In Sniper Elite V2, sniping people is as satisfying as popping bubble wrap. Sometimes, you might miss a bubble because you have to account for things like bullet drop, wind direction, air in lungs, etc. It’s not that the game is hyper-realistic, but it gave the illusion of “realism” enough that you felt good as you popped all the bubbles as if you were a professional bubble popper.
Sometimes when you pop the bubbles, you get to see inside the bubbles, and the trajectory of your bullet as it shatters ribs/skull/arms/legs/balls. It felt like those “cutaway anatomy” science books that I used to love reading as a kid.
I liked how hyper-focused this game was on popping bubble wrap, that trying to run-and-gun it like it was Call of Duty would be the fastest way to get yourself killed. The machine gun and Welrod silenced pistol are very hard to use because of how inaccurate they were made to be, so you were always forced to rely on your sniper rifle. And it was cool that you could lay traps like tripwire and mines for the bubbles. This is good restrictive game design.
The bubbles were really dumb most of the time but that didn’t stop it being fun to pop them.
What’s even better, is if you popped bubbles with a friend. Sometimes you’d coordinate it such that your friend would flank the bubble wrap, throw a grenade in to distract the bubbles, and then you’d storm in from the other side and pop them all. Sometimes you’d coordinate popping bubbles simultaneously or compete to see who could pop the bubble that was furthest away.
But most of the time, it was slowly creeping around corners, crawling in destroyed ruins, covering each other’s backs and popping bubbles across war-torn Europe together that was most fun. Sometimes the bubbles would fight back, and it’d be challenging, but we managed to finish the whole game co-op.
This bubble wrap is highly underrated.