Posted by Guest Writer on Fri, 10 Jul 2009.
Cole Macgrath is a delivery boy (man) living in Empire city. As he was delivering a package, he got a mysterious phone call to open it. Then Kaboom the city exploded a massive shockwave tore one of the three islands apart and Cole was sitting right in the middle of it. Waking up dazed and confused Cole limps over to the suspension bridge to find his buddy Zeke waiting on the other side. As he crosses there is a massive lightning storm that rages across the bridge killing many innocents trying to get to safety and lots of rescue teams trying to save them are also caught in the storm. As Cole finally crosses the bridge managing to avoid the chaos that is surrounding him he finally collapses on the other side of the bridge, his best buddy Zeke there ready to haul him off back to his place as the storm almost magically departs.
This is how they welcome you to the glorious and fictional Empire City. Designed and developed by Sucker Punch Productions. A little known game company that brought us the very under appreciated Sly Raccoon series. I was impressed to hear they were still in business when I heard about infamous for the first time as I expected they went under after their last game ‘Sly Raccoon 3’ didn’t seem to make any sales at all. But here we are with a revolutionary title that hopefully will be an console defining exclusive for the PS3. Yup, sorry Xbox Fans but inFamous is a PS3 title only and I’m glad to hear it.
The selling point for infamous is Coles lightning powers. They slowly grow and evolve through the game, but this is another sandbox super hero title with the little twist of a Karma rating. You can choose to be good or evil much like Fable. But being good or evil plays a big part on your powers and abilities. As you level them and your Karma rating alters, they power up differently. As a general rule of thumb, evil powers explode and take up lots of energy and cause massive splash damage. Good powers allow you to be more precise, and are very accurate and energy conserving.
After the brief movement control tutorial it then starts to let you roam a bit. You have to follow Zeke to a car, where a dealer has left him a gun. As you see, now the city is in turmoil and Zeke feels he needs a little protection. Also the electric coursing through your veins blew up the last gun you came in contact with. Also happens to be why you can’t sit in cars. So you get to run around the city behind Zeke just have a little bit of a look round then Zeke’s realises that under a car in a car park wasn’t the best place to ask for the gun to be dropped off. Now you get to use your new ability to quickly push all the cars out of the way and safe Zeke quite a lot of time.
Next you head to the centre of town where supplies have been dropped but they’re stuck up a large sculpture and thanks to the electricity enforcing your body and your parkour skills you are able to climb up and free the supplies from the tower. Theres the free running tutorial and next is the fighting tutorial. The local baddies want to come in and claim the supplies for themselves and Cole uses his newfound abilities to fight them off. Tutorial over. Now Cole is left with a tough decision however, does he let everyone get a piece of the food, or does he blast a couple of people to scare them off so he can keep the food for him and Zeke. This is where the Karma decisions lie, this one doesn’t change anything specific about the game but it’s still a slight dilemma save everyone? Or save your friends and loved ones. This is a basic day in the life of Cole Macgrath.
I loved the powers and the development of your abilities in inFamous I thought it was very well done and scaled. There was never a part where something was too hard or too easy. There was always a challenge but never a struggle. Agreed some powers are unnecessary you really only need 1 power to get through the game, but the variety makes some situations a lot easier as some enemies learn and respond to the same beatings over and over again. The free running and travelling system is immaculate you can fluidly traverse the whole city without a single stop or jerky in between. You launch, glide, sprint launch, glide, climb effortlessly into each other and because travelling isn’t a chore it allows you to look around and enjoy the views Empire city has to offer.
Another part I loved was where I actually was struggling to make morale decisions, for instance a black ooze is in the water mains. Zapping it overcharges the pumps and floods the water with the poisonous ooze killing 100’s. Whereas blowing it up causes it to cover you and you become poisoned and it weakens your attacks and causes you to hallucinate. If your playing good like I was it really makes you want to just overcharge them because the second you get covered enemies will appear and gank you where you stand. I thought this was really quite good, as morale decisions are generally that’s good that’s bad, you choose based on what you intend to play they never really make you actually want to sway a little.
A few little niggles such as sometimes for not reason at all a like bubble of invisible solid matter won’t allow me to move into a certain area, purely a glitch of some sort that will be patched soon no doubt, but that was a pain when I was chasing someone and got caught in it. I also wish there was an ability to pick up vehicles up and throw them, purely for gratuitous purposes but that would have been nice. Finally the side missions that free the islands from the current gang inhabitants. Basically each island is ruled by a different gang, 3 islands, 3 gangs. The gangs control 100% of each island. As you complete side missions you free more and more of the islands. The liberated sections are supposedly gang free, but you still sometimes get some gang members. But definitely significantly less than before. My only problem with this system was by the end it wasn’t fun anymore. Last 10% of an island and it takes me 4 missions that I’ve already done before on the other islands. But in all honesty I just like to write something bad about a game so I don’t eternally praise it, I’m nitpicking really, don’t let those few details sway you, you only notice them at the end of the game and at this point you have so many fun powers to play with, it’s just fun.
Once the game ends, and all the side missions are completed and the story is done. The city still needs saving, there are still gang members roaming and mugging pedestrians. Giant monsters tearing through the police. No longer necessary but still adds a little bit of fun if you feel like playing the game again but not from the beginning. Just playing about with the powers, that sort of thing. Nice little extra I thought.
All in all a very good game for the PS3 definitely a must buy for PS3 owners especially ones with a soft spot for super heroes. If you’re the unfortunates still looking for validation to buy a PS3 this is certainly a game that gives you a reason to get one, Sucker Punch are big Sony Players and hopefully they will remain exclusive to Sony for ever and ever.
- Review by Scrunchie