inFamous Review-Savior or Destroyer, Which One Will You Be

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inFamous at its core is a game about one man’s choices, his battle between good and evil,  the good and evil inside him just as much as that of any of the external forces he will encounter. You can choose to walk the good path and be the hero that Empire City needs or you can choose to let your need for vengeance and all this power that you now possess consume you. That choice is yours and yours alone. Whatever you do, remember “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men” (John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton). The first part of that saying I am almost sure of, but its up to you whether or not that last part proves to be so.


In stores now!!

You will find out very quickly that the people of Empire City think that you are responsible for the catastrophe that has wiped out their city and you can’t remember so you can’t argue otherwise. What you do know is that you are different, very different and you start to notice that you have some seriously wicked electrical powers. In the aftermath of the big explosion, Empire City is in ruins and chaos rules the day, the only question is whether you will bring this city back from the brink of self destruction or be that guiding force that tips it over the edge? inFamous is the story of your journey to track down those people who were really responsible for the explosion and unravel the mystery of why this happened and why YOU were chosen to deliver that package.

The gameplay in inFamous feels like a combination of Spiderman and Assassin’s Creed. As Cole, you can go just about anywhere and do anything. The controls are complete and intuitive enough that whether you are high above the city literally skating across powerlines or down on the ground engaged in hand to hand combat with a ton of enemies it all seems fluid and natural. All the moves, whether they are combat or contextual are easy to learn and use. The combat itself is fun and while you do have melee combat attacks, for the most part your electrical attacks will be what your rely on primarily. The game has a very simple way of navigating via that heads up display that we have all become so accustomed to. I did initially have some problems with their way of locating “dead drops”, but once you figure it out its very simple.


Just out for a stroll.

The guys at Sucker Punch really executed what they set out to accomplish with inFamous. The game is well designed and polished, the voice work is great, the story is intriguing enough to keep gamers playing till the end. Empire City is almost a character in and of itself, becoming more than just a backdrop to the events of inFamous and rather a living breathing part of those events. The city is vast, covering what seems like miles. The city is split into neighborhoods and each neighborhood has its own feel. There is so much to do that you can spend hours just exploring and completing side missions. The good part about these side missions is that they really have meaning, because as you complete them you get a perk that will really make your life easier so you will definitely want to complete them.

For all the things that inFamous does well, there are some areas where it falls short. You will hear that the people of Empire City will react to your actions and they do, but not as dramatically as one would think. As a hero, they will cheer you when they see you and wave and what not, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen in a game before. I assume that if you go evil, they would either run or attack you when they see you but I don’t know. I feel that they could have worked more on really making it feel like your actions “really” mattered. I don’t know if they did it on purpose, but it seems like they go a long way to make you remember that for all his power Cole is only human.

For most of the game , Cole is outnumbered and outgunned and while he has a devastating arsenal of attacks at his disposal he can be somewhat easily overwhelmed and killed. Your energy will regenerate slowly if you do nothing, and much faster if after you are hurt you absorb electricity from nearby objects. I suppose this is the rub, since absorbing energy will heal you faster they probably slowed down the normal health regeneration to force you to use this capability to recover. I am not saying that is not a good idea, but sometimes you will get into the middle of a big fight, start kicking a@! and taking names and then some guy you didn’t even see will take you out, though luckily the game does have good save points. Let me clarify that, inFamous does NOT autosave and I almost got messed up after playing for a few hours I went to turn the game off and I just happened to think to check the save file and there wasn’t one. No biggie, I suppose I had gotten lazy with all these games autosaving for me lately.


Will you save Empire City or destroy it?

I won’t get into what they are but just know that you will have to find things called “dead drops” at some point and the mechanism used to locate them is not the most obvious thing, let’s just say that I had to really stop and look at it to get what it was doing and how to follow it. Once you figure it out, then it is nothing but I can promise you there will be a lot of gamers who it frustrates a little. In what is perhaps the games biggest shortcoming, is that too often great opportunities for user interaction is wasted. Let’s just say that you will initiate a lot of actions and then just have to watch them and while that is fine,  I think that Sucker Punch missed an excellent chance to really keep the players even more engaged in the game.

So I guess the only question left is does inFamous live up to all the hype? I suppose that depends on the way you look at it. If you look at it from the standpoint of whether they delivered a fun game with a compelling story that many gamers both casual and hardcore can enjoy then yes it does. However, from the standpoint of inFamous giving us something that we haven’t seen before I would say no. I think that as it stands inFamous will definitely be in the top 10 best games of the year. I don’t know if inFamous is a reason to go out and buy a PS3, but if you already own one then you are jumping for joy right now.  It is definitely worth the money, so while inFamous is not the epic tale that the lead up would have had us believe, it more than holds its own against some of the heavyweights we have seen over the last few months and that’s why we give inFamous 4.7 out of 5.0 stars.

But don’t take our word for it, check out other reviews of inFamous at Testfreaks.

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Lorenzo Winfrey

Lorenzo Winfrey

Editor-In-Chief at ZoKnowsGaming
I am the Co-Ceo of DLT Digital Media. We are a company that is focused on developing new and innovative web properties in addition to developing WordPress based web sites for others. But before I was all that, I was a gamer.
Lorenzo Winfrey