Infamous by name or Infamous by nature?

by on May 26, 2009


Exclusives are not something the PS3 is blessed with so when one is announced most gamers sit up and take notice. The fact that Infamous is developed by Sucker Punch, the creators of the wonderful Sly Raccoon series, is even more of a reason for gamers to be excited.

Infamous is the story of Cole, a bike messenger who is sent to deliver a package which is actually a bomb. Needless to say the bomb blows up and the city plummits into turmoil. The government quarantines the entire, gangs take over (the main one being the Reapers) and the police are too scared to do anything. During all this though, Cole somehow survives the blast but awakens to find out he has gained electricity based special powers. The story is all told through some brilliant comic book style cutscenes (which can be seen in the video below) and really add a layer of slickness to the games presentation.

At first glance Infamous looks like a sandbox game in the mould of the likes of Crackdown and Grand Theft Auto IV but a delve a little deeper and you will realise that the game in actually quite linear. Sure the game has elements of the sandbox genre, there is the open city for you to roam around in and a choice of missions (main story and side) but thats where the links to that genre end. This is not nessecarily a bad thing though as it means that Infamous focuses on its story driven gameplay and wonderfully executed electricity based special powers.

Some people might bemoan the fact that Cole only has electrical powers at his disposal and dismiss them as “boring”, well those people would be wrong. Yes, Cole doesn’t have the outrageous abilities the protaganist of Crackdown had but the truth is he doesn’t need them. The player can hover in the air, shoot at enemies, throw grenades at enemies and glide on rails, all by using these fantastic powers. In the demo pretty much all the powers were upgraded but as you would expect in the full game you will have to upgrade your powers through progression in the game. What sort of powers/abilities you will have at your disposal will all be determined by how you play the game. If you are an angel throughout the game you will gain hero status which is indicated by the blue coloured electricity coming out of Cole. However if you are naughty you will become Infamous and this will be indicated by the red coloured electricity that comes out of Cole.

The city in Infamous is very well designed too, it definitely looks and feels like a place that has been ravaged. Buildings look worn down, there are broken down cars are on the streets and some citizens actually look stressed out! One thing I forgot to mention before is that Cole also has the ability to scale/climb buildings and the city is designed in such a way that when he does so everything just feels natural. There are occasions where you can grab onto ledges or poles when you don’t want to but most of the time this mechanic works really well, almost nearing the fluidity of something like Assassin’s Creed.

In the demo which was released you get to play four pretty lengthy missions which give you a great indicator of what to expect from the full game. The opening mission is the standout one though, it sees Cole powering up a broken down train full of trapped innocents and getting them to safety. The demo is highly enjoyable and certainly whets the appetite for the full game. Well enough of my thoughts, have a gander at the footage. Enjoy!

The demo is available to download from the PlayStation Store now and weighs in at 1183MB.

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