inFAMOUS is an action-adventure game developed by Sucker Punch Productions. It was released in 2009 on the PlayStation 3.
Why It Rocks
- An incredibly large (for 2009) open world which you can traverse at will.
- The characters feel very much like real people.
- Lots of side missions and collectibles to complete in case you don't want to continue with the main story.
- Tons of unique superpowers to unlock via the main story and purchase and upgrade with experience points, making the gameplay incredibly fun weather you're fighting enemies, running away, or just generally traversing the city.
- The world is broken up into three districts and each of these districts have their own fractions.
- Despite having only three factions there's a good variety in enemies.
- An in depth karma system for gamers who want to play the game as a hero or a villain. The choices they make affect not only the look of Cole and the look of the world, but also how the citizens of Empire City reacts to him.
- A great story about vengeance, loss, sacrifice, and what it means to be a hero or a villain, which the karma system perfectly plays into.
- Photo-realistic graphics, which were still in their infancy in 2009. This is especially impressive since, unlike Infamous 2, they didn't use motion capture for this game.
- An incredible soundtrack. Most people agree that the standout is the end credits song "Silent Melody" by the band Working for a Nuclear Free City.
- The world's atmosphere really gives off that a city once known to be incredibly busy and exciting is now very hollow and gloomy after such a disaster with thieves running amok and people suffering from the lack of food and medical help.
- It was among the games made available for free download, as part of the PlayStation Network's "Welcome Back" pack.
- While traversing the game is great in most cases, it did falter in a few, the most well known being the inability to climb fences. In the sequel, Infamous 2, Sucker Punch even put a trophy in the game when you do climb a fence as a direct reference to this.
- While the side missions aren't awful, they do, after awhile, get pretty repetitive.
- The melee combat is pretty poor, which leads to most players almost never using it in the game. Thankfully this is fixed in the sequel.
- There aren't many boss fights in the game, and the ones it does have aren't very good, aside from the final boss fight against Kessler.
- While the blast shards are worth collecting because it increases how much electricity that Cole is able to hold and makes him stronger, there are more than 350 of them in the game, and they are notoriously difficult to find, to the point where lots of players end up giving up on finding them all, especially considering that the reward for collecting every single one of them is just a PlayStation trophy.
- Despite having two different endings, there's hardly any difference between the two with only slight alterations.
InFAMOUS was overall well received by game critics. Greg Miller of IGN considered the title to be "one of the best PlayStation 3 games to date". Core to the game's success, according to reviewers, were the basic mechanics of the game. Giant Bomb's Brad Shoemaker considered that Sucker Punch had "nailed the basic gameplay elements", tying all the various aspects of the game together. The mixture of Cole's powers with the Karma elements of the game were also praised. The powers and Karma system were seen to bring difficult choices to how the player approach battles. Both sides of the Karma system were considered to be fun to play. The mission structure was considered a strong asset of the game. According to X-Play's Matt Kiel, the missions forced the player to consider the full extent of Cole's powers through their difficulty but provided "generous" checkpoints to prevent too much frustration with the game. Reviewers cited the variation in side missions and how they related to the main story as positive aspects of the game.
The presentation of Empire City was also considered to be a significant factor of the success of the game. The climbing and grabbing aspect was considered well done and avoided a "frustration-fest" that other games with precision jumping generally bring about, according to Miller. However, some reviewers noted that Cole's climbing ability was too touchy, with the character grabbing onto ledges too greedily, making it difficult to fine-tune jumps. In combination with Cole's other powers, Miller cited the game as having the "most original city-traversal mechanics" for an open-world game. The behavior of the city's population and how that was affected by the player's choice in Karma was also seen as a positive, and as a constant reminder of the game's setting. The game's story, particularly in the second half of the game, was considered to be strong, enhanced by presentation of the cut-scenes. However, the quality of these scenes was seen to negatively highlight the poor animation used for in-game generated cut-scenes and the quality of the voice work; Miller considered Cole's voice to be too gravelly for the character.