hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Venetica

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. 



THE VERDICT

3

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 moderators, 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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Gee whilikers, guys. I might just explain where I've been and what I've been up to while I've been gone. That'd be a good topic for a c-blog getting me whipped back into shape, right? I'ma try to write more, so expect more of me in the future!
bloma avatarbloma
Just bought Fez for xbox 360. Playing it on my 58 inch plasma. What a beautiful game.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
So there's a chance more MKX characters are being revealed today. Now, I'm not saying you *should* cross your fingers and say a prayer for me to get my waifu Sindel just, y'know, it would be monstrous of you to make me cry with your lack of love & support
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Just so you know, I've been a Huge subscriber for a few years but I thought I had until the end of September to cancel it. So I've opened an inquiry for the refund, which is on tinypass' end of things by the way.
techsupport avatartechsupport
I once posted that Total Recall was the best movie ever made. I would like to make note that Starship Troopers is a close second. Carry on.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I put too many peppers in my sausage and potatoes. My asshole is on fire. I want to cry when I wipe. But it was good.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
One glorious Japanese twitter user made a custom LBX of one of my favorite Kamen Riders: [img]http://i.imgur.com/yp1oraHm.jpg[/img] It's like getting peanut butter in chocolate but with small robots and spandex banana men!
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
I feel terrible for not reading most of you beautiful people's blogs. Let's just say my passion is writing, not reading :s
techsupport avatartechsupport
People can debate GOTY all they want, but the real question is: D-Horse or Roach?
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
I'm dragging myself away from my PS4 long enough to say that MGS V is pretty darn awesome so far.
Myles Cox avatarMyles Cox
Down with that PAX Pox. Auhhhghghghhhh
Shinta avatarShinta
MGSV: Sneaking into a heavily guarded Russian military base in Afghanistan at night, slashing throats while listening to this. [youtube]https://youtu.be/-hWZqllm3mQ[/youtube] Comes off like a perfectly planned scene in a Scorsese movie or something.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Tortilla chips: The only food I know and love to betray me by deciding to flip to a bad angle and stab me in the gums.
IDrawOnTape avatarIDrawOnTape
I'm ok with Namco shutting down Soul Calibur: Lost Souls, as long as they keep Ace Combat:Infinity running. Love that game and just hit 3 million credits.
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
Holy fuck I feel new again. I've been on hiatus for a while and haven't been up to writing. I might just jump back into things after I relearn things here. Does anyone even remember me? Like damn it's been a while.
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
In MGS5: The Phantom Pain, Solid Snake dies from lung cancer from all those years of smoking. #FakeSpoilers
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
[youtube]http://youtu.be/FDSHslyrxkM[/youtube] If you don't know the truth, you don't know the score. The end is coming near. MAJOR SPOILERS!
Paul S avatarPaul S
Wow, it's really easy to get people upset over video games.
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
I hope MGS V is living up to everyone's expectations. I can't get enough.
Barry Kelly avatarBarry Kelly
I dislike the idea of intentionally reinforcing the notions that either race or gender are character traits, and those that don't match your own are completely unrelatable.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Venetica


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

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 -