Jon Seymour, senior producer at Rebellion Developments, speaks with GamingBolt about the remaster release.
Sniper Elite games offer something that very few other games do- the joy of lining up your shot, placing your target in your crosshairs, squeezing a trigger, and then watching the bullet fly hundreds of meters, followed by an excellent, incredibly detailed x-ray killcam that shows you exactly what kind of damage you did. But there’s a lot more to it, of course. The stealth/shooter series relies on a whole lot of systems to interact with each other to deliver the kind of experience it does. And while we’re all excited about the future of the franchise, before we get to that, Rebellion Developments are looking back at what’s come before, with a remaster of Sniper Elite V2 that introduces new elements and enhances older ones. Recently, we sent across some of our questions about the remaster to the developers- the following questions were answered by senior producer Jon Seymour.
"This is the first time players will be able to play V2’s campaign and the 4 DLC missions with the sniper of your choice."
What can you tell us about the new playable characters in V2 Remastered?
This is the first time players will be able to play V2’s campaign and the 4 DLC missions (in this edition they’re called “Challenge” missions) with the sniper of your choice.
You can play as one of 7 characters taken from our spin-off co-op horror series, Zombie Army Trilogy, which was a big hit for Rebellion in 2015. They mix from a disgraced Nazi scientist to a grumpy Red Army soldier and a French resistance fighter! It’s a really nice addition.
You can play as them in multiplayer too, meaning there are now 15 skins to choose from in the expanded multiplayer matches which are up from 8 players to 16 players on PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
How does the player count of 16 players help the game’s multiplayer component?
V2’s multiplayer was really unique and tense, and while that experience remains intact, we learned from Sniper Elite 3 and 4 that more rifles adds a really fun and frantic additional tension. No rock or corner is entirely safe!
Can you tell us how the 4 player local co-op on the Switch will function exactly? Is that a feature that’s exclusive to the Switch version?
Yes, this is an exclusive feature you might have seen in some other Switch games – if you and your friends have copies of the game you can sit next to each other and battle over your own local wireless network without needing to connect to the internet.
Not only can you play competitive multiplayer but you play co-op too, actually. It works exactly like online play where you have the ability to create and browse games. We think it will be popular with sharpshooters on the move!
Considering Sniper Elite V2 also made an appearance on the Wii U, and since the Switch version doesn’t support HDR and 4K for obvious reasons, would we be right in assuming that, at least on a purely visual level, the remaster on the Switch will be closer to the game’s Wii U version than, say, the remastered release on the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One X?
No, this edition on Switch is far superior to the Wii U edition of Sniper Elite V2- not only do we handle higher resolutions, the texture resolution is higher along with revamped environments, lighting and shadows, plus all of the new features too. In summary, it’s definitely closer to the current consoles.
"This edition on Switch is far superior to the Wii U edition of Sniper Elite V2- not only do we handle higher resolutions, the texture resolution is higher along with revamped environments, lighting and shadows, plus all of the new features too."
How extensive of a toolset can we expect to see in the new Photo Mode?
Very extensive! We learned a lot from the photo mode we created for Strange Brigade. The key feature is that you can actually advance time and see your bullet move forward step-by-step through the air – and enemies – to get the perfect capture. There are three pre-sets and a custom one where you can adjust brightness, contrast, saturation and exposure, apply numerous filters, modify the camera and lens and change the frames. We can’t wait to see fans using it and sharing kill-cam images!
Can we take the expanded multiplayer, visual features, and the photo mode to be indications of what you guys are going to do with Sniper Elite 5?
Well it’s a bit early to be talking about the next Sniper Elite title! We haven’t even got a confirmed name yet, by the way! But as Jason (Kingsley, CEO and co-founder) said during our Sniper Elite Development Update in March, the project is a long way off, and actually we used all the press coverage and buzz from our four announcements to lure players back to our forums and quiz them on features they’d like to see in the next game!
Had Sniper Elite VR not been a separate project, is that something we could have seen in the remaster? Was that ever a consideration?
The VR Sniper Elite project is being developed in partnership with our friends at Just Add Water, so I’m not involved directly with the project. What I can say is that it’s a completely stand-alone game. We know from Battlezone and Arca’s Path that VR works best when we develop for it from the ground up rather than being retro-fitted or an added on for an older game.
Given all the recent announcements, I feel like I have to ask this: will we be seeing Sniper Elite 4 on the Switch at some point in the future?
To be honest that’s up to Chris, Jason, and the business. We’ve got to get Sniper Elite V2 Remastered out first, and then Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition on Switch later in the year too, so Switch players won’t be short of Sniper Elite action in 2019.
"We’ve got to get Sniper Elite V2 Remastered out first, and then Sniper Elite 3 Ultimate Edition on Switch later in the year too, so Switch players won’t be short of Sniper Elite action in 2019."
What resolution and frame rate does the game run on the Switch in handheld and docked mode?
We use a ”DRS” Dynamic Resolution Scaling system, so in handheld mode the game can achieve up to 720p, and then 918p in docked mode, though menus and user interface will be a crisp 1080p on top of this when docked.
Will the game will feature Xbox One X specific enhancements. What can players expect if they are playing the game on Xbox One X? Is 4K/60fps on the cards?
It runs at super smooth/crisp 60 fps in native 1080p, with the option to lock the game at 30 fps and deliver true 4K. Of course the game is remastered in true high-definition-range showing beautiful environments with extra detail.
And how will the PS4 Pro version turn out in terms of resolution and frame rate?
PS4 Pro gets the same treatment as Xbox One X when it comes to frame rate and resolution options.
How is the game running on the original Xbox One and PS4, frame rate and resolution wise?
The game plays great in native 1080p resolution at 30 fps, has updated weapons, characters and vehicles along revamped lighting, shadows and enhanced VFX.
The PS5 specs were recently revealed in an interview with Wired. What are your thoughts on that?
I think both our team – Rebellion North – and the other three Rebellion studios will be really excited to dig into Sony’s new machine. As a developer we’re known for building games on our own engine technology, so we can adapt to each platform as we know more.
Specs are one thing, but working with a console is just as much about how first parties support the developers making the games, and we have a great relationship with PlayStation and look forward to continuing to work with them.
"Specs are one thing, but working with a console is just as much about how first parties support the developers making the games, and we have a great relationship with PlayStation and look forward to continuing to work with them."
What is your take on Sony’s reluctant policy on cross-play with Xbox and Nintendo?
With Sniper Elite V2 Remastered we support cross-play between Steam and GOG players, but also Xbox and Windows 10 Store players. Rebellion generally wants to make games for multiple platforms and to reach as many gamers as possible. Cross-play could be important for games like ours that have a passionate audience but can’t compete with the Fortnites of this world, and I think as developers and gamers we all welcome the fact all the major players seem to be moving in this direction.