Empire City, it's not as great as the pamphlets suggest. Gang-related crime is out of control, there's an odd problem with electricity and don't even get me started on the gas prices! $8.67 a gallon? No thanks, I'll walk. Oh wait, the sidewalk is filled with sick people taking a nap. Anywho, just click the jump to read our inFamous demo impression.
When you first start the inFamous demo up, you'll be greeted with a peaceful scene. Nothing can go wrong, if only for a few seconds. Then, a nice portion of the city is engulfed in a large electrical explosion and the hero of our tale makes his entrance. Cole MacGrath gives a brief explanation about Empire Cities current spiral into darkness. Basically, the American government attempted to contain the situation by closing down all access to the city. This kept the plague and mutants locked inside... As well as the citizens. Cole, upon discovering his new abilities, is their only hope.
The first time I played the demo, I focused on the four missions with minimal exploration. This was mainly attributed to the fact that I died and the game loaded up the next mission it wanted me to do. Anyhow, the demo starts you off in the beginning of a mission. Cole is tasked with delivering a train filled with prisoners to a train station. As you proceed along the tracks, Reapers attempt to stop you by shutting down power to the train. You'll have to get off the train, power up the tracks, kill Reapers and stand on top of the first cart in order to make it move(Cole's body acts as an electrical rail). The other three missions have you defending a crate of medical supplies, stopping a large truck, and destroying a keg that's pumping poison into a water supply. When you complete missions, you'll clean up certain areas and free them from Reaper control. The missions introduce you to the Reapers, a gang of mutants with all sorts of abilities and firepower, and the karma system. You'll see the dramatic shift in power as Cole goes from being a hero to infamous. When you're a hero, Empire City looks as though it is flourishing and the citizens are a little more friendly towards you. Some even take pictures of you. As Cole moves towards infamy, the city falls into decay, people collapse in the streets and they fear Cole. Cole himself receives a change in appearance as well as his powers.
On my second play through of the demo, I took the time to explore, play with the parkour, kick Reaper ass and collect Blast Shards. You have about ten minutes to play around in Empire City before the demo loads up a mission, so I made the best of it. My favorite aspect of the exploration is the parkour. It's not as smooth as Assassin's Creed and Cole occasionally glitches through items. Sometimes he doesn't even make an attempt to grab onto objects while other times, he grabs onto things you don't want him to. Despite this, it's still fun to scale a tall building and leap to the next. Cole can grab just about anything if he can reach it, create ways to cross large gaps, zoom around the city on top of trains, or zip across electrical wires. Blast shards are necessary for increasing your "battery power" or the amount of power Cole can actually use. If you need a quick recharge, you can suck the power out of a nearby electrical source or leech it from a wounded target(killing said target in the process and netting an infamous point). Those of you who want to play the hero, will need to use the "Arc Restraint" to capture Reapers and heal wounded citizens.
In the demo, we get thrown into the neon district, so there's plenty of electrical sources to allow us to experience all sorts of abilities. Cole's shock wave can be used to clear obstacles and send enemies soaring through the air. If he so chooses, Cole can combine the shock wave with his lightning bolts to kill enemies while they float through the air. If you find yourself falling into a nest of Reapers, you can use Cole's ability where electricity explodes from his body upon hitting the ground, damaging everything within a certain range. You can glide into enemy territory and deliver death from above. The higher the drop, the larger the range. After completing three missions, players will get to play around with the lightning storm ability. Basically it summons a few bolts of lighting from the sky to damage devastate everything in it's reach. If you're like me and like to get up close and personal, you can always deliver an electrified punch to the jaw and kick to face.
Needless to say, I am very impressed with the demo. The parkour could use a little more attention, but aside from that, I don't have any complaints. You can expect inFamous to hit(shock?) shelves this 26th. Now if you don't mind, I need to go take care of those Reapers down the street. Damn kids and their rap music.