InFamous

Review

posted 6/18/2009 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PS3
To help you get around the city, there's the requisite radar located on the bottom right of the screen. You can use your power to scan the area for power sources, areas of interest, and enemies. The radar will also point you to other missions and mission objective locations. The radar does a good job at conveying where you are going and it's good that you can activate a more detailed view of power sources, blast shards, and enemies with a push of a button without having that information always crowding up the radar. If you need a bigger overview of the city, you can pull up a map with the select button where you can see dictate way points, show points of interest, and see how the city is faring with your activity.

Unlike other sandbox games, you can't just hijack a car to get around in. Instead you are forced to go on foot but that's not as bad as it sounds. Because of Cole's adeptness with climbing on everything, you can easily get to your destinations without too much time. I was surprised at how easily it was to climb things such as buildings or poles. Sucker Punch did a great job at developing a system where Cole "attaches" onto climbable surfaces easily. You don't have to be too precise either to try and jump and land on top of cables so there's some built in method to allow you to land on these areas easily. The modeling of the buildings allows you to climb on any ledge and hold onto any building extremity. When I said Cole was like Spider-Man, Cole really can climb on almost anything with ease. He'll even hang on the side of things with an almost arachnid-like pose. Some great fun can be had just by finding various ways to get up and around the city with Cole's abilities. The "magnetic" properties of Cole's traveling abilities can sometimes get in the way. On some occasions where the action gets heated and I just wanted to a quick jump over someone, being too close to a climbable object would have me latch onto it and disrupt the flow I had going in combat. Also, there are times where I wanted to travel from one area to another but small things that I can climb on would get in the way of me quickly getting there. One such example is trying to ride a rail on the el train. With a stationary train nearby I had problems just latching onto one of the train rails as Cole would constantly grab the side of the train. It took a few tries but this is just a small example of how annoying the engine can be in determining what Cole can grasp on to.


Later on you'll get some powers that will allow you to traverse the city faster such as riding power cables, el tracks, and power gliding. The riding of cables and tracks is similar to how Iceman slides around on his ice slides. Most of the times the early missions before you get these powers are close and only when you can quickly glide around in the city do the mission locations spread out more. I think that was a pretty good decision by Sucker Punch to keep the missions close early on as you don't want to player to get frustrated by spending too much time wandering from one mission to another. Once you do get some of the traveling powers you can really do some cool maneuvers. One of my favorites is riding a power line, building up speed, launching off the end into a power glide and then landing on another power line to continue my travels. You can even launch, glide, and then latch onto a side of a building. The game really does a great job at giving you a sense of real power both fighting and traveling. With the combination of moves Cole can perform in both scenarios, Infamous really makes you feel like a super powered being.

You know every superhero has a kryptonite and Cole's is of course water... and chain link fences. OK not just chain link fences but they do seem to get to me a lot when I am trying to kill the enemy. First up, water is something that's very bad so anytime you see a body of water its best not to dive in. You'll start taking damage quickly and won't last long before Cole bites it. It's a good thing it never rains in the entire game as Cole would be pretty useless. Which reminds me, I don't think it's a good idea for Cole to sleep outdoors on top of a building. That's his "headquarters" which is his friend's Zeke's place and sleeping on top of a roof seems pretty stupid should a pop up thunderstorm appear and destroy Cole. Of course, Cole's not too bright at times because one mission had him turning three valves to shut off this black goo poisoning the water supply. Each time he finished turning it the black goo would shoot out from the center of the wheel and into his face. You'd think after the first or the second time he'd turn it from the side or put his jacket over it to prevent it from happening as getting hit in the face with that stuff because it causes him to have some bad hallucinations, disrupted vision, and hearing voices in his head. At least he's smart enough on the last one to have the option of making someone else do it but choosing the good path of doing it yourself gets you a gooshot in the face again. But back to the subject at hand. Water is bad so stay away. Also as with the properties of electricity and it's tendency to take the shortest path, things such as lamp posts and chain link fences stops Cole's power dead in its track so enemies hiding behind such items are hard to hit unless you get precise. If Cole didn't have the force push power anyone could have built a box out of chain link fences and trapped Cole like a rat and not have worry about him at all. So, Cole isn't all powerful and he does have some weaknesses that can affect him in the world.
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