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Velvet Assassin - first look

Velvet Assassin could be the first action-stealth game to be set largely in a bed. The game opens with our heroine healing up inside a hospital, gun resting by her side. Based on a real-life WWII renegade agent, Violette Szabo’s story unfolds through a series of playable flashbacks that lead up to her current incapacitation. But trust us when we say this is one tough broad.

The first mission we saw had Violette infiltrating a dreary cell block in order to sneak a cyanide capsule into the mouth of a Nazi torture victim, before he could spill any confidential beans. For such an awful setting, it was a beautiful parade of light and shadow. Good thing, too, because most of your actions will have to be of the stealth variety. Sticking to the dark, you’ve got somewhere around fifty distinct close-quarter kill moves at your disposal, similar to the blissful mayhem we enjoyed in the recent Turok.

But Violette’s no slouch in the gun department, either. You’ve plenty of 1940s-era weapons at your disposal, but they’ve been emphasized as a last resort. The developers are taking steps to make discharges as loud and jarring as possible to encourage clandestine creativity and not alerting guards. Bear in mind, though, that if you botch any job, at any time, our heroine’s got a little morphine to help her through it.

Remember, most of the game is Violette’s recollection from a hospital bed, so if a mission is not going quite the way she remembers, she can click a little morphine into here veins for a little more oomph to tough it out. It slows things up just like the Sands of Time from Prince of Persia, and applies a warm lemonade filter to the screen, with faint glimpses of happy red blood cells. Ahhhh. Just be careful you don’t overdose. Seriously.

Relive your former glory well enough, and you should be able to put all the pieces together for a climactic fight in the present. But if that’s not enough reason to play on, the developers hinted that there will be hidden clues within the game that’ll reveal real-life booty. Take that, Achievements!

Mar 13, 2008