Velvet Assassin nearly eight months ago at E3 2008, we were impressed. The level of polish exhibited for a game still months from any formal release was a good sign to us that the game was on the right track to becoming one of few stealth/action titles we might really enjoy. We delighted in sneaking up behind a group of unwitting Nazi soldiers, pulling a pin from one of their grenades, and watching the resultant explosion of humanity from a comfortable distance. Not just for the obvious reasons but because little touches like that helped to make VA feel like a living world and brought you into the role of French WWII-era assassin Violette Szabo, the interesting real life person the game's based on.
And though we were assured the grenade trick has been left in the game (even if it wasn't in the most recent build we checked out just before the 2009 New York Comic Con), enough has changed since we first met protagonist Violette Summer to be concerned. The polish once exuded by German developer Replay Studios' first game for the Xbox 360 has all but vanished, leaving behind kludgey player animation, poor enemy AI and glitch-prone graphics. With two months to go until the "April launch window" of VA, we're hoping (but not exactly confident) they can bring back the experience we had so many moons ago.