Ladies and Gentlemen… A new standard has been set in third-person shooting.
There’s no need to beat around the bush – that would only keep me away from my PS3 longer than necessary.
InFAMOUS is a fantastic game with a deep story and an incredibly addictive combat system.
We’ve seen the formula before in open-world combat games. Beat the crap out of people, use super-powers, unlock more superpowers (with which you can beat the crap out of people with even more sophistication), and find out more about the protagonist while doing so.
You start off with basically nothing… except electric hands.
Yes, very cool.
You quickly find out you’re a courier named Cole who was carrying a package/bomb that ended up a leveling the city – Empire City. You’ve got a buddy named Zeke (with a pretty dope setup on a roof), who will keep you in touch with how the world feels about you. Not too long after testing the basic functions of your capabilities you get a call from a government woman named Moya – who, without spoiling the story, acts as your guide for what has to be done.
There are your main objectives (highlighted with a blue exclamation point on your map) and your side missions (which are of the yellow variety, and upon completion, create a small protection zone in the city) – some are good and some are… you guessed it… bad.
Completing a good mission will block out a bad one, reclaim a section of the city, and boost your karma towards becoming a “hero” – whereas, if you go the route of the red lightning, you are drifting towards becoming “infamous.”
The city starts to heal or decay based on your actions. The citizens will also act differently based on your choices (people used to curse me – now they take my picture). And your unlockable powers will be reflective of your decisions.
The powers themselves not only look cool… but they’re also very functional and fun to use. When you combine them (to make for “stunts”) you get extra experience points which obviously allows you to unlock bigger, better, and flashier superpowers quicker.
In all, it’s tough to really describe exactly what makes InFAMOUS so much fun and addictive.
Cole is incredibly powerful, but certainly not invulnerable. There’s a great sense of freedom – with every building being completely scalable – and it simply feels good, to me at least, to actually see the reward of doing good.
SuckerPunch has done a phenomenal job of grasping the importance of the environment and applying it to Empire City.
The character models are solid. The cut-scenes are in classic graphic-novel fashion and really play off the whole comic book storyline. The lightning effects are crisp and clean. The only drawback is that sometimes you will get lost in a camera angle.
From the pitter patter of your footsteps on a rooftop, to your voice picking up an echo in a tunnel, to the soft buzzing of the electric current running through your hands, the sound effects are done very well. The music plays a solid role in building up tension as the threat of enemies increases.
The freedom feels similar to “Ultimate Spiderman.” There are no buildings that can’t be climbed. You can’t fly, but eventually you can float. And the superpowers are extremely rewarding when you can unlock them.
OVERALL (not an average): 9.3/10
I think I’ve developed an addiction. Seriously. I’ve played for hours on end, promising myself that I’d stop after 2 missions – only to end up playing 12. I’ve been at this game at a near-constant rate since it came in my possession, and I figure I’m only about halfway through (there’s still a third island to unlock (with a third gang) – and a few more secret powers that have yet to be unveiled.
…then I need to play it all again as evil Cole.
The main question I have is whether this game is simply an early rendition of Prototype (which will be out on June 9th), or whether it will stand superior to what appears to be a very similar game.
…stay tuned… but in the meantime… enjoy the crap out of InFAMOUS
(and don’t neglect your loved ones, like I have)