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Oct 02

Developer Diary: The Saboteur for PS3

Tom French's Avatar Posted by 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.

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wolfzero1 said:

October 2nd, 3:52 pm

ever since I first heard about this game I’ve been really looking forward to it, it nice to see a game based on WWII events that is not going to be another garden variety shooter

nikeforces said:

October 2nd, 5:20 pm

It looks like a cool game. I dont care if its a big Uncharted ripoff(referring to other people’s post). Good game = good fun. but i will need to see some more vids and stuff i just have researched cause i’ve been reading everything on Demon’s Souls, Uncharted 2, and Borderlands

mattroks101 said:

October 2nd, 6:14 pm

Mr. French i’m really looking forward to tis game and have for a while i really like thea rt desighn and i hope the gameplay matches to the pics, one thing i do want to say is that when the guy sprints it kinda looks like a blocky animation, kinda cartoony, but i’m still picking up this game regardless because it looks so cool

mattroks101 said:

October 2nd, 6:15 pm

sorry about all the misspellings but it’s late and i’m really tired

Dark_Vincent said:

October 2nd, 6:23 pm

Tom French good job replying to all the users’ comments and questions about your game. I was interested on The Saboteur as soon as I heard the concept, I’m all for sandbox games that explore exotic settings such as inFAMOUS and your game. I would love to hear and see more :) Post again on the PSBlog whenever you have the chance!!

Btw, being compared to Uncharted can be seen as a form of flattery. The guys at Naughty Dog made an incredible franchise after all and I’m sure you agree with me on this one :)

    Tom French's Avatar

    Tom French said:

    October 3rd, 1:12 pm

    Yeah, I couldn\’t agree more about being compared to Uncharted. Like I said before, I\’m a big fan of Drake and can\’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.

prinny007 said:

October 3rd, 1:20 am

I’m getting this.

mattroks101 said:

October 3rd, 7:41 am

sorry for so many post but i’ve got alot of questions, in the cinimatic trailer it showed hand to hand combat, will it have anyform of hand to hand combat?

    Tom French's Avatar

    Tom French said:

    October 3rd, 1:14 pm

    No worries, feel free to keep asking away.

    Yeah, there\’s a melee fighting system in the game the player can use whenever they want. It\’s pretty brawler like fitting with Sean\’s personality. It\’s a combination of jabs, big punches, kicks, head butts, elbows, grabs, throws, etc.

hush404 said:

October 3rd, 1:50 pm

The game looks promising. I’ve been following it for a lil bit and really like what I see… but more importantly …

your beard rawks :D

Keep it up, will continue anticipating the game.

shadowkiller11 said:

October 3rd, 2:19 pm

Ah yes more coverage for the game, i was wondering i loved mercenaries 2 but is The Saboteur going to have a similar mission design? as i felt that was the only real major negative to mercenaries 2. One more thing will the soundtrack from the trailers be in the retail game? thanks i most likely buy this at worst a christmas present.

    Tom French's Avatar

    Tom French said:

    October 3rd, 2:26 pm

    I\’m planning on covering this in a blog I\’ll be doing in the near future. For now the best way to describe it is the missions in The Saboteur don\’t feel like your traditional sandbox game missions. They feel more like missions you would play in a more level based game.

    More on this soon though…

    Tom French's Avatar

    Tom French said:

    October 3rd, 2:30 pm

    I think there will be some announcement on this at some point soon. I can say some of it for sure is in the game but I can\’t promise all of it.

superstewie said:

October 3rd, 3:57 pm

will it come with a complimentary spa vacation?
seeing as you answer, i could always ask :P

zaltar said:

October 3rd, 6:54 pm

This looks like an excellent game! I love the black and white coloring, it really completes the WW2 era feeling.

Anyways, I really can’t wait to see this game finished.

Good luck with the rest of the production! ;)


trustkill said:

October 7th, 10:29 pm

I’m really hoping this game makes a decent splash in the gaming scene. I love how you guys are taking some chances making the game b&w with color splashed in. add an angry irishman and nazi… how can you go wrong?

    Tom French's Avatar

    Tom French said:

    October 22nd, 4:33 pm

    I like to think you can\’t!

QuarantinedHog said:

October 18th, 8:29 pm

This looks like a really good game from what ive seen floating around the interwebz but im curious can the main character die or does he just taking rockets till you beat the game?

    Tom French's Avatar

    Tom French said:

    October 22nd, 4:33 pm

    Hahaha, no, Sean can die. Sometimes the footage you see is in god mode do an accidental error (IE, getting hit in the face with a rocket) won\’t kill Sean and make us have to redo the whole demo. :)

QuarantinedHog said:

October 18th, 8:34 pm

appologies for stupidity in previous post is there going to be some sort of demo if possible ?

    Tom French's Avatar

    Tom French said:

    October 22nd, 4:35 pm

    No worries about your previous question! It\’s perfectly valid especially if you saw the one I\’m thinking about where the guy demoing was blasted by a rocket and flew off the roof into the streets. Woops!

    There haven\’t been any announcements about a demo.

fournier said:

October 19th, 2:28 am

wow this game looks amazing! I have watched the stage demo and trailers. My wife is getting it for me for Christmas, and i was wondering if any themes for the ps3 or psp will be made for it and avatars for the psn. the game actually caught my eye because your character dresses and looks a bit like me lol. then watching the rest sold me on it. cant wait for Christmas!!

Tom French's Avatar

Tom French said:

October 22nd, 4:36 pm

Hey, thanks for all the questions. Sorry the last few took a bit to get to, it’s been busy times around here at camp Saboteur.

Check in Friday (10/23) tomorrow for the next blog…

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