dimsey's The Saboteur (Xbox 360) review

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Rough around the edges, but fun enough to make up for it.

 The Saboteur takes a lot of obvious inspiration from other games.
You could say it borrowed the climbing from Assassins Creed.
You could say it took it's stealth sections were inspired by Hitman.
You could say its cover based shooting was like that of a Gears of War title.
Alas while it has the basic mechanics of these other games, it doesn't pull them off quite as well.

You play as Sean Devlin, a likable Irish chap.
Early on he and his best friend are captured by Nazis and his friend was murdered.
He made it out alive and vengeance becomes his goal.
He allies himself with the French resistance in order to take down the Nazis and the man who killed his mate.

This involves a lot of climbing, shooting and sneaking about.

Sean lacks the fluidity of say Ezio in the climbing department, but aside from being a bit slow it's functional.

Stealth mechanics are Hitman inspired.
You'll sneak about and stealth kill Nazis in order to take their uniforms as disguises so you can more easily sneak about restricted areas to do what needs doing. Usually blowing something up.
You might say you were a saboteur and you were sabotaging things.
I think the stealth mechanics are arguably the most fleshed out, at the very least I had more fun sneaking about knocking out or killing Nazis with the silenced pistol and planting explosives before getting out of there without being spotted. Certainly more fun than the shooting.

The shooting much like Gears of War or any other of it's derivatives relies on a cover mechanic.
Sean can't soak too many bullets before going down and early on this isn't much of a problem.
But later in the game you get a lot more enemies thrown at you and a lot of the Nazis at this point are heavily armored and can soak up a lot of bullets before going down.
At this point in the game you don't do much shooting so much as throwing carefully aimed grenades at them and taking them down that way to conserve bullets.

You automatically get behind cover when you go near a spot that will allow it, but it's kind of...
Slippery, for lack of a better word. It's all too easy to move a little bit and find yourself out of cover and getting shot at. I think a Gears style 'press button to get behind cover, press button to get out of cover' would've worked better.

The game has a good sense of style.
Nazi occupied areas in the game are black and white. Except for the red of Nazi banners, the Blue of the resistance and the yellow of the games lights. It looks very nice.
And then once you've liberated an area color returns to it. It's a good effect.

Also enjoyed the games soundtrack, for what that's worth.

Despite being a tad clunky and rough around the edges I enjoyed my time with The Saboteur a lot. The shooting dudes part mightn't be the most fun in the world, but the game has a lot of fun and I found it easy to get into the stealth mechanics.

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