Venetica is a new role playing game for the XBox 360 Deck 13 and Atari. It's a single player action game that has you taking on the role of Scarlett, the daughter of death. An evil necromancer tricked her father and is now trying to take over the universe and Scarlett is the only one who can defeat him and restore balance to the universe. She knows nothing at all about her powers or about being a warrior so she has to learn all of this in order to defeat him (and that's the game).
The story starts in the middle of a battle in a small village near a fantasy version of Venice, Italy. Bandits are intent on killing and destroying everyone in the village. When her beloved, Benedict, tries to protect Scarlett, he's killed and this sets Scarlett off on her quest for revenge. During her quest, you are given the chance to make decisions about how she reacts to events, with what she decides impacting who interacts with her throughout the rest of the game. Quests and missions are made available to her depending on whether or not she decides to be nice to someone to get what she wants or to fight them to get what she wants. As an example, when you arrive in Venice you can join one of three groups: one that's based on fighting and being dishonest, one that's based on necromancy and is honest, or one that is neutral. Depending on the choices you've made prior to this point in the game, you're only allowed to join one.
Combat in Venetica is mostly done by pushing the controller button repeatedly. You also have the ability to roll and dodge to the side. You have your choice of using a sword, hammers, axes, scythes, and spears and shields. You can use all of them from the beginning of game play but until you learn how to use their special abilities, you aren't very good with any of them. To learn a new skill you need to earn skill points by doing certain things and you need to have someone to teach you the skill itself. Not everyone you ask will help you learn, it all depends on whom your friends with. After you learn one skill, other skills are become available. You can learn weapon mastery, blocks, deadly injection, twilight rift, death burst, riposte, titan's blow, covert strike, shield slam and a number of other fighting skills. You can also learn alchemy and beast knowledge that will help you as well in your efforts to save the universe.