Twenty minutes in Berlin, 1945

I start off with little real explanation of where we are, as we look out at the bombed ruins of the city of Berlin. All I know is that I have plenty of ammunition for a Springfield sniper rifle, a single magazine for a Thompson, and a few magazines sitting spare for a suppressed Welrod pistol. I drop down onto the ground floor of the building through a gap where the roof likely would have been, and carefully sneak towards the ruined doorframe.

I can see a street, and a few soldiers standing talking. I can't hear what they're saying; they're too far away. I spot one of their men standing closer, and bring the Springfield's scope up. This should be an easy first shot, despite having wind to take into consideration, as well as the reaction of his buddies. I want to start as I mean to go on, with clean kills.

In the distance, I can hear explosions and planes, but there's not much to put me off my target. I can see the soldier clearly now; he's leaning against the wall. I take a breath, and squeeze the trigger. The bullet goes cleanly through the skull, hitting the wall behind.

I hear a shout, and turn towards his friends. They've heard the Springfield, and have moved behind cover. One of them is a little slow to make it to cover, and I take the opportunity to fire another shot as he runs. It strikes him in the chest, but doesn't seem to be fatal, for I can hear a shout for help.

A shot is suddenly fired towards my position, with more precision than the soldiers on the ground could have. I jump behind cover, and wait for a telltale sign. In the distance is a much larger building, and I have a feeling it would provide an excellent vantage point for an enemy sniper. I try to take a look with the binoculars, for they have a more powerful zoom, but another shot means I'm trying to avoid exposing myself.

The sniper's primary advantage has been lost: I spotted a glint from his scope as he took his second shot towards me. Now, I'm going to try and hit him. He's much further away than my first kill, being further away than the length of the street alone. Looking through my Springfield's scope, I bring the zoom up as far as possible and estimate the ballistic trajectory needed to kill my target.

I pull the trigger for my third shot, and hope for the best. A slow-motion video of the bullet in motion shows exactly where it hit. My calculations were slightly off; the bullet didn't give me the guaranteed kill I had hoped for, but it did put him (and any future offspring) out of action. Now, I need to turn my attention towards the hostiles on the ground again.

One of them had went out to save his friend, who I'd previously given a case of stomach-ache, and was carrying him behind cover to provide medical attention. My attention turned towards the others on the ground. One of the soldiers fired a burst from his MP40 towards my location, but was quickly dispatched, courtesy of a 7.62x63mm round to the heart. That's another Wehrmacht soldier resigned permanently.

I bring my attentions towards an oncoming soldier, intending to rush me. He gets nowhere quickly, for I quickly unholster the Welrod and put it to the test. The pistol's excellence at dealing with a close-range target is established, for he drops dead mid-run.

The wounded soldier seemed to be out of action, for he wasn't getting out from behind cover. The would-be medic peeped out from behind cover... just in time to feast upon a bullet travelling at anywhere up to 890 metres per second. He goes down again without so much as firing a single shot.

Seeing no more hostile opposition, I move along the street. With no warning, another group of soldiers approaches, having been alerted to the untimely demise of their allies by a series of gunshots. Now is the time to make use of the single magazine I have for the Thompson. I unleash the weapon's potential and cut down a few of the hostiles. One manages to get behind cover, so the ball is very much in his court now.

The soldier stands up and looses off a few rounds from his gun, but never gets more than a few fired. That's good. Really good, in fact. Now, confident there are no enemies present I can move up. There's an apartment block ahead, with clear bomb damage. The debris is scattered, but I should be able to climb through a larger hole in the building.

Inside the building, I have no sense of direction, so I take out the Welrod. Danger could come from any direction, and the Welrod has proven itself to be more than effective enough. I hide behind the doorframe, as a soldier walks out in the opposite apartment. I lean out from behind the doorframe, and put a quick shot in the back of his head. The Welrod makes virtually no noise, but even so, surroundings are important.

I look around: there can be nobody upstairs, for the staircase is blown out. Downstairs there is little of note, so I check the apartment the soldier had emerged from. From the window I can make out a German soldier patrolling the street. Time to end his patrol and collect explosives for an ambush, intended to eliminate a Nazi scientist.

Almost before he hits the ground, I'm on the move again. I find two hand grenades; enough to have fun with some soldiers. Someone has found the body lying in the street, and is going over to find out what has went wrong. His friend follows a few feet behind. By the time the first inquisitive soldier turns from the body on the ground, the second man's head has erupted in front of him.

His first reaction is to hit the ground and try to work out where the shot came from. He never finds out, because the next shot came straight towards him. Flesh doesn't stop a bullet, but it sure does make a nice home for it.

The explosives needed are stashed behind a statue, but there are two or three more soldiers who are not yet aware of the enemy sniper cutting through their allies with a few shots here and there. I lie down, and position myself in such a manner where I can guarantee my shots are going to be able to do damage, while minimizing risk of exposure.

They're walking towards my location. Given a few minutes, they're going to find the bodies and immediately panic. Not happening, because another body has just been produced. Their leader goes down with a shot that smashes through his ear. I'm fairly sure he heard it, but I'm certain his buddies did. One of them makes it behind the statue, but forgets that his shoulder can still be a target. That's him immobilized.

The third man moves towards an alleyway I couldn't have seen beforehand, but I can't let that happen either. Guess he has to be resigned too. I lead the shot by a few millimetres to compensate for the fact I have no idea if it'll hit or not. It finds its destination and embeds itself in his throat. Brutal or not, it worked.

Since I'm going to be ambushing a convoy, the first thing I'll need will be some explosives. They have been kindly stashed behind the statue, so I collect those. The soldier who attempted to run has given me an idea. The alleyway is empty, and therefore I can move his friends to lie alongside him. I drop them all in the alley, and plant the first explosive alongside some sandbags. At a glance, the charge itself looks a little like a sandbag. Hopefully the Germans will agree.

The second explosive is to be planted alongside a truck, but I can spy a Stahlhelm through a window frame. A hat needs a head in it... and in this case, they both need a bullet in them. I oblige from the end of the street. The building looked like a cafe at one point in the past, but now it looks like every other ruin in Berlin.

There's never a single Stahlhelm though, and this is proven correct. A second soldier comes running out of the cafe, unaware of where the shot came from. The first place he runs to is the truck. Perhaps not the smartest place to be standing, but I take my chances and aim for the chest. The shot goes through his arm, and drops him like a stone. Unfortunately it makes a pinging noise; it hit the truck.

I wait a second, and see whether the truck is going to react to that with a fireball. It doesn't, and that's good. What isn't so good, is the other soldier moving towards the truck. I don't want to hit it a second time in case it, and the ambush, both go up in smoke. I take him out before he gets to the truck, ready it with a charge, and I head into the remnants of a huge apartment block that seems to have been a little past its prime.

I give the Springfield a quick reload since I have no idea what I'm going to be facing, and then I switch to the Welrod. Of the six rounds in a Welrod magazine, I have four still... and a couple of magazines going spare.

The staircase has no indication of activity, but I'm still wary. I don't want to make a move that doesn't need to be made. At the top of the stairs, there's a soldier sitting in the chair. I panic, bringing the Welrod up and preparing to put a shot in his chest, but there's no need.

He seems unaware of my presence. It is then I hear snoring, but I don't want to risk the soldier waking. I put him to sleep forever, courtesy of my third shot from the Welrod.

I move through the building swiftly, but find nothing. One of the apartments has been badly damaged by explosives, and is now pretty well exposed to everything higher than it, such as the surrounding buildings. My first action is to duck behind cover and try to get a visual on any threats.

I can just about see someone on an opposite building. Already, I can tell it's not a friendly soldier, so I prepare my attack. He makes his move first, firing and preparing to relocate to another part of the building roof. He might have acted more quickly, but I acted more accurately. My shot smashes through the back of his head, taking a handful of teeth out.

I am not high enough in the building though. I want to get a view of the explosive charges, since putting a bullet in them will allow a faster getaway than lingering with a detonator at the ready. I make it to the top floor, and lie down with the Springfield again. It has done well thus far, and now the one shot I absolutely have to make without needing a second. There is no opportunity to readjust.

Once I'm in position, the first vehicle in the convoy turns onto the street. Timing really couldn't have been better for me. The lead vehicle looks like an SdKfz 223, and so is not something I want to have facing in my direction. I wait and watch. The three following vehicles are all Opel Blitz trucks, but I have no idea which my target is in.

Typically, you'd want to be right behind the armored car. That's maybe the safest, if not least inspired place to be. Still, my target is a scientist and therefore makes his living from thinking outside the box. I'll guess the second-to-last vehicle. Being at the end makes him more exposed. Being behind the SdKfz means he'll be predictable.

Let's hope that this pays off, then? If he's right behind the SdKfz, then he'll be out of there. If he's at the very back, he'll be exposed. I'm not having him escaping, but now I'm finding out whether my guess is accurate. I have no time to reconsider, because the first truck is past the bomb. The shot hits the explosive mounted on the truck, just as I needed. The explosion does the nasty business of killing everyone in the truck very well. I was almost ready to congratulate myself on a job well done, when a German tank rolls around the corner.

The screen fades to black and displays the Sniper Elite v2 logo. That sums up my twenty minutes in Berlin. Make sure and download the demo, which is currently available on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and PlayStation Store. A PC version is scheduled for the near future.

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