I suppose a dim, soggy cabin would be the best place to see Replay Studios’ Xbox 360 and PC title Velvet Assassin for the first time. The room is practically pitch black, and the game’s creative director, Sascha Jungnickel is leaning back nonchalantly in a metal chair as he prepares to demo an early version of the upcoming stealth action title.
He refers to Violette Szabo, a British secret agent who served with the Special Operations Executive during World War II. Spoiler alert: in 1944, Szabo was captured by the Nazis, who tortured and executed her at the age of 23. Jungnickle is very clear up front – things don’t end well for Velvet Assassin’s protagonist, and that’s where the game starts.
More after the jump.
We see only one of these missions today, and while many of the game’s levels will take place in the beautiful locales of places like France during World War II, that’s not representative of what is being shown today. Like the game’s main character is inspired by reality, the mission we’re shown is also based on real events. This particular scenario is taking place in Poland in 1944 at a Gestapo prison, where British agents have been captured, are being tortured and made to spill their secrets. It’s Violette’s job to slip into the prison and deliver cyanide capsules to these agents, so that they may kill themselves to safely secure these secrets.
Admittedly, stealth is not my forte; I like getting up close and getting dirty. But if Velvet Assassin can strike a good balance between stealth and action with its “noisy, really cool weapons,” it could make its way onto my “must play” list this year. If anything, stealth fans should keep their eye on Velvet Assassin, which should be slipping onto shelves in fall 2008.
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