The Saboteur

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For other uses, see Saboteur (disambiguation).
The Saboteur
Official Saboteur Game Cover Art.JPG
Developer(s) Pandemic Studios
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Distributor(s) Electronic Arts
Designer(s) Tom French
Engine Odin
Havok
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Release date(s) AU 20091203December 3, 2009

EU 20091204December 4, 2009
NA 20091208December 8, 2009

Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc, download

The Saboteur is an open world third person action-adventure video game set during World War II in German-occupied France. It was published by Electronic Arts and was the final game developed by Pandemic Studios.

Plot[edit]

The game's protagonist, Sean Devlin (based on William Grover-Williams), is a hard drinking Irish racecar mechanic,[1] a regular among the racing groups of Paris. After being cheated out of a win in the 1940 Saarbrücken Grand Prix by Kurt Dierker, a Nazi colonel, Sean and his best friend Jules Rousseau seek revenge and sabotage his prized racecar. After being captured, Dierker executes Jules during interrogation under the belief they are really British agents sent to spy on his companion, but Sean escapes. The rest of the storyline chronicles Sean's fight to kill the Colonel and avenge Jules' murder. He is recruited by the French Resistance, its leader Luc, and British SOE agent Skylar St. Clair (who has a history with Sean), who helps him throughout the story. The story takes place during World War II and the German occupation of France, but the war itself is used as a backdrop to the main story, which is about Sean's fight to avenge Jules' murder, protect Jules' sister Veronique, and kill Kurt Dierker.

Gameplay[edit]

The player is standing on a street corner.

The player is able to explore Nazi-occupied Paris, some of the French countryside and parts of Germany.[2] Colour is a key element in the gameplay. Areas which are heavily controlled by the Nazis are represented in black and white, with the exception of the irises of the characters' eyes, city lights, blood and blue symbols of the French Resistance, and various German symbols, which are bright red and complete with swastikas. In order to make that district colored ("inspired") again, players must weaken the German forces occupying the area. In doing so, that district's citizens regain their hope, visually represented by making the area vibrant and full of color. This also affects gameplay; in black and white areas, German soldiers are present in large numbers, making it far more likely that Sean will be detected in his rebellious activities.

In colored areas, the Germans will not be completely evicted, however they will no longer be so ubiquitous, and will primarily be centered around military bases, barracks, police stations, HQs, and other strategically important sites. In addition, the French people will play an active role in the struggle for colored zones. For example, if Sean gets into a fight with German soldiers in a coloured area, allies like the French Resistance, the Maquis, and even passing French civilians will intervene against the occupiers.

Throughout the game, players will upgrade their character in the form of "Perks". These will improve accuracy, ammo counts, damage, abilities and more. Perks are gained through actions, such as evading high-level alarms, sniping targets or demolishing a set number of German installations or vehicles with a certain requirement. The player also has the ability to scale buildings and run across rooftops, where sometimes British supply boxes can be found, or to reach a good sniper's view of the ground beneath. Garages are available to the player, which can save parked vehicles and repair damaged ones. The player can also engage in fist-fights or use a more stealthy approach, such as sneaking around or using a Nazi's uniform as a disguise.

Should the player die while free-roaming, Sean will lose all of his weapons and grenades he had equipped prior to death. The player can buy weapons, ammunition, explosives, maps and other items from several black market merchants. Once Sean has purchased a weapon, he can equip himself with that weapon at any time.

The Midnight Show[edit]

A code for a downloadable patch entitled "The Midnight Show" was free to those who purchased a new copy of the game for either the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. For the Windows version, the extra content was already included on the disc. The content was also available on Xbox Live Marketplace or for $2.99 on the PlayStation Network (in the UK, the content is free of charge) for people who didn't have the code.[3]

The extra content provides the player with extra brothels and hiding spots. It also includes a minigame in which the player can earn in-game items such as a car not found during the main campaign. Most notably, however, installing the add-on automatically renders all brothel girls in the game topless, although nudity can still be toggled on and off.[3] This caused some controversy at the time of the game's release.[4]

Development[edit]

The game has been called the developer's swan song, since Pandemic Studios was liquidated after its completion.[5]

After the game was released, customers reported that the game was unplayable with an ATI graphics card.[6] Some game retailers, including Direct2Drive, have placed a warning on their web sites declaring problems with the game's compatibility.[7] A workaround requires the user to disable multi-core processing entirely, which would significantly decrease their computer's performance.[8] Pandemic employees have acknowledged the issue and released a beta patch on December 18, 2009.[9] The patch report currently state that users with quad core CPUs will possibly have severe streaming issues, which requires restricting the game to a single core as a workaround.[10] This is despite the game's recommended specifications listing a quad core CPU.

Reception[edit]

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings PC: 73.00% (13 reviews)
Xbox 360: 75.12% (47 reviews)
PS3: 73.95% (31 reviews)
Metacritic PC: 76/100 (20 reviews)
Xbox 360: 73/100 (69 reviews)
PS3: 72/100 (54 reviews)
Review scores
Publication Score
1UP.com B-
Computer and Video Games 6.9/10
Eurogamer 6/10
Game Informer 8.00/10
GameSpot 7.5/10
GameSpy 3/5 stars
GameTrailers 7.6/10
IGN 7.5/10
X-Play 3/5

Reception for The Saboteur has been generally favorable. IGN rated The Saboteur a 7.5/10, praising its sound, black and white visuals, and "cheap thrills", while criticizing its unpolished gameplay and somewhat silly animation. Gametrailers gave the game 7.6/10, calling the game yet another open-world destruction game of 2009. The game was praised for being fun, although the site criticized the choppy voice acting, varying graphical quality and the unpolished end product. X-Play rated the game 3 out of 5, praising its unique look and setting, and the variety of gameplay, but criticized its poorly executed story, enemy AI, and various glitches.[11] The PlayStation 3 version has been noted for its anti-aliasing technique on a console that has traditionally had difficulty with AA. Using one of the PS3's Synergistic Processing Units to perform after-image edge detection and blurring, under optimal conditions it manages equivalent to 16xAA.[12][13] The game was frequently compared to Velvet Assassin, released the same year and featuring similar aesthetics and gameplay styles.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Torres, Ricardo (April 7, 2007). "Saboteur First Look". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 
  2. ^ "The Saboteur Release Date". 
  3. ^ a b Jim Reilly (December 3, 2009). "Nude Pack Gives Gamers Choice in The Saboteur". IGN. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  4. ^ Tracey John (December 8, 2009). "Sex and 'The Saboteur': Dev Talks Nudity in New Game". Time Techland. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  5. ^ http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2009/12/the-saboteur-pandemics-swan-song-hits-most-of-the-right-notes.ars"
  6. ^ "Saboteur PC Not Working With ATI Graphics Cards?". Kotaku.com. 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  7. ^ "The Saboteur Download | Buy The Saboteur from D2D". Direct2drive.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  8. ^ Purchese, Robert (2009-12-10). "PC Saboteur sabotaged by ATI cards". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  9. ^ "EA - Action, Fantasy, Sports, and Strategy Video Games". Forum.ea.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  10. ^ "EA - Action, Fantasy, Sports, and Strategy Video Games". Forum.ea.com. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  11. ^ Manuel, Rob (2009-12-03). "The Saboteur Review for Xbox 360". G4tv. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  12. ^ Leadbetter, Richard (2009-12-09). "DF on Saboteur's PS3 anti-aliasing". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  13. ^ Leadbetter, Richard (2010-01-16). "The Anti-Aliasing Effect". Eurogamer.net. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  14. ^ "The Saboteur Review from". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2011-11-30. Retrieved 2011-10-25. 

External links[edit]