I know this may sound weird, but I have been
waiting for that big budget, "holy-cow" barn burner of a title for the PS3
for a while. Oh sure, fans may clamor that Metal Gear Solid came out not too
long ago, or that GTA 4 was a biggie, but in my opinion, GTA doesn't count
cause it came out for the 360 and Metal Gear was somewhat of a
disappointment for me. Yes, I know Killzone 2 was a pretty good game as was
Little Big Planet (don't be sending me any hate mail) but I'm talking a big
time action title that blows the doors off. My point is, that game is here.
So inFAMOUS is here and you get to play as
a man named Cole. Cole was delivering a package (as he is a courier) and,
well darn it all, a massive explosion rips from that very package, creating
widespread fear, killing thousands and creating a sort of no-man's land. You
see, the explosion was of the weird variety and in the days following,
lawlessness and chaos began to rule. The police were either killed or went
into hiding and the Government has decided that Empire City needs to be
sealed off in order to contain any possible ramifications that are
undoubtedly going to occur.
"No matter how tough you get, there's always someone bigger who wants to
knock you off your pedestal."
So where does that leave Cole? Well, he was
affected by the explosion, but many others weren't and now he's gaining some
interesting powers based on electricity, oh, and he can survive mind numbing
falls from insane heights. Many of the people believe Cole is responsible
and gangs have stepped up to fill the power vacuum that has been
created. Most of the population is terrified, murder and violent crimes
plague the streets, who will answer the call for help? You of course, being
bestowed of super human powers you have the ability to restore law and
order, to unite the common man and to fight the good fight for an
oppressed Empire City.
Or you can choose to be a jerk.
And here is where inFAMOUS turns a good
game into a great game. You see, you are one powerful dude, and you can
pretty much sit back and do what you want. And that means hording supplies,
making the citizens fear you and basically becoming an almost omnipotent
enemy of the people. Will you make moral choices for the good or the bad,
all your decisions will effect the game and
as you go, your appearance and powers will reflect an evil or good side.
Electric blue and a healthy looking skin tone show that you are someone
people can ask help for, and as you do more and more heroic things, people
will cheer you on and rush to see you. A wicked red and an evil temperament
will make people flee at your sight, and villains see you as rivals.
"Trust me buddy, you are not going to be getting up anytime soon."
Now you can play this game one way or another,
and my recommendation is for you to do just that, if only to see how
differently the story and missions unfold and how wickedly fun it can be to
try and do things against your own moral grain. The one thing I did notice,
is that there is no 100% going one way or another. Inevitably, you will kill
a bad guy gang member after safely restraining them, and that is considered
an evil act. Likewise, if you are an evil character, simply completing
missions that have you moving the game forward is a good act, for not doing
them would stall out the game.
Now I wouldn't be doing this game justice if I
didn't talk about Empire City itself. No matter what you choose, there is
something always happening, people minding their business or getting mowed
down by gangland violence. You can and will see so much and there is so many
things to find its insane. You see, prior to the blast Cole was an expert
freerunner and urban explorer, meaning you can climb up buildings and
traverse the city from the rooftops, having the ability to survive literally
any fall is a plus. But know that Cole controls and does all sorts of Jackie
Chan style stunts and leaps, it is really quite smooth and a pleasure to
work with. In fact as Cole's powers increase you can get new ones that help
you move around even faster.
Now don't go thinking that Cole is going to
waltz through the game, because he isn't. With the exception of your initial
bolt throw, any special attack will drain your power meter. This is combined
with a life meter and then a karma meter. Knowing which is which can be
helpful since you have to recharge when you run down on power or the in-game
cutscenes reveal a plot device that leave you drained. With a city that is
not fully functional anymore, finding power can be tough sometimes. Your
life meter on the other hand is a little more sketchy, while you may be able
to survive a 220 foot fall, you can only take so many bullets from a gang
member's machine gun, if you take too much damage the screen starts shading
to black and white meaning its time to take cover. Taking cover for a short
period restores your health.
"I'm sorry sir, the transit authority does not recognize this seat as an
approved mode of travel, please return to the lower compartment."
Now, the story itself is played out in action
styled comic book montage's with your friends providing the human side of
the game. You see the game has some real repercussions and even your
girlfriend is keeping you at arm's length since her sister died in the
initial explosion. I don't want to ruin anything, so I will keep this brief,
but inFAMOUS does have a serious side to it and the plot itself is
full of intrigue and surprise. On more then one occasion I did not
see certain plot turns coming. This is what I would call a top tier game.
I will tell you that inFAMOUS does possess
a mess load of fantastic looking graphics and incredible sound. I will only
play this game cranked up on the surround sound because it makes everything
seem so much more involved. Great sound effects, great voice acting and it
all comes together beautifully. And on the same side, the lighting and
particle effects of the visuals are astounding, when you play this game on
your high-def TV, chances are you will be smiling the whole time. The
architecture that went into designing Empire City is a feat all to itself,
hiding things throughout the city and applying the details to make it all
seem so real was and is an incredible task. My hats off to Sucker Punch
studios who answered the call to duty for making this game.
Moving around the city with ever expanding
superpowers has rarely been this fun. The game was made by the folks who did
the Sly Cooper games, and that is a compliment in itself. Fast paced,
wickedly entertaining, this game has the moves and knows how to use them.
Another plus in the game is the boss designs,
the varied gangs that rule the streets and the lurch in your gut you get
when you jump off a high building, seriously, it gives your stomach the
Cole sounds a bit more tough guy then I would
have pegged a courier to sound like, but he does deliver his lines correctly
and that included the genuine inflection when breaking the bad news to an
electrician who's wife was murdered.
You will die and the game makes it so you pick
up relatively close to where you were when you croaked. Getting flanked by
the somewhat surprisingly smart A.I. will tick you off, having super powers
does not mean you can be bullish about things.
A super hero game with moral and ethical choices
that's fun to boot. The game can be a bit heavy handed in how you make your
choices, but still, it works well.
I really do think this game is the real deal.
Its a shame there hasn't been a bigger marketing push for it, I could see
this becoming a mega franchise. Let me put it to you this way, if you own a
PS3 then you must own this game.