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The Saboteur review

Killing Nazis has never been this frustratingly fun


  • Color
  • or black and white. Paris is stunning in both
  • Finally playing the good guy in an open-world sandbox
  • So many nasty Nazis to kill in so many nasty ways


  • Gameplay - especially stealth - can be frustrating
  • Forced gratuitousness
  • The slight unfinished feeling. RIP
  • Pandemic

Amazing. Ambitious. Avant-garde.

These are reactions that The Saboteur, in concept alone, first inspires. When we heard about the free-roaming 1940s Paris setting, we dared to dream of an open-world epic with class and style in place of the usual crime and sex. When we learned that the storyline would revolve around the French underground resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II, we hoped for a deep moral narrative with real historical significance. When we witnessed the unique visuals, which paint terrorized parts of the city in depressing grayscale and liberated sections in bright, eye-dazzling color, we immediately thought of cinematic classics like Schindler’s List.

Could The Saboteur be our gaming equivalent? Could this end up a serious, substantive masterpiece with themes of life, death, freedom and war?


Above: The main menu

Above: The opening shot of the opening cutscene

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The Saboteur is a charming mess. Yes, the unpolished gameplay can be frustrating and, yes, the storytelling can be silly. But as soon as we drove through the gorgeously stylized Paris – then jumped out of our nitro-fueled racecar to snap a unsuspecting Nazi’s neck – we didn’t care anymore. For us, the good overwhelmed the bad.

PlatformPS3, PC, Xbox 360
US censor ratingMature
UK censor rating18+
Release date8 December 2009 (US), 4 December 2009 (UK)


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