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Oct 02

Developer Diary: The Saboteur for PS3

Tom French's Avatar Posted by Tom French on Oct 02, 2009 // Lead Designer, The Saboteur

Greetings PlayStation.Blog! I’m Tom French, Lead Designer of The Saboteur. Since this is my first post on the blog, I figured it might be best to give you an introduction to The Saboteur for those of you that know little to nothing about our game. Simply put, the game is a big-story-driven-open-world-action-sandbox-game that pits a daredevil race-car-driver-turned-saboteur vs. Nazi occupied France. “WWII, really, do I need another WWII game?” We said the same thing to ourselves when the idea was first pitched to the team.

Let me tell you now, straight up, The Saboteur is not your typical WWII game.


In The Saboteur rather than playing what might as well be a nameless-faceless soldier in the war you play as Sean Devlin; a rough around the edges Irish race-car-driver who becomes a saboteur. While I know this idea might sound a bit unbelievable at first; let me tell you now that Sean is actually inspired by a real life person – William Grover-Williams. He was British/French grand prix champion who drove for the legendary Bugatti racing team back in the 30’s. Because of his daredevil nature and his ability to blend into the French culture he made prime candidate to be recruited by the Special Operations Executive (SOE). He then became a saboteur working with the Resistance there. This idea of a larger-than-life hero that wasn’t fighting on the front lines really just felt like a great idea for a game character and we really wanted to make a game with less “history” and more “his story”. More Indiana Jones and less Saving Private Ryan.

The Saboteur Outside_The_Belle_de_Nuit The Saboteur_02

We wanted to make our hero the action hero we all wish we could be in our hearts. Being a team of film geeks we looked to the heroes from the silver screen for inspiration; Indiana Jones for his big adventures and his desire to trade fists with Nazis for his personal rather than political reasons, John McClane from Die Hard who takes a beating and laughs in the face of danger, and finally Steve McQueen who was, well, one of the most classically cool men to ever walk the face of this planet. These are the types of heroes we want to be. To further ourselves from the typical WWII story we set out to make Sean’s story personally motivated rather than political. That’s why one of our first decisions with the character was to make him Irish. Sean doesn’t care about politics but when Kurt Dierker, a rival racecar driver and high-ranked Nazi official kills his best friend Jules, things get personal for Sean and he will have to fight all across Paris, the French countryside, and even into Germany to get revenge on those who wronged him.

TRAIN_Watermarked copy

We felt strongly that it was extremely important to let the player to step into the shoes of Sean Devlin and become The Saboteur right along side of him. You’ll get to play the origin story of The Saboteur, race in vintage race cars across the streets of Paris, scale the Eiffel tower, shoot your way through hordes of Nazis, sabotage their operations with explosives, chase through burning zeppelins, derail trains and that’s just a few examples of the big action moments The Saboteur will have for you. What are the cool features in the game? What can and does he do along the way? Why are some of the screenshots in black and white? I’ll be bringing those answers to you in up coming blogs so stay tuned, I’ve still got a lot to cover.

//Add Your Own

29 Comments   37 Replies

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+ station3fever on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:07 am said:

Gives us a demo.


+ Berae on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:11 am said:

No idea what this game is all about except what i just read. It sounds good tho. I will wait for the next posts about it


+ hife on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:20 am said:

Been looking forward to this game. I’m even more excited now that I know it was inspired by a real guy.


+ improperlyaged on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:24 am said:

Even though the graphics look good and the story sounds intriuging can developers please for the love of god leave WWI and WWII alone already i mean every year for the last 20 yrs there are a dozen or so games based on one fo the 2 wars with all the wars that have happened since and before than can u guys please give us some different settings. we can only kill so many germans people. i mean seriously.


+ Robert-Ninja on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:31 am said:

Ouch – one of the only games to fully feature an Irish man as a main character and you make him look as stereotypically dorky looking and with those STUPID & UGLY farmer hats.

I hope his irishness is not over expressed in the game like anything non American and non English is. That said, interested in the game and hope to see some vids whenever.


+ XxBigP123xX on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:39 am said:

Been keeping my eye on this one. If it turns out good I’ll get it around Christmas.


+ CartBlanche on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:40 am said:


I love the art style and Uncharted as shown that an every-man kind of character, even if a little larger than life, can make their way into gamers’ hearts.

Am I right in thinking this is a multi-platform game? Was the game engine built on the PS3 first, then ported or visa versa?

    Tom French's Avatar


    + Tom French on October 2nd, 2009 at 3:21 pm said:

    You\’re absolutely right. We planned this to be a multi-platform game from the get go of development.

    When we started working on the game it was impossible to get PS3 dev kits at that time so we did start on \”the other platform\” but eventually we partnered up with another group to help work on the PS3. Within a couple months we had the game development going in pretty much tandem.


+ RunnerKyle on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:44 am said:

I’m really hoping this game turns out to be good. The story line looks great and unique!


+ Bloody_Marcel on October 2nd, 2009 at 10:48 am said:

Is this one of those multi-platform titles which are pimped on this *SONY* blog despite running better on the 360?

Lead development on Microsoft system.
Promote game on Sony blog.

Hmm… I consider this way of doing things slightly disgusting.

Ready to eat my shoes if this turns out to perform at least equally on both platforms.



+ Humanbones on October 2nd, 2009 at 11:08 am said:

Am not interested in ANYTHING with Pandemics hands in it,If Mercenaries 2 is anything to go by,Then I can say with relative ease that this game will be a bug fest and will get no support to fix problems,Pandemic has completly ignored the Mercenaries 2 community by not fixing the bug riding game or the unlockable trophies for those people that bought the game and earned over million due to the stupid trophies devs tie to online material or leaderboard material.

I strongly suggest others to look the other may with this game as well,We should not support such lazy,Unsupportive,unresponsive and very incapable studios such as Pandemic!.


+ VROOMVROOM on October 2nd, 2009 at 11:19 am said:

Lol he got recruited by “SOE” (Sony Online Entertainment)


+ TailsTheCat on October 2nd, 2009 at 11:36 am said:

Cant wait for this. Love the black and white.


+ twooh on October 2nd, 2009 at 12:15 pm said:

I think those screens look awesome.

To the dev – What’s the lead platform? Cause I’m getting sick of missing out from games that use the other box as the lead platform. Cause using the ps3 as the lead, you get a better game.

    Tom French's Avatar


    + Tom French on October 2nd, 2009 at 3:23 pm said:

    See my response on #36.


+ starBlinky01 on October 2nd, 2009 at 12:39 pm said:

@1 What is wrong with you? Do you really think they copied Naughty Dog? Maybe it was Naughty Dog who copied them!!

Or maybe, just maybe, two different devs had nearly the same epic idea for a train level.

Honestly I just hope your post was an attempted joke.

    Tom French's Avatar


    + Tom French on October 2nd, 2009 at 3:26 pm said:

    Definitely coincidence. Kinda like how Inglorious Bastards being set in an over the top WWII occupied France is a a coincidence.

    The reason we have a big train mission in the game is if you research the French Resistance it\’s hard to avoid pictures of them sabotaging trains. We thought that would be cool to do inside our game and it\’s literally one of the first things we prototyped in preproduction of the game. We wanted to not only destroy the train but also have moments where you would be on the train, classic movie style. It\’s a giant mission. You can find video footage of me doing a play through of it if you search the internet a bit. :)


+ coronakid71 on October 2nd, 2009 at 1:53 pm said:

this game looks cool


+ Enigma777 on October 2nd, 2009 at 2:25 pm said:

This game looks great! I bet it will be the sleeper hit of the year…

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