Velvet Assassin Preview
World War II games...we're beginning to not like them. They've grown stale, especially when it comes down to the shooter genre. But how about an action game in likes of Splinter Cell that's inspired by real life events and a real life heroine? Yes, that's right, no bald-headed marine types here, but rather a female. And yes, this is a stealth adventure with a central plot, as opposed to the broader, more generic WWII shooter. So what's the story?
Well, the story is you're Violette Summer, a British Intelligence agent who is deep in a coma after engaging in a variety of conflicts against the Nazis. The character of Violette is inspired by the real life World War II heroine Violette Szabo and her missions as a stealthy saboteur. But because this is a videogame, clearly much of the events will be dramatized for effect and impact. As Violette lies in her coma, the gamer wanders into her mind and recollects all of the events leading up to her comatose state.
As Violette, Velvet Assassin's gameplay focus will be to keep yourself in the shadows. Violette has the ability to sneak around quietly and gracefully, and can even pull the pins out of her enemies grenades and watch them explode. Yes, she's that sneaky. But it's not just your enemies that you'll be killing, but even your own British Intelligence operatives. You see, one of the game's aspects is to uncover the harsh truths of war, and you'll see Violette acting out one of them, when she is instructed to slip cyanide to her own British ops, who are held as prisoners, before the Germans torture them into spilling secrets.
You may be thinking, 'if she's near the prisoners, why not free them?' Because stealth is of the utmost importance for Violette, and she cannot risk the Nazis founding out that there is an intruder on their base. These decisions demonstrate the cruelty of war, as even allies are forced to kill each other so as not to spill confidential secrets. And because the game is based on actual events, you will stealthily traverse through real-life World War II locations.
As far as gameplay, your interactions with the enemy aren't limited to just your guns. You've got the obvious ability of taking out an enemy with a well planted head-shot from the shadows, on top of sneaking up behind an enemy and executing him in closer quarters. But how about tricking and luring your enemies to puddles of gasoline that you can ignite? Sounds like fun doesn't it? It's a similar feature that we've seen in Bioshock, but it's certainly nice to see it in a game like Velvet Assassin, as well.
Violette is an upgradeable character with two distinct qualities, and throughout the campaign, you'll be able to enhance her stealth and strength attributes and control the kind of operative she is: confrontational or stealthy. On top of her attributes, weaponry and gadgetry will also play a role of support for Violette, as the player will be given items that were true to the WWII period. You'll put these toys to use through 12 massive levels that'll unravel the story as you go along.
Visually, the game has a dream-like look to it, which makes sense considering that the game is an in-coma recollection of Violette's hellish experiences. To date, GameCock hasn't shown us a whole lot from the game, but we're holding out for more content to hit following the new year as the game draws to its March 31st release date
12/28/2008 Arnold Katayev