Sniper Elite 3 review

Tyler Wilde at

“Save often,” says one of the tips in Sniper Elite 3’s loading screen. I’m perplexed. The phrase used to be in every game, but among today’s auto-saving checkpoints it feels anachronistic—impossible, even. You mean, I can save wherever I want? What is this, 2003?

Sniper Elite 3 is a third-person shooter with emphasis on stealth and long-range sniping, and it remembers the old days fondly—which is great. In the campaign, I expected to sneak between checkpoints in more or less a straight line, but I found big open maps and the freedom to solve problems how I wanted. In multiplayer, I expected to be asked to log in to something or other, but I found custom player-hosted matches and dedicated servers with 23 possible rules modifiers. Can we really have it so good in 2014?

Sins of a Solar Empire studio speaks out about new Rebellion legal action

Andy Chalk at

Sniper Elite studio Rebellion Developments filed a lawsuit against Ironclad Games in 2012 over Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, claiming that the title infringed on Rebellion's trademark. A judge dismissed the case more than a year ago, ruling that the title qualifies as "expressive speech" and is thus protected by the First Amendment, and if you're wondering why you didn't hear anything about it until now, it's because Ironclad opted to not to publicize the victory in an effort to "let bygones be bygones." But now Rebellion has launched new legal action against the game in Canada and the U.K., and that's prompted Ironclad to speak up.

Rebellion revokes "unlicensed" Sniper Elite 3 keys, offers free DLC as compensation

Andy Chalk at

Rebellion has revoked more than 7000 Steam keys for Sniper Elite 3, many of which were already in the hands of gamers. The studio said the keys were stolen and then redistributed to multiple companies who sold them to customers without making any payments to either Valve or Rebellion, but at least one reseller, whose keys actually weren't revoked, has accused the studio of trying to force people to pay the full retail price for the game.

Sniper Elite 3 multiplayer trailer shows blatant disregard for the human skull

Tom Sykes at

Sniper Elite 3's 'everybody's-a-sniper' approach to multiplayer neatly solves one of the biggest problems with online shooters: i.e. camping sniper jerks ruining everyone's killy fun. If everyone's a sniper, you can't very well complain about snipers, can you? Because you are one, and you just shot a man's skull in half from a distant rooftop. I remain...queasy at the gratuitous violence featured in Rebellion's historical snipe-'em-ups, but I'm rather taken with the idea of a series of multiplayer standoffs, which can be solved by either shooting or sneaking up on your enemies from behind. Sniper Elite 3's relatively unique approach to multiplayer is documented in the following trailer.

Sniper Elite V2 is free on Steam for the next 24 hours

Phil Savage at

Watch out! Something is travelling into your eyeball at a frankly absurd speed. No, it's not a bullet; rather, it's the information that Sniper Elite V2 is completely free right now. Grab the game at any point during the next 24 hours and it'll be yours to keep forever. Perforating the internal organs of an opposing soldier has never been so cheap.

Sniper Elite 3 trailer shows the tools of your trade

Phil Savage at

I had problems with Sniper Elite V2, a game that seemed to think the best environment for long-distance ballistic action was a series of small corridors. But the premise remains strong: sneaking, stalking and sniping around a World War 2 battlefield, setting up all manner of stealth shenanigans with which to neutralise enemy soldiers. With Sniper Elite 3, the hope is that Rebellion will move the series' action into a more open environment. Judging from this new four minutes of game footage, that's exactly what they've done.

Sniper Elite 3 trailer explores the gruesome detail of the X-Ray Killcam

Phil Savage at

There are a few amazing metaphors that Rebellion break out in this Sniper Elite 3 dev diary. The best has to be the onion analogy, in which their Head of Art starts talking about the layers of the vegetable, only to shift into describing the layers of skin, flesh and gristle that are being shredded to bits as part of the game's much "improved" X-Ray Killcam.

Sniper Elite 3 trailer shows off Tobruk city, then blows bits of it up

Phil Savage at

It's not people that are the casualties of the small slice of war depicted in this trailer, but places. Specifically, it's the Libyan city Tobruk, which gets roundly shelled, shattered and exploded, all to demonstrate Sniper Elite 3's new fancier tech. At least, that's the case for the first minute of the trailer. After that, people are definitely the casualties. One person, to be precise, in a particularly gruesome way.

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2 announced, will release on Halloween

Tom Sykes at

October 31st is a good time to release a game about killing zombies with a sniper rifle - why it's almost as if Rebellion had planned it to release on that very day. Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army 2, their seasonally appropriate sequel to the seasonally inappropriate (it released on Valentine's Day) original, boasts a new campaign and new bosses, and once again features co-op, shambling right-wing corpses, and Rebellion's sickeningly gory X-Ray Killcam.

Sniper Elite 3 trailer confirms that snipers are still jerks

Phil Savage at

Sniper Elite V2 was a game that cast you as a cold, calculating psychopath let loose in a slightly too narrow World War 2 playground, and tasked with vindictively bringing pain, suffering and occasional corridor-based bullet spam. This first Sniper Elite 3 trailer would suggest a much more open sandbox, but the same level of soldier trolling dickery. Only this time, the gross, over-the-top kill-cam reacts to the less fleshy innards of vehicles as well.

Reinstall: Sniper Elite V2

Craig Pearson at

Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, Craig plays a hidden object game with bullets in Sniper Elite V2.

You, there: put down that spoon and tub of Nutella and go to a window, preferably one with a rural view. If you can’t find one, you’re out of fun as far as this paragraph is concerned. Just skip to the middle of the second and lament your windowless world. The rest of you, take time to absorb everything that you can see. Scan everywhere. Give it all a really good, hard look. Don’t rush. Done that?

Now how many Nazis did you see? Be honest! Any number above zero and you should probably move. The reason I ask is because when I go to the window, even though there are no mid-20th century German national socialists visible, I worry that there might be dozens. Is that a fascist fumbling in the foliage, or was it just the wind? Might that broken wall conceal someone? I might sound unreasonably paranoid, but if you’ve played Sniper Elite V2’s multiplayer as much as I have, you begin to realise the evil that could inhabit every bush.

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army targeting a sequel for 2013

Patrick Carlson at

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army will get a sequel in 2013, according to an announcement today from developer Rebellion. The goal of the new, stand-alone game will be to sharpen and intensify all the mechanics that brought players together in the self-published original, according to the studio.

Evil Genius to get "fully featured PC follow-up", also, erm, a Facebook game

Tom Sykes at

Turning a well-regarded PC game into a Facebook/Zynga game is something I can well imagine an evil genius doing - I can almost see them now, stroking a cat and cackling malevolently as the microtransactions roll in. Which is not to say that Evil Genius Online - a free-to-play social game heading to Facebook and - will be such a game, but rather that I'm much more excited about the "fully featured" Evil Genius 2, which has just been outed on the Rebellion blog.

Sniper Elite 3 announced, Rebellion focused on "more of a sandbox game"

Phil Savage at

Adjusting their scope, accounting for wind, and holding their breath to steady their aim, 505 Games fired a series of bullets, each engraved with the message: "Hello, Sniper Elite 3 exists and we are publishing it." Those bullets travelled whole kilometres, eventually piercing the soft casings of PS3, Xbox 360 and the next-generation upgrades of both. The PC looked on aghast, thinking "Hang on! Why am I not in your crosshair?"

Just then, it too was hit square in the hard-drive, this time with a bullet direct from the Rebellion rifle. This one had the message: "Hello, yes Sniper Elite 3 is coming to PC too. It's just we're self-publishing it. Like we did with all the other Sniper Elite games." It was a much larger bullet.

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army launch trailer leaves marksmanship for dead

Phil Savage at

Zombies seem like an odd choice for Sniper Elite V2 expandalone Nazi Zombie Army. There are lots of them, ceaselessly shuffling towards the smell of a brain currently preoccupied with wind-adjustment calculations. A far cry from the cold, clinical, sadistic professionalism of a top marksman. It seems Rebellion agree, because this first game footage is extremely light on, you know, actual sniping.

Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army shuffles into the room

Phil Savage at

Last month, Rebellion teased a mysterious new project. There was a video full of creepy green fog and silhouetted soldiers, and a website called NZA that contained an occult corruption of the Sniper Elite logo. Using an ancient psychic technique called "stating the bloody obvious", we guessed it would be a Sniper Elite V2 DLC pack called Nazi Zombie Army, featuring an army of zombified Nazis.

We were wrong. Instead, it's a Sniper Elite V2 standalone expansion called Nazi Zombie Army, featuring an army of zombified Nazis.

Rebellion tease new project, possible 2000AD connection

Phil Savage at

Rebellion have released a mysterious teaser for an upcoming project, due to be revealed next month. It shows a soldier running through the war-torn ruins of a city; a city that's bathed in green mist. For those who don't watch terrible horror movies, green mist is the evillest of all mists. So, what are the Sniper Elite devs up to? I may not know, but by golly I can speculate!

GameSpy denies shutting online servers without warning

Phil Savage at

On Monday, we brought news that a selection of games had found their GameSpy provided multiplayer matchmaking suddenly taken offline. Neverwinter Nights 1 & 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, SWAT 4, Sniper Elite, Hidden and Dangerous 2, Wings of War and Star Wars: Battlefront were all affected, with Sniper Elite devs Rebellion claiming that “this decision by Glu was not taken in consultation with us and was beyond our control.”

On their Facebook page, GameSpy have posted a statement in which they say... well, completely the opposite.

Sniper Elite V2 review

Phil Savage at

This review was originally published in PC Gamer 241

Sniper Elite V2 puts you so far behind enemy lines that during its entire campaign you’ll meet precisely one person who doesn’t want you dead.

Two nations are out to get you. The Germans aren’t happy because... well, because it’s Berlin in 1945. They don’t have much to be happy about. The Russians, meanwhile, are trying to capture the German scientists behind the V2 rocket. Your mission, as a American sniper, is to ensure a bullet greets those scientists before the Reds do.

Sniper Elite V2 demo out now

Tom Senior at

Sniper Elite V2 claims to feature "the most realistic simulation of military sharpshooting yet available" on its Steam page. The ballistics system takes "gravity, wind, velocity, bullet penetration" and "aim stability" into account every time you pull the trigger. Hit the target and you'll get to see your victim's demise in splattery detail via a hallucinatory slow motion death sequence. This gory epilogue peels back the victim's skin to show organs popping and bones shattering from the impact of your bullet as it passes through your enemy's squishy body. This feature is "not available in Germany."

If that sounds like the sort of shooter you might like to shoot guns in, you can take a few experimental pot shots now in a new demo, available on Steam. The full release is scheduled for May 4. Yesterday we learned that the team deathmatch mode that it ships with will be exclusive to the PC, which is nice. Check out the official Sniper Elite V2 site for more.