Since it’s launch, the Playstation 3 has struggled to penetrate the market the way that both the Nintendo Wii, and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 have. While any number of reasons can be pointed to for the less than stellar sales figures that the PS3 has experienced, Sony’s first party titles have in no way factored into the formula. Names like Uncharted, Warhawk, Heavenly Sword, and Motor Storm – all first party games – have wowed owners, and non-PS3 owners alike. Well, you can add one more name to that list… inFAMOUS.
Sucker Punch, the studio that brought you the Sly Cooper series on the Playstation 2, has created a brand new I.P. from the ground up. SP’s inFAMOUS is a super hero story centered around an everyday bike messenger who goes by the name of Cole. With the lack of back story or comic book tie-in, Sucker Punch has successfully created a story that is accessible to any gamer interested in jumping into the shoes of a super.
Players are introduced to the story of inFAMOUS through beautifully rendered comic book story windows. The narrative begins when a package that Cole is delivering explodes leaving Empire City – the game’s world – a mess, and Cole in a coma. Cole awakes from the coma to find the city devastated, and discovers that he has an electrical power which he can use to wreak havoc on the game’s inhabitants, or help reclaim the the world in which he lives.
Empire City is a living, breathing open world not much unlike GTA’s Liberty City. As Cole you are given free reign to run about the world interacting with NPC’s, scaling massive buildings, and completing missions. At first glace the game’s parkour-like approach to maneuvering throughout EC, may draw Crackdown comparisons, however a little hands on time will show the gamer that the control scheme is somewhat of a mixture of Crackdown, Mirror’s Edge, and Assassin’s Creed. When Cole leaps to, or from a building he will automatically stick to the next mountable piece of environment if you are in fact close enough to said object.
Combat is handled in a few different manners – you can perform hand to hand combat, which for it’s part works really well, or you can use one of your electrically charged super powers. The standard electrical attack functions much like a gun does in a shooter with the weapon making way to the Cole’s arm, and bolts taking the place of bullets. The on screen reticule works wonderfully, and makes taking out enemies a breeze.
Probably the most compelling aspect of inFAMOUS is the choices that you are given throughout the game. You can approach each of the game’s scenarios from a multitude of angles, but one way or another you have to chose whether to play as good, or evil. Depending on the path that you take, the game will unfold differently – Cole will have access to either good or evil powers, the cities inhabitants will fear, or learn to trust you, and ultimately the game’s story will be effected.
Through the development powers of Sucker Punch, Sony has published yet another game that gives those without a PS3 a reason to purchase one. inFAMOUS is one of the most fascinating, and fun to play titles to come out, not only this year, but possibly this console life cycle. If you’re still on the Playstation 3 purchasing fence… here’s one more reason to jump on board.