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Monday, August 11, 2014


By on 10:32 AM

“Infamous” is an action-adventure game developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3. Sucker Punch was co-founded by former Microsoft employees in 1997 and went on to make the Sly Cooperseries for the PlayStation 2. They are considered a part of Sony's “Platformer Trio,” alongside Naughty Dog and Insomniac Games. “Infamous” would be the company's first sandbox game featuring more realistic human characters than the animals they have worked with before.

“Infamous” stars Cole MacGrath, voiced by Jason Cotte who is best known for his work in “Wag the Dog,” “Definitely, Maybe,” and “Outbreak.” Cole is a citizen of Empire City, a fictional city that is caught in a large explosion by terrorists that levels several city blocks and gives Cole powers over electricity. The explosion is the first thing you see upon pressing start as the game doesn't have a traditional title screen. You immediately take control of Cole with no clue to what's going on around you. You just know you want to get the hell out of there.

  Not the car!

The controls have a good feel to them. The only thing you need to be weary of is holding down on the jump button for too long. Doing so can make you jump too far and lead to falling to your death.

After you get through the opening segment of the game, you're introduced to a quick and easy tutorial level that offers you the basics of Cole's powers. At the beginning of the game your two primary means of attack are zapping people and releasing a shockwave. You can also charge up electricity all through your body while free-falling wrecking the ground beneath you. In order to perform your attacks you have to aim manually which can be a bit of a bother while trying to move to avoid being shot at at the same time.

Cole is pretty weak when you start out, to the point that enemies with guns are doing more damage than you are. Even the shockwave hardly does any damage to enemies. Some times it's easier to run or sneak past them. Taking inspiration from RPGs, the game offers experience points when defeating enemies. You can then use these experience points to buy upgrades to make Cole stronger once they're unlocked. When you're running low on juice you can recharge from anything electrical, even people. This also helps to regain your health after taking damage. Taking further inspiration from RPGs, we also have a morality system. You can make Cole the hero or act more like a villain. This would be cool if it wasn't for the fact that there's little to no consequence in which action you choose. If you choose to let staving citizens take food you could have kept for yourself, they still turn on you later when the plot demands it. Ingrates.

While exploring Empire City you can climb up various buildings and walls. It's beneficial to use the thing you're climbing on as cover while you're shooting at the bad guys. The climbing is similar to what you get in Assassin's Creed, just not as smooth and a lot more jump work involved. Depending on how you're hanging it can be a pain in the ass to aim so adjust yourself accordingly.

  I'm going to need some rubber.

Infamous” has a heavy “comic book” feel going for it. The player's character gets his power from a “freak accident,” and is the only one out of all of those people caught in the explosion to be given powers. All of the cut-scenes are done through comic book stills with voices recorded over them than animated videos, and the graphics are designed to match this artistic style, making it dated and unrealistic compared to a game like Metal Gear Solid 4 which came out one year prior. If you don't like those kind of visuals then you won't like them here, but if you're a comic books fan, or enjoy that style, then you may very well enjoy them here.

So much shit happens to Empire City in the opening segment you just want to put the town out of its misery. First they're hit by a terrorist bombing, then they end up with a viral outbreak, AND THEN the city is quarantined and pretty much forsaken by the government allowing for a gang called “The Reapers” to take control. That's a very original name, isn't it? “Reapers.” To make matters worse the leader of the Reapers pins the blame of the bombing on Cole turning the whole town against him, including his girlfriend, Trish. Now I can understand the townspeople turning on him given that he was used as a tool to deliver the bomb and set it off in the first place. On the outside looking in that's pretty suspicious. You'd think that someone that knew him more closely wouldn't be so willing to believe that, but what do I know?

Your only real option after that is to get the hell out of dodge. From there, you meet a government agent named Moya who offers you a chance to get out of the quarantine around the city if you work for her. So, you're basically running errands for this woman, and when I say errands, I mean they really do feel like errands. She'll have you running around the city looking for satellites, for crying out loud. It doesn't get more tedious than that. What I played was very off-putting with the runarounds, the weak powers, and all the people constantly shooting at you. It's been said things don't pick up until the second half of the game, so get ready for a long start.

The voice acting is... passable. It isn't terrible, but it isn't great either. There's nothing that really stands out among the various voice actors and their attempt at drama (like with Cole telling a man his wife is dead) comes off a tad forced, but not to the extent that it's cringe worthy. The sound that accompanies the electricity and bullets is well recorded, and the city has a relaxing atmosphere while jumping from rooftop to rooftop provided you're not being shot at.

Let's talk glitches. Near the beginning of the game Cole's head stuck through a wall when I came up to it. After jumping down from the rooftop at the end of the tutorial you could clearly see everyone laying down on the ground injured, and then the next minute those same people are up on their feet running around. IT'S A MIRACLE! There's also a glitch that make backtracking impossible. I was jumping from pipe to pipe and when I tried to turn around it was like I ran into an invisible wall. I nearly fell off the ledge! I thought that was how the game was designed until I died and played that part over. I don't know if this next thing is a glitch or not, but while you're being electrocuted at the beginning of the game, two police officers are standing in the background with blank expressions on their faces. Guys, a man is being shocked in front of you! REACT TO IT!

  Everything the light touches is yours.

Conclusion: Infamous ranges from fun to annoying, and sadly I found it more annoying than fun. Things that showed promise were executed poorly, nobody really stands out, and the quests (main or otherwise) quickly grows tedious. I didn't care enough to finish it, and I can't recommend it.


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