posted 6/18/2009 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PS3
One of the big sandbox games coming to the PlayStation 3 stars an electrified hero/anti-hero who plays like a merging of Electro and Spider-Man. Infamous has been teased by Sony for a while now and the game's been pretty much on the radar for a great deal of PlayStation 3 owners. Sucker Punch has finally released the game and its one hell of a fun ride but like most rides there are a few bumps here and there.

The story of Infamous plays out like a comic book. You play as Cole McGath, unwitting delivery boy of the item that's leveled the city. As a bike courier, you were on your way to deliver what you find out is the Ray Sphere as it explodes and takes out six city blocks. A lot of people were killed but some have developed super powers like yourself. Along with the explosion, a plague forces the government to quarantine the three islands that comprise the game and it's your job to find out what happened and what it all means. You can go through your quest heroically or as evil as you want with your choices affecting a few aspects of the game.

If you've played any of the sandbox games out there like the Grand Theft Auto series or the Saints Row series, you can get the idea of what the gameplay is like for Infamous. As Cole you have the power to control electricity and you get various abilities from it. You do start out with the basic lightning blast ala the Emperor in Star Wars but as the game goes on your powers grow in both strength should you choose so and abilities. As you progress through the game, you gain experience points which you can then spend on improving your current powers. Some levels will only be accessible after you achieve a certain hero or thug status though. Each power's increase in abilities or strength is also split in two depending on what your character's karma is. It seems, as with movies, evil guys have the coolest powers and Infamous that same route as well. Now, I usually play my characters in a good way but man it sucks seeing the evil side always getting the better "toys" to play with. Still, I decided to go through the game as a hero and take the tamer upgrades. The upgrades, as I said earlier, can take the form of a stronger power or some added abilities to that power. For example, one of the upgrades to the shock grenade that you can throw can automatically bind enemies in certain circumstances. You do get a good variety to choose from and you do have the choice of whether you want to upgrade a power or not. I will say the last power you uncover is pretty wicked unleashing some massive vengeance that will take out many, many things.

The offensive power you'll use the most is the regular lightning blast. It's the only offensive power that doesn't take away from your reserves and you can use it even when you are fully drained. Hitting enemies a few times will knock them down. It's here where you can also play out how your character is as well. Another blast will kill the victim, you can leave him be, or put him in electric handcuffs for another point or few of experience with the former and latter choices. The other powers though take some amount from the reserves you have. But, there are plenty of areas to drain power from to recharge. Passing cars, light posts, even downed people can be drained for power. Collecting a set amount of blast shards can increase your reserve amount though and these things are scattered about the city like those damn orbs in Crackdown.

There's onscreen display on your health so you have to rely on some visual cues on how you are doing. As you are taking damage, you'll start to see some red veins appear around the edges of the screen signifying that you are hurt. It's only when you start seeing black and white that you know you are in danger of dying. You will automatically heal but it takes a long time so if you're in a firefight you need a quicker method to gain back health. Draining electricity from things will facilitate this so it's a fun challenge sometimes and a strategic one at that trying to balance fighting enemies and keeping your health up by draining electricity. Also, you have to be careful about draining things too quickly as things do have a limit on how much electricity it will feed you before it's tapped out.
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