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Infamous Review
Posted on March 20, 2010 by OG

Infamous is a sandbox title brought to you by Sucker Punch. The creators behind the Sly Cooper series left their furry protagonist to create a brand new superhero action game. Being one of Sony’s only exclusive open world games, pressure was at a reasonable high.

This games story is set in Empire City, you play as Cole MacGrath. Cole is a carrier who delivers a presumed normal package which in fact, is a bomb that takes out most of the city. After a miraculous survival Cole awakens to find out that his body has been enhanced with electric powers. With the city in devastating conditions the citizens’ form gangs, with everyone looking to survive with a kill or be killed mentality. Along the way Cole gets the attention of Moya, a government agent who barters with him to help find her missing husband John. With Cole’s new found gifts it’s up to him to restore balance to the city or unleash total chaos upon it.

Infamous is a third-person action adventure game with a robust city to explore. Different missions occur in the game along with side missions. Electric powers are granted serving you generously for traveling the city, combat, and platforming. The whole mix gives you a pleasuring experience to play.

Throughout the game you will receive various missions that follow the story line. Majority are centered on the dilemmas Cole will have over his city, to be either good or infamous. For example, in one of the early missions, the city is given a supply of food and Cole has a great decision to make. He can either take all the food for himself, or share the food with hungry citizens. Either choice raises his karma meter to positive or negative. These events happen frequently, resulting in you changing the outcome of the story. For each successful mission, territory is taken back from the gangs to restore balance; this unlocks places such as hospitals Cole can use. When introduced to different islands, you are responsible for turning on the islands power located in the sewers. With each recharge to one of the islands you are granted new abilities.

Side missions consist of two sets, good side missions and evil. Good side missions could be anywhere from escorting gang members for the cops, or helping citizens locate a missing person. Evil ones range from performing hits on people, to causing havoc in the city. Good and evil side missions greatly increases your positive or negative karma. A few powers you have will only be granted by obtaining a level of certain karma. Some side missions can feel repetitive and weak; the worse was being tasked to remove cameras from a woman’s apartment.

Traversing Empire City can be slow from the beginning, since you can only travel by foot, power lines, or use your electric current. Eventually, you will get upgrades such as using your abilities to grind on power lines, railroad tracks, and gliding via electric current. Additionally, there are creative platforming sections. Since Cole’s body is attracted to metal you can stick to certain objects inadvertently, making some platforming bothersome.

Cole is literally a living battery meaning that he will need to recharge when using his powers. Fortunately there are many electric devises such as, street lights, generators, and even cars you can use to get your juice up. Also in areas without electricity, Cole is severely weaker and can be an easy target. Cole’s body is always storing electricity, so taking a swan dive into a pool of water isn’t ideal for staying alive. Your health also can be replenished with the use of recharging and taking cover from damage.

In the game Cole will be confronted with fiends from small groups, mini bosses, and bosses. Since the blast affected Cole, it has infected the citizens as well. The enemies are very refreshing with new ones popping up as you progress through the game, since each island has a different gang. At some points you will battle from forty to fifty foes at once. Cole has a variety of electric moves at his disposal, such as electric grenades and reigning down lightning to take down large opponents. Your enemies can be troublesome, with some having moves that are ineffective making you act carefully. AI is pretty good with some baddies working with each other to defeat you.

Graphic wise the game is pretty decent for being an open world title. With so much going on such as explosions, or weather effects there is minimal screen tearing. Cutscenes are displayed in a gritty, comic book like storyboard that sets it apart from other games. The city itself is pretty big to explore, buildings are half destroyed, some looking like they were formed straight from a junk yard. Some characters do look recycled and rehashed. Also a few technical bugs were present, like some citizens being stuck, or Cole shuffling between bodies in the street.

Sounds are pretty cohesive with the visuals and make it a joy to play for all senses. Infamous has a musical score that fits well with the actions you will be tasked to do. The only problem that remains sound wise is that the voice actor for Cole is very monotone, which can make him come off as apathetic. Being an action game, explosions aren’t a shocker and they are brought to life well by the sound effects. Also, sounds of electric powers do fit to the imagination of what static blasts would sound like originating from the human body.

Since you finish the game as Hero or Infamous it gives you a high rate of replayability to be the other. Collectables such as Blast Shards are necessary to get, but can be tedious if you plan to find all 300 plus of them. With this game I clocked in at a good 15 to 18 hours counting side missions and collectables. Even with the game being lengthy, replaying it as either good or evil Cole makes it all new.

There will be times that you will just want to use powers over and over again on enemies just to see how cool it looks. The move list in the game is just right, where you don’t have to rely too heavily on button memorization. It was a bold move for Sucker Punch to start a new franchise but I think with Infamous they have secured its place with the greats in Sony’s gaming library. Infamous delves deep into what a superhero game should do by getting more intimate with your player, and pulls it off with style.

- Cliff

OG - Editor-in-Chief / Original Gamer og (@) | all author's articles

Is crowd funding the way of the future?

Absolutely. It gives power to the gamers by letting them pay for the games they want to see.
Nope. Crowd sourcing will be fine for a year or two until too many developers do not follow through with their games and waste our money.
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