playing on Switch in handheld mode is tough to recommend, with the scaled down screen making fine aiming a chore. At points it felt like the aim assisting red diamond was practically invisible. It’s not a particularly bright game either, and while the overpowering greyness of the colour palette certainly matches the ruined, battle damaged setting, it’s not always a feast for the eyes.
If you missed out on Sniper Elite V2 the first time around, it’s a frequently thrilling slice of WWII action that, when playing to its sniping strengths, is heaps of fun. This remaster makes for a good jumping on point for newbies, with the additional multiplayer modes and bundle of previously released DLC giving you plenty to do besides the campaign.
For series veterans, there’s not a huge improvement over the original, but if you like snazzier graphics this may well give you a reason to give SE V2 another blast, if only to tide you over for the many months until Sniper Elite 5 is released.
Platform: Switch (also available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC)