Coaching for Geek’s roving reporter Nate got to interview Martin Caine from Rebellion Elite, to get a little inside info on the ‘Sniper Elite V2: Remastered’. We find out what’s new to the game, talk about the game’s infamous nutshots, and delve a little into the controversial past of the Sniper Elite DLC “Assassinate Hitler” quest.
Tell us a little about Sniper Elite V2 Remastered for anyone who hasn’t played the franchise before.
Martin Caine: Sniper Elite V2 is a third-person shooter set in Berlin, Germany, during the Second World War. You play an Elite Sniper who’s there all by himself. He’s got these covert missions that he needs to complete ultimately ending in the death of Hitler. If you follow [the story] all the way through the DLC, that’s where you’re ending it.
This game originally came out in 2012 and the remaster brings it to Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Steam, GOG, Windows 10…
We have remastered the visuals and brought them up to date with the other Sniper franchises, we’ve added a brand new photo mode, which is a major feature. One of the features of Sniper Elite is that you’ve got the Kill Cam, so you get a slow-mo X-ray view of the bullet going through the lungs, the heart, the brain… the testicles… Now you can stop the action, change the photo filters, capture that and share it with your friends on Twitter etc. We are hoping that people will use it as a social feature because no Sniper Elite game has had it before.
One of the things I saw when I was playing was the combination of the stealth from Metal Gear Solid meets the gruesome of Mortal Kombat with the X-ray kill cams. A lot of shooters don’t go into detail with bullets going through flesh, bone, and organs.
Martin Caine: The original Sniper Elite; it didn’t have a massive reception when it was originally out but the feedback that we got was that people liked certain aspects of the game, and they liked being a Sniper, but they wanted something more fun to play and wanted something a bit more engrossing. So they went back to the design board, changed a lot of the design around and effectively V2 was a retelling of the first story but with a new engine, a new platform because it made the jump from Xbox to Xbox 360. It added in certain aspects like it added in those kill cams and added in stealth kills. Rebellion really spent a long time on the designs and nailed there and exactly what it was supposed to be and it’s one thing that has stood out from future Sniper Elite games. People say Sniper Elite 2 was the best game because it has so many bits where you can’t just run down the street and you can’t snipe everyone down the street either. You have to take a few people out and then go up close and take a few people out, and then sometimes you go and perform some stealth kills. It’s that mix of having to use all the weapons that make it quite a unique game.
Nate: It’s not your typical shooter, it’s not your “running in, bullets flying”, you need to essentially plan where you need to go and observe your surroundings because it’s only a few hits before you end up dying.
Martin Caine: Yeah and at the same time, you can’t stand back and just snipe everyone because you’ll end up getting into a situation where you’ll think you’ve sniped everyone, but you get ambushed by a group of people so you have to go up close and take them on as well.
This version of the game is considered the “definitive” version of V2, what else can people expect, other than the new kill cam and the upscaled graphics now up to 4K if you have the hardware.
Martin Caine: So the game includes all the DLC which includes extra multiplayer missions that weren’t in the base version. FUll multiplay works in the game and that’s between GOG and Steam, or Windows 10 and Xbox, so Windows players that buy it on the Windows Store can play against Xbox players.
It has all the original achievements, and we’ve also added some new ones on Steam for those achievement hunters that want to get those really hard-to-get achievements. Graphics-wise, we up-rezzed all of the textures, player models, weapon models, everything looks better than the original, and we have kind of brought it in line with Sniper Elite 4. Sniper Elite 4 was our benchmark, we want the remaster to look that good and I think we have delivered that.
Nate: It looks like a completely new game, which I was really happy about. With the original release of the game, the “Assassinate Hitler” DLC was controversial and received a bit of backlash. Do you think now, especially now the game has had a lot of time to simmer down with that content, people can just enjoy it for what it is?
Martin Caine: Yeah definitely, and I think because Sniper Elite 3 and Sniper Elite 4 all have “Assassinate Hitler” in them. In Sniper V2, it’s not called ‘Kill Hitler’, it’s called “Assassinate the Fuhrer”, in Sniper Elite 3 or 4, I think they were allowed to get away with calling it ‘Kill Hitler’ it’s physically called that in the game. So I think it’s become a bit more acceptable. It’s in the setting, you’re in Berlin in that year! Who else are you going to kill? Who’s going to be your final boss? But there’s a bit of a comedic element to the entire game sometimes, so the way that you kill people, there are funny things that happen during death kills, so I think it kind of offsets some of the seriousness of what you are doing and does take a bit of fun with it.
I agree, and are there any plans possibly in the future to remaster the Sniper Elite Zombie Army Trilogy, because I think they were really well received?
Martin Caine: I don’t know about any future plans. Potentially. There are always remasters on the table but I don’t think we knew that we wanted to remaster Sniper V2 until we had finished work with Sniper Elite 4, so if there is a market for that and there are people that want to play that, then definitely.
I can’t remember if Zombie Army Trilogy is on Xbox One, I don’t think it is, so potentially it could be something they want to do but we have introduced newly playable in the multiplayer version. In single-player, you can play as characters from Zombie Army Trilogy. So it makes no real difference, it’s just a playable character but you can play as a woman or as a soldier.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War has been announced for early 2020.
Nate: I like that! I guess the final question is: your favourite kill screen. When you’re playing the game, what do you aim for?
Martin Caine: I think it’s more of a sequence rather than a kill shot. There are particular kill shots where if you get it through someone’s body parts and you see those body parts explode but then you hit a grenade on the rear side of them and you just see them explode as well, that’s perfect!
There are ricochet shorts, so you can ricochet off a wall and kill an enemy, so if there’s something obstructing him or you can get a double shot, so shot through another guy but I think the explosive x-ray shots are the best ones.
I think a lot of people would say testicle shots! It’s definitely an achievement when you get them because they are very small but I think once you’ve done it a couple of times, you’ve had enough of it!
Nate: Thanks Martin and all the best for future Rebellion developments!