vrock's The Saboteur (PC) review

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Whiskey in a wine cellar

Pandemic sends it's last regards and makes a WW2 game. Not a usual shooter though. It's a stealth-action based on Paris resistance member's story (who somehow turned out to be irishman) and on a pair of sticks of dynamite. Intriguing, isn't it? No it's not. I thought so all the way down to release. Invoking on Mercenaries 2, I thought that the Saboteur will be as explosive as it will be dull. I thought it will be as glitchy as it's ugly. And now, I can't say that I was right.   

So, it's a really strange game Pandemic made. It has it's charm, ambience and style (personally I loved the beginning). It has decent visuals, beautiful surroundings and perfectly fitted music. But there are some very dull moments in it and some mistakes made by developers that just prevent the game from being very good. 

This is where you "live". Nice huh? 
You play as Sean Devlin, Irish guy with all the “arses and shites”  coming out from his mouth on a regular basis. He's a racing driver, he has a taste on undercover agent slut-type of women and he's in France, in Paris to be specific. The problem is that at the very moment(1940s) Paris happens to be occupied by nazis and it's all grey. This is one of the new tricks(which isn't actually new) that Pandemic put in the game. When you're just arriving to the city, all it's districts are colored grey and black except for nazi's and resistance's armbands. It looks very stylish and adds some to the atmosphere of the game. As long as an area stays occupied it stays grey, but throughout the game you'll be liberating all of them and soon you'll see Paris in it's colors.
My spacebar is dead by the moment. 
By liberating I mean not only doing story tasks which are relatively short, but also participating in side missions which are surprisingly varied. Races, killing marked nazi's authorities, stealing cars(actually driving them feels somewhat similar to driving a log) and just A LOT of blowing stuff up. Apart from missions the game offers you to stick your dynamite to other places. Such as “freeplay targets” tons of which are waiting for your attention in every alley, in every park, on every roof of occupied Paris. 

Yes, you can climb buildings in Saboteur. The system is all about “spacebar-mashing” on PC though. After polished and smooth Assassin's creed 2 it feels kind of ridiculous and wannabe-ish. Getting on the top, however, is a crucial thing to do as there are a lot of hiding spots on the roofs where you can “sit your arse down” for a while to escape nazi's search lights. Moving from building to building is quite easy, thanks to the phone wires which comes in handy. 

While nazis're running about, you get to kiss girls! 
And of course the stealth system. Sean can be a sneaky bastard and he disguises by wearing  nazi uniform. To put one on, you must kill a nazi with you bare hands and without sounding off alarm. When you get it, you have to act
Any last wo..? Oh.. sorry  
precisely accurate to stay unrecognized and by that I mean staying away from literally ANY circles on you mini-map and trying to avoid nazis who intend to step into your circle. And don't forget about the circle around your mini-map too. That's probably the worst thing about the game: it's stealth mechanics. Just think about it for a minute. You're heading to your main target in the heart of nazi's base. Suddenly, gestapo dude(who have the bloody circle around him) appears from around the corner and walks towards you. Sure thing you're trying to evade the “meeting” by moving away from him only to find yourself in the circle that you've just created by blowing up that big-ass fuel station! You're exposed and here comes Christmas: your uniform just disappears from Sean! You're same old Irishman now but with a whole bunch of nazis on your tail. That's just awfully obvious mistake that Pandemic didn't(have time?) cared to fix.  
There is some sort of character development system in Saboteur, presented by perk trees. We have several of such trees in the game menu. Some of the perks you'll get while playing through story missions(like “shoot a pair of dudes in the head”) and on some of them you'll have to work hard to get(like “destroy 20 nazi vehicles with one vehicle”). This system encourages player  to cause mayhem because every perk grants you with a new ability, car etc.

The DLC is all about naked men showing your where to go. 
Despite the above mentioned issues, the Saboteur was quite an entertaining game to play. Gameplay just feels easy and enjoyable, and of course my favorite – style. Such games just win my heart with their ambiance, but not how good they're made. And I can't resist.  
In addition to all new copies of the game Pandemic gives you a DLC code. This DLC adds a secret room to Sean's favorite brothel where you can watch burlesque dancing and play some sort of knife-throwing darts-like mini-game succeeding in which gives you an exclusive new car and some contraband points(Saboteur's currency ).
6 Comments Refresh
Posted by Yummylee

Whole-heartedly agree with the stealth mechanics, its just so forced and undercooked that it only acts as a source of taking down a first few couple of guards before you eventually have to then shoot your way through the entire natzi regime. 
The fact that your natzi uniform just dissapears too sucks so hard, all that effort into stealth killing a gestapo General for his awesome coat and then to lose it seconds after >8( 
Posted by Jim_uk

Sounds great if your not using an ATI card on Vista/7, the game keeps freezing. Over two weeks later there is no sign of a patch, they even went ahead and released it the US knowing it didn't work.

Posted by Daryl

I am really enjoying my time with the Saboteur. Just finished the main story. The stealth mechanics are a pain in the arse, I remember spending a LONG time on some missions as I was trying to do the stealthy thing and take out the guards, towers, etc. However, that leaves you with big suspicion rings, so I had to wait out a lot of these stupid rings just so I wouldn't lost my disguise.  
And I loved the prologue part of the game. The set piece stuff is great. 

Edited by Blackout62

Oh, I hate to be a grammar nazi right now but your title; the word "wine" shouldn't be possessive.

Posted by Vrock
@Blackout62: Better now?:)
Posted by Blackout62
@Vrock: yes

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