I’ll never understand precisely why, but for some reason no one seems to ever cover The Saboteur. Occasionally you’ll see a blurb about it in a magazine or on a website, but no one has said anything extensive about it. Maybe Pandemic isn’t making much progress on it? I guess that’s possible, but the fucker comes out in like 2 months. Most media outlets seem to be treating it as though it has no mainstream appeal.
For those (probably many) of you who don’t know what The Saboteur is, let me explain to you why the “mainstream appeal” argument is bullshit. Saboteur is a 3rd-person stealth game by Pandemic Studios set for release December 2nd. It’s the story of a raucous Irish race car driver (based on William Grover-Williams, a real person) who is attempt to free Nazi-occupied France in WWII by blowing shit up. WWII, a badass Irishman race car driver, explosions, dead Nazis… how does this not have mainstream appeal?
Despite the fact that it sounds like a generic dumb action movie on paper, in practice it’s a beautiful and artistic game. The most obvious way in which this is represented is the color scheme. Basically, areas still occupied by Germany are primarily monochrome, with the occasional blazing red German flag or armband. In addition to making these elements boldly stand out in an artistic sense, it also helps identify targets from further distances. Upon ending the occupation of a zone, color rushes back to the area. The best example I’ve seen of how this can be used artistically is described in Mike Schramm’s hands-on article on Joystiq. In it, he describes saving a farmer and his daughter from Nazis in a flaming barn, and upon saving them, the father’s eyes suddenly turned blue, then color returned to the rest of the area. Little artistic choices like that are a big reason I’m really looking forward to this game. Also, I hope I’ll be the number 1 Google search result for “Nazis in a flaming barn”.
The Saboteur comes out December 8th. I’m probably going to get it shortly afterward, so look for a review. I’m a fan of Pandemic’s major games, so I’m sure it’s going to be fun as well. At least I won’t be storming the beaches of fucking Normandy again. I get it, designers, Saving Private Ryan was a great movie. Anyway, here’s the trailer from E3 and some gameplay footage. Enjoy.
Ok guys, I know this is kind of late, but I’ve decided to review Crackdown. Mostly because I exist in a dimension outside of time and space, where a man can play years-old video games for the first time, genuinely enjoy Styx’s 1972 Crystal Ball album without a touch of irony, and not know what a “Hannah Montana” is, despite being under the age of 40.
As I’ve said, the shooter aspect of Crackdown really isn’t that great on its own. All the guns are either grossly inaccurate or extremely underpowered, and you basically just press the auto-lock-on button and hold the fire button until they’re dead, which even at the top possible firearms rating takes about 15 seconds unless you’re immediately next to the minority you’re shooting. When you’re surrounded by 30 people pumping ammo into you, this is not helpful.
That said, everything else is a blast. Even running from one objective to another can be fun, since you get to jump from building to building to get there. I tend to get distracted, because I’m incredibly spiteful to NPCs (in every game, but especially here). For example, say I’m running to kill a gang boss, and I decide to run against heavy traffic on the interstate. Cars are speeding towards me at 100 miles per hour. One has the audacity to hit me. Do I accept that as my punishment from playing on the interstate? Of course not! I pull the driver out of his car, kick him in the face, and throw his car into the river, and leave him to try and shamble his shattered body across the still-busy interstate, which usually doesn’t work out successfully. And if my police allies see me do it and try to bring me down? I murder wave after wave of them, killing many citizens in the process. It’s even fun with non-innocents. Case in point: One time a huge semi full of Russian immigrants was speeding towards me, presumably planning to hit me, then shoot me to death. What was my solution? I stepped slightly out of the way, and kicked the truck into the river as they sped by. They all drowned. I think there were children on board. God, I love this game.
Except Halo Wars. If I could somehow find a hole in the trailers for that game, I would have sex with it.