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 Home -> Reviews -> The Saboteur
The Saboteur By: John "Award" Del Percio
January 10, 2010
Developer :Pandemic
Publisher :EA Games
Release Date :December 2009
Platform : PC, PlayStation 3, XBox 360
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

C'est Répétitif et Sich Immer Wiederholend

Among a handful of others, there are two critical areas where the game gets things terribly wrong. Repition, the most common complaint about sandbox games, is without a doubt present. It's hard to get mission variety in the confines of an open world. Many missions involve the same pattern. Sneak into the base, grab something or kill some Nazi leader, escape. Worse, as with most other sandboxes, completing a story mission unlocks other new missions consisting mostly of miniaturized, less interesting versions of the same story mission. Blow up a big bridge with a lot of guards, get asked to blow up several other similar but ultimately smaller, less guarded, more random encounter-like bridges. Successfully blow up all targets in a highly fortified facility, get asked to blow up all targets in a few other far less interesting facilities. In between is the almost minigame nature of destroying guard towers, fuel depots, and guarded tanks that litter the roadways around the city to acquire contraband to sell...the life blood currency of the game. After a short period of wasting considerable time on this, only to all to often die and be reset, this gets old, and is best left avoided in favor of completing real story and side-quest missions.

The second major failing of the game is it's inconsistency in skill level. While this can be common to sandbox games, much of the game is remarkably easy, yielding little risk of defeat, while other sections are almost impossible to succeed short of replaying the mission again and again hoping to get the random jump on the AI based on where they're looking. While this would ordinarily lead to frustration however, the largest portion of the game errs on the simple side instead.

Still, what missions there are, technically perfect or not, are exceedingly fun, and more than convincing. The black & white aspect of Nazi controlled areas lends a great grit to the game, and adds some challenge in differentiating items in the backdrop. Like playing an old action movie, you feel a bit larger than life at most instances. Additionally, while the dialog may be far from the best, the story is intriguing enough, and well devoped, despite not being as rich as possible. It's a game that's very easy to look past the technical flaws and just have fun playing around with...which is, of course, the point of a sandbox style game.

In the console wars, though, there's a bit of a catch. While the general rule of thumb is that games will look and perform better on the Xbox 360 than the PS3, this game is the one exception. An over-use of anti-aliasing produces a blurry effect on the 360, textures seem a bit washed and pixelated, and sound can have an air of compression artifacting on the 360. The PS3 on the other hand has gorgeous texture depth, crystal clear sound, and far less blurring. It also has a slightly choppier frame rate. The only conclusion one can come to has less to do with performance of either platform, or the platform the game was designed for, and seems more likely that storage space on a DVD was inadequate to store all data at full quality and was thus compressed more for 360, while the Blu-Ray disc of the PS3 contained all data. It will be interesting to see if the games delayed to 2010 will follow this trend, of if it's just a rare exception.

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