Finding pleasure in a time of war
The Saboteur is a game I should have purchased at release. It wasn't until one year later did I pick up the game from the "bargain bin" and, boy, was I impressed.
A fantastic story, a familiar video game setting (WWII), a breadth of characters and the quick-witted, Irishman Sean Devlin all make for a game that is well worth the time and money spent.
You play as Sean Devlin and find yourself wrapped up in something larger than yourself (the German occupation of greater France during WWII) and seem to be a bit of loner in the beginning. Sean, throughout the game, is full of quick-witted one liners that will make you laugh at the severity of the situation and keep you entertained. The story begins with car racing and a fellow family for whom Sean works. Sean finds a 'brother' and 'sister' in this family and it is the events of his brother that sets Sean on a course of revenge against a particular German, Dierker. His flee takes him to Paris where Sean is caught up in the local underground resistance and its attempts to thwart the German occupation.
The Saboteur is the definition of a action-adventure game were story missions and "open world", freeplay objectives mix. You can either play each story mission in subsequent order, or you can take breaks in between and complete some of the freeplay objectives. These aren't complete side missions, per se, but rather finding and destroying German locations through the use of dynamite and grenades. Thus, "The Saboteur" title of the game. It is the destruction of these German installations that awards you with the game's currency to purchase weapons of various types through the underground, black market weapons dealers spread throughout the map.
Gameplay is great and the story really makes you invested in the game. Good weapons make combat fun, driving makes the getaways exciting and the sense of revenge and subversion really make for great enjoyment of your time playing as Sean.
The controls, at times of haste, can get rather unwieldy. Often time I wanted Sean to jump from a ledge of a building and instead he would turn and grab onto the ledge. Not good when you are in a hornets nest of Germans surrounding you. And you do spend a lot of time on the building tops. Plus, the aiming of the weapons seems to be off at times and the accuracy even worse.
It is the controls that makes me deduct .5 star from a 5-star rating, but all in all this a fantastic game for its story, mission types, characters, setting and humor.