I was so ready to love Rebellions sequel to what was possibly the greatest underdog of the decade. More than just an unexpected success, Sniper Elite V2 was a game that promised to really blossom and overcome its kinks the second time around.
Instead what I'm left with is a game that apparently got so drunk on victory champagne it ended up vomiting all over the lessons it should've learned about itself and its audience after that initial success.
From the start of the game you have charts popping up left and right, telling you absolutely nothing the interface hasn't already spelled out for you with caps lock clarity, and that is not a compliment. The interface, once subtle and functional, is now glaring and overreaching, robbing you of any immersion in a game world so many decades from producing its first tamagochi, let alone its first hamfisted digital overlay.
Deserts are quite possibly the worst place to set your game if you're building a corridor shooter, and Rebellion does it with all the psychopathic unease of a neatly composed Ikea sales display. It won't take René Magritte to tell you that you aren't looking at a desert, though I'm amazed the game didn't have a chart spelling that out for you.
Of course the self-inflicted wounds don't stop there.
The killcam has devolved from a rewarding, finely tuned mechanic to a creepy disruptive anatomy class, and removing the previous games awkward cover function would be a great decision if only the game allowed you to shoot over low walls while crouched. A much needed save function inexplicably extends into Sniper Elite difficulty offering unlimited saves, eliminating any real tension lest you sabotage yourself, which won't ever be a realistic expectation on a player.
But that is Sniper Elite III in a nutshell. A game that caters to everyone, equally poorly.
More than an evolution, it's a flashy overproduced lobotomy of the original. It's an empty ghillie suit that has had its brain as well as its heart gouged from it in slow motion with a .308 caliber spoon, leaving the rest of the world to wonder why something that was rough but in no way broken had to be so violently and carelessly "fixed".