Updated inFamous eyes-on impressions
Sucker Punch has had six months to polish up inFamous since we last saw it back in July of 2008. Despite looking forward to seeing the game in action at the time, my overall impressions with the title left me slightly disappointed, predominately after being informed that the story had been put on the back burner in order to focus on gameplay. As a fan of game narratives, I must admit that I found this development somewhat disheartening, and needless to say I wasn’t surprised when my initial impressions on the game was met with considerable backlash from our readers. Nonetheless, now that the team has had a decent amount of time to polish up the title and reveal it in its current state, it's time to update my impressions of what I initially felt about the game.
First up, color me impressed. Sucker Punch has truly outdone themselves in regards to the visual presentation of inFamous. While I’m aware that a lot of people have already seen trailers of what was shown at CES 2009, believe me when I say that the game is a lot more stunning in person, on a larger screen than on your monitor. The detail to Cole's clothing and his unusual powers is more defined and intricately detailed up close. While his awkward running animation remains, everything else about him has been improved.
One of the hottest topics being discussed on the game in recent months is the ability to scale any building at any time. I had the chance to talk to the developers about this and they have assured me that absolutely every building within the city can be tamed. The transition from one stepping-stone to the next is seamlessly integrated in way that it displays an authentic representation of scaling the side of a mammoth structure. Sucker Punch's Brian Flemming acknowledged that the team had played and enjoyed games like Assassin's Creed, a factor which is strikingly evident when you clap eyes on what they’ve done here.
Delving deeper into the gameplay itself brings us to Cole's powers. While some may be blown away by his techniques, I felt very indifferent about it. Cole gives off a similar aura to the Apprentice from Star Wars The Force Unleashed, and, though this isn't necessarily a bad thing, I'm hoping there’s more to his powers than meets the eye to separate him from the rest of the pack. The enemy powers are innovative and unique to each type of gang trying to take over the city, and in comparison, Cole definitely needs something that defines him as a protagonist.
In regards to the game’s storyline (which you’ll remember played a large part in my initial disappointment with the game last year), I stand corrected. Flemming notified me that previous comments suggesting that the story was to be put on the back burner were merely down to a poor choice of words. In fact, Flemming assured me that the design team molded the story around the gameplay itself, which came as an enormous relief to my ears.
All in all, my anticipation for this open-world extravaganza has returned in full force. While the game may have a hint of repetition similar to Grand Theft Auto IV or indeed any game of this nature, it’s a relatively minor setback compared to the sheer scale of what’s on offer. Personally, I’m just thrilled that Sucker Punch has taken the time to substantially polish up the overall product compared to last summer. We'll have a full interview with Sucker Punch's Brian Flemming within the next couple of days for you guys to check out.