Incredible freedom of movement, intense combat, and an enthralling story make Infamous an impressive open-world action game.
- Moving around the city is easy and exciting
- Fast combat with a variety of awesome powers
- Engrossing story with interesting characters
- Powerful moral choices
- Great pacing and lots of different mission types.
- A variety of both gameplay and visual glitches.
Imagine waking up one day and finding yourself in the middle of a burning crater, destroyed buildings and dead people everywhere. You soon learn that you are no longer like other humans. Electricity courses through your body, endowing you with superpowers and, by extension, the power to control the fates of those around you. Will you become a noble hero, striving to bring peace to a city in ruins? Or will you lash out in anger, crushing the weak humans who are no longer your equals? In Infamous, the choice is yours. These moral dilemmas intertwine your fate with that of the city, but it's the amazing freedom that makes this experience so incredible. From unleashing electrical blasts to corral your enemies, to scaling the highest skyscrapers with finesse and ease, Infamous lets you seamlessly control the powered-up hero you've always wanted to be. The buggy visuals and gameplay glitches can't quite live up to the excellent action, but the overall experience crushes these small problems like so many petty criminals. It's not easy being a superhero, but it is an absolute blast.
A powerful bomb has exploded in Empire City, bringing the thriving island metropolis to its knees. Gangs now rule the streets, causing cops and citizens alike to cower in fear, and a deadly pandemic has forced the government to quarantine the whole area. At the center of the cataclysmic blast is Cole, an ordinary bicycle messenger. Of course, he isn't so ordinary anymore. The explosion killed thousands and leveled buildings like they were fragile card houses, but it gave him superpowers. Cole can shoot lightning bolts from his fingertips and withstand an inordinate amount of punishment, so he is the one who must track down the bombers and bring order to the city. The story is rooted firmly in typical comic-book struggles, but the characters are so well developed, the problems so believable, that the deeper you plunge into the conspiracy the more fascinating it gets. As the story pushes you toward the chilling conclusion, you'll become completely immersed in this universe. The cutscenes add to this impact, employing stylish, animated illustrations that would be equally at home in a comic-book.
However, the story is not just a static tale of vengeance and betrayal. You have a choice in how it plays out, which gives you a strong connection to the events, sucking you further into the world. Whenever Cole is faced with a moral decision, the action pauses and Cole spells out his thoughts to you. Should he let the hungry citizens eat the government-delivered food, or scare them off and take it all for his friends? The abrupt stop in the action lacks the immediate impact that a more organic choice would have given, but it makes you face the consequences head on, forcing you to consider both sides of the coin before brashly rushing in. The problems are often black and white, presenting a clear path toward being a superhero or villain, but there are a few twists to the classic formula that make the problems feel much more authentic. There isn't always an obvious good or evil route, so you'll have to put yourself in Cole's shoes, decide how you want the situation to play out, and live with the consequences--both in how the story plays out and in the look of the city itself.
Empire City is split into three large islands, and by the end of the game, you'll be able to travel across the whole city, jumping into missions or on top of buildings without restrictions. Moving around the city feels almost perfect, given that the ease of climbing and leaping makes the whole world burst with possibilities. You can easily grab on to windows, pipes, and other fixtures on the outside of buildings, which makes climbs from the dirty streets to the breezy rooftop quick and painless. There's a slight stickiness to Cole's leaps, so when you jump close to objects that you can grab, you'll be pulled into their path. This simple mechanic makes sliding along thin wires or bouncing across tiny posts incredibly fun, letting you worry more about where you want to go rather than how you're going to get there. As you progress through the game, you unlock the ability to glide through the air and grind railroad tracks, which makes the already dynamic movement even more freeing. The whole system is so immediately satisfying that it's possible to get lost in this huge metropolis for hours, joyfully dashing across towering buildings, skating along railroad tracks, and shimmying up lampposts.
Although leaping from building to building is a blast on its own, there are worthwhile goodies hidden around the city that give you a tangible reason to explore every nook and cranny. There are 350 blast shards scattered in all sorts of odd places, and collecting them gives you the ability to store more electricity, which means that you have even more power with which to zap enemies and innocent bystanders. There are also drop points scattered across the three islands that give important details about the events that unfolded before the bomb changed everything. To find these hidden items, you need only tap L3 and they will appear on your radar, eliminating the frustration of having to hunt down hundreds of collectables. However, it's when you start tracking down these items that a slight problem with the movement crops up. The stickiness of your jumps is great when you're sprinting across rooftops, but it makes landing in precise locations rather tricky. Cole latches on to everything near him, so trying to drop down a story to nab a tucked-away shard can be trying at times. The benefit of being pulled into every climbable object far outweighs this slight annoyance, but it can be grating when you just want to grab a tiny ledge and Cole's sticky fingers won't obey.