Frozenbyte Inc’s (creators of Trine) latest effort puts you in the stealthy shoes of a female assassin called Shadwen who’s on a quest to commit treason of the highest order. However, Shadwen is a stealth-action game with a twist. Besides the throat slitting and trap setting of your everyday assassin – time progresses when Shadwen is in motion. If you make a mistake or are caught in the act, you can rewind time to amend your mistakes because hey, no assassin’s perfect!
Before your blade gets a chance to meet the king’s neck – you have a chance encounter with an orphaned girl called Lily. After rescuing her from a dangerous situation and for reasons that are never fully explained – Shadwen bizarrely allows (begrudgingly) Lily to accompany her on what’s sure to be a child friendly journey of assassination.
Lily’s accompaniment is unconvincingly justified through a game mechanic in which she is able to open doors that enables you to progress to the next area. However, there is nothing remarkable about the doors or the ability in which she opens them. There’s not even a reason given as to why Shadwen cannot open the doors herself. If Lily witnesses you kill anyone as you maneuver your way through areas, you are notified that this will affect the overall story. Despite my actions affecting the story – I found it hard to be immersed in the world because I couldn’t understand why Shadwen would put a young girl in another dangerous situation after rescuing her from one just moments before. As Lily has nobody and nowhere to go – why not instruct her to wait in a safe location until you return from your deadly duty. Her presence on your journey is one that is quite jarring. As a result of this, Lily’s characterisation felt like it was ultimately reduced down to a plot device driven mechanic.