Welcomed by a rousing orchestral overture, you’d be forgiven for thinking that The Saboteur, a decidedly late cash-in based on the console game of the same name, shared some of its bigger brother's sandbox scope, budget or quality.

After a string of unavoidable deaths at the hands of an irritatingly sluggish scripted action sequence though, you're sure to realise just how far off that assumption is.

The game begins proper with an escape from an exploding boat.

Taking up the persona of an Irishman named Sean Devlin, an Irishman with a heart of gold and fists of steel (oh please!), during the worst years of the Second World War, you control the action via a virtual directional pad.

In combination with the over-sized sprites and stuttering motion, control never feels direct. Walking angularly, like an 8-bit Pokémon, Sean snags round pillar and post, dying instantly on contact with each stuttering flare.


Gun play is operated by a single icon on the right of the screen, which simultaneously plays host to an irritatingly small dropdown list of weaponry. Guns are aimed automatically at the nearest enemy, though Sean often manages to shoot wide of his glowing target.

With the game’s console sibling marketed as stealth-action, sneaking knife-play has also been forced in, but throats aren’t slit half as much as your iPhone or iPod touch is thrown down in disgust due to clumsy controls.

Still, such issues aside, through its dozen campaign stages, The Saboteur remains a relatively easy experience.

Yet despite the ability to post your achievements to Facebook, there's little reason to return to this downsized effort after the credits roll. You'll likely even regret your first meeting.