- Posted May 21st, 2009 at 17:34 EDT by Steven Williamson
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Powered by its compelling storyline, inFamous is jam-packed full of entertaining and memorable moments.
- The gripping storyline and how it intertwines with the gameplay
- Exploring the superbly designed Empire City by rooftop
- Cole's range of acrobatic and electrically-charged skills
- Some of the repetitive mission types
- The combat targeting system, which could do with a little refining
Three and a half years of hard work. That’s how long it has taken for developer Sucker Punch to create its electrically charged third person action adventure, inFamous. With so much time invested in it, Sucker Punch has a lot riding on its success, including its high-standing reputation. To say that we’ve been looking forward to checking out Cole’s range of electrical powers and exploring Empire City from its highest rooftops is a huge understatement. Finally, our chance has come. We’re about to find out whether it’s been worth the wait.
inFamous is an open world action adventure starring Cole, a bald-headed bike messenger who develops a range of electricity-based powers after a package he was delivering explodes, causing devastating consequences to the world around him. Having been knocked unconscious for two weeks following the blast, Cole awakens to discover that his home town has changed drastically around him: Empire City is now in lockdown due to the spread of a mysterious plague that has infected its residents. The authorities have sealed all exits out of the city to ensure that nobody can leave. Chaos ensues as police abandon the city and gangs take to the streets. Cole has no idea who gave him the package that led to this disaster or why he has these new powers. All he does know is that he needs to harness them quickly and decide whether he wants to use them to help the troubled citizens of Empire City, or to add to the ever growing chaos.
The story of Cole’s trials and tribulations is one of the many highlights of a game that is littered with great moments and impressive features. Not only does inFamous offer a compelling, well-written narrative, but it’s told with great style and pencil sharp comic book style art direction. The storyline weaves in and out of the gameplay magnificently. While missions help to drive the narrative forward at just the right pace, clever flashbacks get you thinking and stylish cut-scenes add to the growing anticipation. Being able to choose two very different karmic paths throughout the game gives you real focus. The duality of the two branching paths -- Famous and Infamous -- plays a big part in keeping you immersed in the tale by giving you some tough moral decisions to make along the way. Should you incite a riot by shooting at the baton wielding guards from within a crowd? Or should you take them on single-handedly and risk your own life? inFamous is littered with interesting scenarios and inventive moments that you’ll remember long after you’ve powered down your console. Conclusively, it’s inFamous's absorbing storyline that gives the gameplay real purpose.
The gameplay in inFamous complements the storyline perfectly. The design of the city and the despotic mood on the streets really grabs you by the throat and sucks you into the action. Empire City is a cleverly designed interactive playground that overflows with atmosphere. Sucker Punch has managed to capture the feeling of lawlessness in the city superbly. Looting and assaults are commonplace and the general feeling of chaos is amplified by residents' activity that you’ll find around every corner. Beggars scavenge through rubbish while plague victims lie helplessly in the middle of the streets as other city inhabitants manically dash around ignoring their pleas for help. The city is a living, breathing adventure playground and its three districts are a joy to explore.
Empire City isn’t as big as it actually looks at first glance. Still, it takes about 10 minutes though to move across each of the three islands of Empire City, so it’s still adequately big enough to keep you busy for some time searching for blast shard collectibles or gaining territory from the Reaper gangs who control the districts. Thanks to the fluidity of Cole’s movements, as he leaps from one rooftop to the next, shimmies up telephone poles or grinds along power lines, it exciting and intuitive moving across the city. Most buildings connect one way or another, be it through their close proximity or via a cleverly positioned power-line or other object that allows you to acrobatically work your way across. Sucker Punch once said in an interview about Empire ... (continued on next page) ----