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Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin

SouthPeak Games announces that the stealthy World War II action game Velvet Assassin is now sneaking in and out of North American stores for both Windows and Xbox 360. Here's the deal:

MIDLOTHIAN, VA – April 30, 2009 – SouthPeak Games announced today that Velvet Assassin, their stealth-action WWII title has departed on its final mission to retail shelves in North America. Released for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC, Velvet Assassin chronicles the life and times of Violette Summer, a British secret agent behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany. Sneaking through the shadows, armed only with a knife and firearms procured on-site, Violette faces some of the most heart-stopping missions the world never knew.

“Velvet Assassin is one of the rare cases where players get the chance to delve into World War II and see the atrocities of war that often escaped the mainstream eye,” said Richard Iggo, VP of Marketing at SouthPeak Games. “The ability to bring this visceral and realistic view of the world into a video game was incredibly important to us and will undoubtedly prove instrumental in the immersion of the player into the world of Violette Summer.”

Inspired by the real life secret agent Violette Szabo, Velvet Assassin tasks players with stealthily infiltrating Nazi strongholds to complete missions most would deem suicidal. Playing through the memories of the now hospitalized Violette, players will experience each mission with a sense of remembrance only enhanced by the surreal art style and intense musical accompaniment. The heart of gameplay keeps players in the shadows, using stealth kills and the virtue of patience. Utilizing items and weapons found during missions, Violette is completely alone in a world of sheer madness and macabre scenery. Completely alone in the heart of darkness, facing the greatest war-machine ever created, Violette must use everything to her advantage; including environmental traps and enemy weapons against themselves.

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22. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin May 3, 2009, 06:48 Jerykk
 
So I played through the first level and the game runs silky smooth on my 4870X2. Initially, I thought it was going to be a half-assed port because you have to change all the graphical settings outside of the game. But the game actually has button prompt icons for M/KB, a nice departure from the usual 360 pad icons. Controls are responsive and work well with M/KB. This is a solid port.

Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the gameplay. This definitely isn't going to compete with Splinter Cell, Thief, Hitman or any of the classics. You're very limited in what you can do. You can't pick up and throw random objects, cling to walls, lean, climb pipes, shimmy or really do anything that Sam Fisher does. The AI is also dumb and hyper-aware. They can't open doors but they can magically hone in on you when alerted. They also only have two awareness modes: completely oblivious or hunting-for-your-ass. A meager whistle or slight crack of broken glass will make them whip out their guns and start insulting you in German. The game also appears to be heavily scripted and there are forced confrontations. There are also parts where you have no choice but to use the cheap Slow-Mo mode or shoot your enemies.

There are also problems with the UI... or lack thereof. There's no light-meter or sound-meter. You're either completely hidden or not at all. This can be problematic because enemies will start screaming if they even catch a split-second glimpse of you from a mile away.

From what I've played thus far, Velvet Assassin appears to be a thoroughly mediocre entry into the sparse stealth genre. If you haven't played Splinter Cell, Thief, Hitman, Manhunt or any other good stealth game, you might find this game really enjoyable. Otherwise, only pick it up if you're desperate for a new stealth game. Even then, I'd wait until it dropped to $20 or less.

This comment was edited on May 3, 2009, 06:59.
 
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21. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin May 2, 2009, 13:26 StingingVelvet
 
It's very possible that the game was only optimized for Nvidia cards, much like Cryostasis. I have yet to play the game but if I don't get a constant 60+ FPS on my 4870X2, I'll have to agree with Dades.

I've been keeping up with the Steam forum for the game and haven't seen any performance complaints, nor on my home forum (which admittedly is nvidia slanted). I can really only comment on my own experience with it.

I will say the game is surprisingly good looking, especially in shadows and textures, so maybe it not running in a constant 60fps at max settings is understandable... it's not a crappy console port in the sense that it looks like ass and runs like ass.

The main problems with the game I see are a lack of quicksave (which I know bothers many, though not myself personally) and the need to force off v-synch.

Oh, and it plays like a 5 year old game... but I like that.
 
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20. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin May 2, 2009, 04:02 Jerykk
 
The game runs smooth as silk on a GTX 260 and the controls are perfect (once I remapped a couple things).

It's very possible that the game was only optimized for Nvidia cards, much like Cryostasis. I have yet to play the game but if I don't get a constant 60+ FPS on my 4870X2, I'll have to agree with Dades.
 
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19. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin May 1, 2009, 08:15 StingingVelvet
 
So on an ATI 4870 the game stutters like hell, it's like an old DOS game without CPU throttling. You zip around at warp speed. Quite hilarious. Money wasted on a terrible port, controls are awful, the kill setups are much more limited than the previews had us believing and performance issues abound. Maybe I should just adopt the Jerykk attitude and pirate everything since publishers seem apt to rip me off.

Force v-synch off in your control panel.

The game runs smooth as silk on a GTX 260 and the controls are perfect (once I remapped a couple things). I got over 60fps most of the time since I ended the terror of v-synch and mouse movement is great.

This is NOT a terrible port.

P.S. Great game... really enjoying it. Seems long too, I have 3.5 hours in according to Steam and am only on mission 4 of 12.

This comment was edited on May 1, 2009, 08:16.
 
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18. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 23:36 Jerykk
 
Maybe I should just adopt the Jerykk attitude and pirate everything since publishers seem apt to rip me off.

You really should. If you did, you'd know exactly how a game runs on your system and whether or not you actually like the game. If you do like the game, buy it. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Pretty much common sense.
 
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17. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 22:33 Dades
 
So on an ATI 4870 the game stutters like hell, it's like an old DOS game without CPU throttling. You zip around at warp speed. Quite hilarious. Money wasted on a terrible port, controls are awful, the kill setups are much more limited than the previews had us believing and performance issues abound. Maybe I should just adopt the Jerykk attitude and pirate everything since publishers seem apt to rip me off.  
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16. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 21:48 Frosty
 
The auto-save check points occur at key points in the game. How long you take between those points depends on how you play the game. If you want to auto-save quickly, then you will be forced to move quickly... Try moving quickly with this character and you'll be re-playing parts far more often than I am at a slow pace.

Just wait for the reviews if you cannot believe me. And yes, this game is almost forcing you to play with a gamepad too.
 
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15. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 21:34 Dades
 
The main menu has no mouse control. Wow just wow. Do I dare launch this thing?  
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14. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 17:21 StingingVelvet
 
This is a Steam game, FYI, though it doesn't say so on the package.

It's a good game though, in my opinion. Not great... has some rough edges, but games like this are rare (thief, splinter cell). The enviornments can be really cool, the second level is a massive bridge near a catherdral which really makes you feel like you're in europe killing nazis.

My only problem is the game forces v-synch, which causes sluggish mouse movement... can't figure out a way to turn it off yet.
 
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13. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 15:03 Verno
 
Agreed but as long as the checkpoints are well spaced out then that's fair enough. Also I fail to see how this guy could've played the game long enough to encounter these massive waits, it literally came out today.  
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Playing: Everquest Next Alpha, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
Watching: Evidence, Longmire, Chained
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12. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 14:25 Ecthelion
 
I remember back when the original Ghost Recon (the PC one, not Advanced Warfighter) came out, I thought it was a lot easier than the Rainbow Six games (1-3) because it had a quicksave (although it was only one slot, IIRC). Now that I'm older, I can't cut it in games like the old Rainbow Six ones anymore. I can deal with checkpoints, but entire levels with no saves are too frustrating for me these days.

This comment was edited on Apr 30, 2009, 14:26.
 
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11. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 14:13 Elessar
 
Frosty - Fine, replay entire parts where you spent up to 30 minutes playing carefully only to meet one little mistake, and then have to re-do the entire thing, another 30 minutes...
30 minutes? I think it's relatively common now that games have built in checkpoints. You may be getting riled up for no reason. Besides, don't you think quick saves cheapen the experience? I've never been a fan. I feel like a game has a better quality when the devs setup proper pacing with well placed checkpoints.
 
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"You don't get what you deserve, you get what you get."
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10. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 12:45 Frosty
 
Fine, replay entire parts where you spent up to 30 minutes playing carefully only to meet one little mistake, and then have to re-do the entire thing, another 30 minutes...

Poor system of disguising too. Go even near an enemy soldier & BAM they open fire on you, dressed as one of them, without even a "Papers please", lame. Hitman does this way better at least having the AI question you first.

This is one of those games that starts out "Wow! Beautiful scenery, nice gameplay!" Promptly followed by, "Wow! I have re-do that part a third, fourth time... Five metres away and the enemy KNEW I was their enemy even though dressed as one of them."

Not to mention the Melee system is downright CRAP. For a woman so skilled with a knife from behind, she suddenly becomes somewhat spasticated when facing an enemy.
 
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9. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 12:01 Verno
 
Why would you want quicksave for a game like this?  
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Playing: Everquest Next Alpha, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
Watching: Evidence, Longmire, Chained
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8. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 11:54 Frosty
 
No quicksave: very frustrating having to replay small but tough sections gets tedious fast.  
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7. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 11:18 Verno
 
No that's cool.  
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Playing: Everquest Next Alpha, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
Watching: Evidence, Longmire, Chained
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6. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 10:42 Creston
 
Let us know what you think after you've played it for awhile?

Creston
 
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5. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 10:36 Verno
 
Looks good, picking it up for the 360 after work.  
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Playing: Everquest Next Alpha, Diablo 3, Bravely Default
Watching: Evidence, Longmire, Chained
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4. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 10:33 Klaus Flouride
 
I have been waiting for this since last year.  
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When all else fails empty the magazine...
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3. Re: Ships Ahoy - Velvet Assassin Apr 30, 2009, 09:58 Zzet
 
I've been looking forward to this somewhat, and apparently it's already been ISO'd up and flung into cyberspace.

Hope there's a demo soon, I need something to fill the void between WoW sessions (Zeno Clash filled approximately 3 voids :().
 
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22 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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