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Ok the graphics aren't the greatest by all means though ive certainly seen worse. This game takes on the role of Sean Devlin as the saboteur and to be honest its brilliant. Its a game of fun although not easy at times it definitely can test any gamer the many different ideas involved are all generally good although some such as the resistance helping you escaping the Nazis could be better but that would in my opinion make the game slightly too easy. Theirs plenty too do in the game and the side missions are easier than in a typical grand theft auto style game also they are all over the map so theirs no need to be making your way back and forth the map to do a mission which isn't really all that relevant to the core of the game. One thing though don't run over a cow, god it looks terribly tacky. Bought my copy for a tenner so at that price you can't really go wrong. The music is also brilliant especially with the adapting of black and white to colour, everything in this department made sense, it just felt right.
What do you get if you try to merge the best elements of Grand Theft Auto, Hitman, and Assassin's Creed in a unique environment? This was apparently the question that developer Pandemic Studios aimed to answer in their last ever video game, 'The Saboteur', a title which attempted to neatly interweave free-running and intuitive stealth within a sandbox environment. Would it be the studio's swansong or a limp last effort for the outgoing developers?
The first signs are good. The game takes place in Nazi-occupied Paris during the Second World War, and you assume the role of Sean Devlin, an Irish race-car driver with a personal vendetta against the Nazis which is shrewdly explained to you in the form of a prologue mission early on. Your aim is to attack the heart of the Nazis' strength by helping the Parisian Resistance to repel the Nazi threat. To do so you must run, gun and blast your way through Nazi encampments to bring hope back to Paris.
First of all, it's necessary to note that Pandemic made this man a suitably down-to-earth fellow: he smokes, he drinks, he womanizes and my goodness me does he like to curse. All of these traits come across well during the game and lend the protagonist some unique charm that drives the story forward and makes you relate to the character a whole lot more than in other sandbox games (ahem, Assassin's Creed).
Undoubtedly, Pandemic set the bar high by setting their final effort in a real city, let alone one which is widely regarded to be the most beautiful in the world. You'll be glad to know, then, that they did a wonderful job of creating a living-breathing version of Paris for Devlin to move around in. The buildings are nicely varied, the landmarks are all faithfully recreated (the Eiffel Tower, Sacré Coeur, Notre Dame...) and they're all draped in the ominous red and black of the Nazi war machine. More importantly, there is a great variety of scenery; the inner-city areas are indeed all here, complete with picturesque cobbled roads, but also represented is the lush countryside of Le Havre and other surrounding regions, a factor which lends the game's atmosphere a distinct sense of depth and leaves it feeling completely unique.
Interestingly, 'The Saboteur' sports one of the most ambitious design choices ever seen in a game, coined 'the will to fight'. When you're in Nazi strongholds full of outposts and search-lights the life and colour of Paris is literally drained out of the city. What's left is a very smart black and white version of Paris, with only flashes of colour present in the harsh red of Nazi emblems and flags and the vibrant blue of the Resistance fighters. More impressively, once you've 'liberated' one of these areas, the environment vibrantly bursts back into life, with colour enveloping the entire landscape. Not only does this have the effect of making the Nazi occupation seem tellingly bleak but it also gives you a sense that you've really made a difference to the people of the city when you complete a mission.
Of course, story is one of the most important aspects of any sandbox game - after all, what good can come of a beautiful environment when there's absolutely nothing at all to do in it? The developers clearly thought about story structure well, with main missions offered to the player in a stunted manner. That is to say, one character will give you a mission to complete then pass you onto another who will be asking you to perform a completely different action in a completely different area of the sprawling environment. This keeps the game feeling fresh, and you never feel that the main missions are repetitive as they're given their own unique flavour.
Importantly, the cut-scenes are impressively rendered. The CGI sequences are sublime but few and far between, so for the most part you'll be watching a fleshed out graphical version of the main game. Luckily, though, the lip-syncing is some of the best you'll see in a game and I can't understate the importance of this in making the setting feel true-to-life. The story is also well furthered in these scenes and sets you up well for the missions, even if the dialogue can sometimes sound a tad stale.
The missions unsurprisingly have you causing mayhem in Nazi strongholds, with Devlin's knowhow of explosives helping him fulfil his role as the ultimate saboteur. This is where the Assassin's Creed- style free-running enters the fray, as Sean can climb all manner of drainpipes, ledges and windows to gain the upper hand over his Nazi foes. The best parts of the game see you hopping between buildings bombing outposts as you go along, with the grwoing power that you and the Resistance wield becoming shockingly clear.
This is also where the Hitman-esque flourishes come into their own. Sneakily approach a guard from the rear and you can stealth-kill him. Unlike in Hitman, you can't assume the role of a Nazi if the uniform's bloody or damaged, so even more onus is placed on silent kills and makes it feel even more satisfying when you pull it off. Act suspiciously when donned in Nazi threads and you'll be alerted via the mini-map's suspicion meter, but if you walk and act like a Nazi you can stealthily approach missions instead of blasting your way through. This course of action is tough but rewarding, and it's good to see that Pandemic aimed to cater for both the sneaky and run-and-gun crowds here.
The fact that numerous intuitive elements have also been woven into the fibre of the game design also make for a pleasant experience. Pandemic created a great 'Perks' system which challenges you to perform certain goals for impressive prizes. One Perk ladder of note challenges you to blow a certain amount of tanks up in a limited amount of time - do so and you gain access to more powerful explosives to make your life easier later in the game. Moreover, you have the ability to spawn resistance members as back-up, a game addition which becomes essential when you reach the higher alarm levels à la GTA. Finally, you can spawn a car - complete with a black marketeer - at the click of a button later on, allowing you to easily find your feet in the vast areas of Paris. All of these neat additions blend wonderfully into the game design and make it easier and more enjoyable to navigate around Paris.
Talking of navigation, vehicles are another well-thought-out aspect of the game. There are tons of cars to collect, ranging from Nazi motorbikes to armed Sturmwagens to top-of-the-range sports cars. Impressively, all of them can be taken to a store house and be permanently collected. Unlike the one-car garages of GTA, you can tell the Resistant who guards the safe-house which car you want and choose from the list of those you've collected. Complete more Perks and you'll earn even faster cards to zoom around Paris in, each complete with a radio which blasts out period tunes. You'll be bobbing your head to the majestic soundtrack as you enjoy the view, with some great Jazz tracks making the cut and the song of note being Nina Simone's wonderful tune 'Feeling Good'. Not only are the cars surprisingly varied then, but the radio aspect of GTA has also made its way into this title with impressive panache.
Combined with an impressive 'contraband' system, 'The Saboteur's secondary mission objectives become a whole lot more enjoyable than other sandbox games. Contraband is currency in the game - destroy Nazi strongholds and you earn more contraband. Earn more contraband and you can buy better weapons to help you tear the Nazis apart with summary ease. Moreover, this currency can be spent on maps which reveal the locations of the 'freeplay targets'. Unlike in GTA, whose secret packages were always ridiculously hard to obtain, Pandemic offer the locations of the targets on a plate. Revealed as white dots on the map, these include propaganda speakers, guard towers and even Nazi generals who are heavily guarded - defeat them and you not only make missions easier by removing reinforcements but you get nearer to clearing the Nazis off the map. Surprisingly, these side quests are incredibly fun and never feel repetitive. The buzz you get roof-hopping as you sprint between outposts blasting them with TNT as bullets whizz past your head really can't be put into words - it simply has to be experienced. To give you some scope of how gripping they are, though, I've spent a whole 24 hours on the game - and I still have half the map to clear. By offering a rich, engrossing side-mission story to the mix, a game with no online multiplayer is given a great deal of replay value.
Unfortunately, there are key drawbacks to the game. Firstly, there's a lot of banding as you jump along buildings and there is a lot - and I mean a lot - of graphical 'pop-ups' on the screen. What this basically means is that although buildings look stunningly detailed up close, when you're speeding through the city or you reach one of the many 'scenic spots' in the game (like the top of the Eiffel Tower) the environments' wonderful rendering completely unravels. Luckily, it doesn't detract from the whole experience, but it is a tad disappointing in a game which largely sports such lush graphics. Moreover, the free-running isn't as refined as in Assassin's Creed, with Devlin sometimes comically shuffling up buildings rather than climbing them realistically. Still, this is a small shortcoming which again fails to blemish the overall experience.
In summary, this game is a blast to play (pun definitely intended!) Pandemic did a great job of creating a living, breathing version of war-time Paris and the dichotomy between the vibrant, colourful Amélie-esque sequences and the drab, harsh Nazi-occupied black and white segments lends the title a wealth of unique charm. Yes, the main crux of the game is simply blowing stuff up. But the mission direction and sheer wealth of things to do in the suitably huge map cannot be overstated. I haven't even been able to mention the pigeon-shoot mini-game, nor the street-car races, nor the ability to save innocent civilians rounded up on the streets by Nazi thugs. Ultimately, the game is not only a true joy to play but its depth of missions, unique gameplay elements and immense replay value make it a wonderful twist in the sandbox genre, which has frankly become exhausted in recent times.
A toast for Pandemic games, for offering one of the most explosive, fun and immersive sandbox games of this generation.
This game currently costs £15 on amazon.
This is a fun game to play, but has some of the most annoying characters and one of the silliest plots I've ever seen in a game. It's a free-roaming sandbox type of affair set in Nazi-occupied Paris. You play as Sean Devlin, a tiresome Irish car driver/petty criminal who ends up working for the Resistance to avenge his friend Jules, who is murdered by Nazis.
It's probably intended to be Grand Theft Auto meets, I dunno, Assassin's Creed or something. I haven't actually played either, so I don't know. To my eye it's a lot like The Godfather, a crap-but-fun game with many of the same elements, but with a stealth component as well. Your main goal is to wander around Paris performing acts of sabotage against Nazi installations (guns, towers, searchlights etc). Sometimes you're doing this as part of various missions for the Resistance, sometimes you're just wandering around blowing stuff up for the sheer fun of it.
That free play element is the thing I most enjoyed about this. I much prefer games where you can ignore your goals and go for a wander, doing whatever you can find to do. Luckily this doesn't seem to have a time limit, so you can spend hours between missions just climbing buildings and shooting Nazi generals. I especially enjoy the challenging areas where there are several different things to blow up all clustered together, each one guarded by soldiers, so you have to devise fiendish sequences of diversionary explosions, stealth kills, and disguises to get them all in one go. And the targets are marked on your map with white dots, so you can take a 'collect them all' approach, clearing the city section by section in a most satisfying way.
And whenever you get bored of blowing up the same things, or climbing up the outside of identical blocks of flats, you can do one of the missions. These usually involve a bit more effort than the free play stuff, and they have some variety to them. Disappointingly, the game isn't hugely difficult. But although it sort of guides you towards its preferred solution, you can complete missions any way you like. You can spend hours creeping around disguised as a soldier, or just wade in guns blazing. There's no right or wrong way of doing things; whatever gets the job done (there are perks to be unlocked which are nicely set up to encourage you to use as many different skills as possible throughout the game).
It looks a little basic in terms of graphics, perhaps a bit less impressive than I'd expect these days (it was released last year). The most novel and endearing visual feature is the fact that Occupied Paris is black and white, with the odd flash of colour here and there - like a less stylised Sin City. As you successfully complete missions you restore the morale of the oppressed French, and colour returns to the city, a cute idea slightly let down by the fact that it looks cooler in black and white. Another nice aesthetic feature is that when you're driving around, a selection of classic jazz/crooner tunes plays (only six or seven on constant rotation, but it's nicely evocative nonetheless. Only a dreadful pedant would pause to wonder if cars had radios in the 1940s).
The controls are easy enough to pick up, and it has a fairly shallow learning curve, as early missions introduce you to the various functions at an easy-to-follow pace. The incidental music is fun and the action is enjoyable when it comes (usually by accident because you've screwed up a stealth mission, but there's a real sense of achievement in blowing up a couple of zeppelins and then having to drive halfway across France in a stolen car while an aeroplane strafes you before you finally jump in a well to escape. Honestly, that's better than it sounds...).
There's a lot about this game that's utterly ludicrous, but not necessarily in a bad way. Historically speaking, this is idiotic. It has Zeppelins full of snipers patrolling the skies of Paris and some very elementary mistakes, like having V2 rockets present while the war in North Africa was still going on.
None of this is a problem, as this is best enjoyed as a kind of cartoon alternative reality version of the war. I don't think I've played a game where I single-handedly liberated Paris since Medal of Honor: Underground on the PS1, and it's nice to revisit that silliness.
The other utterly ridiculous-but-fun element is the way your character can climb buildings. He's like an annoying Irish Spider-Man.
Sadly, there are substantial negatives that stop this being really great. In terms of gameplay most everything works OK. The exception is a poor, clunky driving element, which sadly is important in a game where you often have to travel from one side of Paris to the other. This reminded me a lot of The Godfather, because just like in that game, it's very difficult to take corners without killing at least three pedestrians. I assume the driving was included as an attempt to emulate GTA, because it's hardly something you associate with wartime France (there's a remarkable number of vehicles on the road for a country with fuel rationing).
The game also takes ages to load. And if you load from a save point, it restarts you in the nearest Resistance safehouse, rather than wherever you were when you saved it. This is very annoying if you were, say, killing Nazis in the countryside, and then find yourself back in Paris when you come back to the game the next day.
But the real problem with it is the dialogue, the characterisation and the plot. For a start it's one of those games that tries to show off how adult it is by having the characters swear all the time. This, of course, has the opposite effect. One of the Resistance hideouts is in a strip club, and a downloadable patch makes all the women there topless (the edition of the game I bought had a code included so you could get this for free. Naturally I only downloaded it to be able to provide the most complete possible review). This is the kind of thing that teenage boys assume is adult (so the game's 15 rating is probably about right), but it makes me, as an actual adult, feel rather insulted.
The characters are an appalling collection of national stereotypes, and none more so than the lead character. Sean Devlin is a hard-drinking, womanising layabout who keeps saying 'top o' the mornin'. I assume that the game designers thought they needed an English-speaking character because no one in America would want to play as the French, and an English or American character would be too silly. Almost everyone else refers to him as 'Irishman', rather than his name - is this something that happens on the continent? If I called one of my colleagues 'Nigerian woman' I suspect I'd have to explain myself to human resources.
It doesn't help that no one's accent sounds at all convincing. Especially poor in this regard are the English characters (secret service characters who apparently live quite openly in occupied France without any problems). The main English character is a slutty posh woman, a dreary stereotype, who's been given the name 'Skylar'. Unless there's a Mitford sister I'm forgetting, I strongly doubt that there was anyone of that name in England in the 1940s. Skylar has the worst accent of the lot. At one point she pronounces 'fission' to rhyme with 'vision'.
The plot is trying, with a love triangle you won't want resolved, a revenge plot that is totally unengaging, and an arch enemy who is impossible to care about. The bad guy, Dierker (pronounced 'Jerker', ho ho) is a Nazi mad scientist/army commander/racing driver, which is a few too many strings to have to one villainous bow. You go around supposedly trying to get revenge for the murder of your pal Jules, which occasionally means you'll shout out things like 'For Jules!' when you're blowing up Nazis. Problem is, this sounds a bit like 'For Jews!' (that's how I heard it the first half dozen times), which makes you believe the game is making some stunningly ill-advised stab at commenting on the Holocaust. I almost wish it were, at least it would be less boring. I won't spoil the ending, but it's a stunning anti-climax, and opts for some half-hearted 'Var is hell. Vot haff ve become, Irishman?' soul searching.
So a fun game is marred by a terrible plot. It's worth playing because you spend so much time just wandering around blowing stuff up, so the annoyance and occasional despair you feel during the dialogue sequences can be spaced out. It's cheap enough to be worth a punt and should occupy a couple of weeks of your gaming time well enough. Just don't expect miracles.
So imagine a GTA + Assassin's Creed set in WWII France. That is the setting for the Saboteur.
I won't go into lots of detail surrounding the game's story because it's basically all missions following the central protagonist - Irishman Sean Devlin.
First off let me just say what a great game this is to play. The game play is very very similar to GTA but i actually enjoyed this game a lot more than the most recent installments of GTA IV. This is because occasionally i feel with the GTA games there is almost *too much* to do what with the vast amount of side-missions etc. There are side-missions on offer with 'The Saboteur' make no mistake, i just feel that there is a real feeling of quality, not quantity.
The game has a real sense of authenticity to it, for example the sluggishness of driving the cars is in keeping with the time. The ability to for example switch between radio stations is a nice touch. Shame i'm not a jazz fan mind.
Sean can clamber and climb over buildings reminiscent of the game play in Assassin's Creed. The textures of the buildings are lush, looking rich and detailed. Even the buildings you can't enter are given as much attention and detail as playable ones.
One draw-back to the game for me is the lack of 'lock-on' targetting which you may find in other games e.g. GTA. This makes it quite difficult when trying to get out of a melee of gun-fire, you can't quickly lock on to targets and blast your way out as easily as one may wish. You do get used to the game's weapon handling, however.
The Saboteur is a third-person sandbox game set in 1940s Nazi-occupied France. Think GTAIV: 1940s and you've pretty much got it. You play as an Irish saboteur named Sean Devlin, who is working with the french resistance to bring down the Nazi regime.
First off, the game is an absolute blast to play, falling somewhere between Grand Theft Auto and Assassins Creed. You have complete unfettered access to the map - able to drive/run/steal anywhere you choose. When the game begins, most of the game world will be in black and white, with the odd splash of colour on Nazi regalia or bright items of clothing. This signifies that the area you're in is currently under Nazi control, and when you liberate the area, full colour is restored, and the French will start fighting back against their oppressors. I thought this mechanic worked really well - it added a nice, unique feel to the game world, while also serving an important purpose, which is to let you know how easy or difficult it will be to fight or flee from Nazis if you need to.
To get yourself around the world, the game plays a lot like GTA, giving you the option to rob passers by of their vehicles and commandeer them for your own needs. When on a mission though, stealth is the order of the day. For this reason I was somewhat reluctant to try The Saboteur, as stealth games aren't really my strong point; I'm always a little too impatient for my own good. However, I was pleasantly surprised because although you're expected to get through missions without being spotted, it's not quite the end of the world if you do - it's still perfectly possible (but harder!) to finish a mission if your cover is blown. As such, it's a good balance between stealth and action, which is good for the impatient like me. Saying that though, I didn't find keeping my head down too difficult - it's not as much of a chore as it is in other stealth games, and as such remained fun and challenging even while trying to sneak around.
As for sneaking around, the game handles this pretty well. If you can manage to stealth kill a lone Nazi without being spotted, then you greatly increase your odds of stealth success, because you can then wear your newly departed foe's clothes and pose as a Nazi to get around the mission without alarming anybody. Depending on how suspicious your behaviour is though, will determine how likely you are to keep your disguise intact. Running around at full pelt and climbing walls, for example, will attract the attention of nearby Nazis, and planting bombs around them will really start the alarm bells ringing, so you need to be careful about how you behave when around the enemy. This isn't too challenging, but if you ever get found out the difficulty jumps up a notch, as bullets start zipping around you like they're going out of fashion. This isn't too much of a problem though, as Sean seems to be made of lead, and can take a real pelting before he eventually dies, giving you ample time to fight back, or run away and hide. Doing so for a few seconds will heal you completely and you can get back into the fight. If that sounds easy, then well, it is.
This is the game more or less until the last few levels, when the game starts throwing super-enemies and high-powered snipers at you out of nowhere, and you will suddenly realise that Sean isn't quite as invincible as he once was. I found this to be a welcome challenge, but it all came without any warning. During one mission I could run around for ages, being shot by untold numbers of enemies and not have much of an issue, but on the next I was dead within a few shots. This is probably how the game should have played anyway, but it would have been nice to build up to that point rather than just have it dumped on me out of nowhere.
I had a couple of minor complaints about the game other than this, the main one being that every action seemed to be mapped to the Y button. This wasn't usually an issue unless an enemy was near something interesting like a turret, where I would be wanting to snap the enemy's neck with Y, but instead Sean happily sat in the turret, and the Nazi alerted all his friends to my presence and I found myself legging it to freedom after what should have been a fairly straightforward kill.
My other gripe is really that the game shouldn't have been called The Saboteur, because the sabotage is rarely the focus of the game; rather it's used as a distraction to get you extra money, while you're travelling the world between jobs. It does crop up in some missions, but for a game called The Saboteur, you would really expect it to be the game's focus. It's more about sneaking around, stealth-killing Nazis and liberating the French than sabotaging anything.
Apart from that though, I really had a blast playing The Saboteur, and I'm not really sure I expected to. I played this on a whim, and it turned out to be a lot of fun. Any fan of GTA and/or Assassin's Creed should really check this game out.
The Saboteur is a third person action-adventure game set in German-occupied France during WWII.
You are the games protagonist, Sean Devlin, an Irish whisky-drinking race car mechanic. Sean is cheated out of a win at a Grand Prix by Kurt Dierker, a known Nazi. Sean and his best friend Jules seek revenge, but are captured in the process, with Jules being executed and Sean escaping.
The story line of the game is set on Sean looking for Kurt Dierker.
The open world is set in Paris, some of the countryside and parts of Germany. Colour is a key element in the game, with the city being completely in grey or dark colours to start. You can "Inspire" the citizens of Paris (bringing the colour back) by weakening German forces to occupy the area. Areas with the colourless parts have much larger patrols then coloured areas.
Throughout the storyline, you slowly build up the infamous French Resistance (with "Viva La France/Resistance" yelled occasionally). To get certain jobs done, you need to visit the blackmarket dealer Santos, who helps you get forged travel documents to get you into different zones.
There are many great features in this game. You are able to climb buildings (Best climbing routes are highlighted with yellow windows or drainpipes).
There are perks that you can unlock in the game, which can aid you during combat or escaping a Nazi installation that you've just blown up. A favourite of mine is The Sucker Punch, which is basically a quick punch to the stomach, then breaking the Soldiers neck. Unlocking certain perks can earn you bonuses, such as less sniper recoil, or unlocking unique cars in your garage.
The choice of weapons is plenty, giving you a large choice for your appetite of destruction. Many Classics in the game include the Tommy Gun MG, .44 Pistol, Kruger Pistol, Carbine and many more.
With the German soldiers, they all have different guns depending on their rank. Normal foot soldiers are armed with either Carbines or MP40's, others will have (such as Guards at installations in black uniform) MP44's, while Generals are armed with Kruger Pistols (including Gestapo officers). There are a few soldiers armed with Flamethrowers and Sniper rifles.
The Terror Squad (the tall, mean looking people you fight later on in the game) are armed with weapons that tear through entire crowds in seconds. These Heavily-armored goons of the Reich are armed with Large capacity flamethrowers and MG's.
Once you have completed the story line, there are additional missions and freeplay modes, which consist of destroying installations, radars, searchlights, AA guns and many more. There are also races you can compete in, which results in unlocking a car.
Worth the money, in my opinion!
After watching our two sons having so much fun on their x boxes and having sold our wii console my husband and I decided to treat ourselves to an xbox elite for Christmas and got this game in the package.
I quickly claimed this for myself to complete as it is only one player and is the sort of game I like.
The game is basicaly set in world war 2 and your character Sean Devlin is the saboteur.
You are friends with one of the resistance members who is murdered by an evil nazi, this makes you determined to get your own back on the Germans so you join the French resistance.
You get missions which you must complete before moving on in the game, missions can range to killing a German General or destroying a whole German camp or chemical plant.
You also get missions from the British via spies that are in France.
To get around you can jump in cars (like grand theft auto) and you can grab disguises by stealth killing nazis.
As Devlin was a race driver pre war there are quite a few car races in the game which I hate.
I got along great on the game even though I am a mere woman and have even learnt how to shoot the gun properly.
Unfortunatly I found myself stuck on a level in which I had to rescue a resistance member from the nazis and escape with him intact which was so hard due to the fact he just didnt run fast enough.
After many failed attempts I admitted defeat and had to let my husband do the level for me (boo hoo)
Now he is addicted as well and I have allowed him to take it in turns with me.
I just love this game each mission is a great challenge but it is liable to make you angry and prolonged play can give you a thonking headache.
Great fun I did a level on Sunday where you jumped in a German tank and blasted a whole German camp to bits.
You can also play this game on xbox live.
Currently available from Amazon U.K for just £23.99 (bargain)