TMR Game Review: InFamous

infamous1video inside post InFamous is a Sony PS3 exclusive game set in a fictional New York City look alike. You play a bike messenger named Cole who is unknowingly given a bomb to deliver. The bomb detonates while in Cole’s possession but he somehow survives and begins to develop electricity-based powers.

The city is hit hard, the government quarantines everything, closing the city limits, the police are overwhelmed and street gangs take over the city as an unknown plague also runs hard and fast through the stranded population.

Why is the government so interested closing the borders and keeping this “event” quiet? Where did this plague come from? Why didn’t you die in the blast? Why do you suddenly have super powers? These are the questions you must find answers to as you unravel the mystery of what hell happened.

This game is an open world sandbox game and the set up will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever played GTA. There are main story missions to play that move the plot ahead, as well as side missions that break up the flow of the game and allow you to build and get used to your new powers. The side missions are pretty varied and short (which I love. Side missions that are too long always bog me down).

They are pretty standard and fall into the “Escort person A to point B” or Follow person A until he meets person B” classification. There are a few platforming type side missions thrown in as well as some pretty badass combat type ones as well. They are all very fun to play through, and as a reward, for every side mission you complete a small portion of the city will be cleared of enemies. This makes moving around in these sections much easier, which is extremely helpful especially if you are trying to track down the games two collectables.

Blast shards build up you energy meter allowing for more electrical reserves and dead drops add information about the back-story to your databanks. The details found in the dead drops really help to flesh out the story quite a bit and the blast shards are a definite help in some of the bigger battles you will be facing eventually. They are both scattered all over the city.

Your powers are spectacular. They look great, they are very powerful and they control wonderfully. You can upgrade your powers as you gain experience and there are certain powers only available on the good and bad sides of the abilities tree (more on Karma in a few) so it rewards you for playing the game through a second time. You have your basic electrical bolt attacks but you can unlock other abilities like shock grenades (great for a clearing a crowd below you from the top of a building) and a very helpful zoom feature that gives you the ability to zap enemies off of buildings from a great distance. Later on there are other cool powers as well but I will let you discover them.

These all use electrical energy that needs to be replenished. The meter can be refilled by leaching energy from the many electrical devices (light poles, circuit breakers, air conditioners etc) that are scattered throughout the city once you return power or by stealing the electrical energy of humans throughout the city. Moving around the city is a breeze as the designers made it easy to scale, jump and move from the ground to the tops of buildings. The story tells us Cole was an “urban explorer’ before the event so he is used to climbing and jumping from buildings and now his powers have made him immune from falling so the entire city from the streets to the tops of buildings is at your disposal.

This aspect could have been very frustrating if the designers had required too much precision in jumping from object to object but they did a great job in making it easy. Mistakes are easily correctable and you will be flying around building in no time.

There is also a pretty good karma system in place. Good deeds build good karma and vice versa. All over the streets there are hurt and dying people. You can either zap them with an electrical charge that heals them, or you can drain their electrical energy to replenish your electrical meter. The catch is if you drain their energy they die. The upside is draining humans gives you a much bigger boost than draining normal electrical equipment does and this can be a lifesaver in some of the bigger fights. There are also a few “karmic Moments” in which time slows down and you are presented with a choice. The good and bad choices are pretty clear but the moments are well done and fun to play through.

Part GTA, part Crackdown, sprinkle in some Spiderman add a little Price of Persia and you have InFamous. It is a very polished very stylish game that is worth every second you invest in it. I would say as right now, although it is not without it’s flaws, it is the best game of the year and the first real PS3 exclusive that makes buying a PS3 necessary.
Check it out you won’t be disappointed.

TMRating 8 out of 10