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whatshot inFAMOUS PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.9
Graphics 9.5
Sound 9.5
Value 9.0
Distributor: Sony
Classification:
M15+
Review Date:
June 2009
Reviewer:
Andrew Bistak

9.0


inFAMOUS


Click here to learn more

What happens when the world of super heroes meets the world of the apocalyptic? The answer is inFAMOUS, Sony’s latest blockbuster gaming epic that is set in the not so distant future which is artistically put together like a graphic novel (or comic) in this engaging open world action adventure.

Gamers are transformed into Cole McGrath, a courier who was paid to take a mysterious package into the heart of Empire City. Unfortunately this package contained something deadly which devastated a six square block of this city when it exploded. Killing thousands, Cole was somehow left unharmed and unbeknown to him, he was bestowed electro-based powers.

Crossroads were reached for Cole... use your powers for good or evil, the choice is entirely up to the gamer.

Features:

  • Be a Hero: Take on the role of Cole, an everyday guy and urban explorer, who develops a wide range of electricity-based powers. Learn how to adapt to Cole’s evolving powers in an attempt to save Empire City and its people.
  • Super Powers: Feel what it is like to discover, grow and use a wide range of electricity-based super powers (good or bad); and grasp the responsibility that comes from being so powerful.
  • Epic Battles: Experience what it is like to be a true hero, taking responsibility for every action, as players battle against powerful iconic villains.
  • Open Dynamic World: Coupling rich powers with a reactive environment and population, experience complete freedom to explore a deep, open interactive city. Players will be challenged to decide if they choose to save or destroy Empire City.
  • Urban exploration: Scale the cityscape to discover new vantage points and employ a vertical combat system. Utilize Cole’s climbing skills to go where most people can not, opening up a variety of offensive and defensive combat options.
  • Organic, City Ecology: Watch the citizens and city react and evolve depending on players’ actions. Events will unfold based on the role players take in them, creating broader reactions in the city’s people and environment.

Apart from being a stock standard open world action adventure, the catch behind inFAMOUS is that your actions will influence the direction of the story, which is dictated whether you will be good, neutral or evil. In essence, you can either become a superhero or super villain and the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely” suits this game perfectly.

The game begins with your character standing in ground zero with the city around you in complete chaos from the explosion. Best of all, the tutorial does not come into play until you get out of ground zero which assists in immersing you into the story.

As Cole doesn’t know what is going on, neither does the gamer which is perfect story telling. Eventually you make it back to your base and the in-game tutorial begins. Apart from Cole, the story brings in a variety of characters such as Zeke, your sidekick/friend and even a love interest to assist with the history of the characters and the eventual ending of the game which is so ripe for a sequel. Not that I'm complaining!

The main goal in inFAMOUS is to complete a variety of missions in the game and finding the big bad, however you are given a choice in how you can complete these missions, either good or evil. Best of all, depending on which proposed alignment you choose, these will also affect your powers and how the people of Empire City portray you, whether as its guardian or destroyer.

Of course, it’s a hard line trying to be good all the time or evil because if you want power, you need to be evil, however if you want some control with powers, you need to be good. There are several choices in the game when using your powers, such as bringing back the dying or using your powers to steal more powers which all effect how your missions will play out.

Apart from the lush graphics and thundering sound system of inFAMOUS, the gameplay is an extremely sturdy piece of art that works exceptionally well. Initially the learning curve may be a little steep because as your progress, you are awarded experience points which can then be used to purchase additional powers.

Thankfully the tutorials in the game and first few missions in the title ensure that you have mastered the basics before it allows you to progress into something difficult. Although you can “save” to a degree, if you do happen to die during a mission, you are thankfully brought back at a checkpoint. The gameplay also ensures that not all the open world is accessible by the player and once again (ala Grand Theft Auto), you have a GPS system to assist with your mission goals.

In terms of power, Cole can perform a variety of superhero manoeuvres such as scaling walls like Spider-man, using electro-based powers to blast his foes or incapacitate them, create electric chains to hold your opponents down and of course steal energy from the electrical grid to power your powers. This is just the tip of the iceberg and where the game does shine is through combat.

Combat is quite varied and diverse which is dependent on your path, however if you choose to become a guardian, your powers are more refined and accurate, however if you choose a darker path, they are more powerful but also more unpredictable. Most battles will include you using your powers to electrocute or disable your foes. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of foes that you encounter and even though it does become a tad repetitive, it’s thoroughly enjoyable.

Graphically, inFAMOUS is a visual treat on the PS3 that although has a dark and muted colour palette, it suits this apocalyptic world perfectly. The open world is quite remarkable and allows for a great deal of freedom. The gaming environment is well designed as are all the characters that you encounter. The special effects of inFAMOUS suits your varied powers quite well and needless to say, it's a pure eye candy experience.

To compliment the graphics, the voice acting is very professional and the sound effects truly make use of the surround sound system. My only complaint is probably the music which seems a tad less majestic than the character you are playing. Even so, inFAMOUS is a very well designed and graphically impressive looking game.

Final thoughts? The developers have successfully created an interesting open world with a strong super hero theme that works very well. The story is great and the characters are quite relatable with a variety of twists and turns as you progress through the game. It’s hard being just “good” or “evil” in the game, however thankfully, the game takes this into account which will dictate the ending. The game has a strong comic book feel to it, through the cut scenes and cinemas of the title, however more importantly the gameplay which successfully transforms you into a superhero or super villain. Almost perfect!





 

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