Posted: November 27, 2013
The game is unlike anything else on the market, it is becoming and will become a cult classic just like I predicted when I reviewed this game a few days after the release (the Nazi Zombie expansion packs attest to that) There are only three major negatives about this game that I can think of:
1) It is not as immersive and complex as the first game;
2) The enemy AI could be improved, but its not terrible;
3) The game could be harder.
I've been playing this game practically non-stop since it came out.
There are certainly some trade-offs for the negatives. The graphics have been improved over the first game, obviously. The Asura engine is now one of my favorite engines, it shined in Aliens Vs. Predator and it's pretty good here. Except I don't understand why the last AVP game had Directx 11 support and this game doesn't. That is kind of inconsistent on the part of Rebellion. The bullet ballistics are still pretty good although they have been made easier since the first game. After a pretty fast learning curve you will be able to snipe targets away pretty easily. So I do kind of wish that it could be harder to snipe targets, for the better kill satisfaction. The graphics are pretty decent, I just with the anti-aliasing applied to every jaggy out there.
The X-ray slow-mo camera. You can shoot your enemy's gonads off, you can shoot their jaw off, you can destroy their rib cages, their kidneys, their heart, their lungs, their eyes. The skull can also be destroyed in many ways even when the enemy is wearing a helmet. You just never get tired of it. I am frankly surprised that other shooting games haven't attempted this before and it is 2012!
The physics of the game are pretty good. There is plenty of destruction to go around. What I also loved is that if you make your character sit and then start slowly rotating the camera view either left or right, you will actually see your character chance stance by turning the torso and moving the legs. It just FEELS that you are controlling someone. Compare that with Skyrim's third person view. When you do the same thing in that game, your character will just start levitating in air without shuffling legs or changing the body position.
The bullet ballistics are good but can get predictable. If you miss your first shot from afar, you can immediately adjust your aim to shoot either slightly to the left or to the right, depending on where the last bullet hit.
The online co-op campaign, something that is missing in so many games, thanks for not having an emblem for that, gamespot. My buddy and I spent hours carefully going through the 11 NON-RECYCLED AND VARIOUS missions. Not only that, there is a horde mode, or the Kill Tally mode, (only 2 players), with 10 waves and an increasing amount of enemies plus enemy trucks, jeeps, halftracks and tiger tanks (last wave only). There are 3 maps for that, each with plenty of locations to hide and hold your ground. You can plant trip wires, mines, dynamite. You can also self ignite enemy vehicles by shooting their fuel tank. You can also kill two or three enemies at a time with one bullet and even kill them with ricochet when they are hiding. There is also a bombing run mode, where you and your partner attempt to collect auto parts for fixing a vehicle and extracting. It is much harder than Kill Tally. There is also an overwatch mode (3 maps only) wherein you and your partner can either play as a sniper or the attacker conducting the ground assault. Finally, there is team deathmatch, with 2 new additional maps that were just added by Rebellion a couple of days ago.
The story is okaish but damn is it made up, straight out of Inglorious Basterds. You are an American (of course) sniper in Berlin in April 1945 (yeah right), killing Germans and....Russians (with American bullets, ooookay), who is supposed to stop the Russian launch of captured V-2 rockets with poisonous gas on London as a prelude for the Cold War. It's preposterous if you have any respect for history.
There is a lack of stealth in the game. I mean you could do it in about half the missions but it's more fun just shooting ze Germans and ze Russkies. Whenever you decide to go stealth, make sure to snipe targets during a loud sound as to not alert nearby enemies. You can also search your slain enemies for the ammo and supplies. You can also pick them up and hide them. As you progress, you find new weapons that you can later use in multiplayer but there aren't that many of them.
The sound is good. There are distant explosions in the background, there are low and high altitude planes flying. There isn't a single civilian in the entire game though.
The enemies could use some work. They aren't terrible though. They shoot, they take cover, they change positions, they zigzag, they throw grenades, they pick up and treat their fallen comrades. The snipe from afar and CHANGE THEIR SNIPING POSITIONS. The only real thing that I would have liked is for them to stick to their cover for longer times if they are being shot at by the sniper. The slowing down of time is neat, but it makes the game super easy. That technique is meant for the controller, since you can't aim as well with the two sticks.
Finally, this is a great game if you are looking for something fresh. I can only hope that Rebellion adds a map editor. There are just so many scenarios to invent here. The game is somewhat innovative, fun and pretty solid.
All in all, awesome game. Go ahead and support Rebellion. They have redeemed themselves after AVP.