In inFAMOUS you take the role of Cole, an unlucky and seemingly random person who has been granted electricity related powers due to being caught in the blast of a powerful device. The game is spent searching for the device and dealing with the super powered enemies involved with it. This is the exact kind of cheesy made for sci-fi story line that thinks it’s being clever, type of story that I like. This story is filled with lame one-liners that are actually executed with good voice acting, a somewhat predictable and expected ending twist, and a lot of unexplained abilities.
Abilities such as suddenly being able to scale large structures with acrobatic professionalism. I really don’t see how control over electric energies could possible be related to rock climbing skills. I would of liked to of been informed more about the ‘sciences’ behind Cole’s powers. However, even with his electricity based powers, it probably would have been difficult to explain away his far fetched abilities, like floating through the air by emitting “static” from your hands, a ability known as static thrusters.
Even though these static thrusters are hard to believe they prove to be quite fun, as does the other form of transportation, grinding. Switching between flying over buildings and grinding on power lines and train tracks makes for a rather interesting and entertaining way to get between missions, the only problem is you don’t have these abilities from the get go. In the beginning of the game you are left to, for the most part, run on the ground from point to point. This of course gets tedious after a while, it also feels strange at first, due to a somewhat floaty running mechanic.
After running you have the option to take to the building tops. I found building scaling to be less then preferred when it was the only thing I was doing, because this game has so many objects that are grab able that trying to climb the face of a building just feels like your going against the grain. I wanted so much to fluidly go from ground to rooftop in a few motions, only to be met with stop after stop at each little windowsill.
I found my solution early on in the game for the transportation bore to be somewhat pathetic: I would jump on the top of a car and bum a ride to my destination. Try to picture that, a badass dude who looks like Nathan Hale, with the power of lightning, casually rolling around on the top of some ones hatchback. Once flight is unlocked, one thing is clear, it beats the hell out of getting to missions hobo style.
The missions themselves are plenty in number, and there ok when it comes to different types of objectives. In my first play through I went as good and completed every side mission, on my second I played evil, and almost only story missions. What I noticed was that while playing story only, the game doesn’t feel like it’s missing something. It feels like it is truly meant for you to play either way, all story or free roam. However, if you choose to go through ignoring the side quest then you’ll be faced with a slight lack of power progression. Leveling up will be more difficult, and good/evil side quest specific abilities will be impossible to unlock.
Another thing that each play through had in common was that whether it was good or evil they where relatively the same. The games most dramatic way of determining good and evil is slight cut scenes where Cole runs through the moral implications of two choices, one obviously good, and the other evil. The only problems with these scenes, besides them being spelled out like where children and don’t understand the difference between right and wrong, is that no matter what you decide there is almost no consequence for your action. Usually the only thing that happens is that someone will tell you how they think you’re a good guy, or how they think you’re a prick for what you just did. This isn’t always the situation though, some times you’ll be faced with getting a blast of some nasty explosion that will cripple you for the next ten minuets if you take the blast, or it will kill a lot of innocent by standers, but leave you unharmed. In these situations the choice will affect the game play, but the story is left untouched. The only times I encountered story changing decisions was towards the very end, and they worked well, it just would have been nice to see things like them throughout the game.
After each mission, whether it is good/evil or a normal side mission, the end makes for the perfect stopping point. The only thing is I just can’t stop, I even found it hard to make time for those trivial things in life i.e. eating, and sleeping. Sure, I usually have trouble with these things whenever I play a game, but even with other games I usually stop for a while after a challenging boss fight, but not with inFAMOUS, although, that could be due to the fact that there aren’t actually any challenging boss fights.
By this I mean that I was able to find a way during every boss fight that I could either master the bosses attack pattern easily and instantly, or I could find a way to exploit a characteristic of the game in order to avoid all damage. I even found the final boss fight to be the easiest part of the game, that’s sad. Things like this constantly pulled me out of the experience of the game throughout. So did the overall look of the game. This game runs at a low frame rate, which dose not compliment the constant blasting of bright blue lightning. This game just doesn’t look good.
This game is fun the first time, and the two karma levels combined with large amount of collectables that flesh out the back-story allow for great re-playability. Annoying things such as low frame rates, early travel troubles, and exploitable enemies can really pull you out of the game. inFAMOUS had an opportunity to do something great with its karma system, but passed this up with how they executed their evil/good decisions. The story line is left with a lot of loose ends, and it would be nice to see a sequel or some dlc (if where lucky) that ties things up.
I give this game a ( I don’t like rateing scales so I wont be giving a score, if you just skiped to the end for one then read my review)