Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Games I've never played until now: InFamous

Game: InFamous
Release Date: May 26th, 2009
Reason for not playing it: Hate having to choose.


Playing games with morality never was a strong point in my book for a video game.  There are always two choices to make, and whatever choice you made would always make you wonder about that other choice.  And you know you'll have to play the game all over again a second time just to make those alternate choices - that is, IF the game is good enough to tolerate through a second playthrough.  Luckily, InFamous is quite good at being a good game.

I think the morality system overall turned me off from InFamous.  Just the thought of having to play the game a second time just to make evil choices instead of good riled me up, making me want to say "what, you think you're good enough to play a second time just to see how things would've turned out?"  I should've known the answer to that already if it's a game from Sucker Punch, creator of the wonderful Sly Cooper series.

After starting up InFamous, in no time did I make the analogy that the game was like Sly Cooper in a HUGE playground.  It's like playing Sly Cooper 2, where you play a Sly who already has the prior knowledge from the first game to run on tightropes, climb on pipes, and spire jump on pointy structures.  No joke, I spent a good amount of time jumping on the "no vehicle" poles by the park, going full parkour from pole to pole.  The amount of attention to climbable points on a building is ridiculous.

Cole's ability is the power of electricity, which I largely thought was just a one-note ability.  Turns out it's only the theme for performing projectile attacks, grenade blasts, seismic drop blasts, hovering, speed-grinding, energy-sapping, enemy hand-cuffing, and more.  Plus, the game does a great way of doling out a story in which you restore a city from being without electricity to lighting it up like a christmas tree, Okami-style.

While the morality system seems to be very simplistic and almost entirely straight-forward (Cole's inner monologue tells you what's good or bad), the lasting affect of your choices really shines in the game.  As you favor one side over the other, not only do you and your missions change, but the environment changes.  Walls get plastered with poster propaganda, pedestrians change their attitude towards you depending on your side.  Overall, you get a sense that your actions really do affect these NPCs.  Even the tiny missions come off as random incidents, notifying you with the "point of interest" indicator.  These range from just viewing the televised reports in the city to focusing on a pedestrian's cry for help for assistance.  These things not only make the gameplay more immersive, but it makes the surroundings feel more real.

Verdict:

Almost 2 days to the 2-year mark that I haven't played InFamous, and I can't believe I let this game slip past my radar.  Even though I'm borrowing my friend's copy of the game, I'll certainly download it for free once the PSN is back up.  I'm glad I'm playing InFamous now, especially with the sequel coming out soon which will have the Uncharted 3 multiplayer Beta!
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