I started playing The Saboteur last night, trying to divorce my experience of the game itself from the tragedy of developer Pandemic’s recent closure.
And, hey, it’s not too bad – certainly better than expected. An amalgam of GTA and Assassin’s Creed, it flits between car chases and stealth kills across an urban expanse that manages to feel fresh. Partly it’s the use of colour: the occupied areas are depicted mostly in bleak black and white, from the rainsodden footpaths to the pale, lifeless people and the churning storm clouds hanging overhead, with the red swastikas and devilish glow illuminating Nazi troops the only colours to be seen. Meanwhile the resistance areas are painted in lush colours, trees and buildings soaked through with vibrant greens and oranges under a brilliant blue sky.
It also offers a glimpse into the lives of people during the second World War that few other games offer. We’ve seen WWII from the frontlines in countless shooters, but rarely have we been afforded a look at what happens away from those famous battles. Sure, here you’re still fighting Nazis, but you’re also avoiding getting beaten by them on the streets or spending an evening sitting next to them at a burlesque club. This take on occupied France is somewhere a videogame hasn’t allowed us to visit before. It’s worth a look for that alone.
I’ll be playing some more Saboteur today, along with some Dead Space: Extraction and, later tonight, it’s back into Demon’s Souls. Tomorrow, I’ll breeze through Pixeljunk Shooter and maybe some Muramasa. I’m sick, too, so I expect to get plenty of gaming done this weekend.
What are you playing this weekend?