You play as Scarlett, who is the daughter of the current Death. It somehow falls to you to stop Victor and his goons as Victor has become undead and immune to Death's powers. The love of Scarlett's life, Benedict, is also killed at the beginning by Victor's minions. This creates a moral struggle -- are you attempting to stop Victor for the sake of balance or are you there just for revenge.
Your decisions throughout the game decide which ending you will get. It was not clear how exactly this worked but most of the time the choices were very obvious, and I got the good ending I aimed for. Venetica reminded me very much of Fable, though it does not have the same level of silliness that game had. It is not without humor either, however.
I wish there were more slots in the action bar, though. I ran out of room rather fast. Also, the way the interact key is the LMB, and changes to CTRL + LMB when a weapon is drawn is one of the stupidest user interface design decisions of all time. How does one even come up with such an idea. I am sure it is possible to have a separate key for it even on controller that apparently has the same deal.
I give the game a bonus point for having an option to lock the mini-map from rotating, though. And the ability to zoom the camera in and out was also unexpected. Many third-person games do not allow you to do so even though there is no reason not to.
The game looks prettier in the screenshots than I remember it being. The textures definitely could have been sharper, though. I think there actually is a mod somewhere that adds higher quality textures but I did not bother to find it. I was also surprised how few different armors there were for Scarlett. I was expecting a whole lot more.
And then there were the breaking of vases. Every first vase I broke after a loading screen would cause the game simply to freeze for a half a second. Like it suddenly had to load something of considerable size from the hard drive.
Also later on, when talking to Leon, Venetica would always crash when exiting the dialogue. Luckily, talking to him at that point is optional. I also experienced one random crash at the palace after a loading screen. Deck13 Interactive seems to have acknowledged the problems on Steam forums but since that was in January, I doubt the crashes will ever be fixed.
The game's English localization (Deck13 is from Germany) is somewhat shoddy too. Voice-acting varies from passable to terrible, and the subtitles have numerous errors in them. Sometimes the lines are completely different to what the character actually said.
With all that, I cannot recommend Venetica, even if it was a fairly enjoyable experience. I think I should try to get better at avoiding games that have multiple technical issue topics on their forum.