The Saboteur – first look

As Thomas Haynes Bayly once wrote, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” And we have certainly had a lot of time to accrue fondness for The Saboteur. This unique sandbox title from Pandemic – developers of Mercenaries and Star Wars: Battlefront –was announced over two years ago, and to say that information has been scarce since then is an understatement. Now that Pandemic has been bought by EA, Saboteur has a publisher, and while there’s no talk of a release date yet, the company has pulled the wraps off the game once again.

Saboteur’s setting may not sound all that new, but it takes the player through little-seen (at least in games) parts of World War II. Instead of being on the battlefields of Normandy or Iwo Jima, you instead inhabit German-controlled Paris. The City of Lights got to keep its beauty by surrendering to the Nazis, something the French are reminded of daily by xenophobic dicks like us. But not everyone kept quiet; in fact, many brave Parisians fought their oppressors, with the title character playing a big part in the Resistance.

You play as Sean Devlin, an Irish racer who is out to take down the Nazis, one hideout at a time. Sean’s reasons for revenge on the Nazis are more personal than political, as the national German racing team, Doppelsieg, caused Sean’s team, Morini, some strife (though the devs were vague on the particulars). Specifically, Sean is out to get vengeance on Doppelsieg’s top driver/loyal Nazi Kurt Dierker, and that path is going to be littered with scores of corpses.

Above: Saboteurin’ ain’t easy

As the title of the game suggests, your main mission is to sabotage the many places the Nazis are occupying in Paris and the outlying areas. You’ll have loads of avenues of Fascist destruction: guns, explosives, rocket launchers, and the angry fists of an Irishman, which are probably Sean’s greatest weapon. Despite those instruments of death, stealth is fairly important too; sneaking up on people gets you bonuses, while missions get much harder once you’ve been spotted. On the other hand, being swarmed by hordes of Nazi guards on high alert means you’ll get to take advantage of the game’s cover system, which will enable Sean to easily stick to cover and pull away from it during firefights.

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.