Pandemic's swan song
Forget everything you know about World War 2 because pandemic have rewritten the rule book when it comes to the German occupation of France, the saboteur won't have you storming the beaches of Normandy or hiding out in trenches, in fact this time around you won't even play as a member of the army, you play Sean Devlin an Irish mechanic now living in France and after taking part in a big race Sean falls afoul of the German army. As the story pans out you take the role of Sean as he fights to liberate France and get his revenge on those who have crossed him. The story can be somewhat whimsical at times going from the outrageous over the top gun play to the very serious cut scenes but the story is well acted out and will keep you entertained as you move from mission to mission.
The games control scheme takes a little getting used too but once you have the hang of it the game plays beautifully. Sean has many different moves at his disposal including hand to hand, shooting, driving and of course navigating the environment.
Sean can carry 2 weapons which you can put away too avoid attracting attention but when it's needed you can take out the weapon in a moment by hitting the d-pad the control scheme is very similar to gear of war while in shooting mode with a similar control setup which doesn't feel quite as competent as gears of war but is fun and works well.
The Navigation on foot will be instantly familiar to anyone who has played assassins creed the only variation is that you must press A everytime you want to move to the next handhold,its a little slow but sean unlike ezio is not a freerunner so i guess in this sense it works.
The missions in the game come in 3 different types you have your main missions which progress the story arc, they range from racing to fetch and grab to destroying targets there is also side missions which don't progress the story but do fill you in on the background story or give you info on other characters then there are the free roaming activities these could be anything from killing a German officer to blowing up the various German emplacements situated throughout the land. Every mission can be approached through stealth or full on guns blazing, although I did find some missions quite tough to do in a stealthy manner and about halfway through the game I did start to find the missions getting very repetitive.
Enemy AI is quite good as well, stay hidden and the guards will patrol as normal but if you do something suspicious and a guard sees you they will come to investigate you can use this to your advantage by setting traps for unwary guards or even just too create a distraction while you sneak around. When it all kicks off enemies will seek out cover and open fire on you, but if you stay in the same place for too long they will begin too flank you this leads to some very frenzied fire fights where you will continuously jostle for the best position to get shots in and protect yourself from getting shot.
To give you an idea of how the game plays I will walk you through a typical mission, don't worry I will keep it spoiler free.
The mission starts in the same manner as GTA your contact will give you a task to perform so in this mission I was tasked with retrieving a document from some Germans holed up in a secure location.
I start the mission by driving to said location and after parking outside I notice that the area is completely surrounded by 4 German sniper towers, climbing to the roof tops I sneak around each area in turn planting explosives and taking the towers on the 4th tower however I climb the tower and silently take out the lone sniper, slipping into his outfit I climb back too ground level and make my way too the building.
Unfortunately the door is guarded by 2 patrolling Germans 1 of which can see through disguises. So rather than just open fire I plant a car bomb nearby and move myself into position, once the bomb blows the guards run to investigate and I proceed to sneak into the facility and grab the documents, unfortunately on the way out I bump into a guard he instantly see's through my disguise and hits the alarm leading to a fire fight on the street as a vie for position and fight for my life I decide that I need a little help so I use the last trick up my sleeve and I call in some resistance fighters to help me out, once they arrive the fight turns in my favour however Germans will keep pouring into the area so while I have my backup I make a run for it ,finding a hiding spot I lay low and shortly after I'm free to deliver the documents to my contact.
This is just a typical mission from Arc and as you progress in the game you unlock many new abilities and stronger weapons. Throughout the game you will unlock perks to increase your abilities or improve others, for instance making 5 headshots with a scoped weapon improves your accuracy with scoped weapons and blowing up German trucks will decrease the cost of buying explosives.
The game is fun however there are a few flaws for instance the Graphical style of the game is great when the German Presence is strong , it's very faded with strong reds like the movie the 300 however free the town and the colour comes back. It's a great concept but the problem is in these free areas the graphics just don't hold their own compared to other similar titles and at other times the stealth mechanic just doesn't work at all and the climbing system can feel cumbersome. These faults are not game breaking however and I would definitely recommend this game to anyone in search of a good action adventure with a fun story or even to those that have grown bored of playing the GTA expansions.
To sum up this game in one sentence, the saboteur is a competent open world action game, with some minor flaws but a great presentation and a fun story.