Hey guys, I just got back from my little world tour (San Francisco, London, Moscow, whew!) showing off The Saboteur‘s open-world/sandbox gameplay and perks system, so I figured this might make a good topic to add to my developer diary series on The Saboteur for PS3.
One of the reasons we built a scaled down version of Paris was to make sure we could create a world filled with stuff to do. Every block of Paris has content in it; in fact, it’s not just Paris but our entire world is filled with plenty of stuff. So what is all this our world is filled with? The Nazi occupation, which includes things like sniper towers, AA guns, Nazi tanks, SS generals, propaganda speakers, search lights, radar dishes, and more. These occupation targets are like a collections mechanic, but instead of passively finding these things in the world and walking over them, you’re blowing them up.
There are roughly about 1300 of these spread throughout our entire game, so you see I wasn’t kidding when I said every block has content in it. You also earn contraband for destroying these Nazi objects, which is our currency in the game because money was worthless during the war. Their destruction is persistent so taking these out in advance might actually help you with a mission in that area later on because you’re not getting attacked by a sniper anymore, for example. There’s a great risk/reward for destroying this stuff, though. If the Nazis see you, you’ll raise suspicion and someone will blow a whistle, setting off the alarms and bringing in Nazi reinforcements. So you should always make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into when deciding to destroy them, because you might get a bunch of Nazis onto your heels. You’ll then have to either escape the alarm area or cool down the alarms by using one of the game’s hiding spots like the rooftop shacks or public “pissoirs.” This is actually a good time to work on your perks.
Perks are a way for the player to improve Sean’s skills. You see, Sean’s a racecar driver by trade, not a soldier, and he gets better by doing things. Blow up enough Nazi installations and Sean will plant explosives faster. Kill enough guys with a machine gun and Sean will better understand how to hold the gun, reducing the recoil when firing. Shoot five guys with a scoped rifle and the drift will be reduced, making it easier to aim with a scope. Each perk has three tiers to it. The first tier is pretty easy, but tier two and three require the player to set more micro-objectives. Take sniping for example; tier two requires fifteen head shots with a scoped rifle. But the rewards get better the higher tier the perk. Perks sometimes improve skills, unlock all new mechanics (e.g. the ability to plant explosives in a car while driving, then bail out creating a car bomb), or unlock weapons in the black market shops.
The black market is the place where Sean can stock up with all kinds of gear by trading in the contraband he has earned. There’s all kinds of weapons: machine guns, rifles, sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns, explosives, etc — but it’s not just weapons. There are different upgrades to be found as well! For example, you can increase the different amounts of ammo Sean can carry or you can choose to equip the Resistance with better weapons. This is obviously useful because, like I mentioned in the previous post, the Resistance shows up in the High Will to Fight areas in the streets or at the fight-back zones. So helping them out with better equipment will actually help you in return. The black market shops also offer area maps, which will mark the locations of the occupation I mentioned above. As I mentioned earlier, there are about 1300 of these in the game, and having a map that shows you where to look will definitely help you destroy them all. These maps also mark locations of things like resistance supply crates (filled with contraband and sometimes bonus weapons), “sweet jumps”, monument postcards, and scenic spots. They’re quite helpful for those looking to earn some contraband or for those completionist types like me.
And you can do this stuff whenever you want, in or out of missions. It’s really up to you when you deal with it, but you might want to think about taking it out sooner rather than later; because it’s always there… watching and waiting.