The Saboteur

Posted on 18 July 2010 by Fahad Majidi

There’s no denying that Pandemic’s last title, Mercenaries 2, was a bit of a disaster. For a game primarily about blowing everything up, then blowing it up again before it hits the ground, it managed to get an awful lot wrong. During pre-release events in which Mercenaries 2 was shown off, there was a feeling of soulless indifference emanating from the Merc team and those who stood behind them. While that tainted stench still hangs over Pandemic’s head like a football team’s locker room, there is a much more focused and excited aura emitted from The Saboteur’s lead designer, Tom French. Every time he opens his mouth about this game, it is clear that he wants to make a great experience and that he believes that is exactly what his team is doing.

The end product as a cohesive whole is still somewhat opaque, but the bevy of bits and pieces being spoon fed to the public is definitely a good start. Players will take control of Sean Devlin, an Irish race car driver living in Paris. Where once he was indifferent to Nazi occupation of France, the death of someone close to him forces Devlin to take a more active role in a quest for revenge. Throughout the game, Devlin will sabotage the enemy in every way he can while being assisted by the French Resistance and British Intelligence, with his primary goal being the death of high level officials who he holds responsible for his friend’s death.

The titular sabotage manifests itself in a number of ways but almost always result in something being blown up, such as a zeppelin or massive cannon. This will weaken the enemy forces in the area and restore the French’s will to fight. These smaller areas, which make up the game’s scale down, open world version of Paris, will serve as the equivalent of non linear levels, and progressing through the story will no doubt entail running from location to location completing whatever objective may be waiting there. To get around the city, Devlin can hijack a number of vehicles, but, this being of a stealth title, he also comes equipped to climb almost everything and stalk or avoid his enemies via the rooftops like Robert De Niro in the Godfather Part II.

Should stealthy tactics fail, Devlin is able to hold his own in a gunfight but may find that he quickly outnumbered, especially in areas still heavily occupied. More often than not, Devlin will be better off engaging the enemy from afar, donning a disguise to go unnoticed or staying hidden. The developer expects a lot of “quiet in, loud out”, meaning Devlin can easily sneak in to enemy territory to plant bombs or kill a target, but once his cover is blown he will be forced to escape in a manner that would make Michael Bay wet his Transformers knickers.

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