Released way back in 2005, Sniper Elite made a splash thanks to its stealth-based action, realistic physics and of course, the sniping.
The game was favourably received by both critics and gamers, which meant that a sequel was inevitable.
So, here we are with Sniper Elite V2, making its way to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
Set near the end of World War Two in war-torn Berlin, players are charged with capturing plans for the V2 rocket programme, while fighting off both the Nazis and Russians too.
Upon booting up, you're greeted by a neat-looking menu, set in a ruined building, with the camera panning around the room as you make various selections. It's all very polished, which seemed to bode well for the game itself.
A (mostly) fun experience
Start the game proper though, and you're greeted by a title that manages to look both fantastic and drab in the same breath.
The bombed-out ruins of Berlin are well-realised, with great lighting effects and detailed environments to be had.
But at the same time, the draw distance tends to get foggy and the animations are stiff, bringing to mind the first wave of current generation titles.
Visuals aren't everything though, and Sniper Elite V2 brings some satisfying gameplay to the proceedings.
Gamers can opt for one of three difficulty settings, with the easiest featuring no realistic ballistics and the toughest going all out, with players having to factor the wind into their shots. Medium difficulty is a good compromise, as you have to simply account for gravity when sniping.
As the game implies, sniping is what you'll be doing most of the time, and the mechanics are ridiculously satisfying.
This is in no small part due to the X-ray feature, which slows the game down and presents an X-ray of your opponent as your bullet passes through him. It's quite grim - with the X-ray showing vital organs being hit and bones broken - yet it's a large part of what makes the game so rewarding.
Another helpful feature is the ability to hold your breath, slowing down time and reducing jitter. It's by no means revolutionary, but it's a welcome and helpful feature regardless, letting you take out enemies with greater accuracy.
And you'll be taking out many enemies, ranging from ground troops and well-hidden snipers to tanks (you'll need to be pretty accurate when taking these out, obviously). Although the enemies aren't exactly the brightest, they still run between cover and will even call for help when shot.
There are a few other weapons at your disposal too, such as sub-machine guns and silenced pistols for close-quarters combat, making a neat change from the sniping.
The spice of life...
There's a good amount of variety to the levels as well, with rocket launch facilities and rubble-strewn buildings all being subjected to combat. The levels themselves are pretty linear, but that's by no means a bad thing, with a few branching paths here and there.
But once you've tired of the reasonably lengthy story mode, there's a wave-based survival mode as well. This mode will test your mettle, forcing you to booby-trap your surroundings and venture out for ammunition.
If you're yearning for something a bit more social, then the cooperative game modes are definitely worth looking into. Players can opt to tackle the abovementioned story and survival modes, but there's also Bombing Run (which sees you collecting parts before the stage gets blown up) and a very innovative Overwatch mode, with one player reaching checkpoints on the ground and spotting targets, while the other provides cover from above.
Sniper Elite V2 doesn't have the fireworks of Call of Duty or the destructibility of the Battlefield franchise, but its combination of rewarding gameplay and a suite of game modes makes it worth scoping out.
Score: 8 out of 10