A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
While there's a general goal of defeating Nazi forces, it's pretty much just a virtual reality shooting gallery.
Positive Role Models
The player is a WWII sniper recounting his missions forty years after the war. Although in the game's fiction, the sniper's missions helped turn the tide in favor of Allied forces, he's still little more than a blank template for the player.
Ease of Play
The game prides itself on being hyper-realistic, and in many ways, the guns do seem to operate like their real-world counterparts. But operating the sniper's signature weapon, the rifle, is often awkward and clumsy. Technological issues also arise when aiming, as it forces players to unnaturally keep both eyes open when aiming down the scope.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is constant, with players shooting enemy soldiers both from a distance and up close. Critical hits can trigger a "kill cam", a slow-motion clip of the kill shot showing graphic depictions of death and dismemberment viewed through an x-ray lens.
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Some profanity can occasionally be heard in the dialogue.
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Products & Purchases
This is a spin-off in the Sniper Elite series designed to take advantage of VR headsets.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Sniper Elite VR is a World War II themed virtual reality first-person shooter game, available on PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest, HTC Vive, and Valve Index VR platforms. Players take on the role of a former sniper in the Italian Resistance fighting against occupying Nazi forces in 1943. Players use an arsenal of period authentic weapons in a standalone campaign. While the weapons are authentic, the controls are difficult and, in some cases, wholly counterintuitive. Violence is graphic, particularly in the "kill cam" sequences, which show a slow-motion x-ray animation of the kill in all its gory detail. Some profanity can also be heard in the game's dialogue.
Is It Any Good?
Virtual reality technology and gaming has come a long way, often crafting a believable and immersive experience that you can't any other way, but it has its limitations. Unfortunately, that feels like something Sniper Elite VR seemed to forget. Right out of the gate, the controls never feel quite right. The positioning of both hands while holding a rifle, your main spotlighted weapon, never comes across as natural. Pulling back and relocking the bolt after each shot or when reloading gets frustrating when trying to keep hold of the rifle with your offhand. While that can improve some with practice, using the rifle's scope is a different monster altogether.
For starters, trying to pull the virtual rifle up to view through the scope often requires locking your arms in an uncomfortable position. Then, in a completely counterintuitive move, you're expected to keep both eyes open while aiming through the scope. You see, VR headsets rely on sending different images to each eye independently in order to create its 3D immersive effect. Closing one eye to aim through a scope, as one would do in real life, throws off the entire environment. But looking through a telescopic lens designed for one eye using both also yanks the player out of any sense of realism. And after any extended amount of play, it's likely to just leave you with little more than a headache and a sense of disappointment.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.