Codex Gamicus
For the Atari 2600 game of the same name, see Saboteur.

The Saboteur is a third person action-adventure video game set during World War II in German-occupied France. It was published by Electronic Arts and developed by Pandemic Studios, with the latter being liquidated after finishing the game.


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The game's protagonist, Sean Devlin (based on war hero William Grover-Williams), is a hard drinking Irish racecar mechanic,[2] a regular among the racing groups of Paris. After being cheated out of a win in the 1940 Saarbrücken Grand Prix by Kurt Dierker, a Nazi colonel, Sean and his best friend Jules Rousseau seek revenge and sabotage his prized racecar. After being captured, Dierker executes Jules during interrogation under the belief they are really British agents sent to spy on him, but Sean escapes. The rest of the storyline chronicles Sean's fight to kill Dierker. He is recruited by the French Resistance and its leader Luc, and British SOE, who help him throughout the story. The story takes place during World War II and the German occupation of France, but the war itself is used as a backdrop to the main story, which is about Sean's fight to avenge Jules's murder, protect his sister Veronique, and kill Dierker, which is where the story comes to its conclusion.


The player is able to explore the open world Nazi-occupied Paris and some of the countryside and parts of Germany.[1] Colour is a key element in the gameplay, and players will experience an Ōkami-esque style when entering certain parts of the city.[2] In order to make that district coloured ("inspired") again, players must weaken the German forces occupying the area. In doing so, that district's citizens regain their hope, characterized by the "Will to Fight" (WtF) factor, a measure of public morale.[2] In areas with low WtF, the area is dark, with colour being various shades of grey (with the exception of city lights and several German flags, bright red and complete with swastikas), whereas in areas with high WtF, the area is vibrant and with full colour. WtF also affects gameplay, as in areas with low WtF, the area is filled with German soldiers who patrol in most places of the map in large numbers. In areas with high WtF, the Germans will not be completely evicted, but they will no longer be everywhere at once, and will primarily be centered around military bases, barracks, police stations, HQs, and other strategically important areas. In addition, the French people will play an active role in the struggle for areas with high WtF. For example, if Sean gets in a fight with German patrols, allies like the French Resistance, Maquis, and even French passersby will intervene against the occupiers.

Throughout the game, players will upgrade their character in the form of "Perks". These will improve accuracy, ammo counts, damage and more. Perks are gained through actions, such as evading high alarm levels, sniping targets or demolishing a set number of German installations. The player also has the ability to scale buildings and even reaching rooftops; where sometimes loot of some kind can be found or get a good sniper's view of the ground beneath. A garage can save vehicles and also repair damaged ones. The player also can engage in fist-fights or use a more stealthy approach, by sneaking around and even changing into a disguise.

The player can buy weapons, ammunition, explosives, maps and other items on the black market.

Extra content[]

A code for extra downloadable content will be made available for people who purchase a new copy of the console version of the game. Purchasers of a used copy may also pay for this downloadable content on Xbox Live Marketplace or on the PlayStation Network (in the UK, the content is free of charge). For the PC version of the game, the extra content is already included on the DVD.[3]

The extra content will provide the player with extra brothels and hiding spots. It will also unlock a minigame which lets the player earn more in-game items such as a special car. Finally, the extra content will unlock the option of toplessness for the brothels' girls.[3]


The game has been called the developer's swan song, since Pandemic Studios was liquidated after its completion.[4]

After the game was released, customers reported that the game was unplayable with an ATI graphics card.[5] Some game retailers, including Direct2Drive, placed warnings on their web sites declaring problems with the game's compatibility.[6] A workaround requires the user to disable multi-core processing entirely, which would significantly decrease their computer's performance.[7] Pandemic employees have acknowledged the issue and released a beta patch on December 18, 2009.[8] The patch report currently state that users with quad core CPUs will possibly have severe streaming issues, which requires restricting the game to a single core as a workaround.[9] This is despite the game's recommended specifications listing a quad core CPU.


As of January 2010, The Saboteur is rated 73% on Metacritic on the Xbox 360 format (based on 65 reviews).

IGN rated The Saboteur a 7.5/10, praising its sound, black and white visuals, and "cheap thrills", while criticizing its unpolished gameplay and somewhat silly animation.

Gametrailers gave the game 7.6/10, calling the game yet another open-world destruction game of 2009. The game was praised for being fun, although the site criticized the choppy voice acting, varying graphical quality and the unpolished end product.

X-Play rated the game 3 out of 5, praising its unique look and setting, and the large variety of gameplay, but criticized its poorly-executed story, enemy AI, and various glitches.[10]

The PS3 version has been noted for its anti-aliasing technique on a console that has traditionally had difficulty with AA. Using one of the PS3's Synergistic Processing Units to perform after-image edge detection and blurring, under optimal conditions it manages equivalent to 16xAA.[11][12]

The game was compared to Velvet Assassin, released the same year.[13]


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