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Old 06-02-2009, 01:28 AM   #1
lost
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[PS3] - inFAMOUS Review

Title: inFAMOUS
Platform: PS3
Platform Reviewed: PS3
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
MSRP: $59.99, 39.99, €59.99
Writer: Martin 'lost' Perry

inFAMOUS Review

The PlayStation 3 gets yet another brilliant exclusive with Sucker Punch's engrossing superhero open-world game.

Sucker Punch had a bit of an advantage going into this one. For those of you who haven't played them the 'Sly Cooper' games were outstanding pieces of platforming and broke new ground and offered some open-area free running style action well before Ubisoft jumped on that particular bandwagon. It is no surprise then that the freestyle locomotion in inFAMOUS is quite so enjoyable but you'll be pleased to hear that isn't the only thing they've got right with this superhero epic. This is, without a doubt, one of the best games of the year and a major new franchise.

In inFAMOUS you play delivery boy turned electricity powered superhero Cole. After delivering a package he unwittingly unleashes an explosion which trashes his native Empire City. With the city now under quarantine he is the only man capable of stopping the onslaught of violence from the newly freaky gangs and returning a sense of civilization to his home. On the way you'll learn of clandestine organisations, face typical superhero crisis with your loved ones and overcome a menace in an ending you genuinely won't see coming.

The story is actually better thought out than I had anticipated. Sucker Punch have toyed with the 'what if superheroes were real' notion with a fresh eye. Although a nemesis is revealed pretty early on the majority of this tale orientates itself around the people in Cole's life. His relationship with girlfriend/doctor Trish takes a nasty turn as she discovers he was responsible for the explosion that has killed so many, best friend Zeke struggles with living in the shadow of his god-like pal and the trials and tribulations of the whole city are experienced through the missions you'll play. The narrative is well constructed and rarely panders to the lowest common denominator. Sucker Punch use this story to drag out a connection with your playground but you might just miss a plot point if you look away for a second.

That's not to say the story is complicated, there is just a lot to it. This is true for most of the game with your ever-evolving powers numbering too high to count on your fingers. From the ability to heal pedestrians to creating electricity grenades or gliding through the sky the developers have really thought outside the box when equipping our hero. All of these powers have to be mapped on to the PS3 controller and fortunately inFAMOUS handles like a dream. You have genuine control of Cole's actions and being able to fire as you cling onto ledges is only one combination of your abilities. Each ability can be used in conjunction with any other and that creates a wide range of tactical options.

You wouldn't be able to blast away from the side of a building if you couldn't get up there and 'getting up there' is a big part of the game. Cole was, by all accounts, a very accomplished 'urban explorer' before his accident and his new abilities only make him more capable. Leaping up window ledges, grabbing signs and climbing drain pipes are all done in order to explore the roofs of Empire City. Zipping along power wires, gliding between roofs, making daring leaps – this entire review could be filled with the lists of things you can do in inFAMOUS. Needless to say all of this gives you excellent means to navigate the city and it is truly thrilling to do so. Divided into 3 distinct islands Empire City consists of the opening 'Neon' area which is reminiscent of Zack Snyder's vision of Watchmen, the 'Warren' which is a shanty town inhabited by very violent hobos and the final 'Historic' section which is a little more old-fashioned. Each offers something new in terms of exploration.

Between the city and the story you will feel a deep connection to the world inhabited by Cole and his friends. A massive amount of care has been taken to create a world which, while not overly large, is most definitely well realized. inFAMOUS's emotional draw is the perfect basis for the moral choices you will be forced to make. During missions and on your wanderings you will be asked to make heroic or evil decisions that modify your powers, your appearance (blue is good, red is bad incidentally) and the public perception of this new superhero. The game definitely wears its heart on his sleeve and there isn't a whole lot of subtlety here but Sucker Punch have made it all too easy to join the dark side. Your personal struggle or acceptance of the rewards garnered through misbehavior adds another layer to the gameplay. Your tactics within missions, and this brilliant playground allows for plenty of choice, will have to be modified if you want to reach a particular rank.

Speaking of the missions Sucker Punch have put plenty in. There are over 30 main story missions and each is unique. Open-world games so often fall into the trap of repetition in order to pad out their content but not here. Your powers are unlocked through sewer missions which bear a very close resemblance to Sly Cooper's platforming, various civilians need all sorts of help (not just an escort) and you'll have to overcome the rooftops while hunting down bad guys. It is perhaps a little too easy to just run through the story missions and you may well miss out on the great side-missions. Typically these parts of open-world games are grind-fodder but in inFAMOUS there is a good selection of side-missions with several being unique. Their completion allows you control over a related area of the city and will unlock benefits for both you and the citizens.

The story content amounts to around 7 or 8 hours of gameplay however with the fun side-missions you can tack on another 4 in order to experience everything the game has to offer. You'll want to try it all out as that connection between you and the city grows stronger. It's the sort of game you'll want to return to from time to time and it'll take you a long while to gather up all the collectibles and story hints scattered around the city. A second play-through is recommended too as some of the side-missions are good/evil specific. In other words one good act will lock out another bad one so you won't be able to experience everything in one go. Some might see this as a detriment but with the game being fun regardless of the level of your abilities I can imagine only a grumpy few will mind playing again.

Stand out moments like the ascent up the 'Dust Men' tower, among the games other achievements, make inFAMOUS something truly special. I have minor criticisms like there being perhaps too few platforming challenges like said tower or the fact that your main offensive fire never becomes semi-automatic but these are slight niggles. Also, occasionally your footing will slip as you expectantly leap toward a pole that Cole isn't ready to grab. These are entirely insignificant compared to the joy and fun the game has to offer. Worth buying a PlayStation for? It is a uniquely brilliant title, a great first entry in what is now Sony's biggest and best new franchise. You could certainly do a lot worse.

Score: 4.5 out of 5


The Good
  • Empire City is a joy to explore and has its own unique identity. One of the few open-worlds you'll ever truly connect to.
  • Great selection of powers which unlock at a steady pace and genuine advantages are offered depending on your morale choices.
  • Brilliant presentation with very little slowdown or pop-in. Fantastic art design in the cutscenes.
  • Varied missions and loads of content to play through.

The Bad
  • Tapping the fire button can become tiresome – your main weapon doesn't really upgrade in any satisfying way.
  • Key plot points can be easily missed.
  • Needs a few more huge landmarks.

The Ugly
  • Nothing. The game has no grievous flaws.

Average press score:

TestFreaks: 7.8/10
MetaCritic: 86/100
GameRankings: 87.49/100

Last edited by lost; 06-06-2009 at 04:16 AM..
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Old 06-02-2009, 05:46 AM   #2
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I haven't made it off the first island yet, but I'm really enjoying the game so far.
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:25 AM   #3
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tried the demo last night after reading this, seemed like a decent game, will pick it up someday, on the cheap of course. my $10 copy of haze is still sitting in shrinkwrap
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Old 06-02-2009, 06:39 AM   #4
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I love this game. I'm half way through my second playthrough. (Evil this time) The movement and combat is just so slick and smooth while tossing electric death everywhere.

One thing you should have mentioned is the game does have a few bugs. It has froze on me twice and I've fallen through the floor. I also had to abandon and restart a train mission because it kept falling through its roof. (The animation it did was actually quite hilarious so I didn't mind) I've also hit a few invisible walls. The good thing is the game has auto save and is very generous with checkpoints during missions so the few bugs aren't really all that bad, but they still should be mentioned.

EDIT: Oh yeah and the animations when talking to NPCs are terribad. (So bad they are often funny) Its just kind of jarring since the movement and combat animations are so fluid. Again all the complaints I have about the game are minor stuff, the core of the game, zipping around on power lines, scrambling up building building, tossing shock grenades and zapping fools is a hell of a lot of fun.

Last edited by Greeble; 06-02-2009 at 10:38 AM..
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Old 06-02-2009, 09:38 AM   #5
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When you use "brilliant" in the headline, it kills the suspense.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:03 PM   #6
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Yeah, I've had one lockup, and fallen through the world once during my first playthrough. Roommate had one lockup on his playthrough as well (dunno if it was the same area or not). But otherwise, great game. About to start a second playthrough as evil after growing jealous of the rocket/grenade spam I was seeing my roomie capable of generating.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:12 PM   #7
Azriel77
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I have it and love it. Its got a few minor problems, but the good far out way the bad. Definite worth a buy if you are on the fence with getting it. Finished it and probably going back to be evil this time.
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Old 06-02-2009, 01:55 PM   #8
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I've had a great time playing this, one of the few games I've played in a long time that has me thinking about it and wanting to play it when I'm out of the house. The review is spot on with my feelings and I'm looking forward to finishing it up the game with a 100% soon!
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:00 PM   #9
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I think I had one lockup...I think. It probably slipped my mind among all the fun

That's right! It locked up when I pressed select and start over and over in quick succession. Don't know why I did.
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:25 PM   #10
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I think it's because you killed the mission-giver, happened to me alot, that and they just disappeared off my map sometimes, had to set a marker whenever doing the faction missions.
I enjoyed playing it, but it felt a little too short, story wise.
The rails fast travel was a little too slow, kept forgetting about the train being faster ><
The completely evil Powers looked Badass with the black and red.
I wish you could upgrade your jumping
I noticed a few glitches here and there, but regardless it did have me hooked.
I really liked the way the story differed slighty from good and evil campaigns, was one of the things that really disappointed me about Bioshock. You really felt that people noticed the change in your decisions.
I beat it as good and evil, but it didnt really feel like there was any reason to finish up the missions. The upgrades, while sweet, didnt really feel like a big difference after leveling it up.
I'd give it a solid 4/5
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Old 06-02-2009, 03:40 PM   #11
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I'm NOT buying this game because the demo doesn't support 1080i.

IS IT THAT HARD TO SUPPORT THIS RESOLUTION FOR OLDER HDTV OWNERS? JUST UPSCALE THE DAMN FUCKING GAME!

I don't understand what's the fucking problem, most other Sony published games support 1080i, such as Killzone 2, Uncharted, Ratchet, Resistance 2. It was the same thing with LBP, I bought it thinking they would patch it later, but no, they'd rather spend development time on 1000 fucking useless costumes for a buck each.

Even Disfuckingea 3 that sold probably 50k copies supports 1080i.

No wonder why I buy multi-platform games on 360, it has an hardware scaler and all games are supporting 1080i.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:15 AM   #12
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Cry more, please.
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Old 06-03-2009, 01:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunnSgtHartman View Post
I'm NOT buying this game because the demo doesn't support 1080i.

IS IT THAT HARD TO SUPPORT THIS RESOLUTION FOR OLDER HDTV OWNERS? JUST UPSCALE THE DAMN FUCKING GAME!

I don't understand what's the fucking problem, most other Sony published games support 1080i, such as Killzone 2, Uncharted, Ratchet, Resistance 2. It was the same thing with LBP, I bought it thinking they would patch it later, but no, they'd rather spend development time on 1000 fucking useless costumes for a buck each.

Even Disfuckingea 3 that sold probably 50k copies supports 1080i.

No wonder why I buy multi-platform games on 360, it has an hardware scaler and all games are supporting 1080i.
Agreed.
I have a 55" 480p, 1080i TV and a 22" LCD monitor. My 360 upscales to 1080i and 1680 x 1050, So everything always looks much better on my 360.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:31 AM   #14
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This game actually makes me wish I had a PS3.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:52 PM   #15
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I really do not know how to rate this game. I bought this game when it was initially released based on the trailers I've seen, game style/uniqueness, and review. I've found InFamous fun and different but ultimately the game has been sitting on my coffee table after 2 weeks of on and off play. There's something about it that just lacks. It has great graphics and the controls are extremely fluid. I think I'm halfway through the game and I think I should have rented it instead of purchasing it. I think the story is interesting but lacks in the way they delivery the content in-game. I also don't feel connected to the character. All in all, this game could have been game of the year if the development team had more time to polish all of the areas. I'm not dogging the game.... I just think it could have been so much more.

One last note... the game feels repetitious and I find myself doing the same type of missions over and over.

Just my 2 cents....

I hope you had more of a long-term effect with you.

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Old 06-12-2009, 06:48 PM   #16
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Loved it, but thought it seemed short. Really fun to run around and zap the bad guys!
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Old 06-27-2009, 05:02 PM   #17
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Lots of fun. One thing I like is it seems like the developer tried hard not to make the game do anything annoying:
-No long splash screens, or menus, or intro movies. Stick the disk in and 20 seconds later you are playing (paradise city is really bad at this)
-Lots of check points during missions. If you die at any point, you usually restart just before that point. No messing around and painfully repeating yourself.
-Saving just happens. There is no need to manually save, the auto save just seems to work

Of course, its not perfect. Bad points:
-Some of the missions are pretty bad (removing listening devices from buildings? no thanks!)
-A few bugs. I have fallen through the world once.
-Some of the missions make no sense if you are playing as evil.

Over all its great fun. I am 2/3 of my way through my second play through (good this time).
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Old 06-29-2009, 04:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
-Some of the missions make no sense if you are playing as evil.
This is so true, they really needed "another" evil "side story".
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:02 PM   #19
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The lack of an online mode is a bit of a disappointment, but otherwise I agree. I had a great time with Infamous and it is easily my favorite PS3 game so far (to be fair, I have not played Valkyrie Profile or Disgaea 3 for long enough to fairly assess them. . . I'll play them after I own a PS3 and can play really long games).
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