GTA with Nazis, The Saboteur has a fresh take on the tired WWII genre.
The Saboteur is a different type of WWII game. Rather than playing as an elite soldier, you play Sean Devlin, an Irish racing driver in the French resistance, fighting the Germans in occupied France. The gameplay can best be described as Grand Theft Auto (GTA) with Nazis. As in GTA, The Saboteur has you moving freely round a city, stealing cars as you go, trading weapons and picking up missions from key characters.
While GTA is loud, brash and a little ridiculous, The Saboteur’s setting means that it requires more subtlety and stealth; so in addition to being able to move around the ground, Sean can climb buildings and freerun across the Paris rooftops. On the Paris skyline, he’s harder to spot, making it easier to sneak into enemy compounds.
Combat’s different to GTA’s auto-targeted kill fest. As well as finer control over whom you’re aiming your weapon at, Sean can perform silent takedowns – all the better for taking out an enemy guard without alerting the Nazis. Missions are mostly fun, with simple sabotage tasks, such as blowing up a petrol depot, at the beginning giving way to more complex attacks and even a journey on a moving train.
The game’s got a lot of style, too. Paris has been lovingly recreated, even if the people aren’t quite as lifelike as their GTA counterparts. Each area of the city is rendered according to its level of resistance: black and white means the citizens aren’t ready to fight; full colour means your efforts have sparked the fighting spirit and Parisians will come to your rescue and join in your fight against the Nazis.
Driving is good fun, with the ability to jump into any vehicle you see and slam it round Paris at high speed. If we’re honest, the controls aren’t quite as good as GTA’s and feel a bit more mechanical, so you can’t quite pull off the same kind of slick and smooth high-speed driving.
It’s not suitable for kids. There’s plenty of nudity (your character is based in a strip club) and Sean constantly swears in the worst Irish accent ever – although the blood spurting from Nazis looks more like paint than gore. The Saboteur’s isn’t up to the standard of the GTA games, but its different slant on WWII and stealth-based missions give it game a fresh feeling.