The Saboteur

Moby ID: 143792
PlayStation 3 Specs
Buy on Windows
$9.99 new on Steam
Original See Also

Description

Certain console retail releases of the game included the base game and a code for the DLC. On PC, the DLC was included in every retail and digital release of the game.

This release includes:

Spellings

  • 太保煞星 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 破坏者 - Simplified Chinese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Promos

Credits (Windows version)

762 People (574 developers, 188 thanks) · View all

Director
Senior Producer
Lead Programmers
Art Director
Lead Designer
Senior Programmer - Gameplay Lead
Programmers - Gameplay
Senior Programmer - Graphics Lead
Programmers - Graphics
Senior Programmer - Graphics
Senior Programmer - AI Core System Architect
Programmers - AI
Senior Programmer - AI
Principal Programmer
Senior Programmer- Physics
Senior Programmer - Systems & Tools Lead
Programmers - Tools
Programmer - UI
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 72% (based on 22 ratings)

Players

Average score: 4.1 out of 5 (based on 22 ratings with 1 reviews)

Concluding the decade of mongrels with dynamite and cabarets

The Good
Saboteur is the last game created by Pandemic, who will be fondly remembered for their Mercenaries games. It is obvious that the developers put a lot effort into this product. Saboteur is clearly a more polished and ambitious game that anything the company made before it. In its desire to become the "ultimate hybrid" it reminded me of The Precursors.

The core gameplay here is free-roaming action and driving, which has become the leading gameplay genre of the decade ever since GTA III popularized it. However, the game also manages to assimilate the key gameplay element of Assassin's Creed games: climbing. You can climb on nearly every building you see, and explore Paris of 1940's on rooftops. Imagine the kind of freedom this feature gives you in a game that already contains driving, sprinting, jumping, and swimming. Literally every corner of the game world can be explored here.

Imported from Mercenaries is the ability to blow up structures. While less prominently featured than in Pandemic's earlier creations, demolitions are fun and rewarding. True, they can get repetitive quickly; but the game almost never forces the player to resort to those means, and most of the destruction here is completely optional. Speaking of which, the game informs the player which mission is obligatory and which is not necessary to complete in order to advance the plot. There is quite a good deal of side missions in the game, and some of them are surprisingly interesting.

On top of all that, Saboteur has car races, some nicely scripted action sequences, and an interesting light RPG-like angle: gaining achievements unlocks various bonuses for the player, so it pays out to try out every gameplay feature the game has to offer.

Saboteur is also one of the more ambitious sandbox action and driving games story-wise. The game opens with a fully irrelevant erotic cabaret show, but quickly switches to a dramatic, personal tale of friendship and revenge. Adequately directed cutscenes and dialogue that manages to raise above mediocrity on several occasions confirm the developers' intention to create a story-driven experience. The characters and the situations are interesting enough to compel the player to return to story missions in order to find out what happens next.

The Bad
Saboteur tries to be everything at once - and, as it often is in such cases, does not excel at anything. At its core, it is a typical "GTA clone" with an eclectic mixture of ideas ripped out of other games. The game does many gameplay styles, and does them fairly well; but it adds nothing of its own to the cocktail of borrowed concepts, and there is no single concept it truly improves upon.

The times when every open-ended action and driving game could calmly copy GTA while relying on its sheer power of personality to seem different have long gone. Most recent games at least tried to contribute something to the genre's development (as did, for example, Pandemic's own Mercenaries). Saboteur, on the other hand, diligently and professionally recreates the tricks, but doesn't cement them with anything that truly belongs only to it, or anything that would make it better. In particular, the driving, once an essential component of the genre, seems like an afterthought here, and is strangely unexciting. The arcade-like abundance of sub-missions and a fairly plain, uninspired location design make Paris feel artificial, cold, and much too "video game-like", while lacking the true diversity, color, and wit distinguishing GTAs.

At this point you'll probably say "but there is the original setting". Indeed, Saboteur is (to my knowledge) the first sandbox action and driving game that takes place during World War II. Unfortunately, there also lies what I consider one of the game's main weaknesses. While both Mercenaries games were aware of their limited realism (which resulted in humorous, nearly comical undertones), Saboteur attempts to be a serious war drama. Now, I don't necessarily think that free-roaming action and driving formula contradicts seriousness. The example of Mafia testifies to the contrary: the game had violent driving and shooting and yet managed to portray a rather authentic environment and tell a deep story. Naturally, doing the same within the frames of World War II is much harder, and Saboteur does not succeed in this lofty aspiration. The game feels too cartoony, failing to reflect the gravity of the subject; the Nazis are comic-book figures, the Resistance consists of stereotypically upbeat "good guys", and the protagonist is a Hollywood-like action hero with bad manners but noble heart. Perhaps setting the game away from that particular historical time period would have diminished the discrepancy between its overall concept and the attempts of its story to be "real".

The Bottom Line
Saboteur is an open-ended action game with all sorts of popular ideas crammed into it; as such, it cannot be completely dull. Yet the superficiality of its syncretic nature as well as lack of focus and dedication to one core gameplay concept leave a sour aftertaste. Saboteur fittingly rounds up a game development era that was certainly high on fun and variety, but fairly low on true creativity and depth.

Windows · by Unicorn Lynx (181746) · 2020

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by MAT.

Xbox 360 added by Kennyannydenny. Windows added by Sicarius.

Additional contributors: Plok.

Game added March 26, 2020. Last modified July 18, 2024.