Hong Kong Tech Phooey

a tech junkie from Hong Kong

Gaming Review – inFamous

Superhero games. In the gaming market today, superhero games with enough appeal and success could possibly mean the beginning of a new gaming franchise. There are the original ones where they seem to surprise you more and more, one example being Batman and the new Arkham Asylum installation is a good example. Then there are the superhero games based on movies and modern day projections of a classic hero, which has disappointed so far, just look at X-Men: Wolverine. Then there is the new generation of highly engaging hero simulations, and inFamous might as well be at the top of the list.

Image from GameSpot

Image from GameSpot

You play as Cole, a mailman who unknown to him delivered a package and suddenly exploded, taking about one-third of the city with you. You wake up with strange abilities; most noticeable is your newfound manipulation of electricity and superhuman resistance against damage being one. At first, you and your friend Zeke plan to break out of the city but instead, you are captured by an FBI agent, Moya who sends you back into the city to find her husband who is MIA, and while you’re at it you should also save the city. Of course, the punch-line of the game says it all: “Will you save what’s left, or destroy it?”

Image from GameSpot

Image from GameSpot

The controls for the game are very well integrated into Cole’s combat system. Hold down the bumper to enter combat mode, and use different buttons to unleash weapons ranging from electrical grenades to precision-aiming lighting shocks. The combat itself is fun, engaging and difficult at first. As you slowly learn your way through fighting the gangs that populate the remnants of Empire City, you will gain more and more knowledge to win. The AI constantly gets more challenging, as no single member will attack you the same way, forcing the player to think on his/her feet, the way a genuine superhero game should feel.

Image from GameSpot

Image from GameSpot

The interface of the game is well crafted, everything from the back alleys where civilians hide from gang members and if your actions enforce it, even you. The most important part of the game is in fact in your decisions as a super-human. If you choose to be the messiah for Empire City, the interface will change as neighborhoods you reclaim will slowly return to a more polished and peaceful look and people will admire you, take pictures and ask you for help. If you choose to be the dark and evil warlord of a ruined city, buildings and people will look dismayed, civilians feeling from you when you appear and your appearance will take a more devilish look. Your lightning color also changes, as red lighting represents evil and blue for the side of good.

Image from GameSpot

Image from GameSpot

A very well companion with this game is another recent superhero title, Prototype. inFamous in fact feels more like a set story game, where it’s already decided how the story will end, but the way you achieve this destination separated with the simple idea of good and evil.  Prototype is a game where the story is told, but the decisions you make in how to finish the chapter is yours, no good or evil decisions, just what benefits you.

Graphics:  Nothing stellar, but the beauty of a ruined city can bring tears and smiles even to the most critical or graphic artists.

Gameplay: Engaging combat, well formatted controls to go with the combat and the balance of being a sky-scraping superhero is so well created; it’s tough to not love.

Sexual/Violence content: The violence is kept at an appropriate minimum, no blood spurting from downed enemies and certainly no sexual content.

New/unseen features: Not mentioned above is the balancing feature, where when you jump towards two wires in the sky, the engine will automatically grab onto one of them, despite if you weren’t aiming to jump there in the first place. Empire City: Where careless landings are kept at an appropriate minimum.

Overall, inFamous is definitely a franchise that one can build on, but it’s hard to continue a storyline where the city is saved and Cole is freed from the duties of a hero, one would have to be very smart. A must buy, a well-intentioned gift for a friend, inFamous is still a must own for gamers.

Final Grade: A

Source – GameSpot


August 15, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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