Can Velvet Assassin break your WWII game fatigue? After playing it this weekend I'm inclined to say it might. There were a couple surprises for me this weekend at Comic Con and this game was one of them. Velvet Assassin, is a stealth-action game loosely based on the true story of Violette Szabo, a French secret agent who was eventually tortured and killed by the Nazis she fought against.
This game's presentation really stood out among the usual suspects of space marines and super heroes that populated the games at Comic Con. The levels I saw looked amazing and the whole game is set in an understated sepia toned world. The levels themselves will be fairly linear corridor driven affairs in the usual selections of industrial buildings and subterranean bunkers, but I also played through a level that took place outside in a forest. Another nice addition to the game is that, despite the booth babe suggesting otherwise, Violette is portrayed as a sexy, but not sexed up heroine.
The gameplay might have a more difficult time attracting people as it looks like a fairly straight forward stealth action affair. The controls are intuitive for anyone who has played a stealth game in the past ten years. The brand manager told me it is definitely not a weapon heavy experience, and the level I played set me up with a shank and a silenced pistol. The one special gameplay feature I noticed was that you can use morphine to induce a kind of bullet time that provides some trippy effects.
Velvet Assassin is a really mature looking game - perhaps to its detriment. It's a narrative experience with a distinct lack of intense firefights. If the title screen, a shot of her in a bed with a gunwound in her side, is any indication the story will probably be a fairly sober experience. Still, given the loads of other upcoming over-the-top action games, Velvet Assassin looks like it might be a modest hit, if not a pleasant respite, worth checking out when it's released this April.