By Joseph Luster

Even with all the improvements made in a series over the years, sometimes it’s a breath of fresh air to go back to the earlier roots. That’s what Rebellion Developments has given everyone a chance to do with Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, which, with the exception of some visual polish, is pretty much the exact same game many of us played back in 2012. If that sounds like a good time to you, then you probably already have a copy. For everyone else, it’s going to depend on how easily you can jump backwards in a series that has made some major improvements in recent years.

For those new to the Sniper Elite series, it’s all about the thrill of stealth combined with the payoff of absurdly brutal long-distance takedowns. As Lieutenant Karl Fairburne, players are tasked with eliminating dangerous Nazi targets in the final days of World War II. These assassinations culminate in the aforementioned payoff: the X-Ray Kill Cam that shows how the shot goes down in slow motion. Seeing the damage you’ve done in x-ray vision is always entertaining, and it’s almost too over the top to really be considered gruesome. It’s the stealth sniper game equivalent of a Mortal Kombat finishing move.

This is all going to be pretty straightforward for anyone who hasn’t long since moved past V2 and on to improved followups like the third and fourth entries. Those games did a great job of both enhancing the artificial intelligence of enemies and crafting a more attractive overall visual design. Sniper Elite V2 is fun, but its environments are drab and its enemies are as dumb as rocks. On the other hand, there’s a special sort of charm to the smaller levels that makes for a more easily digestible experience.

If you played Sniper Elite V2 the first time around and went on to have fun with later games in the series, there’s little reason to go back unless you had specific missions or moments you loved. The best thing Sniper Elite V2 Remastered has to offer is a more refined and touched-up way to snipe your way through the last days of war for the first time. Give V2 a shot and then prepare to be wowed as you move on to the sprawling locales of Sniper Elite III and Sniper Elite 4.

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