Velvet Assassin is a stealth action game developed by Replay Studios and published by SouthPeak in April 30, 2009 for the PC and Xbox 360. It is set in World War II where the protagonist, Violette Summer (based on the real life World War II secret agent Violette Szabo), relives key missions in flashbacks as she lays comatose in a hospital bed. Some of these missions include blowing up a fuel depot in the Maginot Line, assassinating a Nazi colonel in Paris, and making her way to a Gestapo prison in Warsaw to find a captured agent. The game concept shares similar characteristics with another third-person World War II game released the same year, The Saboteur.
Violette Summer was born in Dorset, England to a happy family and she had a great and productive childhood. Before the outbreak of the war, Violette worked in a beauty salon, but after the outbreak of the war she moved to London and joined the weapon industry. She was noticed by the Secret Services and was recruited into MI6 during Britain's darkest hours. Violette had already lost an aunt during a bombing run by the Luftwaffe and her husband who was an RAF pilot was also killed. This lead her to become a spy for the SIS.
Violette is able to complete many missions as a spy before being severely wounded by a sniper during her assassination attempt on a German Military Intelligence Officer named Kamm. While in a coma in a hospital, she relives many of her past exploits. Most of the gameplay takes place during these flashbacks. These missions include the destruction of a fuel depot near the Maginot Line, the assassination of a German Colonel in a cathedral, stealing intelligence documents and marking a sub-pen for Allied bombers during Operation Gomorah. Another flashback mission involves her finding three secret agents in Warsaw, Poland. Whilst in the Warsaw Sewers, she finds one of the agents, and neutralizes him. She then finds another who is already dead from cyanide poisoning and finds out the third agent was captured. She moves through the Warsaw Ghetto and makes her way to the Pawiak Gestapo Prison where she gives the last agent the cyanide.
During her coma, two men can be seen in the hospital arguing over whether to keep Violette alive, kill her to save torture from the SS or giving her up to the SS. Finding her position is compromised, she awakes from her coma and escapes the hospital as the Nazi soldiers raid it. After she escapes the hospital, she finds a group of villagers being rounded up by the Dirlewanger Brigade, a group of SS convicts. The villagers are taken to the church and the SS set it on fire. Violette tries to save them and is unsuccessful. Due to her failure, she collapses and the leader of the SS unit is shown to be Kamm who had his face partially burned by the assassination attempt. In the end credits, Violette is shown wearing her hospital gown standing on a cliff and overlooking a German plane.
The game uses techniques similar to other stealth-based games, primarily from the Splinter Cell franchise. Players must hide in the shadows, sneaking around unsuspecting Nazi soldiers and performing silent kills. The heads-up display gives a silhouette of Violette which change color depending on her visibility (the color purple stating that she is hidden in the shadows) and detection (glowing red stating that she has been detected and enemies are seeking out her position).
Players can find vests which gives them additional protection, gas masks to protect them in areas with poisonous gas (with the inability to whistle at enemies), Nazi SS uniforms to disguise Violette so she can walk around in open areas (in which her disguise can be compromised by either standing too close to an enemy or by drawing a weapon), and morphine, which slows down time and allows the player to easily get a silent kill.
Players gain experience through finding hidden collectibles and secret objectives. Every 1,000 EXP earns you an upgrade star, which you can use to either increase the duration of morphine mode, increase the speed of your sneaking, and increase the amount of damage you can withstand.
Starting with the second level, players find weapon lockers that contain new weapons and ammo. Players can only carry three weapons at a time (knife, pistol, and rifle).
The Lost - Valley
The Lost - Fuel Storage
Death of the Butcher - Cathedral
Death of the Butcher - Crypt
Leave a Light On - Docks
Leave a Light On - Storage
The Third Man - Sewers
The Third Man - Ghetto
The Third Man - Prison
Fade to Grey - Hospital
Fade to Grey - Village