Nazi-occupied France in the 1940s... What do you mean you've been there before? Many, many times? And you could walk down every rue and plaza blindfold, the amount of times you've liberated the city from the Germans?
Okay, we admit that our first reaction on discovering that our pals at Pandemic were at work on yet another 360 WWII title was exasperation - but luckily they also realise that there's a lot of competition out there, which is why Saboteur has been packed wall-to-wall with novelty and innovation.
For a start, you're not a soldier, nor even a trained killer. The third-person action sees you as Sean, an Irish race-driver who finds himself in the French capital on the eve of the Nazi invasion, looking for the specific goose-steppers who brutally killed his best pals. In a potentially controversial move, our hero isn't too bothered about battling fascism - if his exploits hamper Adolf's plans for world domination, that's just a bonus. Revenge is Sean's raison d'etre.
So we're already two important distinctions from your run-of-the-mill WWII game up - but Pandemic rarely do things by halves, and there's a lot more to Saboteur's singularity than this.
NICE & NAZI
As you can tell from the shots here, there's a striking monochrome/colour feature running through Saboteur, bringing to mind both Schindler's List and arty PS2 hit Okami. As Sean stealths his way around the roofs and backstreets of Paris, no matter what his motives, he can do his bit to support the Resistance, and restore hope to some of the most oppressed areas of town - what's known as the 'Will To Fight' system. Nazi strongholds and scenes of danger will be presented in stark black and white, but once you've quietly slaughtered the invaders and foiled the plans of the Nazi scum, you'll see the streets and their occupants gradually returning to full, rich colour.
Some neat ways to keep a low profile have been mentioned, such as grabbing a passing femme to snog as the bosche round the corner. But the more of an annoyance to the Nazis you become, the hotter the city gets for you, and no amount of stealth and anonymous sabotage will save you from detection - cue one of Saboteur's real strong points: desperate car chases through the city. Well, Sean is a racing star after all - and, yep, we can see those crates of chickens being turned over already.
Pandemic have clearly gone out of their way to catch war gamers off-guard with a whole new approach to the hostilities, with the well-trod tales of battle and glory being just the backdrop to Sean's story. As game director Trey Watkins says, "Much in the way people don't think of Indiana Jones as a war movie, this isn't a WWII game." It's not as if we don't know what's going on out on the battlefield or in the skies - there's an abundance of WWII titles that let us fight for King and Country, with more on the horizon. But perhaps it's time for a fresh perspective.