Sucker Punch delivers another hit without straying too far from what they do best.

User Rating: 8 | inFamous PS3
Sucker Punch, who developed the Sly Cooper games for the PS2, brought a lot of the best from the thieving series to their new IP inFamous; and it turns out the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts.

In inFamous, you play as Cole: a guy that was caught in the wake of an explosion that killed hundreds and ruined a city that spans 3 islands, and in turn gained super powers. These powers all revolve around electricity. There's a various projectiles you can hurl which, for the most part function the same way but come in different levels of strong, stronger and strongest. You'll also get the ability to glide or hover for short distances, project a shield, grind on electrified rails & cables, and more.

Many of the powers are upgradeable. You purchase upgrades with experience points you rack up by completing missions, and performing various tasks.

The powers you get access to are in part dependent on whether you take a path of Good or Evil. And this is where the first downside seems to be. Myself I only played through the game once so far, and took the side of good. It appeared to me that once you make a decision on which path to, you best stick with that path as close as possible. The reason being is that certain upgrades are only available as you move up in the levels of Good and Evil. So if you stay neutral, and do not end up swinging either way, you will have limited upgrades available. Certain decisions you make will not only affect which powers you get but will also change how the story unfolds to encourage multiple play-throughs.

The need for extremes in your decisions is oddly out of place however, considering how much balance is present in the rest of the game. In terms of what there is to do, there seems to be equal parts platforming, exploration, and shooter-style action, and they all compliment each other quite nicely.

The city environments will give you plenty of real estate to crawl, run, and jump through. There's plenty of ledges, scaffolding, windows, fences, and a variety of other items that will let you climb over and around the environment.

The controls and the camera works very well in this respect, particularly when going up. Going down can succumb to the game's attempt at anticipating what you want to do. You may want to fall down very close to the side of a building, but you end up grabbing ledges off to the side impeding an intended fall.

Where the camera did take a little getting used to was when it crept up behind you as you move into shooter-mode. I found it hard at first to zero in on my enemies, find them in a crowd, then keep them in my sights. After a little bit of practice though it came naturally.

The developers were also kind enough to forgo quick time events. The only thing reminiscent of pointless button presses was the 2 times I recall have to repeatedly mash the X button to make something happen. But even something this simple was improved by giving you something else to do while tiring the thumb on your right hand. You also had to line up the characters hand over a certain area of the screen with the left analog stick, so even this task didn't feel useless like it does in other titles.

Another helping fulcrum can be found between the difficulty level and the mission check points. There are some challenging actions to pull off, but the game makes it easy to get the practice you need by not sending you back too far or wiping out the progress you made on key events.

When taking into consideration both the main story missions and side missions, you could find yourself having to take part in raids, escorting prisoners, protecting transports, infiltrating bases, retrieving packages, completing races, defending key locations, and more!

Some missions will have you crawling through the sewers and fixing electrical stations to restore power to sections of the city above. Although the sewers are rather bare, the lighting effects in the dark tunnels added some nice atmosphere. And when you've completed these missions, there's a little more life brought back to the city. Combine this with the fact that as your clear areas the enemies thin out you really feel like the city is improving in stature as you progress.

It sounds like there's a lot to do but when you break it down, really all the missions are about climbing, running and shooting a lot. The goals are different, but the road to the end is relatively the same. In addition to that, I felt there was little variety in the enemies. Yes, they had different models, but for the most part it's just guys with gun (with a few of exceptions).

These items should be a bad thing, however despite the only minor differences in mission types and most of your foes, it's still a lot of fun. It's fun to do the basics. It's fun to find the right vantage points, and climb the city, and despite the relatively small differences in your powers for offence, it's fun taking out the bad guys. It's fun to take them out while riding a rail, falling through the air, or by making a car explode on top of them.

It has action that never feels drawn out or tedious. It has options and choices to make, but they're not overwhelming. It has some depth, but you won't find yourself drowning. Sucker Punch did what they do best: taking the old concept of 'simple and straightforward is fun' while adding all the flare and style of our current age of gaming to deliver a highly enjoyable game.