Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

Still alive; Also The Sabotuer is gonna blow goats

Posted by nfinit on November 7, 2009

Hey kids.  Sorry for the lack of updates this week, but Unisys corp has seen fit to kick my ass up and down the island of Manhattan repairing broke-ass Dells for the past four days, so I’ve not had the energy to do a lot of updates.  No Bad Controller this week, but that’s alright as I was wanting to break that up a bit (as I”m going to run out of controllers soon) and introduce a new regular bit anyway.  So hopefully that’ll be out tomorrow.

Luckily for me though, Giant Bomb has provided easy content this week by exposing how incredibly lame Pandemic’s The Sabotuer is going to be, in the guise of a Quicklook that was, for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, approved by and even played under the auspices of Pandemic…game… dude Corey Lewis.  Anyway, that’s here:

Okay now maybe I had the wrong expectations going into The Saboteur, but I was under the impression that the game was to feature a hard-bitten Irish hero, an everyman who was In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time and decided to help liberate Paris from the grip of the Nazi regime in a stealthy, covert manner.

Y’know.  As evidenced by the name The Saboteur. I was greatly looking forward to saboteur the hell out of shit.

Turns out instead The Saboteur is about a superhuman, near-invincible force of nature who’s been done wrong and is out to seek revenge by killing the said guy who did him wrong by blowing up an enemy army and anything that stands in his way.  And that sounds awesome!  However, it’s also pretty much the entire plot to Mercenaries 2, which, by the way, was Pandemic’s last game.

Turns out there’s not a bit of stealth involved, unless we’re to allow ourselves to believe that our surly Irish protagonist hero has managed to stealthfully engage in a full-blown firefight atop the Paris rooftops, stealthfully blew up a German howitzer sitting smack in the middle of the  Champs-Élysées, stealthfully blew up a zeppelin with a Panzerfaust, all the while absorbing more bullets than Clyde Darrow and engaging in a shootout with a dude with a rocket launcher.

Again, I wouldn’ t mind so much if the game presented in this video were the game Pandemic had been touting since E3, but it’s not.  Not in any way.  We were promised noir, what we’ve been given is Prototype.

While I’m on the subject, I’d like to take a moment to speak out about games that propose their protagonist is “just a guy”, someone the player can relate to, and then do absolutely nothing to mantain that illusion.  Hey, I like playing as superhuman badasses as much as the next guy; and liberties with such things as “willingness to murder at a moment’s notice” is something to be expected when you’re playing as Master Chief.

But The Saboteur, as I was to understand it, was supposed to be Just a Guy.  It’s hard to believe in the Just A Guy trope when your character is capable of scrambling over and around masonry walls like some kind of demented Irish Luchadore.  Also it’d be nice if just once your Just A Guy was as terrible with firearms as a normal person with no firearms training is supposed to be– Maybe that’d give you actual reason to be stealthy and covert and saboteur-y instead of choosing to do open battle with the Nazi army fifty feet above the streets of Paris.

Am I being overly critical?  Yeah, probably.  But that’s why I’m here.  The Saboteur promised to be a mix of Splinter Cell and the last half of Inglorious Basterds.  Instead we get this– and there’s nothing present in this video that hasn’t been done already in Mercenaries or Prototype or Infamous or GTA4 or a dozen other games I could rattle off.  Maybe Pandemic just isn’t capable of the sort of game they were trying to produce, but much like Mirror’s Edge a year ago, there’s a lot of promise being wasted here in a stylish shell.  And that’s too bad, because I desperately wanted to play the game Pandemic has been talking about for the past six months.


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