Publisert: 21. mai
Summary: Velvet Assassin has the atmosphere of Return to Castle Wolfenstein with the gameplay of a stealth game like Thief or Dishonored. If you can forgive some functional issues (enemy-proof doors, sparse checkpoints, poorly explained interface), you’re in for a well-written adventure on the macro scale and thoughtfully crafted, varied stealth gameplay on the micro scale.
Pros and cons:
+ You have a variety of tools at your disposal. You can sneak up and backstab a guard, or pull the pin on his grenade if he has one. You can use one of your very scarce bullets, or use an environmental hazard like electrified water or poison gas barrels. You can take a shot of morphine and charge an enemy before he can react. You can stay in the shadows, break a fuse box to darken new areas, or hide in tall plants when outside. You can also peek through keyholes before you enter a room, and whistle to draw the enemy away from his normal patrol route.
+ The game looks good, and the art supports the gameplay. Strong shadows make it clear whether you’re hidden in the dark or not. The enemies don’t look like clones of each other, which helps you keep count of everyone when sizing up a room.
+ The story ties things together well. A large part of the game is presented as the protagonist recounting her adventures. So she says things like “I had to find a key” which sounds better than her talking to herself in the present. A major plot point is foreshadowed bit by by bit through flash-forwards. The enemy guards frequently have long conversations with each other which, along with the collectible treasures, enrich the experience and sound very authentic.
- About half of the doors seem to load a different section of the map. Enemies can’t follow you through these doors. So no matter how hot things get, if you can reach a ‘load’ door you’re totally safe.
- The game only saves at checkpoints, which are often annoyingly far apart. Most enemy encounters have one of two outcomes: you execute your plan perfectly, or you die and start over. There’s not much middle ground, so even with upgraded health, most of the medkits go unused.
- While the game isn’t totally linear, player movement is tightly controlled. You can only crawl, jump, or climb at specific places where the game allows it. Invisible walls insure you can never step off a ledge, or even wade through a foot-deep pond. So basically, don’t expect ‘outside the box’ thinking to get you anywhere.
- Some of the interface and instructions are confusing. For example, you don’t use ‘aiming mode’ to backstab somebody. Even though you raise your knife and it looks like exactly what you’re supposed to do, you’ll clumsily poke the guard, and almost certainly get shot before he dies. You *can* get more than one morphine needle, but you need to upgrade your morphine multiple times. There are things like this that weren’t communicated well, which you’ll have to figure out through trial and error.