on June 10, 2009
Infamous (or inFamous, or INFAMOUS, whatever you call it, it's the same thing) is a fun little game, that made my thumbs happy the past few weeks. The controls are great; the character is finely tuned and responsive, almost to a fault (e.g. if he falls alongside a building, he naturally "attracts" himself to hanging onto a ledge, which could be annoying sometimes). The controls are similar to FPS games in some ways, namely the aiming system, but it's different overall and it is quick and easy to catch onto the controls. The simple act of firing a lightning bolt, or jumping and landing on some pipe, feels great, and the physics certainly doesn't disappoint, as even though the character has plenty of ways of getting around, there is never a moment where it feels unnatural...even when you land a 100 ft fall.
There are also some rpg elements in there as well, namely the experience system in which you can purchase upgrades and new powers. Since you're always going to be encountering enemies every few minutes are so, you never really feel an acute need to gain xp, usually when upgrades are made available, they can be purchased right there. If not, all it takes are a couple fights and maybe a side mission or two, as your xp racks up fast. Building on that, there are some "stunts" you can use which can add to your xp totals, half of which you will most likely come by accidentally, while the other half can be a frustration to do. You also don't receive your complete set of powers until a few missions before the last, and considering that the enemies rack up in difficulty considerably by that time (it's not a walk in the park when you start, either), you'll still be kept on your toes (depending on what you like, this could be a good or a bad thing).
There is also the karma system which is what the game marks himself on, but I think it may actually be the weakest. If you want to ensure that you get to be the strongest you can be, you either have to go completely good or completely evil...if you do a mix of good and evil actions, you won't be able to access certain upgrades and powers. So the game does direct you into an either/or option, and it's a shame there is no middle ground where you can be just as powerful. Additionally, some of the "karmic moments" feel rather forced, and some are actually debatable in what's the good choice and what's the bad one. However, the good side and bad side are markedly different playing styles, and it is fun to play through once and be goody-two-shoes and try to avoid needless killing and helping citizens out, and then playing evil during the second playthrough (yes, it's just as fresh the second time around), and then blasting and killing everything willy-nilly.
The sandbox aspects of the game are great, you start off on one locked area but you're able to move on to the more difficult areas soon enough (which coincide with your increases in power pretty well, not to mention means of travel: the upgrade to grind powerlines and traintracks comes just before your first train mission, for example). At the end of the game, it is fun simply trying to grind powerlines throughout the whole city, trying to find an unbroken path.
Although you will certainly die a lot, the game overall isn't that hard, although i have only played it on medium setting. But whatevs; you get no punishment for dying, and your respawn points are most often reasonable. If you die during a long mission, you wont have to redo the whole thing, just from the last time the game autosaved (usually right before the battle that you died in). One of the character's powers is to suck electricity out of nearby objects, which not only replenishes your energy, but your health as well. So, if you're aware enough and use your radar to find items with electricity, you can ensure a rather uninterrupted playthrough.
Finally, like all sandbox games do, they have little markers spread around the city for you to collect. Now, usually I dislike these, but in this game it is actually quite reasonable, seeing that they can all be found using your radar, and there is enough scattered around that most you will likely come by accidentally anyway. And of course, they serve an actual purpose, in that they increase your capacity for energy. Even if you not actively look for them, you will encounter them enough to fill your gauge to the max, anyway.
Oh, and presentation is well done. The comic scenes are a pleasure to the eyes. The story itself is a bit standard, but nonetheless enjoyable.
If you ever wanted to race across buildings while calling down lightning justice upon unruly hobos, here's your chance.
'Infamous' is one of those games that lives up to its hype in more ways than one. Its combat system is wholly unique among games, relying on non-conventional weapons instead of traditional firearms. The ability to wield electricity in many creative and useful ways is just one of the highlights of the game. When coupled with 'Grand Theft Auto'-style open world gameplay and a solid moral pendulum, 'Infamous' is as much about freedom of choice as action and adventure.
The game opens with Cole MacGrath awakening from a blinding explosion that kills thousands in the blink of an eye, and leaves the rest of Empire City a complete disaster. The government has quarantined the city and falsified media reports in an effort to contain the true threat: an organization called the First Sons who have completed a device called the RaySphere which is capable of granting a normal human being immense and unnatural powers. Cole finds that he has the ability to absorb electricity straight into his body, and harness it as a means of attack. His body is also granted superhuman abilities, allowing him to leap off of skyscrapers without harming himself. Cole soon learns that a man named Kessler has been orchestrating events from behind the scenes in an attempt to draw him out and force a confrontation. Cole must learn Kessler's true motives while staying one step ahead of city gangs and the F.B.I., while perfecting his growing powers.
'Infamous' is largely a non-linear affair. In between main missions, Cole can undertake side missions which will not only grant him the experience points necessary to unlock new powers, but also wrest control of the city's 3 main districts from their dominant gangs. This is a vital aspect of the game, as it will force the player to choose between Good or Evil actions which will directly affect Cole's physical appearance and progression, as well as his reputation among the city's residents. A noble and compassionate player will be admired and loved by civilians, while an evil and selfish Cole may be attacked out of hatred and fear. Cole himself does not rely on firearms or melee weapons, but rather the electricity generated from his own body. Long-time action fans may find this a bit jarring at first, but the patient player will grow to greatly admire this sense of independent weaponry which allows Cole to fire lightning bolts from his hands, toss exploding shock grenades, generate energy shields and even use electric currents to hover in mid-air. Similarly, Cole can upgrade said abilities to grind along telephone wires, cables, and electrified train tracks, as well as heal injured civilians, restrain evil foes with energy binders, or suck the life out of either. There's a great freedom of character progression in the game, and each player will utilize his or her specific set of preferred abilities to get the job done. That being said, most combat takes place within city limits and with innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. Depending on the player's particular style, one can either exercise caution so as not to strike and possibly kill these innocents, or simply fire away full barrel without caring who gets hurt. Even these battles can have a direct impact on Cole's morality. Experience points can be generated in numerous ways, from finishing missions that give gigantic XP bonuses, to simply healing people on the street for incremental XP points.
The storyline is a bit of a mixed bag, and a little hard to follow, especially in the middle. Major foes like Sasha and Alden come out of nowhere, with no real explanation as to how Cole knows them or their particular histories. They merely serve as the "bosses" of the first two districts, leaving Kessler as the third and final boss, and the only one who truly matters. Nevertheless, each of the three bosses must be dispatched using very particular methods, and none of them are even remotely alike. By contrast, the Reapers, Dustmen and First Sons enemies who populate each of the three districts are all the same, relying on rifles, grenades and rocket launchers to try and take you down. The First Sons do have a few tricks up their sleeve, but the player won't notice a strong degree of differentiation here. This also goes for the side missions, which are recycled several times throughout the course of the game. I would have enjoyed it more if some degree of imagination had been put into the missions, rather than sending me on pointless errands to rid apartment buildings of surveillance cameras or some other overused concept. By contrast, the game's challenges are rewards in and of themselves. There are several things to do that maintain the game's longevity and replay value. Cole can treasure hunt around Empire City for blast shards which not only unlock more energy slots, but also grant two trophies, and the player can also seek out "dead drops," which are information relays scattered about the city which contain audio recordings of an undercover agent's infiltration into Kessler's secretive First Sons. There are also stunts that can be performed which serve mainly as bragging rights (and another trophy) that involve specific criteria to unlock, such as striking an opponent with a lightning bolt while in mid-air, then thunder-dropping onto the same enemy in one smooth motion.
Controls are surprisingly intuitive and appreciated. Navigating Cole is a very easy affair, as are performing any of his attacks by utilizing simple button combinations. The default analog stick strength is quite high, so more precise players will no doubt tune it down for finer adjustment during aiming. There is some awkwardness with controls, especially when trying to jump and perform attacks at the same time. Careful timing is needed. The game's jumping and grappling system is well done, but can become burdensome and irritating in the middle of a firefight. The game will naturally align Cole to whatever object is close by while in mid-jump. Although meant as an aid to prevent frustrating falls and make it easier for the player to use the environment to their advantage, it can truly screw up a combat situation when the player wishes to leap from one platform to the other and ends up grabbing onto something completely different, instead. I praise Sucker Punch for going down the route of convenience, but it does have its costs. The game's implementation of enemy NPCs can also be irritating. Enemies populate by quick-spawning, sometimes right before the player's eyes, and can attack from all directions. Even with the use of the shield in the latter part of the game, Cole can find himself overwhelmed with rifle shots that he doesn't have time to find cover against. More often than not, the player will be forced to run down a narrow alleyway and wait for said foes to start funneling down the line to be cooked one by one. Thankfully, most fights are not so cheap, and allow Cole to really unleash some stylish combos and attack patterns.
Graphics are also a mixed bag. Empire City is well-thought out, but it can all look a bit plain and repetitive sometimes. Each of the three districts contains the usual train track, dock area and park locations that are varied up for a bit of difference. Character models are decent, but the real flash is in pryotechnics like Cole's bio-weaponry, car explosions and other bright effects. There's a slight degree of pop-up and a lot of framerate issues, but thankfully neither of these really hamper the gameplay. The game's cutscenes are told via animated comic book panels which add a layer of depth and style onto the already intriguing story. All in all, a great effort, but something that Infamous 2 would easily top. Sound and music are fine, but nothing substantial. Most players won't even notice the music, while sound effects sound very inspired and dynamic. Cole's electricity crackles and surges with each shot, explosions sound intense, and the 5.1 mix rumbles with precise clarity.
What I liked about 'Infamous' was the focus on freedom to tackle situations any way you want, and scour the city for extras even after the game is over. I played through the game twice; the first as a benevolent, compassionate hero who stopped to heal everyone who needed my help, and second as a miserable, selfish, brutally evil bastard. I didn't notice a huge difference in the unveiling of the story between the two. The biggest contrast between the two lies in Cole's relationship with girlfriend Trish, and the end result of beating Kessler in the final act. The only other noticeable area of difference was in regards to the Good and Evil side missions. There are 15 for each side, and accomplishing a Good mission will lock out an Evil mission and vice versa. In the end though, it's roughly the same play through.
'Infamous' deserves points for putting a new spin on a well-tread genre. It's original, smart, creative, and a lot of fun to play. It has its blemishes, but they're largely the result of taking on so much in an attempt to be different. I can't fault Sucker Punch for that. I've played 'Infamous' quite a lot, and I'm still not tired of it.
REPLAY VALUE: 10/10
Infamous is a sandbox superhero game: that is to say, you play as a man with super powers. What sorts Infamous apart from other games in the genre? Games like Spiderman, Prototype and Crackdown? Well, to be honest, not a lot. Let’s take a look why.
Cole MacGrath, our titles main hero is assigned to deliver a package to someone in the Historic District of Empire City. Big surprise, it’s not a ‘package’ so much as it is a device designed to give people super powers by killing everyone in proximity to them. The package – the Ray sphere – gives Cole the ability to channel lightning through his body and use a plethora of different powers, which, over the course of the game he will use to stop crime (or perpetrate it), and find the man who sent him to deliver the package. Labelled as a terrorist, Empire City is quarantined by the Government and Cole is roped into helping a secret agent resolve the crisis.
There are no real twists and turns in the game until the very end, and up until that point it manages to be a fairly weak story. There are few cutscenes to be had, most of character interaction occurring via Cole’s cellphone, and nothing in it is very unique: a man without super powers gains superpowers, and must overcome an adversary who was involved with the incident. It is certainly not a very unique approach to the genre.
The cutscenes are presented in a comic-strip format, and it works well for what it tries to convey. The imagery in this style is well done.
The game starts with some strong character establishment and development, but it quickly tapers off after the first act, as if the developers just stopped caring quarter way through the development of the game.
In the start of the game, inFamous has players throwing cars, shooting lightning and… that’s about it. You quickly come into your powers, namely, the ability to electrocute people and make them explode. Cole needs electricity to stay alive and use his powers; so you'll frequently be juicing up from nearby power sources, something I found was possibly the coolest mechanic in the game.
Enemies flood streets like rats in a sewer. You can’t walk down a single street without having fifteen enemies try to spray you with a hail of bullets, and the sound quickly becomes irritating. Long-range combat early on can be difficult, as swarms of enemies will mow you down before you have a chance to figure out exactly where they are. By completing repetitive side missions (you
You can scale just about anything in the game, but the animations are very, well, bad, a severe disappointment considering Assassin’s Creed, a game where similar parkour skills are on display, came out years earlier and has much better animations. It essentially amounts to Cole feebly performing the same jump over and over again. Coles most valuable skills (the ability to grind on rails) take a while to get, meaning you’re stuck on foot until you’re at least a third of the way through the game. This wouldn’t be a problem if Empire City was so big; but the truth here is obvious: it's there to draw the gameplay time out.
If you could reach your bland mission objectives (go here, kill guys on this boat, go there, kill guys on that boat) quickly, the game would be rather short, as missions seldom take longer than five minutes to complete. The depressing thing is the game is also short - there really aren't a lot of missions to complete in the first place, and if not for having to walk back and forth to objective markers, you'd likely beat the game in an hour flat.
There is a karma system in the game, that affects what powers you can use. Evil actions (murdering citizens, taking their food, being a douchebag all around) turns your electrical powers red, makes everyone in the City hate you and changes inconsequential things in the story. Good? Blue lightning, more focused powers with less destructive capabilities (you won't blow up a whole street with one or two shots). While this is cool from a gameplay perspective, as a story mechanic it is useless as your actions don't really reflect on the story to any meaningful degree.
While the game manages to be fun, it falls into the same trappings of many games in the same genre: it's repetitive. Very, very repetitive. Within the first fifteen minutes of the game, you've seen all you're going to get. It doesn't do anything to change up the gameplay by introducing various challenges or new elements, so it is very much a static game, and after a few hours of playing it can get taxing.
--AUDIO & GRAPHICS --
While inFamous isn't an ugly game, it certainly isn't pretty, even by 2009 standards. The audio levels are so stark in contrast that I didn't even notice there was music playing half the time during the gameplay; but the music was good when it was audible. The voice acting, of course, almost falls flat on it's face. In the beginning it does seem very genuine - a strong start, much like the story, but quickly tapers off and becomes uninteresting noise that serves as exposition dumps and there to tell you where to go and why without offering any real incentive to give a rats ass.
While I may be harsh when it comes to reviewing games, I did enjoy playing through the game enough to Platinum it. WHile far from perfect, inFamous does offer an enjoyable single-player experience, and being unique to the playstation 3 it is a much better game than a very similar game named 'Prototype'. For it's current price, it is definitely worth picking up.
on June 11, 2009
inFamous is a great game. I loved the demo and bought the game. If you do all the side missions, collect the blast shards and get the dead drops it takes a long time. I've probably played around 20 hours and am only 43% done! I'm slow though as most people think you can finish off the game in about 20 to 25 hours if you rush. Collecting things like blast shards aren't just useless hunting expeditions though. They actually aid you in your ability to get more powerful.
This is a sandbox game - an open world environment that features many missions and an overall story (not bad, not great) that ties it together. I don't want people to think it's similar to GTA IV. The style of the game may be (missions, open world) but I was bored with GTA IV and regretted buying it. This game has a completely different gameplay system since you play as a comic book hero/villain. It makes the entire feel of the game unique. You don't drive a car or use guns. You are an electrically powered super hero or potential villain.
If you played the demo first, you may be frustrated by your lack of powers to start the game. This game has a clear RPG style where you have to complete missions, gain experience and learn new powers. XP can be used to upgrade your powers. While annoying at first, the quest to improve yourself keeps you coming back for more. Your power will grow but so will the quality and variety of your opponents as you work your way through the three different islands.
This game forces you to play as a Hero or as a Villain. There is no in between as power upgrades force you to achieve certain levels of karma. Some of the many powers and upgrades that Cole acquires are different depending on your status. There are also 15 unique side missions that pertain only to good or bad characters adding even more replay ability to this game. Of course, you will have to play through the game twice to see these different missions and powers. People on the streets will praise you or stone you depending on your Karma Level.
The character, Cole McGrath, actually has the ability to acquire many different powers and abilities. Some require more enrgy than others so you can't just rush in, expend all your energy with a mindless set of shock grenades thrown in every direction and expect to do well. inFamous is not a brainless button masher where you can just jump into a massive battle with the bad guys and kick butt. You have to know your limitations, conserve power at times, and get some cover. Sometimes you just have to turn and run. Cole is not Superman. He's more like Spiderman, which I think is a great thing. If you want a nearly indestructible character that just wants to go destroy stuff, this game might not be for you. Your missions will make certain areas of the islands safe while other areas remain dangerous. I visit the dangerous areas some times for a good battle but keep your head on a swivel and be prepared to die if you get too cocky. Death comes easy in this game. Having to run to a nearby power source (ex. Light post) to re-energize and heal yourself is a good thing imo. Games that come too easy bore me.
The game keeps sucking you back in. I've never played a game that was this addictive and took so much of my time. Forget the arguments over the price of the game - they have nothing to do with how fun this game is. Check out the demo for a great feel for the game and then go out and get this game based on that experience.
on August 20, 2009
Open worlds are hit and miss - this one is a sandbox type that is pretty simple to maneuver around (like Assassin's Creed).
I love the way they made the lead character bounce and jump like a plush Spiderman. His powers (like Force: Unleashed) can be manipulated and used in beautiful ways.
And unlike Assassin's Creed, the movement flows in a way that reminds me of a well-rendered cartoon instead of a stiff robot (though I still enjoyed Assassin's Creed)
The environment is very interactive.
I like it.
on November 15, 2010
Sucker Punch, who developed the Sly Cooper games for the PS2, brought a lot of the best from the thieving series to their new IP inFamous; and it turns out the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.
In inFamous, you play as Cole: a guy that was caught in the wake of an explosion that killed hundreds and ruined a city that spans 3 islands, and in turn gained super powers. These powers all revolve around electricity. There's a various projectiles you can hurl which, for the most part function the same way but come in different levels of strong, stronger and strongest. You'll also get the ability to glide or hover for short distances, project a shield, grind on electrified rails & cables, and more.
Many of the powers are upgradeable. You purchase upgrades with experience points you rack up by completing missions, and performing various tasks.
The powers you get access to are in part dependent on whether you take a path of Good or Evil. And this is where the first downside seems to be. Myself I only played through the game once so far, and took the side of good. It appeared to me that once you make a decision on which path to, you best stick with that path as close as possible. The reason being is that certain upgrades are only available as you move up in the levels of Good and Evil. So if you stay neutral, and do not end up swinging either way, you will have limited upgrades available. Certain decisions you make will not only affect which powers you get but will also change how the story unfolds to encourage multiple play-throughs.
The need for extremes in your decisions is oddly out of place however, considering how much balance is present in the rest of the game. In terms of what there is to do, there seems to be equal parts platforming, exploration, and shooter-style action, and they all compliment each other quite nicely.
The city environments will give you plenty of real estate to crawl, run, and jump through. There's plenty of ledges, scaffolding, windows, fences, and a variety of other items that will let you climb over and around the environment.
The controls and the camera works very well in this respect, particularly when going up. Going down can succumb to the game's attempt at anticipating what you want to do. You may want to fall down very close to the side of a building, but you end up grabbing ledges off to the side impeding an intended fall.
Where the camera did take a little getting used to was when it crept up behind you as you move into shooter-mode. I found it hard at first to zero in on my enemies, find them in a crowd, then keep them in my sights. After a little bit of practice though it came naturally.
The developers were also kind enough to forgo quick time events. The only thing reminiscent of pointless button presses was the 2 times I recall have to repeatedly mash the X button to make something happen. But even something this simple was improved by giving you something else to do while tiring the thumb on your right hand. You also had to line up the characters hand over a certain area of the screen with the left analog stick, so even this task didn't feel useless like it does in other titles.
Another helping fulcrum can be found between the difficulty level and the mission check points. There are some challenging actions to pull off, but the game makes it easy to get the practice you need by not sending you back too far or wiping out the progress you made on key events.
When taking into consideration both the main story missions and side missions, you could find yourself having to take part in raids, escorting prisoners, protecting transports, infiltrating bases, retrieving packages, completing races, defending key locations, and more!
Some missions will have you crawling through the sewers and fixing electrical stations to restore power to sections of the city above. Although the sewers are rather bare, the lighting effects in the dark tunnels added some nice atmosphere. And when you've completed these missions, there's a little more life brought back to the city. Combine this with the fact that as your clear areas the enemies thin out you really feel like the city is improving in stature as you progress.
It sounds like there's a lot to do but when you break it down, really all the missions are about climbing, running and shooting a lot. The goals are different, but the road to the end is relatively the same. In addition to that, I felt there was little variety in the enemies. Yes, they had different models, but for the most part it's just guys with gun (with a few of exceptions).
These items should be a bad thing, however despite the only minor differences in mission types and most of your foes, it's still a lot of fun. It's fun to do the basics. It's fun to find the right vantage points, and climb the city, and despite the relatively small differences in your powers for offence, it's fun taking out the bad guys. It's fun to take them out while riding a rail, falling through the air, or by making a car explode on top of them.
It has action that never feels drawn out or tedious. It has options and choices to make, but they're not overwhelming. It has some depth, but you won't find yourself drowning. Sucker Punch did what they do best: taking the old concept of 'simple and straightforward is fun' while adding all the flare and style of our current age of gaming to deliver a highly enjoyable game.
on January 5, 2010
This game took a little getting used to, the controls were sometimes awkward but with a little practice everything comes naturally. I really enjoyed the Good vs Evil idea and will play the game through a second time to enjoy the benefits of both sides of the adventure.
I would have no problems recommending this game to anyone. I hope you enjoy it!
on January 6, 2013
One of the best open world games I have played and my favorite on PS3. Traveling around the world is fun thanks to the superb super powers, the missions are mostly great and the story is engaging. Liked it a lot!
on December 29, 2013
Bought 1 and 2 together, I played through half of this one before getting a little bored as it's a bit repetitive in the quests. The story line is much better in 1 but the game play is much much better in 2.
on August 18, 2009
I'm very glad I didn't base my purchase on the demo. This game is great. Highly entertaining, challenging, always changing open world game. Get it, it's well worth the money.