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Thursday | September 20, 2018
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The Saboteur (X360 & PS3)

The Saboteur (X360 & PS3)

The Saboteur is a new third person action game by Pandemic Studios and focuses on the exploits of Sean Devlin, a moody Irishman who has to deal with the Nazi occupation of France. This is a revenge story set during World War II and is actually surprisingly good.

Sean Devlin is a stereotypical Irish Man, he likes a glass of whiskey and constantly puffs on cheap cigarettes throughout the game. The storyline is slightly different than anything else I have experienced – Sean is not a chiseled jawed hero, he isn’t out to rid germany of the Nazi’s for some politically correct reason, he is merely trying to avenge the deaths of his drinking buddies who met their fate at the hands of the evil German forces.

While a solitary whiskey drinking, foul mouthed Irish man is not known to cause much of a danger to anyone, it appears that Sean has some serious skills when it comes to destroying things – yes he is a master of sabotage. He is proficient in the ways of dynamite and he will make sure the Germans pay the price for their slaughter of innocent people.

When the game kicks off Sean can only hold eight sticks of dynamite which makes destroying the plethora of German structures and vehicles rather difficult. This isn’t helped by the fact that when the game starts Sean has some speed issues – it takes him a lifetime to plant even a basic bomb. Thankfully as the game progresses you get access to perks which help his skill set massively.

The game is extremely fun to play with huge sweeping landscapes on offer – the French countryside for instance is fantastically rendered. The environments are actually so appealing that it is easy to forget the main missions and just roam the areas causing destruction and general mayhem. Eventually when I lost the initial buzz from blowing up random structures I started the main storyline missions and they really are very impressive – especially when peppered with the hilarious and somewhat cheesy dialogue.

When the game starts the Nazi occupation is clearly evident no matter were you look – the environments are dull and lifeless and as you begin to liberate areas a wall of colour hits these areas showing you how ‘free France’ looks. This is one of the talking points with Saboteur – the unique colour system to indicate that certain areas are free from the Nazi oppression. Birds start to sing, waterfalls appear and the colour intensity increases – it is a novel idea and while it sounds corny it actually works really well as a visual indicator of your progress. German areas are dull and overcast with greys and muddied colours mixing in with everything – the only vibrant colours are from the reds of the Nazi flags which pepper the areas. The oppressive nature of the Nazi occupation is very well handled and I thought this system was a clever idea from developers Pandemic Studios.

Obviously as a Saboteur your job is to destroy the Nazi hold on key locations and you do this by destroying supplies, vehicles and buildings within mission objectives – this will loosen the German hold on areas of the map and make not only the colours become more vibrant but will also make it easier for you to avoid detection. Another side effect of destroying key objectives is that the local French forces will start to help you more and even fight back as the game progresses. Generally however you are best not even factoring in the French resistance as they generally only get in the way, rather than offer genuine support when you end up in sticky situations (which you will quite often). The methodology for detection works in a similar way to the wonderful Assassins Creed 2 we recently reviewed – you have a suspicion/detection meter which will rise as you perform more heroic or blatant acts and you will eventually end up being attacked on sight – if you raise this meter however to the maximum levels then the French resistance forces will step up a level to offer you key locations for support, easily spotted on your mini map. You will not only find friendly support forces here but ammo and weapons to help you on your way.

These resistance counter forces are measured also by a status area in the top right of the screen which is measured by a “kill” count. If you kill enough german soldiers and units then they will eventually retreat from an area to fight another day.

Graphically, the game is certainly no Gears Of War 2/Uncharted 2 but it is effective enough to remain enjoyable at all times … however I did notice some frame rate issues on both the Xbox and Playstation 3 when the firefights started to heat up – the Xbox 360 appears to have a slightly higher level of anti aliasing but the colours on the Playstation 3 look slightly more defined. All in all though both versions are very attractive and if you are fortunate enough to have either console then it is hard to say which is ‘better’. The sound throughout the game was great, with some rousing and entertaining music and some hilarious voice acting making it even more fun – clearly the developers have opted for the ‘tongue in cheek’ approach which I think gives the game a certain B-movie style charm.

The Saboteur really did hit the spot for me, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and it has a flowing and well structured design which makes for an entertaining gaming experience. Sure, the storyline is rather disjointed at times and completely off the wall, especially when listening to the lead characters dialogue but at the end of the day, the game is really fun to play. I am looking forward to seeing the PC version as I expect the niggling frame rate issues to be resolved, so I have my fingers crossed that it doesn’t end up a second grade console port.


It continues to grow as the game progresses and is great fun throughout.
Nothing groundbreaking but certainly good enough to keep you engrossed.
The voice acting is hilarious and very tongue in cheek – music is great.
A very long single player game with a lot of content available outside the main missions

Very entertaining and surprisingly good.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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