The Let's Play Archive

The Saboteur

by Jobbo_Fett, ChaosArgate

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Original Thread: Liberte, Fraternite, Eradique - Let's Play The Saboteur



Liberté, Fraternité, Éradiqué - Let's Play The Saboteur

About the Game

The Saboteur is a 2009 Open-World Third-Person Shooter set in 194X Europe. The Germans Nazis have run roughshod all over the continent and our hero, Sean "Touchdown" Devlin, finds himself in the French capital. Down on his luck, with a dark past, Sean is approached by a Freedom Fighter who immediately calls him a wuss and questions his masculinity. Is Sean a bad enough dude to liberate Paris and save Charles De Gaulle The Princess before exiting himself from his terrible past?

Developed by Pandemic Studios and published by EA, The Saboteur would be their last title (Dec 2009) after they were closed just a month prior. The game is centered around the theme of oppression, which is expertly displayed with its art direction. Some of the other portions are hit or miss, with the Havok/Odin engine powering this game throwing a fit every now and again. As a bonus for those who pre-ordered this game, a DLC was included which allowed the player to turn on nudity. For whatever reason, the DLC is still available when you purchase the game via Origin. It's pointless and dumb, and will not be shown.

About the LP

Travelling back in time with me is my pal ChaosArgate, with a selection of guest commentators to appear later down the road. I'll try to aim for one vid per week to keep things running smoothly. This game is Rated M for Mature so please take this in consideration as there will be plenty of swearing, sexual themes, blood, etc.

Oh, and for the sake of those who have not experienced this game, let's KEEP SPOILERS TO A MINIMUM. I don't want to stop or kill conversations, but I feel that this game is a largely forgotten title.


Episode 1: Someone set us up the bomb

Episode 2: Havok Engine

Episode 3: MoonWalking Wounded with guest co-commentator Skippy Granola

Episode 4: (Don't) Shoot The Messenger with guest co-commentator Skippy Granola

Episode 5: The Transporter with guest co-commentator nine-gear crow

Episode 6: Desperate Struggle with guest co-commentator nine-gear crow

Episode 7: Deus Ex Zeppelin with guest co-commentator 64bitrobot

Episode 8: Bada-bing, Bada-boom! with guest co-commentator 64bitrobot

Episode 9: Funstapo! with guest co-commentator BlindSally

Episode 10: Midnight Express with guest co-commentator BlindSally

Episode 11: From Frankfurt With Love with guest co-commentator ACES CURE PLANES

Episode 12: Europe's Most Wanted with guest co-commentator ACES CURE PLANES

Episode 13: Spy-con 2016 with guest co-commentator liquidypoo

Episode 14: ... and Sir Audio not appearing in this film. with guest co-commentator liquidypoo

Episode 15: The Professional with guest co-commentator nine-gear-crow

Episode 16: Taking A Concrete Nap with guest co-commentator nine-gear crow

Episode 17: Dead Zeppelin with guest co-commentator Jamie The D

Episode 18: Death Race 194X with guest co-commentator Faerie Fortune

Episode 19: Oh, well, f*** you then! with guest co-commentator nine-gear crow

Episode 20: Devil in Disguise with guest co-commentator Lunethex

Bonus 01: Deutschland Uber Phallus with guest co-commentators Blind Sally, Faerie Fortune, Jamie The D, and Nine Gear Crow

Bonus 02: Auf Wiedersehen

Cast and Characters

(In order of appearance)

Name: Sean "Touchdown" Devlin
Occupation: Mechanic, Race Car Driver
Likes: Alcohol, Women, Macrame
Dislike: The Weimar Republic, The Third Reich, The Holy Roman Empire, The British, Cops
Voiced By: Robin Atkin Downes

Name: Luc Gaudin
Occupation: Author
Favorite song: We're not gonna take it by Twisted Sister
Favorite quote: "Espèce d'enfoiré de merde!"
Voiced By: Andre Sogliuzzo

Name: Jules Rousseau
Occupation: Ransom Ticket Friend
Notable skills: Whining, Complaining, Moaning
Favorite Car: Red
Voiced By: Andre Sogliuzzo

Name: Veronique Rousseau
Occupation: Annoying sister, Part-Time Photographer
Role Model: Tascher de la Pagerie
Other: Mastered the 1,000 yard stare at a young age
Voiced By: Karen Strassman

Name: Vittore Morini
Occupation: Italian
Favorite Bedtime Story: Il Duce and the 7 Blackshirts
Notable Relatives: Victor Sullivan
Voiced By: Jim Ward

Name: Kurt Dierker
Occupation: The Bad Man
Best Pickup Line: "Want to see my Schnitzel?"
Source of Inspiration: Hulk Hogan (nWo)
Voiced By: Mischa Pfister

Name: Sylar Sin Sainte Claire
Occupation: Possible Love Interest
Favorite Mix: Business and Pleasure
Favorite Toy: Heartstrings
Voiced By: Kari Wahlgren

Name: Franziska
Occupation: 'Personal' Bodyguard, Part-Time model for Hugo Boss
Relevance to the plot score: 0
Henchmen: The Otto Triplets
Voiced By: Karen Strassman

Name: Ludivine
Occupation: Owner of The Belle De Nuit
Favorite Hobbies: Knitting, Pole Dancing, Drinking
Fun Fact: Once did 30 pushups. In a row.
Voiced By: Rajia Baroudi

Name: Gaspard
Occupation: Man
Total on-screen time in-game: <5 minutes
Notes: Goes to confessional on a daily basis
Voiced By: Steve Blum

Name: Santos
Occupation: Black Marketeer
Likes: To live dangerously, The 3 Musketeers
Allergies: Bananas, Owing people favors
Voiced By: Zev Esquenazi

Occupation: Beach Volleyball Simulator
Loves: Bouncing boobs
Hates: Car physics
Voiced By: My internal screaming

Name: Le Crochet
Occupation: Avatar of Vengeance
Favorite Delicacy: Crocodile Meat
Notes: Lost his hand in a Bingo game
Voiced By: Nolan North

Name: Bishop
Occupation: Stick in the mud Scotland Yard's Finest Interpol Agent
Favorite Boardgame: Mousetrap
Notes: His secret hideout, the Church, has a sign out front that reads "No Irish Allowed"
Voiced By: John Noble

Name: Wilcox
Occupation: Lackey
Favorite Childhood Toy: Mr.McPotatoface
Notes: Keeps unloaded shotgun for home defense. "Racking the slide is enough to scare any man."
Voiced By: Graham McTavish

Name: Father Denis
Occupation: Ordained Priest
Likes: Crank calling God
Notes: Convicted felon using Priesthood as a means to eliminate people who have slighted him in the past
Voiced By: Steve Blum

Name: Margot
Occupation: Crotchety Old Lady
Wants: You to get off her lawn
Hates: Young whippersnappers
Voiced By: Cynthia Songe

Name: Dr.Kessler
Occupation: NOT A NAZI Scientist
Likes: The Theory of Relativity
Hates: How that bastard Einstein beat him to it
Voiced By: Phil Proctor

Name: Duval Mingo
Occupation: Token Black Guy
Bad Idea: "Hey guys, let's hold a secret meeting out in the open under the watchful eye of an AA gun!"
Voiced By: Hakim Kae Kazim

Name: Dr. Kwong
Occupation: Token Asian Guy
Likes: Dressing up in women's clothing and hanging out in bars.
Dislikes: People dumber than him, so Sean. Well, especially Sean.
Voiced By: Matt Yang King


with Lead Writer Tom Abernathy

Tom Abernathy was the Lead Writer for The Saboteur for most of its development. Currently, he is working on Infinite Arms. He was very happy to answer my bad, and crow's good, questions regarding The Saboteur. If you'd like to follow Tom, you can find him on twitter.


Tom contributes his creativity and storytelling experience to Jumo™ as the day-to-day creative lead for Infinite Arms™. In bringing to life the immersive world of the game, Tom uses his skills and expertise as an award-winning writer and narrative designer to craft new characters and propulsive storylines to create a thrilling ongoing journey for Infinite Arms™ fans.
Tom’s 17-year career in games includes work on League of Legends, Halo: Reach, The Saboteur, Destroy All Humans! 1 and 2, and The Division. He has served as the Lead Narrative Writer for Riot Games, Writer/Designer at Microsoft Studios, and Senior Writer/Designer at Pandemic Studios and has contributed to titles for Massive Entertainment/Ubisoft and Activision Studios. In 2009, he was named one of “The Gamasutra 20: Top Game Writers” by

Now based in Seattle, Tom is a graduate of Oberlin College and of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. In addition to his work in games, Tom is also a screenwriter and filmmaker; his most recent credit, Bad Country, was released in 2014 by Sony Pictures.

Question #1

What was your involvement with "The Saboteur", how big of a role did you play in its development?

Answer: I was lead writer for 1st 3 years. Played major creative role almost from beginning, developing world & characters.

Question #2

Did the untimely demise of Pandemic Studios rush the project out the door? Was there any planned DLC for post-launch content?

Answer: No. Game was finished before studio was shuttered. 1 could make case the delay of project from 3 to 4.5 years+ played role in EA choosing 2 shut down Pandemic. (Mercs 2 as well) But that's just speculation. Don't know about DLC. Certainly there were plans for a sequel. DLC was just becoming a thing at that point, so not sure about that.

Question #3

Were there any plans for a bigger role for General Eckhardt? The 3rd act feels rushed, is this intentional?

Answer: The script underwent some revisions after I left, especially in the 3rd act. (Although rule of thumb in game dev is that you put a lot more work into beginnings than endings, bcs only maybe 1/3 of players play to the end. I can't speak to the "rushed" part. Originally there were 2 main villains, Dierker & Eckhardt. Think Vader & Emperor. Dierker was cut after I left project. Eckhardt was always meant to be more power behind scenes, a la Emp Sidious, so it's possible the loss of Dierker accounts for any sense that Eckhardt isn't around as much as you'd expect.

Question 3.5 "You say that Dierker was cut, but he was still the main villain. Don't you mean Eckhardt was cut, affecting Dierker?"

Answer: Sorry, yes. That's what I meant. :-)

Question #4

Who's your favorite character in the game, and why?

Answer: This is SUPER hard, because I love them all. Aside from Sean, bcs duh :-), probably Skylar Sinclair. Lots of great 1s cut too. Fav of those: Georgia Parker, inspired by Josephine Baker. Cut from game.

Question #5

What's your fondest memory from the development of "The Saboteur"?

Answer: 2 things come to mind. For my 1st 6-9 months the design team was lead des Tom French & me. Blissfully productive. More specifically, working w concept artist to develop Skylar's plane. 2+ wks of convo & iteration. End result: A plane that evokes Skylar, both her look & her personality. Thrilling example of cross-disciplinary collaboration.

Question #6

Do you think "The Saboteur" will ever get a sequel? Would you want to go back to it, and where would you have it set?

Answer: Hard to imagine. Highly regarded but low sales, bcs no support from EA at the time. Whole team is gratified that so many fans have discovered it & are passionate about it. I'd do another in a heartbeat. Plan was to go to Berlin.

Question #7

If you had the choice, what time period of Berlin would you set it in? Near the end of the war? During 'His' rise?

Answer: Never got that far, at least while I was there. Original plan was to end 1st game w Allied liberation of Paris, but we were asked not to go that far, so as to preserve part of the war in Europe for a sequel.

Question #8

Was it a deliberate choice not to mention Hitler, or most/all of the people who actually participated in the war?

also ties into Question #10

Was it also deliberate to skew the timeframes a bit? What was the inspiration for terror troops, zeppelins, and wulf tanks?

Answer: In general, we were making a stylized version of occupied Paris; historical accuracy mattered but wasn't paramount. To do a Medal of Honor-type historical game would've meant too many limitations. We were aiming more for Raiders of the Lost Ark feel, w a little James Bond in there as well. Don't recall ever discussing whether or not to mention Hitler specifically; wasn't germane to what we were doing. Once you introduce him, you've reached apex antagonist. We were more interested in a microcosm of the war, with our own characters as the focus. Although Devlin is loosely based on 3 real Grand Prix drivers who worked for SOE. It was their experience we were concerned with depicting, & none of them ever met Hitler. Not having been alive during the war, I can't say how often Hitler was discussed in everyday conversation. So just wasn't a big issue for us. Other inspirations: Where Eagles Dare, The Train

Not aware of any skewing of timeframes. We were specific about starting the game just before the Paris occupation and it ends before the liberation. There were some historical inspirations for the things you mention, but again we wanted to give ourselves as much artistic license to imagine as possible. & zeppelins are just awesome. :-)

Question #9

Who named the various vehicles so I know who to blame? You spoke of Skylar's plane, did you use blueprints of the P-61 or stock photos for the design?

Answer: No idea who named vehicles. Can't speak to blueprints of specific referents. TONS of research done, though.

NineGearCrow's Questions

Q: Was the subplot of the "glowing thing in the trunk that's totally the Ark of the Covenant/Holy Grail" that Bishop has you recover originally going to go somewhere or pay off? Or was is just a fun nod to Indiana Jones-style Nazi mysticism plots?

A: Kinda both. Obvious nod to Raiders (& Pulp Fiction), but was originally meant to pay off more. But fine as is, too.

Q:What inspired the choice to have the protagonist be an Irishman in a predominantly French setting?

A: Great Q. The version of the player character in the original demo made by Scott Warner & Tom French et al using the Mercs engine was an Englishman, a Jude Law type. General consensus in studio was that he came off a little foppish. Making him not just Irish but working class, a mechanic, deliberately broke with the 3 real life drivers' lives, but we felt it would make him a little more obviously masculine & relatable. We wanted him to be an earthy barroom brawler type; almost what you might expect if he were an American. Just felt more relatable to players in our minds.

Q: What is your favorite line of dialog from the game?

A: Honestly, enough of my script was rewritten that I couldn't say what lines I recall were in released game or not. I loved the stuff with Jules in the interrogation, some of which is mine. My two favorite scenes, 1 Sean/Skylar & 1 Sean/Georgia, were cut. They were very much in mold of Raymond Chandler - Maltese Falcon, BIg Sleep, Key Largo.

Q: And lastly, Skylar and Veronique seem like the Betty and Veronica of The Saboteur. Who would you prefer Sean ultimately wound up with between the two?

A: Very true & no accident. One thing I discovered in my research was the extent of distrust SOE came to have for the French Resistance (& vice versa). Great movie called Veronica Guerin, w Cate Blanchett, that fictionalized the life of a couple of real female SOE agents in occupied France & dramatizes that dynamic. Also Verhoeven's Black Book. I created Véronique (obvi nod 2 Veronica Guerin & also Kieslowski's Double Life of Veronica) & Skylar (sky! Pilot!) to personify those two poles, groups who started out working in concert but over time started working at odds. (Especially SOE; as war was starting to swing, Allies didn't want communists getting power in postwar France, so they started double-crossing the Resistance. Again, see Veronica Guerin.) I wanted those points of view to be given voice, & for Sean to be torn between them. So it was intentional that at 1st, like Betty/Veronica or Mary Jane/Gwen the more glamorous one might seem more appealing, but the girl-next-door charms of the other became more appealing over time. Also bcs I ultimately come down more on the side of the Resistance, who I think were betrayed by SOE. Skylar is amazing in so many ways, but she's also a spoiled rich kid who's never gonna make a long term thing work. That's not how she's built (she has a bit of Lara Croft in her). Véronique is less flashy but has more substance. Having said that, Sean wouldn't end up w Skylar bcs no one would; she'll never settle down. So Véronique is only option between the two. Whether Véronique would ever decide to try and settle down w Sean is another matter. She might be too smart to believe a guy like him would ever settle down either. Dunno. Would have loved to find out. :-)

Fan-Art and Thread Contributions

"Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Furry!" -Brought to us by Chitoryu12

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