sniper2 © 505 Games

This week in Red Bull Gaming, Glen Ferris lines up Sniper Elite V2 in his sights, gets under starter's orders with Red Bull Augmented Racing Reloaded and signs up for the beta phase of F1 Online The Game…

Sniper Elite V2 – Review

Regular readers of this here blog (hello Mum!) will know I’ve banged on about Sniper Elite V2 before. Now, it would appear that my position on the game's over-the-top violence has irked a few gorehounds who have been driven to tell me what a prize fool I am.

Clearly, arguing with folks who claim I should “stop acting all butt hurt” (so says ‘Common Sense’) over my views on the game’s bad-taste blood and guts isn’t going to get me anywhere. So I shall put the skull splinters and exploded testes to one side and talk about what else the game has to offer.

You play as American sharpshooter Karl Fairburne, a sniper going about his deadly business in a bombed-out Berlin near the end of the Second World War. Charged with taking out various key targets and just about anybody who gets in your sights, you have to traverse the shattered streets of the German capital while deciding whether a bullet-riddled assault or a sneaky attack is the best way to reach your goal.

An update of the 2005 original, V2 improves on its predecessor in many ways. It looks great, with the soon-to-fall Berlin presented in all its crumbling former glory, while the gameplay is slick, smooth and served well by a smattering of perfectly positioned checkpoints.

It’s a game that welcomes a variety of playing styles too. If you wish to take on the might of the German (and, occasionally, Russian) army one bullet at a time, you can test your mettle until you’re the last man standing. Or you can be a sneaky sod and lay any number of trip wires and land mines to cover your back and aid your escape. Patience and skill may be the preserve of the greatest snipers but you don’t have to wait for hours and be a deadshot to advance in this game.

This options-open approach also allows you to decide if you want wind speed and bullet ballistics to be an obstacle in your attempt to pull off the perfect shot. You can also fiddle with the smartness of your enemies’ A.I. – a tweak definitely worth playing around with if stupid and over-reactive stormtroopers aren’t your cannon fodder of choice.

Outside of the main game, there are some single-player challenges and co-op modes – the best being a variation on the oft-seen Horde mode, which sees you laying traps and choosing the best vantage point before killing off wave after wave of the opposition.

All in all then, it’s an impressive title that, despite suffering from some graphical glitches and the odd inexplicable action (some enemies seem to be able to see through walls, while others fail to notice you when you’re standing right in front of them), gives us a compelling taste of the solitary life of the sniper at a time when the world was going to hell in a handcart.

Sniper Elite V2 would be a five-star success if it weren’t for the glitches and uber violence. Leaving aside the dubious use of slo-mo and dissection in depicting the damage that your bullet does, this motif is employed too much in-game. Far from being inured to the death and destruction, you’re likely to become bored and a little pissed-off with the constant breaks in play you’re forced to endure.

It’s a shame, because Sniper Elite V2 very nearly gets it right. Perhaps a possible V3 will forgo the viscera and give us the game we really want to play.

BYTE-SIZED NEWS

Another cracker from the Red Bull gaming stable (even if we do say so ourselves), this iPhone/iPad/Android-compatible title lets you experience the thrill of European circuit racing in the cockpit of the RB7, the Red Bull 2011 World Champion car.

Deceptively simple controls (tilt to steer, touch to accelerate and brake) combine with challenging gameplay as you attempt to beat time trial records, A.I. rivals and real-life friends across a variety of famous tracks. Coming from the people who gave you the current F1 champion, you can be sure we know what makes for an exhilarating experience… So buckle up and download now.

Click here to get the iPhone/iPad version and here for the Android.

  • Fancy getting a sneak peek at what Codemasters have up their digital sleeve for the latest iteration of their F1 Online game? Well, you can do just that if you sign up to the recently announced closed beta programme.

A new free-to-play racing and management game made with full support from Formula One World Championship Limited, the top-down racer will feature all the cars, stars and circuits from planet F1 and, for the first time, gives gamers the chance to form their own racing team, develop their personal franchise and improve their car’s performance on the circuit.

If you sign up to the beta, not only will you get the chance to play the game before anybody else, but you will also have the opportunity to inform changes to features prior to the game’s Open Beta phase, in Q2 2012. Oh, and you’ll also earn in-game rewards when F1 Online: The Game eventually goes live. Click here for further info and to sign up.

 

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