Saboteur - interview

GamesRadar: Other than melee, firearms and grenade, are there any other elements of combat you can talk about?

TF: Well, there is a little thing called sabotage. All we can talk about right now is that it relates to set piece destruction. As much as there are these up, close and personal melee, stealth and gunplay type of encounters, we are really trying to create cinematic set piece destruction moments. There are times when you will be sabotaging a bridge or something...

GamesRadar: Are the environments fully destructible or just in specific places?

TF: It will definitely be something that you are told to do as part of a key mission. That is all I can say.

GamesRadar: Why another WWII game? How is this one different?

PH: We are not interested in telling the story about who wins the war. Everyone knows how that ended up. We are much more interested in telling the story about the personal victories that were achieved in this era of high global conflict. It's all about personalizing the experience as much as possible and distancing ourselves from the WWII genre and just having it be a backdrop.

Not to mention the fact that, as much as I'm saying that WWII is a backdrop, it's still a big deal that there hasn't been an open-world WWII game yet. That's something that I don't want to lose sight of.

GamesRadar: Were you inspired by any films for the aesthetic or storytelling aspects of the game?

PH: I did mention the Sin City influence in visual art direction, but I also think it's in the style as well. Not necessarily in the violence, but more in the sort of cool jazz music and that noir, pulpy vibe. I've heard people look at our visual direction and bring up Schindler's List. That wasn't something that came to us at all because we are not specifically trying to create this low Will To Fight as a somber melancholy mood. We are trying to make it this gritty, pulpy feel.

GamesRadar: Pandemic recently hooked up with BioWare. Will that partnership lead to more role-playing elements in your games, including Saboteur?

PH: I think the best way to characterize the relationship between BioWare and Pandemic right now is that we're peer reviews... We are only a year and a half into this relationship, and it's just now getting to the point where I think we are starting to really pair up the people, but beyond that there isn't an uber-game being designed.

TF: The reality is that open-world sandbox games are in many ways like very light RPGs. I come from six years' experience working in RPGs. When I was working on Mercenaries, I could see that there is a little bit of an RPG in there. Having conversations with BioWare guys on how they do things sometimes does influence and help us... how we should do this right. But then we put our own action spin on it and make it fit to our game.

Charlie Barratt
I enjoy sunshine, the company of kittens and turning frowns upside down. I am also a fan of sarcasm. Let's be friends!