It has been six years since Rebellion's highly-acclaimed Sniper Elite hit the shelves to give gamers an authentic World War II sniping experience. Finally, Rebellion and 505 Games have joined together to fulfil those hardcore gamers wishes by bringing the next instalment into the series, Sniper Elite V2.
Sniper Elite V2 once again aims to offer gamers a unique sniping adventure in the middle of a war-torn Berlin amidst the frenzied final battle between the German and Russian forces during 1945. It emphasises on learning how to handle the anticipation and pressure of the hunt, players have to use skill, patience and quick thinking to complete their missions as they find themselves surrounded by the enemy.
As you would presume, the game is all about stealth and how to take out your objectives while remaining hidden, to do this Rebellion have introduced the prone state as well as crouching and being able to take cover behind walls, giving more ways to take out the enemy unseen. They have also introduced a new silenced pistol known as the Welrod Pistol while also adding in the Lugar and Colt. The three main sniper rifles of the game are a Springfield M1903, the Gewehr 43 and the Mosin-Nagant 1891/30, as they are of course the guns you'd rather know about.
Sniper Elite V2 features detailed sniping simulation with advanced ballistics, taking into account gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration, aim stability and even sound masking. This is guaranteed to provide players with the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting available.
A big improvement over the original sees a more open style of map, allowing players more ways than one to get around the enemy. Jason Kingsley the CEO/Creative Director for Rebellion said,
"We wanted to let the players have the ability to get around vertically and not just horizontally.
To do this we placed an alpha path within the level and then we determined where the objectives are placed and then created different routes, the player can then choose to either go along the street, through a building or on the roof.
We want players to take whatever route they want to get to the objectives, it is not an open world game but we can try and give the player as much use of the terrain as possible."
Rebellion haven't explicitly stated that you can't run and gun through the game, but the likely hood of getting past the first level with that strategy is very slim. There are a few guns you can use like the Thompson M1 which are available in the secondary weapon slot that gives players the chance to take that option, but for hardcore fans sniping will most likely be the preferred choice.
Once again the much celebrated 'bullet cam' from Sniper Elite is back and will be more gratifying than ever. Shots that take a lot of skill will be rewarded with a slow-motion sequence, not only will the camera follow the bullet from the barrel to the target, there is also the added bonus of seeing graphic detail of how the bullet enters and cripples the target within an X-ray style. Establishing the kill and rewarding the player for their well-aimed shot.
The best bit about the additions to the 'bullet cam' are how graphic the deaths teamed with the X-ray are, making you want to see what would happen to the next guy you shoot. So far the team have seen 125 different ways in which the enemy's bones and body parts have broken/burst.
However they say there are around 500 different ways in which every bone in the body can be broken, each in three different ways. It is so graphic that when you hit the eyes they can pop out, the heart can explode in the body, the lungs and liver can burst and best of all the 'family jewels' can also be torn apart.
The slightest changes in the environment need to be taken into account to make sure you can find the perfect position, observe the surroundings, take the shot and slip away unnoticed. Players will often find themselves facing a choice of the perfect shot that leaves them exposed or having to take a more difficult route, or even find a different way to take out the target at the right time.
Producer of Rebellion Steve Hart has said,
"We have created bright AI, although you can use the ghost image system to confuse and flank them.
They initially have the alerted system, so with the first shot they are alerted and react in different ways, some panic, run to cover, fall to ground, and chat to each other about where you might be.
But usually they won't know where you are and sometimes they present themselves. There are different ranks of soldiers and the higher the rank, the smarter they are."
Rebellion are co-publishing the console version of Sniper Elite V2 with 505 Games, but they have decided to self-fund a PC version of the game because they didn't want to disappoint their fans with a console exclusive.
The PC version will provide the same great storyline and game play as the console versions, but will be built specifically for PC to take advantage of the more flexible and powerful hardware, with strong support directly from Rebellion, and they want players to know that "it is definitely not a port."