By on July 11, 2009

There are good games and then there’s infamous!


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First Impressions
My reaction is

Super heroes have existed even before Jesus Christ could grow a beard. These crusaders have been portrayed in a variety of different styles and we still can’t get enough of them. Who wouldn’t want to sore through the skies or tear buildings apart with their pinky? While we’re all aware that superhero video games suck ass, Infamous stands apart trying to grab your attention (and your wallet).

Infamous is Sucker Punch’s latest game that looks to provide us with a dose of some straight up in-your-face action adventure thrill. You play as Cole McGrath in the game, an ordinary bike messenger who has been transformed into a bucket of charred, shredded clothing after an explosion with phenomenal super electric powers to boot. Like most of the games of late, infamous implements a character development system that lets you upgrade, purchase and unlock new abilities as you romp your way through the open world. So, you might think this is yet another Super Man video game spin-off from Activision. But, you might be surprised to notice that infamous features a deep storyline and a choice system that makes you into the people’s hero or a selfish villain. As with any 90’s civil war flick, the game starts after an explosion that was supposedly caused by Cole’s secret package and the world goes to cinders with crime on the rise and people drying everywhere around you. It’s interesting to note that the game universe in infamous feels alive and dark. You will witness people suffering around you making your moral choices even harder while salvaging through the ruins of what once used to be a beautiful metropolis. Apart from the main storyline, you will be dipping your shoes in a number of side quests. While many of these side quests are interesting, they can get quite tedious at times like having to “save” buildings from enemy surveillance cameras again and again just about half a dozen times. Then there are some more generic side quests thrown in, in an effort to fill up the disk space rather than add to the overall gaming experience. With that off our chest, we can gladly go on to say that Infamous is perhaps the best super hero title we’ve player so far. It’s a game that will test your emotional barrier and with the chance to play as either good or evil, you will find yourself playing this title more than once.

The infamous world is divided into three islands or districts: The Neon district in the south followed by the Warren and Historic districts in the North. Each district offers a different class of enemies that you’d have to subdue in order to take over the region and free the streets of crime. You might occasionally notice baddies taking civilians as hostages or your head on a platter. Each good action will reward you positive karma and people eventually start to see you as their savior. So much that in the latter part of the game, they’ll join forces to help you fight off hordes of enemies. Alternatively, if you play as evil, you will be able to upgrade your power faster, but the people hate you and they pelt you with stone while you’re busy busting some ass. Since Infamous is all about electricity, you’ve taken the role of a giant battery that needs to be charged time and again.

Occasionally, you’ll be required to go underground for a power upgrade ranging from the not-so-cool upgrades to the uber awesome thunder drop that lets you call in a lightning strike with all your heavenly fury.

Infamous gives an insight into the game with graphics novel style storytelling with an intriguing voice over to match. On the downside though, the game disappoints with its less than stellar graphics and though we would’ve excused it had we lived in the 90s, it’s still a letdown especially compared to recent graphics behemoths like Killzone 2 and RE5. The environments and building are sometimes bland with its only salvation being the amount of sheer destruction that goes on in the screen during a firefight. Character models are quite frankly hideous and their walking animation is similar to a 60 year old suffering from arthritis. None the less, Infamous doesn’t fail to deliver when it comes to combat and the mouth-watering explosions are plentiful. So, in short if we were to judge the game solely on its graphical prowess, we’d consider it an old hag on the outside and a Kama Sutra specialist on the inside.

It’s a little daunting to note that Infamous would’ve been a whole different beast had it incorporated online multiplayer. The opportunity is definitely there and it’s anyone’s wonder why Sucker Punch would neglect such an important aspect of today’s pixel sport. But, for those that are after value per dollar, the game does show a remarkable longevity where you might find yourself coming back a second or third time to play as the opposite power or to fully collect the hidden items strewn throughout the game. The collectibles are not as appalling as the stupid pigeon hunting of GTA 4 and then there are different stunts that can be performed to season your murderous appetite.

Infamous is one of those games that we’d recommend every to every game. Its gameplay is simple and the open world is enough to keep you busy for hours. We would’ve been happier if the game had some sort of online good vs. evil death match of sorts (hint, hint). It’s apocalyptically fun and the story will beg for a place in your heart. Even through the super hero clichés and often dull graphics, this game is a blockbuster in our books.

The Scorecard
Fun, simple and engaging.
The explosions and firefights are extremely fun, but the graphics can make you lose a piece of your manhood.
The main narrative voice over needs to be commended, but all other pedestrian chit chat is purely recycled.
Lack of multiplayer is a downer, but the game lasts a good 20+ hours when played as both good and evil.
Climb buildings, shimmy across ledges and jaw dropping power upgrades keep you coming back for more.
Infamous is in a breed of its own. Its enticing gameplay and adrenaline inducing combat will force you to an unhealthy diet of potato chips and Mountain Dew.


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