If there’s any video game setting out there that’s been raped and overdone by developers it has to be World War II. Replay Studios and SouthPeak Games are going back in time and adding something unique to the World War II setting, a secret agent. Stealthy like tactics will accompany you through various missions just like real life secret agent Violette Szabo, who was the inspiration behind the game. So should Velvet Assassin silently sneak into your gaming library or should it stay in the dark?
Velvet Assassin begins with the protagonist, Violette Summer, laying in a hospital bed. Violette has gone through a lot of post traumatic stress from the war and suffers continuously from fever dreams. The story is told inform of flashbacks through her dreams. All missions begin with a short cinematic, briefing you on the missions but they hardly ever make any sense. From there on you take on several different missions like killing Generals, and blowing up German officer bases. These missions constantly have you moving from place to place, enemy to enemy, which makes it hard fully understand what little story this game really has. Most of the missions you must complete are not fun to play, you will not find one that you enjoyed completing or one that you would like to do over. They just lack enjoyment and the gameplay doesn’t help it either.
Sam Fisher and Snake have pretty much been the Mario and Sonic of stealth action games. Violette isn’t suppose to be as skilled as Sam or Snake but she could of used some intense training. The main focus of playing Velvet Assassin is to stay in the shadows, do not get caught, and once an enemy turns around sneak up on him and kill. This method can get really played out quickly. Their are weapons like Lugers, ColtM1911, and shotguns to keep it fresh but for the most part you’ll be relying on your combat knife. With those weapons you can perform over 50 assassinations, like the box states, but after beating the game I’m sure I saw less than 25 different assassinations. The assassinations I saw were great and violently pleasing, nothing better than stabbing someone in the eye or stabbing someones balls. Half of them are overused and the other 25 are just plain not present and since theirs no way to actually determine which assassination to perform you’ll continue to see the same ones.
One thing you do not want to do is get caught by the Germans because once they open fire, you will die. Its not to say the game is difficult but it can get really aggravating when you must come out of the dark to kill some officers. One thing to help you survive is morphine. You can use ‘Morphine Mode’ to help you get a quick kill by pushing “X.” Once you do, the screen will get hazy, Violette will now be in a night gown, and rose peddles will fall from the sky. Yeah, pretty ridiculous but it works and it’ll get you out of various predicaments. You can also upgrade your characters stealth, strength, or increase the amount of morphine you can carry. To upgrade you must collect several different types of collectibles hidden within the levels, every 1000 Exp will earn you one upgrade.
On the graphics side, Velvet Assassin is on par with any decent next gen title. Theirs really not much to say graphically when your in a dark room but when missions take place outdoors it looks unique. The game looks more ‘orangy’ and it will reflect on most of whats on screen. If I could compare it I would say its sorta like when the GTAIV sunset is out and the city becomes one weird orange color. One thing I did notice was the horrible fire visuals in this game. When dealing with the flamers they’ll shoot a torch of yellow-orange mist, worst fire visuals guaranteed. On the sound department, every thing is well done for the most part. The voice acting for Violette and the German soldiers is solid. The only thing I disliked were the soldiers who kept humming the same song in almost nearly every mission. Maybe it was a hit during WWII but to hum it in the exact same voice as the soldier from three missions ago, c’mon now.
SouthPeak Games and Replay Studios accomplished to bring some sort of stealth gameplay into the World War II setting. However, the lack of enjoyment and repetitiveness in combat make for some very dull moments in Velvet Assassin. I was really looking forward to this game and even though I had a decent time, I cannot recommend this for the simple fact that this is the type of game that will end up in bargain bins, and when it maybe that’s when you might want to check it out. Plus, there’s hardly any type of replayability in this game. Once you complete it you won’t want to return. I’m legally contracted to write reviews. Unfortunately, I felt that Velvet Assassin was more of an obligation than it was a game.