The Saboteur review by Honorabili
One Sentence Review:
“Grand Theft Auto + Assassin’s Creed + Mafia + Inglourious Basterds + The Train”
7 out of 10
Overview & Gameplay:
The Saboteur is about an Irish mechanic and race car driver, Sean Devlin, that gets caught in a tale of revenge on the eve of World War II. Shortly after the game starts, you see the events leading to his blood-lusted revenge. Sean Devlin competes in the German Grand Prix but his German rival, Kurt Dierker, shoots out the rear tire of his race car, making him lose the race. As a result of that, Sean steals Dierker’s car and drives it off a cliff but then he and his best friend Jules get caught and tortured by the Germans, thinking that they were British spies. When the torture fails, Dierker empties out a Luger pistol into Jules and Sean then escapes vowing revenge on Dierker.
The game consists of Sean joining and helping the French Resistance in now occupied Paris. The game plays out a lot like Grand Theft Auto and Mafia with stealth and assassination aspects borrowed heavily from Assassin’s Creed. The atmosphere of the game is a lot like Quentin Tarentino’s Inglourious Basterds. Basically, you steal a ton of cars, run away from the Nazis, blow a lot of shit up, shoot a lot of people, hide, and do it again and again. The game also borrows even more from Frankenheimer’s classic movie The Train.
There are main story missions and side-missions. When you complete a key objective, such as blowing up a special Nazi weapon or killing a key Nazi, that specific section of the city gets liberated from the Nazi oppression. The advantage of doing that is that it makes it easier for you to escape the Nazis when they are after you. Without spoiling the storyline, unless the game is too hard for you, you can just ignore those side-missions but completing them can sometimes liberate a part of the city, making it easier to escape the Nazis.
A really interesting way in which they made this game is that what you see will be either in black and white or in color based on whether the Nazis control that area of the city or not. The more you liberate an area, the more color it gets back. The more color it has, the more the Parisians support The Cause and the more they will help you escape the Nazis. The black and white style with a few colors is reminiscent of Schindler’s List and Sin City.
The game has nice adult humor. Nudity is optional (I always turn it on… wait, that’s a pun). The game does possess a certain kind of realism in the sense that Sean can only carry 2 guns, along with a reasonable amount of explosives. How he hides them, I don’t know or can explain though!
There are hidden mini-games but they are completely pointless.
The money in the game takes form of “contraband” which you get by either finding supply crates and kicking them or simply from the salvage the underground weapons dealers get from your sabotage operations.
The Saboteur is available for PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3.
Fun Factor & Replayability:
It’s always great fun to drive fast and to blow stuff up. This game has both those things, which I find appealing in an action video game. Although I just beat it, I feel like playing it again in the max difficulty immediately. I’ll give Fun Factor a score of 8 out of 10. Check back on this article in a few days for how replayable it was after I beat it again on the max difficulty.
Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:
On the Standard difficulty, I found the game easy. The main character regenerates damage quickly after getting injured, making the game a cakewalk in that setting. The cars all drive pretty realistically (shitty brakes) but they have a million hitpoints, taking enough hits like a tank again. I will update this part of the article after I destroy the game on the max difficulty setting.
This game is not that new anymore and it’s hard to get. However, my friends at Stardock/Impulse have it for $29.99 at this link. At that price I give it a Value score of 7 out of 10, simply because I found this game enjoyable and it’s not that bad of a price.
For consoles though, the game is much more expensive. At gogamer they sell the PS3 and XBox 360 versions for about $52.90 which is way too steep for me for a game one can beat in a day or two of hardcore playing.
The voice actors are well chosen, especially the ones for the sexy girls and for Sean Devlin as well as his allies. The voices however sometimes talk too fast, in the sense that people react like reading a script much too quickly unlike a real world conversation. Sometimes the sound for a car’s engine is missing if you get in it too fast or you accelerate too fast and it doesn’t yet buffer the other sound file. Sound gets a score of 7 out of 10 for that.
The music of this game goes along great along with the style of the game.
Enjoy my favorite track from the game, Nina Simone – Feeling Good:
The music gets a score of 10 out of 10. It just blends perfectly with the year the game takes place in. Instead of picking boring music from that time, each track is passionate and moving and it goes along great with the intense action of the game. Sometimes it makes me feel as though it’s the soundtrack to a James Bond movie, and that’s a good thing! It’s such a nice soundtrack that I got the soundtrack for this great game. 😀
The game never crashed for me. The game is ALT-TABbable but… make sure you have at least one other program running BEFORE launching the game or it won’t simply let you ALT-TAB to the desktop. It won’t respond to CTRL-SHIFT-ESC either, so make sure you run another program if you need to multitask while playing. Other than that tiny bug, game runs like a champ. Stability/Reliability get a score of 9 out of 10.
The controls are rather straightforward, much like the GTA games and they are quick to pick up. You climb and descend easily, with the character auto-orienting himself towards a hand-hold. You have to tell him to let go in order to descend. Climbable surfaces will have a white color overlay showing you where you can go to next. Overall, I had no problem with the controls except when sometimes Sean would put a bomb down on the floor for no reason because he was a pixel off from the perfect bomb placement. Controls get a score of 9 out of 10.
Graphics & Performance:
There were very few parts of the game where the game slowed down even on my 3 year old gaming PC. The game looks beautiful and considering the color schemes, I will remember the beautiful renderings of Paris. Performance gets a score of 8 out of 10. Graphics get a score of 9 out of 10.
My History With This Game & Conclusion:
My friend James recommended that I check this game out. We usually have similar tastes in fun games so I gave it a go. It’s my kind of action game and it’s immersive, a great combination, although it does borrow a lot from games that came before it. It doesn’t necessarily innovate but it has it’s own style, especially with the discoloration/coloration based on the Nazi control of areas. That style and atmosphere, to me, are certainly worth checking out.
If you enjoy the GTA games, as well as Mafia, Gun, the Assassin’s Creed games, as a gamer you should play this game too.
A sequel is possible for the game based on the story but… the studio that made it Pandemic Studios got axed after this game came out, so we will probably not see one in the future.