A unique twist on the WWII setting, The Saboteur is a fast, action packed game, but it does come with it's problems.
I'm a huge fans of ambitious videogames, nothing worse than run of the mill. In terms of catching me by surprise, The Saboteur almost claims full marks, it's only the routine of Open World way finding that feels a little too familiar. Just like our new hero Sean Devlin, the creative team at Pandemic put their reputations on the line and pull no punches when it comes to a scrap. The Saboteur is going for the throat of everything from Call of Duty: World At War, to Assassin's Creed II and Grand Theft Auto IV to grab World War Two lovers's attention. Naked computer ladies fill the screen from the word go. Ridiculously villainous German stereotypes ham it up as evil, blood boiling Nazis. Yes, this definitely isn't Little Big Planet. My lasting impressions of The Saboteur are of a game brimming with great ideas that will have seemed brilliant on paper, but struggle to cohere in practice. Sean is encouraged to scurry across the Paris rooftops at any available opportunity, requiring long drawn out climbing sprees, as a means to avoid attention or find a hiding place to escape suspicion, a lot like Assassins Creed II, or the Grand Theft Auto IV police chase system, just escape the police and hide for a while. His racing background requires that he hops in a car to drive to his next mission, listening to 1940s Big Band music on the radio, more often than not attracting the attention of the Nazis owing to accidentally mowing down pedestrians or smashing into cars of fellow road users, causing a pursuit, which, as if by magic, can be quickly avoided upon performing a U turn, again, just like a Grand Theft Auto title. His ability to throw a good punch and land a good kick soon falls by the wayside when he gets to carry a gun. As with the protagonists in Grand Theft Auto IV, Sean looks to arms dealers and hired hands to assist his role among the French Resistance. They and the British Intelligence point Sean in the direction of his next waypoint, making you feel like a bad boiled errand boy. Some neat concepts are woven into the drama to keep players buoyed by Sean's ongoing success; he can improve various skills or Perks by taking on more than one Nazi in a fight, researching vehicles, and blowing various objects and cars up. And as each new area of Paris is liberated, the grey tinted screen is replaced by vibrant colours, simultaneously providing a safe retreat with back up for ongoing missions. That is what I adore about The Saboteur, it's unique style. When invading and fighting off Nazis, the black and grey theme slowly turns colour, and explosions and bullets are all over the place, illuminated in bright lights and unique colours. It doesn't get boring to look at, as all of the environments offer different buildings to scale (even if it isn't as good as Uncharted 2 or Assassins Creed II) and various new locations to stare at in dis belief. The Saboteur offers a deep and varied campaign, stylishly served, and plenty to chat about over whiskey. Unfortunately I've struggled to enjoy each individual component, whether it's brawling, gun fighting, driving or basically exploring Paris. I'm also not sure what to make of the seedy tone of the whole experience, and how such mocking humour can sit comfortably with scenarios that we're quite sure are intended to be taken much more seriously. Grand Theft Auto's humour meets serious World War Two settings? I'm not sure, but I have to say, when you play the first two hours of the game, it is exciting, fresh and mean stuff, but after that it's the same formula over and over again, but there are some new buildings, enemies and weapons to climb, kill and use, which offer to the wide variation of exciting new stuff to do and see. The graphics are well rounded off, but it comes with it's glitches, sound glitches and weapon glitches. For example, if your out of ammo, and you hop over a rooftop, you might get stuck for a while, and the game will freeze. Then, when you finally land you'll have full ammo again, which is very annoying at times, and does get on your nerves. But, it isn't that much of a problem, as it only happens once an hour or so, and it takes around six hours to complete, on the easiest mode. But, it does have a massive replay value, as looking at the tremendous environments and killing more Nazis will come across you, and you'll want to play it again, and again, and again!
The Saboteur is worth buying, and the full price tag is a great deal, considering the replay value is massive. But it does have it's glitches and repetitive scenarios, but if you can overlook that and you just want to shoot more Nazis before the likes of Medal Of Honor and Call Of Duty advance fully into modern warfare, then take this chance and go buy this game. But just prepare for the sense that in every game play direction Sean Devlin turns he winds up with a broken nose, or some sort of injury.