Scarlett fighting with several enemies. In the upper left corner a medallion displays health (red), mental energy (blue) and twilight energy (purple). In the upper right is the mini-map
. The bottom right features a bar with all currently accessible magic spells.
Venetica is a single-player action role-playing game. Players control its protagonist Scarlett in a third-person 3D world from an over-the-shoulder view with a camera that can be zoomed in three fixed steps. The environment is partitioned in several maps with no true open world movement. Players on PC can use either keyboard and mouse or a gamepad to control Scarlett; on consoles only a gamepad can be used. The game uses a day and night cycle with each time of day lasting 15 minutes.
Players cannot customize the protagonist herself but the game offers an experience point based leveling system that awards skill points and attribute points with each level gained. Skill points allow Scarlett to learn new fighting or magical powers by interacting with certain non-player characters. Attribute points can be used to increase one of four basic attributes that correspond to in-game characteristics, namely "constitution" (health points), "wisdom" (mental energy), "strength" (amount of damage dealt with weapons) and "mental power" (amount of damage dealt with spells).
The protagonist can enter the spirit realm at certain places, allowing her to interact with characters who already died in the real world. Scarlett interacts with non-player characters through pre-scripted dialogue scenes that give players some freedom of choice with regards to her moral choices, allowing them to decide whether to be altruistic or egoistic. Upon reaching Venice for the first time, Scarlett has to choose between joining one of three different guilds, with that choice changing both how the story will unfold and what skills will be available to choose from. The game features a Reputation system that tracks her actions in Venice and reflects her renown in the city. Completing quests often grants Reputation while illegal acts such as breaking into houses or stealing will decrease it. A sufficiently high enough Reputation is required to interact with some characters.
Fights play out by using a single attack button, combined with evasive or blocking maneuvers. However, players can chain multiple attacks to perform powerful combo attacks by timing attacks correctly. Additionally, players can use magical spells called mental skills by using mental energy, the game's equivalent to magic points. Mental energy is also used to power combat techniques called physical skills. Venetica features another type of energy called twilight energy. It is collected by fighting enemies using Death's scythe, called "Moonblade" in the game. Twilight energy also allows Scarlett to access the spirit world, called the Twilight World, which is required to solve some puzzles.
Multiple enemies attack the player at the same time, forcing them to be constantly on the move to avoid being attacked from behind. Fights against the five main villains take place twice, once in the real world and afterwards again in the Twilight World where the villain has turned into a monster. With sufficient twilight energy, Scarlett will enter the Twilight World upon death allowing players to reposition her on the battlefield. If she does not have sufficient twilight energy, she will die and players are forced to reload their last manual save-game since Venetica features neither automatic saving nor respawn points. Even after replaying scenes, cutscenes and dialogue cannot be skipped.
The game's head-up display features a medallion in the upper left corner that displays the current health in red, the current mental energy in blue and up to six segments inside that if filled in purple denote sufficient twilight energy to resurrect Scarlett upon death. In the middle is an orb that contains the player's level and which slowly fills up as they gain experience. In the upper right corner, a mini-map is displayed and in the bottom right corner, a spell bar allows quick access to currently equipped spells.
In typical role-playing game fashion, Venetica offers players the choice of different weapons and armaments as well as potions and items to heal and help the protagonist. Players can find such items in the game world, by defeating enemies and as rewards for completing quests. The game features a main quest line based on the story as well as several optional quests that allow players to gain additional loot. Venetica offers between 25 and 40 hours of single-player gameplay.