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Monday, February 8 12:00 AM ET

Electronic Arts Announces The Saboteur 2

By Michael Coyne.

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The Saboteur is barely out of the gate, and most of Pandemic Studios staff have been let go, but EA has announced that, due to unprecedented pre-release sales and online interest in The Saboteur, a sequel is planned for early next year.  And EA doesn't intend The Saboteur 2 to be a simple "episode pack" expansion of the current game.

"We're seeing this sequel more as a reinventing of the original game, rather than a simple sequel," said Josh Resnick, former president of Pandemic Studios, and now associate senior executive level junior vice president at EA. "Just as The Saboteur breaks new ground with its innovative use of color and the Will to Fight factor, The Saboteur 2 will surprise people with its innovations.

"We wanted the sequel to be a distinctive game all its own," insists Resnick, "so we all kind of sat down around a table and bounced some ideas around.  But in the end, it wasn't until John [John Riccitiello, CEO of EA] came in and asked 'What does it really mean to be a saboteur?' that it came to us.  We thought, hey, not just a saboteur but THE saboteur.  Being of a slightly whimsical turn of mind, I took that literally, and suggested we go back to one of the original meanings of the word saboteur."

In the sequel, gameplay will center around the contents of the mysterious chest that Sean delivers to Bishop during the game.  The player, as Bishop, will open the chest and find it is filled with wooden shoes, or "sabots".  From this point on, the player's task will be to sneak around Paris with the crate of shoes, throwing the shoes into various machinery of the occupying German forces, "sabotaging" them.

As the reserve of shoes get depleted, the player will have the opportunity to replenish them, either stealing shoes at night from the unsuspecting peasantry, or assassinating them during the day for their footwear.  As the player gains in thieving and ambushing skills, more valuable shoes can be procured.

"You'll start off with basic balsa wood shoes," says Resnick, "and you'll find it hard to take down anyone with better shoes than that until you've destroyed a fair number of simple German machines--telephones, radios and so on.  Then, as your skills rise, you'll be able to attack the peasants wearing cottonwood shoes.  Once you get those, you can use them to destroy more elaborate German machinery, and from there, work your way up to hardwoods like oak."  At the more advanced stages of the game, the world's hardest woods will be unlocked, giving the player access to the devastating power of lignum vitae, snakewood and teak, capable of destroying German tanks, airships and battle cruisers.

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Resnick also confirmed that multiplayer deathmatch modes will be offered.  "The really interesting part will be that there are no weapons other than shoes available.  So the player that gets to the hardwoods fastest is likely to prevail in deathmatch.  If your opponent manages to get hold of some of those Brazilian olivewood shoes early on, watch out, because it's game over if one of those babies hits you."

The tentative name of the game, chosen, Resnick is quick to point out, by EA CEO John Riccitiello, is The Saboteur 2: Return of the Shoe.  Suggested retail price will be $59.99 for all platforms, with a $10 discount for those who offer proof of purchase of The Saboteur.

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