The news that Sniper Elite V2 is coming to the Wii U has us very excited indeed. The WW2 epic launched on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC last year, and gained positive reviews for its tense action and innovative "Kill Cam". We were understandably keen to speak to the guys behind the game about the challenge of bringing it to Nintendo's console and how the Wii U edition is going to improve on what has gone before, so we we caught up with Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley.
Nintendo Life: Could you tell us what makes the Wii U version of Sniper Elite V2 so different to last year's version?
Jason Kingsley: Sniper Elite has always been about letting players think carefully about how to execute their missions - marking patrols, planning the perfect vantage point, setting traps to defend your position...but the Wii U’s GamePad really dials up the tactical elements of the game and makes them that much more satisfying.
Using the GamePad a player can now track the exact positions of any patrols they’ve ‘tagged’ in real-time, and locate any explosives they’ve set – in fact the map even tells you the diameter of their explosions, so you can work out exactly when to set them off for maximum carnage! These are all things you can’t do on the current console and PC versions. The fact that it’s all at a glance too – rather than hidden away in a menu — means you can react quicker. That’ll come in handy because the game can get pretty tough if you’re spotted!
JK: I think one of my favourite features though is one of the most subtle – players can now see their character’s BPM on the GamePad without looking down the scope of their sniper rifle. As any Sniper Elite fans reading this will know, that heart rate is really important when it comes to making precision shots, so it’s a massive advantage to see this it a glance – it’ll change the way players manage their movement, and combat.
NL: Did you have chance to factor in user feedback from the 360, PS3 and PC versions of the game?
JK: We’ve been listening to feedback from our fans since V2’s release day – we’ve got a very vocal community online, which is why we’ve continued to support the game with updates, fixes and DLC before we even thought about the Wii U version.
NL: How long has it taken to port the game to the Wii U?
JK: The great thing about our proprietary in-house engine, Asura, is that it’s specifically built to be easily adaptable to new platforms so the process was quicker than we expected.
NL: Has any of the DLC been included in the Wii U edition?
JK: No – we’re concentrating on making sure the core game is as good as it can be.
NL: How have you found the Wii U hardware?
JK: We really enjoyed bringing games like Rogue Trooper to the original Wii, and we’re finding Wii U is another great piece of kit. Needless say, the GamePad offers something completely new to developers that you just don’t see elsewhere. Also, just from a personal perspective as a gamer, I love the feel of the GamePad as a controller – it’s just so much lighter and more comfortable than you expect for something packed with so many features.
NL: Has the conversion process been straightforward?
JK: We’re lucky because we have a lot of experience making games for different platforms, so I think we were already in a great position to bring V2 to Wii U. A large part of this down to the team that work on Asura – it’s really flexible and works on all sorts of platforms, from smartphones to high end PCs...and now Wii U of course. We’re really proud of it!
NL: Do you find the Wii U to be more powerful than the 360 and PS3?
JK: In a word yes – it’s very capable, and we’re taking advantage of this to bring greater graphical fidelity to the Wii U version of Sniper Elite V2.
NL: If you had the chance to build the game from the ground up for the Wii U, would you make any more changes?
JK: It’s too hard to say at this stage – I think our use of the GamePad for Sniper Elite: V2 on Wii U is already a big step forward for the series.
NL: What's it been like working with 505 Games?
JK: We have a great relationship with 505 – we’ve always seen them as a partner rather than as traditional publisher. Although we self-published the PC version on Steam, it was 505 who helped us get the game in the hands of Xbox 360 and PS3 owners. In the end, as a developer, you just want as many people as possible to enjoy the game you’ve worked so hard on! We’re really happy to work with them again for Wii U version.
NL: Do you have plans for any original projects on the Wii U?
JK: Sorry, there’s nothing for us to tell you right now!
Thanks to Jason for taking the time to answer our questions and Robbie Cooke at Rebellion for arranging this interview. Sniper Elite V2 is being published by 505 Games and is due out on the Wii U later this year.