The Good: Satisfying kill shots, good graphics, gory X-Ray kills are fantastic
The Bad: Dumb AI, poor stealth mechanics, drab level design, frustrating shootouts, boring everything else
Sniper Elite: V2 doesn't stand for version 2 as some people may think. This is about trying to stop the Germans from using V2 rockets in World War II. After seeing those three words you probably left this review already. Another WWII game? V2 has a lot of potential, but is lacking in many areas due to the developers laziness in design. The story is nothing special with the only satisfying thing being sniper shots.
The game is all about stealth, but right away you will notice this is broken. The enemies are laid out in a poor manner in which it is hard to figure out how to take everyone out without raising an alert. If you do so you have to fight it out with limited ammo from your other weapons and you die very quickly. Using the sniper rifles is just fine with an ability to hold your breath to steady your aim. Slowly a red diamond will focus on a part of an enemy and that is where your bullet will land. Once you fire the game uses a bullet camera and some times you will see an X-Ray shot of the bullet penetrating the targets organs (the nut shot is awesome!) You will see the skull shatter, organs burst, and eyes explode. This is the most satisfying use of a sniper rifle in any shooter. The problem is, the fun stops there.
Of course sniper rifles back then really didn't have silencers so once you make the shot everyone knows you're there. Some levels have loud noises you can mask the shot in, but this can be difficult. The enemy AI is extremely dumb in which they won't notice a dead comrade right next to them, or they will spot you from hundreds of yards away with some sort of eagle vision. On top of the all that enemies spawn strangely out of some sort of ether because you will walk a hallway with no enemies, circle around, then somehow there's an enemy there. This makes stealth frustrating as hell and you will rage quit often. It doesn't help that the forced shootouts are frustrating and hard because you die almost instantly.
You can lay traps for enemies and such, but I honestly didn't find any reason to do this much. Even the level design is screwy because the hallways are confusing and everything looks the same. There just isn't enough satisfaction from finishing levels and out smarting enemies because in reality your exploiting the dumb AI to advance through the levels. After just about 3 or 4 you will probably have enough and call it quits. It is just so sad that the great sniper mechanic was wasted on such a boring and dull game. The graphics look pretty good, but other than that you won't stay interested. I had this game on my HDD for about 2 months and even when I had nothing to play I couldn't go back to this drab game.
Overall, V2 has some awesome kill shots and great sniper rifles; everything else is a bust. Dumb AI, poor stealth mechanics, boring level design, uninteresting story, and frustrating shootouts. The multiplayer is pretty satisfying, but you won't be coming back for long. V2 is a huge disappointment over a prequel that was fairly decent. Even the most patient gamers won't last here.
(Based on PC version)