Set in the backdrop of Nazi-occupied France, The Saboteur follows the story of Sean Devlin, an Irish racing mechanic on a personal vendetta to find and Kill the Nazi criminals who murdered his friends. The Saboteur sports a very unique art style that only the team at Pandemic could pull off.
With the city of Paris being such an unfamiliar setting for the team, they knew that they would have to do an extensive amount of research on it. The crew researched everything from the original inhabitants of Paris in the Middle Ages to the current inhabitants of the city in the Modern Ages. “From the limestone quarries all the way up through to the rich 1920s, I was looking for anything I could get my hands on,” said Art Director Christopher Hunt on the extensiveness of his research.
Of course, you can only learn so much about Paris from reading books and watching film. In order to fully understand how the city operates, you have to actually live there. And that’s exactly what the Pandemic art team did in 2006. “We took tons of video, thousands of pictures, and I grabbed as much reference about the history of architecture as I could,” said Hunt on his experiences living in Paris. “Saw lots of people, grabbed heaps of books, walked for miles and miles. We spent all up about a year and a half researching and working out how we were going to lay this story out and how we were going to build the city. It was actually quite a serious undertaking. We developed a heap of new tools so when we had the city laid out, we could be true to the real city,” he added.
Hunt explained the team’s plan to capture the most important details of the city: “We set out this huge map pointing out where we wanted to go, where the game was to be played out. We then figured out a snapping system on the street corners so that we could include the beautiful eight-way intersections or five-way intersections.”
Hunt wanted every detail of the game to mimic real life, so that the player can have a true sense of history while enjoying the game. “Looking toward each crossway, verging streets could be at 15 or 35 degree angles and you could see down the adjoining streets and it could still look natural ‘ingame.’ We had to have these angles set so the buildings could be designed, based on that,” he said.
The art team’s main goal for The Saboteur was to get the city in the game looking identical to the actual city that they visited. Hunt and the rest of the team made sure to include every tiny detail of the city in the game; from the full spectrum of the districts to the lively lights and distinct architecture.
The Saboteur is due out this Winter for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.