Long ago, gamers everywhere were anticipating a promising open world game from Pandemic Studios called The Saboteur. Set in Nazi-dominated France, the game starred a protagonist hell-bent on revenge for the death of his friend. An interesting premise for sure, but unfortunately the game never reached its potential, and the guys at Pandemic were shut down the nanosecond the game was completed. While the console versions garnered mixed reviews, we were cautiously optimistic that a different developer and the iPhone platform could deliver a good game. Sadly, this version turned out to be horribly bad.
To begin, this version of The Saboteur is fundamentally different from the console versions. Instead of finding yourself in a nonlinear playground to kill some Nazis in, we’re stuck with a top-down linear adventure. That in itself isn’t cause for disappointment, but the game mechanics and level designs are nonsensical. For example, there are several sequences where you have to run through levels full of rigged bombs going off. You will die repeatedly until you figure out the proper route to take from trial and error.
Talk about a bomb’¦
Compounding the substandard layouts of the levels are unresponsive and frustrating controls. The Saboteur uses an onscreen joystick and an attack button to perform melÃ©e and ranged weapon attacks. There were many times we wanted to toss our iPhones in frustration due to the character not responding to our inputs or getting caught on an invisible corner. These issues cause cheap deaths over and over. Shooting enemies feels unsatisfying and unconvincing, because poor animations don’t tell the full story of what’s going on.
While we’re on the subject of visuals, The Saboteur looks like a poorly designed SNES game. The art assets look muddy, animations lack fluidity, and the only thing that’s remotely impressive are the menus and loading screens. There’s no way to spin the massive amount of fail in this game.
Consider us bummed that The Saboteur turned out as awful as it did. It plays badly, looks worse, and there’s not a single redeeming factor to make this game worthy of your consideration. This game should probably have never been released, and it’s another unfortunate black eye for what was once a promising new franchise.