Sabotage Sabotaged: Now Velvet Assassin

By John Walker on March 2nd, 2008 at 12:25 am.

Ever fancied changing your name to let you feel more enigmatic, enticing, glorious? Sabotage certainly did. It’s now called Velvet Assassin.

Seriously, surely it has something to do with vaginas? It's a bleeding V for heaven's sake. Ew.

There’s just something wrong with that. “Velvet Assassin”. It just sounds… unsettling. But then, a rose by any other name is… well, actually “Velvet Assassin” would be an excellent name for a rose. Quickly, someone breed a new one and name it that. The point, wherever it went, is that it’s still going to be a game about sneaky-sneaky WW2 action. There’s some footage and comments if you can sneak past the searchlights below.

The game, developed by Replay Studios, features the adventures of WW2 spy, Violette Summer. She’s based on real-world war hero Violette Szabo, who kerazeee WACKY publishers Gamecock choose to honour with the following video:

(Sorry about the autoplaying. Blame Gamecock’s grandmothers)

Gamecock’s reason for the name change is, well, honest.

“Rather than a trite, overused, and generic working title like Sabotage, Velvet Assassin captures the heart of what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Sascha Jungnickel, Creative Director at Replay Studios. “From the start we’ve wanted a game with a strong female lead that stays true to the history of Violette Szabo while pulling players into a world of dark intrigue.”

And they think hot women spies is a seller? Pah!

A slightly more positive angle comes from Gamecock’s Executive Producer, Tim Hesse.

“Most of the time a name change happens because it’s not ‘catchy’ enough or because the marketing team didn’t like it. I have to say, the Replay crew have outdone themselves by making Violette into one of the best looking stealth-killers ever. This game has come so far since last year that Sabotage just didn’t do the game justice – Velvet Assassin sums up every aspect that makes this game great.”

Every aspect. I’m going to go up to people in the street and say, “Can you guess what Velvet Assassin is?” I bet everyone says, “A WW2 stealth action game with dynamic shadows based on the life of Violette Szabo,” and absolutely no one slaps me before calling the police.

Anyway, mocking the name aside, it looks like it could be a decent bit of sneaky fun. (You can put that on the box, Gamecock).

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25 Comments »

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  1. CrashT says:

    Velvet Assassin… See I’m pretty sure I’ve seen that “movie”.

  2. alco75 says:

    Oh good, another WW2 ga- Zzzzz.

  3. Mo says:

    It’s a shame the gameplay looks so generic, because I really like the premise and look of the game. It looks like it’s been rendered in sepia, except not quite.

  4. Okami says:

    Wasn’t there another WW2 stealth game called Saboteur? Maybe they changed the name, so customers wouldn’t mistake that one for theirs.

    Anyway I rather like the name, even if it’s incredibly cheesy. I might just play this game, if only to at least once play a WW2 shooter that’s not run-of-the-mill.

    I’ve heard a few intriguing details about the backstory and how it interacts with the gameplay and the presentation. In short: The main character lies in a hospital and remembers her missions during the war.

    You basically play through her memories. I’ve even read somewhere that you run around in your hospital gown during bullet time (bullet time representing the character getting morphine or some other drug while lying in her bed and remembering.

    I think that’s the reason, why the game has this sepia look and the colors seem much more vibrant..

    EDIT: This is the second gamecock trailer I’ve seen, that focuses on the develepor studio. It’s kinda nice of them to get the people making the games into the spotlight.

  5. Dinger says:

    Yeah, for me, “Velvet Assassin” associates with “Anal Obstruction Device”.

    But points for the choice neologisms: “Titmonster” and “Assmonster” (or is that „BrustwortMonster” und „ArschMonster AusF. F”?).

  6. Sander says:

    Yeah… really like the look, really didn’t like the trailer overall. First of all, the relentless hinting about the sexy make want to strangle somebody, especially because of the insinuation that it’s not sexist pandering ’cause look how empowered she is! she kills dudes! (while zooming in on the model’s velvety polygonal crotch repeatedly). It makes me not like the devs and therefore not want to play their game, although the whole thing reeks more of suit interference than a choice on the devs’ part.

    I agree though that it’s nice that the trailer takes a look inside the studio, and the game itself does look great in its visual stylings (moar pls! well designed atmospheric graphics ftw!).

    Oh and I also blame Gamecock’s grams for autorepeat, and for autostart on reloading the page, and for locking me out of editing mode when I fiddle with the controls to shut the thing up. Come on Gertrude, this is ridiculous, knock it off.

  7. Sucram says:

    From video above:
    “pretty woman doing nasty stuff is kinda appealing for… boys”

    @Dinger, you might not be far off.

  8. tom says:

    lol at the closeup revolving shot of her ass in a nightie from the modelling tools..
    Sigh..
    and velvet saboteur just sounds awful. I mean, isnt it the guy that steals slash’s guitar before a gig?

  9. Kadayi says:

    From the font style and name it sounded like it was going to be some sort of Dangerous liaisons style period drama. Strange choices indeed.

  10. Meat Circus says:

    Bloom bloom bloom bloom BLOOM BLOOM BLOOM.

    Who knew World War 2 was so HDR? Cor.

  11. fluffy bunny says:

    http://www.shacknews.com/featuredarticle.x?id=463

    It looks quite interesting.

  12. caesarbear says:

    I might feel better of myself if I read Masonry, Vellum, AAHE 28-gauge Parker.

  13. Catch.153 says:

    Speaking of name changes, what about the name of the game developers? A name like that just screams at me, “We are too juvenile and/or clueless to deserve your time or respect.”

  14. Jim Rossignol says:

    You mean the publishers, GameCock? Replay Studios isn’t so bad.

  15. phuzz says:

    Don’t they usually get someone to demo the game who can actually play it? All the way through the trailer I was thinking ‘It looks like I’m trying to play the game. On someone else’s computer. While drunk.’
    And the nightie shots? Well, as a boy they work for me, but I don’t need pr0n in my games thanks very much.

    (edit, that auto replay on reload thing is fucking annoying, pardon my language)

  16. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Phew, for a minute there I thought Saboteur had taken a rather bizarre turn for the worse.

  17. Yhancik says:

    The best thing I’ve read about that name is that it sounds like a Prince album :p

    And quite frankly, the “logo” doesn’t help much. There’s something so NOT WWII about that goey dripping shiny V behind the ultra curvyclassy typeface.

    It looks like they .. quite invested themselves in the R&D for the main character ;)

  18. Jonathan says:

    Just like to point out that this is on the front page here, was mentioned on Kotaku and in some print magazines. So if this was a pulicity boost it worked.

    Also, titmonsters. I’m havin’ that.

  19. James T says:

    Sweet lord, my PC can manage better frame-rates than that!

    Actually, this ties into what someone said in the Mirror’s Edge thread — with female protagonists inevitably rendered as tiresome, nakedly sleazy T&A displays, it’s enough to make one pine for more male heroes…

    (…nice lingerie skin though.)

    Anyway! All that aside, if this makes up for Double Agent shitting in the Splinter Cell nest (not to mention the collapse of the Commandos franchise), I’ll be one happy PC stealthy person.

  20. Elyscape says:

    Speaking of name changes, what about the name of the game developers? A name like that just screams at me, “We are too juvenile and/or clueless to deserve your time or respect.”

    Assuming you’re talking about Gamecock here, they’re actually named after… gamecocks. Gamecocks are roosters bred for cockfighting. So it’s not like they were thinking, “Let’s name ourselves Gamepenis! Hur hur hur!” That was, at most, a secondary thought.

  21. Willy359 says:

    For a stealth game, there sure seemed to be a lot of shotguns and exploding barrels. I’ve always felt that a good stealth game should give you the ability to play all the way through using only the blackjack or the fibrewire, preferably without being seen by anyone on your way to the target. I wonder if that will be an option here.

  22. Mike says:

    I think I watched all the trailers for this and wow was I unimpressed – I love stealth games but it looked spectacularly bad…

  23. Dracko says:

    Taking shots point blank without blinking is exactly what I want to see more of in gaming!

  24. luminosity says:

    Frame rate issues aside, the art style at least had me interested until they showed some combat. I’m sure I’m not the only one put off by how… unreactive enemies looked. Especially in a stealth game I expect people to die reasonably quickly, rewarding you for, uhh, being stealthy and taking the advantage instead of charging in.

    Well, that, and the nazi who just keeps trying to charge past after being shot at… hmm.

  25. James T says:

    To be fair, it’s not meant to be out until the end of the year, so I’d imagine there’s a fair bit left for them to do; that said, I’m not putting any money on it being the Second Coming either, dot dot dot.