CES 2009: Infamous Updated Impressions

We witness a quick demo of Infamous at the Sony booth during this year's Consumer Electronics Show.

It's hard to say that games are a huge focus at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, and for evidence of that, one need look no further than the Sony booth. Sony's various PlayStation offerings took up just a corner of the company's massive show floor, with the rest of the gargantuan space dedicated to other electronics bearing the Sony name. However, this morning Sony put on a stage show to talk about a few of its key first-party games due out in 2009. One such game is one that we've had our eye on since its impressive E3 showing: the Sucker Punch-developed sandbox action game known as Infamous.

Leading the demonstration was the game's producer, Brian Fleming. With CES aimed at a less hardcore audience than your typical video game show, Fleming gave a fairly generalized overview of the game. In short: You play as a character named Cole, a college dropout turned bicycle messenger who one day delivers a package that results in a massive electromagnetic explosion going off, killing everyone in a six-block radius except for him. The result is a brand-new Cole who is angry, seeking answers, and suddenly imbued with superhuman electrical powers. Before the explosion, Cole was pretty into parkour, and now he's even more athletic in the way he runs and jumps atop--and often across--tall buildings. You might think of it as a modern-day, urban Assassin's Creed with insane electrical powers thrown in for good measure.

Don't mess with Cole. Seriously, don't.

This is all material that's been covered before, but the demo took place in a brand-new environment that we hadn't yet seen. This new area gave us a bit of insight into the game's morality system, which is to say that it offered a chance to see that Cole isn't simply an antihero who runs around zapping helpless pedestrians who so much as breathe at him funny (though that's certainly still an option if you choose to play that way). Cole was in a city park, fighting off a few enemies while investigating a mysterious black poison with the consistency of tar that was coming from nearby sewer pipes. Apparently this toxic liquid is having an extremely adverse affect on the local population, so you can choose to pursue the source of it and put it to a stop rather than putting all of the locals out of their misery with zaps to the face.

To do this, Fleming navigated Cole from the park to an underground tunnel that serves as a potential source of information on the scourge. Along the way, Fleming showed off some of the game's slick platforming. Cole can quickly and effortlessly climb up buildings, dance along thin wires, and leap to the ground with a devastating thud. What's most remarkable is how smooth the animations look, blending it all together.

We told you not to mess with him.

Fleming then made it to the tunnel, showing off some of the close-quarters combat. This reduces Cole's ability to monkey around with his running and jumping abilities, instead forcing you to rely on brute force to make it through. Thankfully, Cole's got that in spades. The best example might be the electromagnetic pulse, which devastates everything within a certain radius. This comes in very handy in the tunnel, with all of the cars becoming potential projectiles to fling at oversized enemies.

Fleming ended the demo before the mission was complete so as to avoid spoiling the story, but the brief glimpse we saw of the game during this stage demo looked quite good. You can expect to see more on Infamous as its spring 2009 release draws closer.

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175 comments
colejd
colejd

This game looks freakin sweet I might have to buy a PS3 just to play it.

charonill
charonill

Wow. This and Prototype, in many ways very similar but both look amazing. I guess it just depends on whether you want to zap and explode people or slice and dice them gruesomely.

maverick_76
maverick_76

Man I hope both Prototype and Infamous become good, I have been waiting for a good superhero game to play.

barney-22-
barney-22-

This is gonna rape prototype . . . i don't even know why ppl think it's gonna be better than this because this look's like it's gonna kick some serious ass this year =)

NYrockinlegend
NYrockinlegend

Wow. The graphics are very well-done, too. Overall, I'll see about this game at a later date. I can guarantee it'll be fun, though. Glad to see that the Sly gang still has some great ideas up their sleeve.

warhawk-smakaho
warhawk-smakaho

all i see in this article is fanboys bashing fanboys for being fanboys...i dont get it ROFLCOPTER

bnazty23
bnazty23

Hey guys fanboy banter should be kept to Gamepro, trust me they love that junk there. Honestly all three systems have something to offer, me personally I don’t get around to playing the Wii all that much but hey a lot of people really enjoy it so who am I to bash it. @STREEballa: Hey guy I have been seeing news articles all over about the growing interest of the 360 in Japan over the past few months so I looked this up. Since early September the 360 has either been outselling the PS3 or selling consistently with the PS3 in Japan. Also, in 2008 sales figures for 360 grew a whopping 55% in Japan while figures for the PS3 dropped 24% in the year ending 2008. Hey man no offense to you really not at all, simply I an working toward my law degree so I have to be completely accountable for my words: I have to back up what I say with sources. Take a look at this website, it chronicles sales figures for video game consoles in Japan dating back to 2003! http://forum.pcvsconsole.com/viewthread.php?tid=8272&page=40

bnazty23
bnazty23

I am so ready for this game. It was on the cover of Gameinformer months ago and I am pretty sure it was slated to come out in 2008 but was pushed back. I am not sure perhaps I am thinking of Prototype but in any case definitely pumped for this one.

donmega1
donmega1

i will beat this in 3 days (few hours a day) and take it back to blockbuster....

hottstreetballa
hottstreetballa

@MetalGearGhOsT I understand your frustration with fanboys but you sound like a fanboy yourself with the false statements you said. Least popular? Yeah...mainly in the US...in Japan however PS3/Wii is far superior in popularity. Least sucessful? Sure in the entire timeline of this gen of consoles, but since it was released later than Xbox360 of course it isn't up to the sales as Microsoft. But I have read plenty of articles (Not saying they are 100% true) and with my own experience it seems Sony is having just the same sucess as Xbox did when the consoles were launched (And have actually outsold xbox in numerous months). So basically what I am saying that the old "PS3 is unsucessful" accusation is getting old and more untrue each month that passes. Anyways...The games graphics look amazing, although like a lot of people I am not sure about it. Everything about the game looks like it's gonna rock except the control of electricity has never been an interest for me and seems kind of cheesy to me, although it is something new. But then again it does sound kind of cool lol so I am still up in the air but have hope.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

@MetalGearGhOsT But Gears 2 came out last year... Anyway InFamous sounds pretty coolies!

PSWII60user
PSWII60user

MetalGearGhOsT. and for someone who says that the ps3 only has one single title this year. you only named gears 2 in your list. so tell me "oh lover of all systems and not a fanboy" name three titles without the word halo in it, coming out for the 360 this year that are worth playing.

PSWII60user
PSWII60user

MetalGearGhOsT, you shouldn't use words that you don't know the meaning of. but as for infamous, this game is gonna rock. this along with killzone 2, uncharted 2, God of War III, The next ratchet and clank game... 2009 is gonna rock!

ishan9
ishan9

i am gonna get all games which get over 8.0.

RibMan
RibMan

XBL is more "hardcore" because you have to pay for it...

bvramlow
bvramlow

@ metalgearghost.... "360 has XBox Live which is a lot more hardcore???" what the hell are you talking about?? how is it more "hardcore" than the playstation network?? i think being able to play online for free and rent or buy dvds and tv shows in 1080p plus being able to browse the web and watch porn, :) is way more "hardcore" than xbox live... im not trying to start an argument but dude...i had to sell my ps3 because i was way to hardcore of an online player... your right though 360 is for casual gamers but ps3 is a way of life... lol thats why i had to sell it

Hellboard
Hellboard

@MetalGearGhOsT too bad all the rest that dont have a ps3 wont play them because they are exclusives, its no fun or competitive to play a game that the rest cant play, so there is no way to tell if it rocks or not :( Thats why i hate exclusives..

MetalGearGhOsT
MetalGearGhOsT

I love how Fan Boy's are all like "PS3 IS GOING TO ROCK 09! WE HAVE THREE SINGLE PLAYER GAMES COMING OUT!!!!". Ya, the exclusives for the PS3 look sweet, but I don't understand all of this "PS3 will be ahead by 2010", "The 360 is for casual gamers" and "The 360 has no exclusives besides that Halo game" . Hmm, what is the LEAST successful system of the next gen right now? The PS3. The 360 has XBOX LIVE which is a lot more 'hardcore' (if you want to call it that) than playing single player games on the PS3. Ya sweet you beat God of War 3 (which will probably be an awesome game), then what? That's why the 360 is so successful (Gears of War 2 -> amazing single player and XBOX LIVE play which makes it even better and last for years, unlike single player games which last for a few of months). I'm not even a fan boy, I love all systems and games but when people bash the 360 for stupid crap (especially when it's coming from people who own the least popular and least successful new system), that just makes me mad lol

dkpunk
dkpunk

It does remind me an awful lot of Crackdown... Albeit prettier.

EdibleFood
EdibleFood

this looks miles better than prototype

raith616
raith616

think i'll buy both, definately look like keepers in the trash the city in the name of good kinda jobs

JacobD1505
JacobD1505

I remember analysts saying that by 2010 the PS3 would be pulling ahead as the top console. When comparing the games for 2009, I would agree....but with the struggling economy...I find it doubtful.

bjarneantonsen
bjarneantonsen

#LordChimera Seriously, you're wrong... Infamous is yet another one of the amazing PS3 exclusives coming out in 2009 :P

LordChimera
LordChimera

WTF? This game is on both platforms isn't it? Why the fek are you fanboys arguing now???? Grow up. They both rock(ps3 and 360) This games looks fun. I hope it's guna be like a deeper version of Crackdown. :)

IceDefenseGod
IceDefenseGod

PS3 has always looked more promising for hardcore gamers. 360 is so popular because of the amount of casual gamers nowadays.

starkiller2008
starkiller2008

i have both xbox 360 and ps3 . i got to say the ps3 looks more promising this year with the likes of god of war 3, uncharted 2, killzone 2, infamous

msharki
msharki

Still doesn't look interesting to me. It just sounds like the Force Unleashed in a different environment with a different character. Just give me Uncharted 2 and God of War 3 already!

Gezquester
Gezquester

I am so looking forward to this!

hayesplumbing
hayesplumbing

Looks and has the feel like the game Crackdown..... Just my 2 cents.

lanmanna
lanmanna

Sucker Punch=WIN Anyone think this guy runs like Sly Cooper though? LOL.

jfvert
jfvert

Could care less about which systems you have. This game looks fun, though. Wasn't much in the beginning, but it's turning out to look awesome. His movements look almost surreal. I think between Infamous, Prototype, God of War III and Drake's Fortune 2 there should be plenty of awesome action games for fans of the genre in 2009.

Molokai16
Molokai16

i don't like much the way the guy runs... looks like he's go a d!ldo up he's arse but the game overall... looks AWESOME

vega666
vega666

Cardkoda: Oh yes. Finally you'll get validation that you bought the best system... *f*a*n*b*o*y*i*s*m*... What makes a system-exclusive game better than a non-exclusive game? Oh. And the fact that the 360 sells tons more consoles DESPITE not having a BR player should tell you something. (This coming from someone with all 3 consoles. I guess I'm the real winner here :D ) Douche.

cardkoda
cardkoda

Search_for_Vali forgot God of War 3, Heavy Rain and Gran Turismo 5 among others. Its funny because 360 really doesn't have any good exclusives coming out except for the halo game. Besides that. nothing. lol. PS3 will rock 09!

Str4ider
Str4ider

prototype looks more versatil to me but this might be just as god really dont know what to do xD

mantovan
mantovan

this game looks fantastic,,,

Search_for_Vali
Search_for_Vali

CES was a real win for Sony fans this year: Infamous, Killzone 2, Resistance Retribution. Those three games + Resident Evil 5 and Uncharted 2 and this year is going to be an awesome one for me.

gummy_joe
gummy_joe

This actually looks quite good, may be one to consider if i can afford it, this year looks up for sony.

lostboy85
lostboy85

I'm really excited to play this game. I hope it will be on display at GDC this year.

least93
least93

I agree with stangen prototype looks beter but infamous may be good but still prototype is the game for me so far but lets wait and see.

Assassinspeed
Assassinspeed

This will most likely be a huge flop in my opinion.

vietboi89
vietboi89

is hope it has a deep sand box feel to it

stangen
stangen

Not convinced still, protoype just seems more adult oriented, and gameplay looks nasty!!! hope the graphics are buffed up a bit b4 release though.

EcoJak
EcoJak

looks pretty good