Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Review: Venetica

2:00 PM on 02.04.2011 // Hollie Bennett

Back when I wrote for one of those girl gamer sites (yes, even I have a dark past), I got a press release about a game the got me pretty excited. Small German development team, Deck 13 were to publish Venetica, a fantasy themed role-playing game that appealed to me with its Fable-esque screen shots and open-world role-playing game promises. Venetica all but fell off the radar until 2011 when I received an email asking if I would be interested in the review.

Would Venetica end up being a under the radar gem, or another over ambitious RPG that fails to deliver? 


Venetica (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PC)
Developer: Deck 13
Publisher: dtp Entertianment
Released: US January 18th 2011
MSRP: $29.99

The game follows the story of Scarlet who, unbeknown to her, is actually the daughter of death. Following the death of her loved one and the death of herself, she finally meets her father who sends her on one of those long-winded quests to find some mythical object and defeat the bad guy. The story is simplistic, it feels horrifically generic, as though the game had surrendered itself to not even trying. It is hard not to compare games to each other continuously, but when a plethora of RPGs already exist, if a game provides nothing new it will simply fade into obscurity. Venetica does attempt to widen its story by throwing in the whole moral choice thing, but the difference between what is 'right' and what is 'wrong' is so clearcut it feels poorly played out. 

Despite the simplistic story, the dialog used by both Scarlet and the NPCs is also pretty horrific, it is tragically written, lack luster and I would even call it condescending which in turn makes the characters feel 2D. It is almost impossible to feel anything towards the characters. Early on, the game sees the death of two traveling companions. Naturally, this is supposed to be one of those dramatic moments when you are supposed to feel something, but because the characters lack any development it is actually a relief to no longer have to speak to them. The voice acting also matches the abysmal writing, the moment Scarlet opens her mouth it pretty much sets you up for the rest of the game. The voices end up being a mix and match of stereotypical accents that sound poorly recorded and conversations and chopped together and feel abrupt, they lack a natural flow which makes me want to skip as many conversations as possible. 

The world of Venetica is colorful and pretty, and there's a distinct Fable feel to it, but it certainly isn't anywhere near as polished as Albion and characters seem to have a few problems interacting with it. Limbs that magically appear through doors or walls, characters use the spaces in-between the ladder to climb up and items chopping through other items, it makes it all feel messy. The environment also lacks good sound, there are times where the game is near silent and other time you are able to catch just a faint hint of music, that makes it feels disappointing as though the sound was an oversight. Some of the sounds effects are also pretty shocking, early on Scarlet takes a little walk past a waterfall and I was utterly convinced that that the TV was broke and spewing white noise at me. 

The battle system is simplistic - enemies come at you and you hit 'A' to hack and slash. As the character travels through the world, teachers can be found to help Scarlet learn new moves or abilities; from dodge rolls to the summoning of crows. In turn these are mapped to the D-pad and can be switched in and out from the large and overly complicated main menu which is filled with moves, magic, and items. Except they can be annoying to use more than anything.

Scarlet could be attacked and you try to block using your mapped D-pad button, but you already got hit which means you can't then block during that enemies combo. You then try to roll out the way but it isn't that responsive, you try again but the camera doesn't auto-follow you so you can't see where you are rolling to and roll into a wall. From there you attempt to move the already skittish camera, loose sight of the battle, realize you have no healing items mapped to the D-pad and then have to dash in and out of the main menu to try and heal yourself. Except you end up getting killed only to realize that the game doesn't autosave and you have to replay that last hour of the game, can't skip any of the cut scenes, need to go through all that condescending dialog and before you know it your controller has gone through the window. 

I really wanted to like Venetica, but every-time I tried to pick it up to play within a few minutes I would need to put it down because my rage from the sometimes small but continuously nagging faults made my blood pressure rise. It was pretty, but nothing special. I could rattle off a list of better looking RPGs for the Xbox 360 with better battle systems, physics, voice acting, and dialog. Yet, I still want to congratulate Deck 13 on Venetica.

A small team of less than 40 have achieved something here, a colorful open world RPG is no small accomplishment. I can't help but feel proud that they wanted to make a game on such a large scale. Maybe they did bite off more than they could chew, but they at least had aspiration. None the less, Venetica's over-ambition is its own downfall. The many imperfections that would be ironed out from larger more successful RPGs have not been attended to rendering the game as frustrating, which is a pity. 



Venetica - Reviewed by Hollie Bennett
Insulting - I feel mocked by this game. It's engaging for just long enough to pull the rug out from under me and scream in my ear, "surprise! I suck!"

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Hollie Bennett,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Sotanaht avatarSotanaht
Touchable Holograms? When this eventually matures and hits market, almost all our regulars will vanish for weeks.
Serethyn avatarSerethyn
Xenoblade Chronicles Wii for €10? Sure, Nintendo, don't mind if I do!
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Super Smash Bros. 4 has too much content. So much so I almost don't want a sequel. I honestly hope that NX gets a "Super Smash Bros. For NX" port rather than a new installment. It could be a GOTY edition and come with all of the DLC.
Batthink avatarBatthink
Flegma avatarFlegma
Bought my first full-priced physical 3DS game ever - New Style Boutique 2: Fashion Forward. I'll try to write a post on the previous game at some point before doing the same with NSB2.
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
How do you guys manage to buy all these games at day 1 with such huge backlogs?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
Guys if I were to do a thing, how many of you would watch my thing because I was thinking of doing a thing but I dunno if people really like that kinda thing so I just wanted to know if you liked that thing because I'm thinking of doing a thing, you know?
Atleastimhousebroken avatarAtleastimhousebroken
Bayonetta 2 is 40% off in the EU Nintendo eShop today. If you have a WiiU and don't have this game you are a horrible person and I want nothing to do with you. You can amend your errors by buying it. Xenoblade Wii is also 50% off as well.
El Dango avatarEl Dango
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Memo to self: spend your time cleaning before wasting ten or so hours on a cblog you'll end up just scrapping because you're incompetent and incapable of writing on the subject.
Is there an occupation out there for people who want to give up and not worry about shit for a while until they can recompose themselves before going back into society?
Parismio avatarParismio
That test was pretty raw. Some decisions cut deep, some I didnt care for at all. But im satisified with the end result.
Lawman avatarLawman
Torchman avatarTorchman
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
People are having serious anthropological discussions about video games and here I am reminding people that they have one more day to get a dumb card I painted:
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
I just finished this thing here: I'm mostly happy with my results, altough it lacks some stuff like Skyward Sword or Sonic & Knuckles [img][/img]
techsupport avatartechsupport
While I am glad I only paid $15 for it, I bought J-STARS VS+ for one specific reason: to drink some beer and kick ass as Yusuke and Hiei. And in that regard, it delivers. Beer not included.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -