Past Entertainment

For the week of 6/6/09

' Velvet Assassin ' sneaks into several hours of WII killing fun
By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

(This article has also been published at Fuell to the Fire)

While World War II has almost seen more coverage in video games than the Paris Hilton getting freaky internet phenomenon, I suppose it’s a concept that can be drawn out for a little more agony. Thankfully, SouthPeak Games and Replay Studios finds a way to present it that doesn’t feel like another beach storming, trench loving grindfest.
Not to insult the boys who actually gave some of their lives in the real deal, but this time I was pleasantly pleased to find out I was playing a title that required more wit than most first person shooters. Sure, this is more of an inspiration than what actually happened (Some of the costumes might just be a bit too modern looking for the period), but you actually get to sneak up and take out the brat loving bastages almost ninja style and I can really appreciate that growing up in the era of Wolfenstein. To boot, “Velvet Assassin” actually uses a woman who does not look like she has more boobs than brains (also no offense to those aficionados).
After much thought, this game reminds me somewhat of “Super Mario Bros. 2” where you wake up from a dream and find out it’s much more than that. Minus the overweight plumber and mushrooms, it’s not too far off as you relive the heroic deeds of Violette Summer, an assassin for allied forces during the war.
You go through a series of missions to sabotage the Nazi empire by killing off foes in the darkness here and there from art thieves in Paris to a prison camp. Weapons at your disposal include a trusty knife, various pistols and other creative killing devices along with some morphine for the occasional hippy environment-like kill (The floating flowers and steamy backgrounds are a nice touch). While certainly frustrating when you do get caught, it makes you use what you have wisely and in an entertaining way.
For content’s sake this game earns its mature rating so keep this one to the adult crowd. Other than that, I recommend it first on a rental basis and then possibly buying it if you feel you need to take the same evil lives over and over again.
The environments are nicely designed and even though you spend a lot of time sneaking around, most should be able to see what’s going on without having to adjust the brightness settings. There are some glitches here and there, but generally if you are paying attention it will not cause you to mess up and most actions are performed without any trouble on the controller. For giving me something that I am planning to go back to even after this review I give “Velvet Assassin” for the Xbox 360 four out of six toggles.


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