inFAMOUS Review


Sandbox type games are big business nowadays, some good, some bad and some terrible. So do we really need a new open-world game, well developers Sucker Punch certainly think we do. inFAMOUS leaps off a ten storey building into an overcrowded genre but does it have what it takes to make an impact?

The game opens with an explosion of unknown origin ripping apart a large chunk of Empire City. The story itself is told through numerous stylish graphic novel inspired cut scenes and is about what you’d expect from a game of this ilk, shallow but fun. Waking up as protagonist Cole in what appears to be the epicenter of the games opening catastrophe you are guided through a short and entertaining tutorial. Once through this opening sequence the game starts proper.

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Awakening in hospital Cole soon finds he has electrical based powers. These powers come in many different and entertaining forms. You’ll start the game with the basic electrical shock ability (shoots bolts of lighting from his hands), the thunderdrop (a jumping power slam move) and shockwave (a force push style power). But soon you’ll be finding new abilities and attacks to use like being able to grind power lines and using shock grenades. Powers can be upgraded in the game by using XP you get from missions and fights to make your arsenal more potent. Also throughout the game you will be presented with moral choices which have a direct effect on some of the powers you can use. Go for a good character and you won’t be quite as devastating as an evil one but you’ll be able recharge your power meter by shooing enemies. While playing evil will have you dishing out the hurt on anyone that’s unfortunate enough to get in your way.

The city itself is broken down into three islands, unfortunately each of the islands feels the same as the last with a couple of different landmarks. Cole can move effortlessly through the city and is able to climb practically any surface. Scaling buildings is very intuitive and a joy to do as Cole is almost drawn to grabbable objects. Each of the islands has it’s own distinct gang to take down. These start off quite basic just coming up against footsoldiers, but soon you’ll be up against the Conduits. These enemies have special powers and can make life very difficult and are imaginative in design, especially later in the game.

Combat is fun and fast paced and allows for alot of experimentation. It’s very much a shooting experience rather than melee. Punches and kicks can be pulled off but against a large number of enemies is suicide. There are a number of special attacks that can be pulled off called stunts, these give you an experience boost and can mostly be found by messing about with Coles various attacks. Stunts like using shockwave then following up with a shock grenade are very satisfying and spectacular.

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Missions and side quests pepper each island and come in many different forms. The story missions are varied and will have you defending first aid drops to riding atop of trains using your electrical prowess to power the carriages. Later on in the game missions really start getting interesting with some real stand out moments, none of which I really want to spoil for you in this review. Side quests are a bit of a mixed bag but at least there are a lot of different kinds so you won’t be doing the same quest too many times through the game. These can involve racing across rooftops to power satellite uplinks to helping out the emergency services clearing field hospitals of gang members which in turn become respawn points.

The game graphics are sharp and detailed although a lot of the city is drab and boring. The difficulty can sometimes be a problem also, with a particularly easy mission followed by a rather steep ramp up. Another gripe is that there is no atmosphere in the game. There is no day and night cycle and practically no music. For most of the game you’ll be traversing the rooftops with only the constant drone of the city around you. It’s a real shame when the rest of the game is so polished and something that could have easily been put in using Cole’s cellphone. Also on more than one occasion I found myself glitching through the map, although it quickly sorted the problem out so it’s not much to complain about. All in all though I thoroughly enjoyed playing inFAMOUS and am looking forward to playing it again as an evil character.

Hi-Score – Great powers, climb everything, fun and varied missions

Lo-score – No atmosphere, difficulty spikes

Final score – 8 out of 10

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