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The Saboteur looks slick but is unexciting


RATING M for Mature

Forget about the grunt's-eye-view of Call of Duty or Medal of Honor. The hero here is a free agent, a cocky Irishman named Sean Devlin, who's more interested in auto racing than fighting. But after a Nazi kills his best friend, Devlin ends up in Paris, where he's recruited by the French Resistance. So much for saving the world from tyranny - Devlin's motivated by simple revenge.

That entails raising hell all over Nazi-occupied France: stealing German supplies, blowing up their installations and assassinating their leaders. It's like a cross between "Inglourious Basterds" and Grand Theft Auto. The Saboteur borrows very freely from other, better games.

Its open-world mission design is straight out of GTA. Devlin's uncanny ability to scale buildings is reminiscent of Assassin's Creed. And the stealth sequences owe a debt to the Splinter Cell series.

Unfortunately, The Saboteur is never as polished as any of the games that it draws from.

There are some things to like about The Saboteur. With the Nazis in charge, Paris is literally colorless, presented in evocative black and white. As the enemy's influence wanes, more parts of the city come alive with vivid color. It's a clever means to show how much you've accomplished, and the City of Light looks gorgeous either way.

PLOT Create havoc in Nazi-occupied France

DETAILS Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, $60

BOTTOM LINE Looks pretty but fails to ignite

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