inFamous ReviewWill Stiles
Sony really has been on fire lately with some great releases. Starting off last year with LittleBigPlanet then Killzone 2. When I heard inFAMOUS was coming out, needless to say, I couldn't wait. The limited demo came out and the forums went crazy over the quality of the game, so when the demo came out for everyone I gave it a try. The first thing that came to mind was “meh”. I heard that the demo wasn't a good representation of the final game, so here I am reviewing the complete game. Let me start of by saying I feel that inFAMOUS is a good game. The review focuses on the weak points but I did have a great time playing though the game.
When you press start you're greeted with an explosion originating from a box that the main character Cole has to deliver. After a short run down a field where the game tries to set the controls you'll see a graphics novel style cut scene where you'll see your love interest thats upset because her sister has been lost in the blast and your best friend who seems a little to cool and calm for what has happened. Welcome to Empire City.
The story is excellent with a few twists that you see coming but over all keeps you glued to the system. With most games I don't like spending a long period of time playing but 5 hours passed in no time because I was so engrossed in the story. The developer Sucker Punch did a great job on having the Sly Cooper style of game play grow up for the new generation. The voice acting is great along with the music when you're in an intense fight. The character is very likable or dislikable depending what path you select. The morality system gives you a reason to play the game a second time. The graphics are good and the weapons really are a treat to see, especially when a large amounts of enemies are coming at you with no slowdown as you zap them all. The game does a good job of making you feel that this is a large world and giving you powers to make up for Cole's problem with cars.
On to the parts I felt could use some work. The controls at parts of the game are just down right frustrating. This game is in the third person view and hit detection on grabbing poles really is lacking along with the occasional jumpy camera. One time this occurred was the prison when the power goes out. You have to jump on dropping ledges while being shot at and the flaky hit detection for grabbing on to poles that doesn't work part of the time. I don't know how I finally made it but after six attempts and trying multiple angles it would finally let me climb up and continue. This wasn't an isolated occurrence either it happened every time you would try to climb a pole having to search just the right angle. I hope someday they might bring out a patch but at this point it doesn't appear anything is in the works.
Another hyped feature with inFAMOUS is the morality system. I had high hopes for this part but really all they do is show you two possible choices you can do and they make it very clear what is good and what is evil. I felt that after the first time this choice came up that it really didn't need to happen ever again. You can't make a mistake and do the wrong thing and if you decide to change half way all you're really doing is making leveling up vastly harder to do seeing all upgrades are tied to the morality system and in Empire City they have no middle ground. One example of this I can give without spoiling anything is when you run into the artist that's made posters of you, one where you're loved and one feared. At the time I was running to the next event and really into the story and stopping for something so silly really seemed to pull me out of the world for a second. They have much heavier examples in the game but for the most part it really didn't seem to change much in the over all story.
I have seen some people talk about the graphics pop-in problem and I had no idea how bad it was until I played it myself. At some parts you don't see the enemy that firing at you right away. More than once I had to run into the gun fire to see who was even attacking me. Another graphical problem was if you walk into the walls they would just disappear and you could see all the enemies running around on the other side. I had wondered if somehow the no clip had been turned on but luckily the wall was just transparent and not gone completely.
Multiplayer was another thing I felt that Sucker Punch could have included in the game but while missed it really wasn't necessary. The game lasts about 20 hours and you always have evil to complete for your second run though.
If you're willing to deal with a few problems you'll be treated to a great sandbox style game that'll keep you until the end. We can only hope that inFAMOUS does well on the retail front so some day we'll see Cole again; hopefully with the few rookie problems worked out.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.