|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Pandemic Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: EA||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Dec. 8, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Finally, climbing up buildings is slow and cumbersome. Instead of holding a modifier button to engage the climb mode, you'll have to repetitively tap a face button. This gets annoying and tiresome quickly - I did everything I could to avoid climbing, but the game is rife with missions dependent upon the lousy parkour controls. It's by no means impossible to play The Saboteur, but the devs sure didn't make it easy.
Thankfully, the production values and overall presentation fare much better. Visuals, in particular, are absolutely outstanding. The black and white filter, later overtaken by a vibrant color palette, does a great job of communicating the desired mood. The expansive environments are wonderfully rendered and detailed, as are the character models and animations. In fact, some of the best female nudity in video gaming is on display here. However, my favorite bit of visual magic found in the game was that of explosions - the stark contrast between the drab backgrounds and the rolling, roiled, fiery clouds are magnificent to behold.
Sound isn't quite as amazing, but it still superior to most other games out there. The period ballads and instrumentals that accompany the game allow for a high level of immersion, and the dialogue is often hilarious and laced with risqué double entendre. Voice over work is hit or miss, though. While I enjoyed the Irish quips from protagonist Sean Devlin, a number of characters stand out as being quite poorly voiced. This is especially the case when listening to the French characters - it is obvious that Yank actors were putting on a Froggy accent that rarely comes off as genuine.
The only thing more played out more than WWII is perhaps open-world action. Nevertheless, both conventions are overused for a reason: they have great video game potential. In the case of The Saboteur, they combine to provide for a compelling if uninventive experience. Working in concert, this game's tired, uninspired mechanics still manage to get the job done; the whole is definitely more than the sum of its parts. If you're looking for a truly unique experience, this game isn't for you. However, if you love WWII or open-world action games, The Saboteur is a gorgeous title that somehow manages to remain fun from beginning to end.
CCC Editor / News Director