Earlier this week, one of the most acclaimed covert shooter games was re-released with Sniper Elite V2 Remastered hitting the virtual shelves of PC’s Steam store (as well as Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch) on Monday. Fans of the series will likely be relieved to hear that the game is indeed a clean remaster – little to no content has been modified outside of the visual improvements to the game and an expansion of the multiplayer game mode. Is this remaster worthwhile enough to bring fans of the series back to a title that was originally released in 2012? Let’s find out!
While the Sniper Elite series has been a long-standing franchise and one that filled a fairly unique niche market for covert historical sniper games, it is slightly confusing to release a remastered version of a game in a franchise whose latest release was only two years ago.
Nevertheless, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered does breathe some life into possibly my favourite title in the series, so while I may not understand the reasoning behind its re-release, I was certainly excited to see that it was coming back in all its glory!
The remastered graphics are a noticeable improvement but nobody will mistake Sniper Elite V2 Remastered for a freshly-built next-gen title. Some of the surfaces seem to have not received the same treatment that others may have, and the lighting seems to still look slightly older.
That being said, I am no game developer and I applaud all of the efforts to revitalize this game, I only noticed the few things I mentioned because I was watching with such a critical eye.
The campaign gameplay, thankfully, has not changed one bit. The missions are the exact same as I remember (kind of sad to think that I actually remember specific missions from the original game 7 years later), and the X-Ray killcam is just as gruesome and glorious as ever.
The one major downside of remastering this, or any other game, is the ever-changing climate of gaming. As game developers charge headstrong into new technologies, techniques and depths of gameplay, they rarely look back to return to a retro style (gems like Cuphead are marvelous obscurities).
This means that what was a successful game 7 years ago will not necessarily be a successful game today. And Sniper Elite V2 Remastered proves that this is due to much more than a need for up-to-date graphics. The depth of the game is staggeringly low when compared to 90% of today’s games.
The story and pathways, while considered very open for the time, now pales in comparison to titles like Hitman 2 or even Sniper Elite 4, it seems linear and a little awkward. This is not meant as an insult to the game, it is just a statement of how quickly the video game industry is moving and that, as it is right now, there is more value in adapting with the changing climate for new games rather than reviving old games with a simple remaster.
At the end of the day, Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is a nostalgia-filled title for long-time fans of the series but even the most diehard of said fans will likely not stay engaged for long in such a dated title. If you are a fan of sniping/covert shooter games and want to check out the Sniper Elite franchise, I highly recommend spending your time and money on Sniper Elite 4 instead.