Game Design Analysis – Velvet Assassin

Ok so this is GDA a Game-Design-Analysis about Velvet Assassin, which from my point of view is a…

I think that every boy and girl who played at least one classical game can naturaly claim that he or she knows a thing or two about design in games. After finishing a couple of missions in VA making this statement poses no regret whatsoever : the people which reside in the above mentioned category know more about design in games than the actual development team. And let me humor you and give you some examples:

1.The GFX is a part of the design and by far the graphics in this game is one of the ugliest i have ever seen since the reinvention of exaggerated HDR in Oblivion. Just take a look at the pics at the bottom of the post.Now if that is realism i’ll chew my keyboard.

2. Okay. Sound. What i really appreciate is the authenticity. Finally the nazis speak german :D. Tho sometimes it is very frustrating because you don’t know who is talking and you think you might miss out some cool lipsync, WRONG. There is no lipsync in this game.

3.General Gameplay. Now here i could write thousands and thousand of paragraphs and not get bored. First off in any 3rd person shooter, be it stealth or slash. you can run with the gun or in worst case you can walk while aiming, here you can’t. You have to slow down, aim and shoot. When you have a timer which is buzzing you to get the hell out of there before Ka-Boom, it can be very very unwise to have this as a design.

Another thing : no cover system. Even BGE (Beyond Good and Evil) which is a pseudo stealth 3rd person shooter has a cover system.  How can you assume that the player will not need it? It’s absurd. In any game in which your every step counts, seeing what is next is vital to the stealth feeling.

Camera is shaky, i don’t know what the hell those guys in the programming departmenat did with the parameters, but they screwed it up. If i tilt the camera to the right or left i get an unfriendly motion blur, which is painful for my eyes.

Each time you kill an enemy in stealth mode you have a really cool mini-cut-scene in which Velvet makes a quick action, now i agree in general for these specific types of in-game actions, but when i see her use her gun to execute the poor bastard and the number of bullets remain the same, well figure it out.

Throughout a mission you get collectibles, when you gather enough of them, you can upgrade your character, i really see no point in this gameplay decision since it rarely has impact on the way i play.

In morphine mode which is your only way to escape the shadows and kill an enemy right off has one interesting aspect, you can use it to kill exactly one enemy. ONE! If there are two Nazis side by side, the other probably kills you while you execute the other, so what did the player won, oh just a “Load Last Checkpoint”. I am not picky as far as games, but for the love of logic, do something that makes sense.

4. Story-line, i have reached mission 5 out of 12 and by now all i can say is that there is no story-line, go from x to y and kill z. I don’t think if i actually finish the game i will be more impressed then i already am, and on a scale of 1 to 10, i am definitely at 1.

To finish the phrase started at the beginning.

…a complete and utter disaster as far as design elements.

I’ll leave you with a couple of images, i doubt you will like them, just to give you an idea about what are you going to see if you dare play this game and for the love of Sam Fisher PLEASE DON’T.

Sorry for pullling this post last night, but i really wanted to see GameSpots grade and i don’t even want to comment their choice of giving it a 7.5, when other publications have seen what i’ve seen, meaning a waste of time.


2 responses to “Game Design Analysis – Velvet Assassin

  1. Two quick comments on your criticism of the gameplay, coming from someone who hasn’t played VA:

    – I can think of many games, especially stealth games, where you can’t really aim while moving. Take Thief or Splinter Cell, where your accuracy while moving is so shit that it’s never worth taking the shot (I don’t even remember shooting while moving in those 2 games). So in and of itself, it’s not a bad design decision at all for a stealth game, where shooting is supposed to be discouraged.

    – collectibles are mostly used as an incentive for exploration. I don’t see anything wrong with them.

  2. I installed Splinter Cell because of your comment and the two games are similar, as far as moving with a weapon, so my bad on this one. Also in VA you can move while holding a weapon.

    Must pay more attention in the future.

    As far as collectibles go, they are somewhat ok, if the bonuses received are substantial.

    Thank you very much for your constructive comment.

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