Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. This is exactly what Sucker Punch does in their new title: ‘inFAMOUS’, the latest hero platform action adventure to hit the Sony PlayStation 3 console. InFAMOUS is the auspicious creation of the inclination towards superhero-dominated choice universe by Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) that sets their prolegomenon to the good versus evil plot. Having played inFamous for over a week now, we gained a lot of insight into Cole MacGrath more extensively for the relative play time. inFAMOUS sets a clever tone in terms of environment design and approaches a platform-blend theme in combat within a first party game. Unfortunately, repetitive missions followed by annoyingly disconcerted side-missions and a cliché superhero narrative lend itself to an eerie aftertaste that leaves Cole MacGrath and his journey from delivery boy to superhero inFAMOUSly blasé.
The amount of details within Empire City and the progression of the storyline itself are incredible. Empire City is fairly expanding, and has a level of depth that makes it interesting to merge all the subsequent layers of gameplay within parts of the city from inFamous to its storyline. Cole MacGrath is just a delivery boy on his way to deliver a mysterious package which ends up devastating Empire City. The minute the start key is hit, the city is in ruins and a montage of sundry scenes are displayed as Cole describes whether or not he is too late to save a city in dire peril. Whilst trying to leave the devastated city in fear, Cole and the players are introduced to Moya, an FBI agent that wants to recover the previously stated mysterious package that caused so much panic. Essentially even though inFamous’ storyline consists of a certain plot twist, most of the storyline is not believable and feels essentially discarding. While Sucker Punch pays attention to details, they forget the essential ingredient to a good game: a convincing storyline that is not like M. Night Shyamalan’s previous films.
Essentially, platforming play is leagues above our Assassin’s Creed ancestor in inFAMOUS. The way that Cole essentially learns all his powers revolve around the platforming scheme. Initially, he can run and jump and climb but only later does he learn to hover and grind in an exciting shift of gameplay. The animations are realistic and feel dynamic every single time to the point where detail clearly shows. Cole can climb up buildings in a very diverse way and engages with the environment that lends itself to convivial pursuit.
inFAMOUS’ combat essentially plays similar to other third-person games, minus the guns. Cole can utilize electricity using the over-the-shoulder camera angle and send out powerful electrical attacks that range from shortwaves to complete oblivion from the sky. Combat intertwines with a built-in Karma System that gauges the play style. Aggressive lends itself to evil and defensive to good. The Karma System essentially is the component that lets you know if you are a bad superhero, hence infamous, or a good superhero –famous. Various missions tend to send you to one side of the bar or the other, depending on the role that the mission itself serves. Some can be more Karma dependent than others.
inFAMOUS exerts itself well when it comes to details of the design or the platforming concept, unfortunately those two things are about the only thing it does right. While combat is genuinely interesting due to the electrical potential, it presents little to nothing amazing. The game comes bundled with over 50 different powers, but most of them can be simplified if the opponent A.I. was not lumped together in some cases due to the lack of proper challenge. Regrettably for Sucker Punch, there is little to no reward in inFamous every level aside from newer and ‘cooler’ powers. Eventually, it is hard to enjoy the repetitive action of this superhero adventure that replaces run-and-gun with run-and-shock.
While the enemy A.I. is fairly challenging in groups, it is essentially lacking. Of course you have enemies on rooftops, and some that scatter about machine guns, but that is all that they do. There is no real serious strategy involved other than to make sure you do not rush into a group of them to die. While Sucker Punch makes the strategy that leverage and environment blend seamlessly to real time combat a great one, the need for it cancels out due to a subpar A.I.
inFAMOUS essentially feels like the very electrical potential that runs through a circuit. The players will feel amazed at Cole’s blend of combat and platforming skill to finish missions within Empire City successfully. Sadly, there is always the threadbare reliability in the weak storyline, the run-and-shock combat, or the actual significance of any of the repetitively designed missions and pointless side-missions that zaps inFAMOUS to the realm of thinking twice before being bought.