Velvet Assassin - Xbox 360

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Also for: PC
Viewed: 3D Third-person, over the shoulder Genre:
Strategy: Stealth
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Replay Studios Soft. Co.: South Peak
Publishers: South Peak (GB)
Released: 8 May 2009 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15
Accessories: Hard Disk Drive


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Amidst the roaring gunfire of World War II games like Call of Duty: World at War and the Medal of Honour series, Velvet Assassin offers a very different take on what the Russians called the Great Patriotic War. While those games are all about serving your country and glory, Velvet Assassin has you skulking around behind enemy lines, exploring the darkness endemic in conflict.

You start the game looking down on the star of the show, Violette Summer, as she lies in her bed, morphine syringes scattered around her and two allied soldiers standing over her, trying to decide her fate. The morphine in Violette's system takes her mind back to some pretty dark places. She's a spy and saboteur sent behind enemy lines to slow German progress in World War II, you see. What ensues is a game of cat and mouse inspired by the real-life story of Allied spy Violette Szabo.

Across 12 missions, you must quietly pick your way to your objective, be it assassinating a war criminal, destroying a fuel depot or otherwise throwing a spanner into the works of the enemy war machine. You'll need to use the cover of night as you sneak around, pulling off stealth kills and using gunplay only as a last resort. There are more creative ways to kill enemies, too. You might release toxic gas from a barrel, pull the pin from the grenade of an unsuspecting soldier or send an electrical current through a puddle of water to dispose of your foes.

For many, however, the star of the show will be the tense atmosphere. Moody lighting and a haunting aural backdrop will send chills up players' spines. Adding to that is insight into the horrors of war, be it letters telling of how difficult it is to serve, guards rendered all too human by their reminiscences of time spent in Paris, or brutal accounts of how to burn bodies left in a ditch.

For a different take on World War II, look no further.

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