"However, with the latest Wii U port I’m starting to question Rebellion’s loyalty to their franchise and fans."
If you recall my review of Sniper Elite V2 for the PS3 a year ago, I praised it for its immensely fun gameplay and the over the top X-ray cam. My feelings towards the core experience have not changed. Regardless of what platform you play it on, Sniper Elite V2 is a great niche shooter and I’d recommended it in a heartbeat. However, with the latest Wii U port I’m starting to question Rebellion’s loyalty to their franchise and fans. While V2 had mixed critical reception, it quickly became a cult classic amongst gamers and is still celebrated as one of the best sniping experiences on the market. Porting the title to the newly launched Wii U was the opportunity to reintroduce the series to a new audience…and Rebellion completely missed out on it.
If you’re unfamiliar with the series, you can check out my PS3 review. Here I’m only addressing the Wii U version and how the differences affect the final product. It’s impossible to go into any other details without addressing the elephant in the room first…the removal of all multiplayer and DLC features. To be frank, the original multiplayer mode didn’t do much for me. It was a decent temporary distraction after completing the main campaign, but it wasn’t the main reason why I kept coming back for more…it was the single-player (although I did enjoy co-op mode). Honestly, the recently released Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army is a superior multiplayer experience and is definitely worth seeking out if you’re more into the cooperative side of things.
"The removal of all DLC content is mind boggling as this really could have been the best available version…a real shame."
Regardless of how I felt about the original V2 multiplayer, the Wii U could have been the definitive platform for co-op gameplay. Having one gamer on the big screen and another on the Wii U gamepad would have been a fantastic experience. Yet here we are…staring at the menu screen for all the platforms…wondering what happened to the rest of the options on the Wii U.
Ok…so to a certain extent I can tolerate the removal of multiplayer. Rebellion claimed in an earlier interview that they wanted to ensure the single-player experience was top notch. So, where is the DLC? Where is Assassinate the Führer? What about The Neudorf Outpost Pack, St. Pierre and The Landwehr Canal Pack? They’re gone, all gone. The removal of all DLC content is mind boggling as this really could have been the best available version…a real shame.
"Unfortunately, the Nazis still have super vision and will spot you the second you fire your first shot, no matter where you’re positioned."
Aesthetically the game is identical to the other console counterparts. I expected a boost in texture quality due to Wii U’s more powerful GPU, but nope…it’s the same game we saw a year ago. Don’t get me wrong, the graphics are still solid but the developer made no effort in polishing some of the rougher edges. Another area where the game suffered was the AI. Unfortunately, the Nazis still have super vision and will spot you the second you fire your first shot, no matter where you’re positioned. On a brighter note, there are some neat enhancements complimenting Wii U’s gamepad. The instant map view allows you to view and track enemy soldier much easier and being able to select your weapons with a quick tap on the screen is a welcome addition. But the best feature is the ability to play the entire game on the gamepad. There’s just something very intimate about being able to kick back away from the TV and enjoy the sniping on Wii U’s crisp little screen.
I’m deeply saddened by how poorly this port was handled. I absolutely love the Sniper Elite series and if you haven’t played it by now…I’d say go out and get yourself a copy ASAP…as long as it’s not on the Wii U. If this had been released at a budgeted $19.99, I could understand…but the game retails for the full sixty dollars…and that to me is absolutely unacceptable.
Review by: Tin Salamunic | Reviewed on: Wii U