Last month, Sucker Punch Productions released their PS3 exclusive sandbox-style game, Infamous. Taking place in
New York Empire City, Infamous follows the exploits of Cole McGrath, a bike-courier-turned-human-dynamo-in-a-terrible-accident. As Cole, players explore the post-accident Empire City, fighting the gangs who have taken over since the government left town, while trying to discover the the truth behind his powers. Cole is kind of like a mix of Spider-Man and Black Lightning: he scales buildings, vaults off power-lines, rides electrified train rails and zaps baddies from afar. The comic book superhero comparison is accurate; the game’s narrative cut-scenes don’t use the game engine, but an animated digital comic style. One of the most-reported features, in keeping with the sandbox nature of the city, is the ability for players to choose whether Cole is inherently a good guy or a bad guy, allowing the game world to change, depending on his choices.
Infamous is massively fun. All of the mechanics come together seamlessly, as Cole runs up the side of buildings, vaults rooftops, and drains electric power sources, often while fighting opponents. The plot, while simple, is really artfully constructed, and the missions deliver overall a lot of variety, even if the side-missions get a little repetitive by the end.
If there’s any major critique to this game, it’s that the moral choice feature, so talked up in the advertisements, really has very little overall effect on the story or even the game environment, and while not really bringing the game down, it’s disappointing to see such a major feature fall short of what it promises.
[If a handhold comes along, you must grab it]