Yet Another Awesome PS3 Exclusive – inFamous

Every so often a game comes along with near perfect execution on all fronts. inFamous, is one of those games. Remember Crackdown? inFamous is similar in that it’s an open-world action game with precise, responsive controls that allow you to effortlessly dole out a ridiculous amount of pain on your enemies, and anyone else that happens to get in your way. With an emphasis on fun, inFamous is easily one of the best PlayStation 3 exclusive titles, and one that will likely be in my top 5 for this year.

Chose Your Own Adventure

I picked up a trait a little while ago that has worked out very nicely in the long run. That being, that I ignore any insight into a game’s (or movie’s) story until I can get my hands on it. I don’t do any digging aside from finding out the basic premise and avoid watching videos like the opening cinematic that could take away from the experience.

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Going into inFamous, all I knew was that an electrical explosion went off leaving the lead character with powers. All of which focusing on electricity. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting much from the story. As games like this tend to focus more on the action than anything else. Crackdown is a perfect example of this. Tons of fun and I have nothing but fond memories of my time playing it, but virtually no plot. inFamous did a fantastic job of grabbing me by the balls and not letting go until the credits rolled. The story, and the way it’s played out in comic book style cut-scenes is one to remember. Plot twists-a-plenty, different angles of loss and love, and likable characters (for the most part) shape inFamous beautifully.

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One thing I did not know, was the level of moral choice left in the hands of the player. Every big decision is left up to you, and the path you chose determines how things will ultimately unfold. You can be the hero of Empire City, or its infamous villain. Some of the choices were tough, even after picking my path early on. It usually comes down to personal sacrifice if you choose to play as a hero, which actually works quite nicely as your character is still very much full of rage, but it’s contained.

I honestly couldn’t have predicted the ending, even during the final boss fight. And it wasn’t a cop-out in the least. The final battle had me sitting on the edge of my seat and truly felt like I was being tested at how well I could handle my acquired powers. When my nemesis fell and all was revealed, I slowly nodded my head, smiling with satisfaction as it all came together. Not only was it a good ending, but one that made me want to jump right back in and continue working to clean up the city, and also play again and take the path of evil.

So Much Power, So Easy To Maintain

My eldest daughter Hannah was watching me play quite a bit. At one point I asked if she wanted to play, and she said it looked too complicated. Too many powers, and too much acrobatics. She just assumed that she wouldn’t be able to do all of things I was doing, or that they took more effort than she was willing to put in. But that’s where she’s wrong, and truly the strongest point of inFamous.

You are handed a new ability at certain points in the game. You acquire them slowly over time, and have plenty of missions in-between to hone your new found power. All of which is controlled by simple combos with no more than 2 buttons involved.

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As you fight your way through the streets and below, you acquire experience points which can be spent on ability upgrades. Powers get stronger, dole out more damage, and actually morph into something far more devastating as you spend more XP. There’s actually a path for each side for most powers as well. So if you play as a hero first, you’ll be upgrading your good powers. Where as evil has a tier of its own and are often a different take on the same ability. The different being, good is about defeating the enemy and containing them while minimizing collateral damage. Evil is about death and destruction, no matter what the cost.

Can’t. Put. It. Dooown!

Going back to Crackdown one last time – Agility Orbs. I remember trying to put my controller down, but then catching a glimpse of an orb far off in the distance and having to get it before I could leave. inFamous has its own collectibles, both of which are very much worth going after.

First there are shards, which glow blue and contribute to the amount of electricity in your reserve. There are 350 of them in total, and they’re found absolutely everywhere. There’s no hint that you’re close to one, so you really have to keep your eyes out.

The other collectible reveals more of the back-story for those interested, and comes in the form of audio recordings as dead drops. There’s only 32 in total, and clicking the left stick activates a sonar like signal which points you in the direction of a near by dead drop. Of course, there are Trophies rewarded for collecting them – all the more reason to keep hunting.

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You May Need a Couple Beers in You…

inFamous isn’t the best looking game on the PlayStation 3. It’s definitely a little rough around the edges, and lacking polish in the finer details. But the bigger picture is definitely the selling point. The frame rate held pretty solid, even with dozens of bad guys on screen and explosion-after-explosion.

The sound effects on the other hand, are absolutely massive and spot on! The music goes hand-in-hand, and does an excellent job of providing a moody atmosphere and raising the suspense level at just the right moments.

Not Even Close to Being Done With it

I was surprised when the story started to narrow a little quicker than I had anticipated. But mind you, I finished the story at only 52% total completion. There are an abundance of side missions on both sides of the fence, as well as neutral, to keep you playing long after the story is complete. Or better yet, along side the main story missions. I personally got swept up in the story and had a hard time ignoring the blue orbs on my map (blue signifies story missions).

inFamous is truly a fantastic game on every level! I rented it initially, but am going to now purchase a copy even after completing the story. Despite lacking a multiplayer component entirely, inFamous is a crazy amount of fun with plenty of reasons to replay and keep playing.

Rating: 5/5

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20 Responses to “Yet Another Awesome PS3 Exclusive – inFamous”

  1. I think it's the first time I see you that much on your PS3. Let just say the Evil path is a lot of fun even if Trish make me feel bad.

    (hit: when you hit the radar, if you see some little dark blue dot. That the location of the shards.)

    • I haven't been on my PS3 much since I was into Killzone a few months back. Mostly just use it for watching movies.

      when you hit the radar, if you see some little dark blue dot. That the location of the shards.

      NICE! I had no idea, but I did notice the larger dark blue orbs on the map. Thanks for the tip!

  2. I've been thinking about abandoning my 360 for a PS3 simply because the PS3 can go wireless out-of-the-box and is more reliable than a 360 and some more arguments you've probably heard by now.

    This game really seem right down my alley, along with killzone 2 and resistance.

    I can't believe I didn't think of this before, but I want to ask you: What are your favourite PS3 titles (all time), and what's your pros and cons about 360 vs PS3.

    I'm asking this even though my mind is set on a PS3. I really can't stand the 360 no longer and it's worth losing GOW and Halo series for throwing out MS out of my apartment for good.

    • I hate Microsoft as much (or more than) the next guy, but I won't be dumping my Xbox 360 any time soon. It's still many, many steps ahead of the PS3 in just about every area. So much so, that I'm willing to continue to stick out the shitty hardware issues that plague it.

      I wouldn't get too excited about the PS3's wi-fi capabilities. I found it to be painfully slow, with my PS3 a mere few feet from my router. I actually have it wired, it's that slow. My N compatible Macs are wicked fast, mind you.

      There are definitely some fantastic PS3 exclusives now, and well enough to justify making the switch. But I'd hang onto the Xbox 360 if you're able to.

      Resistance BTW, is an incredibly over rated franchise. You can't get more run-of-the-mill, last generation shooter than that.

      • Wi-fi is crap on PS3, I play allot of NHL09 and tried plugged and unplugged and notice a significant amount of dropped packetty lag with Wi-fi. I have a top of the line Router.

        Having both consoles and staying out of fanboy land is the way to roll , they both rock.

      • Sad to hear about the Wi-fi, I had some high hopes there. I'm not really so much a gamer guy as you might be, I just enjoy playing for relaxation once in a while. The bottom line is that I've bought so much crap for the 360 that I could get better, and cheaper for a PS3. Headsets, cables AND the hysterical adapter you have to buy from MS to be able play wireless (which I haven't bought yet, and got me considering a PS3 instead).

        My favourite game to play is available to PS3 as well, but the problem now is that I like playing online as much as I enjoy single-player campaigns.

        The wi-fi problem isn't really a problem for me, hence I now have a cable drawn through my whole apartment to connect the 360 (I can't tell you how much I refuse getting that wireless adaptor).

        • Don't get me wrong, I may have been a little harsh by saying it's crap. It's just that when you're on a breakaway and the game turns to a powerpoint slide show, it's disappointing. If you aren't worried about multiplayer precision, it's should be fine.

  3. I played the demo and loved it, I'll definitely get this game down the road (not right now cause I have many unfinished games and haven't buy Killzone 2). It was a great surprise as I wasn't too excited with the previews.

  4. Great review Matt, a little surprised that you didn't think the graphics were quite up to scratch, in fact I think yours is the first review I've read that says they're not amazing!

    So looking forward to picking this up, but unfortunately it doesn't arrive here in New Zealand for another week, bastards.

    • I haven't read too many reviews, but I noticed GiantBomb and GameSpot both mentioned graphical suckiness at times. It's not a bad looking game, it's just a little rough around the edges. Close-ups during cut-scenes are where it really shows.

      • Well now I've sunk 16 hours into it I do agree it is a little rough around the edges. As you mentioned the cut scenes are the main time it shows, however I think overall it's an outstanding looking game.

  5. Interesting. Wish it was coming to the Xbox : )

    Speaking of Crackdown, what did you think of the sequel announcement at E3 last night?

    Loved that game and so happy to hear the follow up is coming out this year.

    • Yeah, totally stoked about Crackdown 2! I too loved the first game and had my fingers crossed that a sequel would be announced at E3. I knew what it was as soon as the trailer started. 🙂

  6. If you loved Crackdown, it sounds like you will totally love this game.

    However, if Crackdown didn't interest you at all (I found it incredibly boring) – inFamous likely won't be your cup of tea either.

    I heard several reviews praising this game so I downloaded the demo and, I dunno, I guess I just don't get this type of game. It feels (as crackdown did) like some generic fighter game, like the original spiderman game or something, there's just no meat to it.

    But obviously lots of people are loving this game since it's getting raving reviews (like this one) – I guess I'm just the odd one out on this game.

  7. I just finished playing through inFamous as evil Cole, and I just started out with going the good route, and am about %78 done.

    One critique I have is on collecting the shards. It was tolerable the first time around only because they were needed. I'm almost reluctant to go through a second play knowing that I'll have to run around and find ~200 some shards to get back to the same level as my other file.

    I kind of wish they carried over.

    Worth the purchase, great game overall.

    A side note on the graphics, suckerpunch is the same studio that made Sly Cooper a cell shaded toon style game. InFamous is a huge style cahnge for them, and I'm impressed that they made it as gritty as they did while staying true to their style.

  8. I've been thinking about this, and I think the main reason I like inFamous so much better than [Prototype] is the art direction. While both games are on par graphically, inFamous feels like an interesting, living, breathing world with a certain graphic style. [Prototype] on the other hand feels sterile and cookie-cutter.

    Maybe part of it is the whole fictional city vs. real-world city. Maybe part of it is the fact that inFamous, as a rule, moves slower, so greater attention to the details of the city had to be paid, whereas the city is really just a background of white noise that whizzes by you in [Prototype].

    Either way, inFamous has *soul*, which counts for a LOT in making a video game memorable.