Tuesday, August 9, 2011


DEVELOPER: Sucker Punch
Progress: Struggling

As I slowly make progress in this game, I wonder what has made it so popular. Although it is a spectacular looking open-world/sandbox style game, the characters and story line leave me wanting more. Your main character is Cole, who can either be this city's greatest hero or biggest villain, based on the player's choices in the game. The local gangs have turned into mercenaries and are controlling the city. Gifted with the ability to control electricity, Cole becomes a super-powered force trying to retake the city after a terrible accident has left its inhabitants in a state of distress. Sounds like a good set up right?

The game controls sport some amazing climbing moves. You can navigate every building, sign, lamp post, car, train, electrical wire and rooftop in this city. Spider-man would be proud. Actually controlling these moves feels natural, but it's not perfect. It's frustrating how easy it is to get stuck or unintentionally jump on something. A forgivable problem though, considering the size of the city and the extreme level of detail that has been built in. This city, called Empire City, is the victim of a plague. At least I think it's a plague, but not positive as this fact is never corroborated in the story line. Whatever the problem is, there are strange "gang members" who wear matching outfits and have taken control by terrorizing the citizens. You gotta stop 'em by turning the lights back on and restoring order to parts of the city piece by piece.

Climbing is not the only trick that our character, Cole, possesses. The game's vaguely described, electrical controls allow for a bunch of different special moves; lightning bolts, shock grenades, force push and more all spew from Cole's hands (not unlike the Emperor in Jedi). Accumulating blue shards throughout the city results in points, that improve your health and unlock more moves. Moves are upgradable but not customizable. I actually forgot to upgrade for quite some time and realized that fact only after the game started to get too hard.

The story has multiple paths you can take. Key moments and meetings in-game evolve into moment-of-truth questions. The answers, to which, determine the level of hero or villain Cole becomes. I guessed most of my answers or intentionally went with the "heroic" side. The story is never fully explained or given any sort of importance, so making a story based, educated decision is out of the question. Some clues to the plot line are given in the cut scenes--a mix of in-game graphics and comic panels. The gritty art work reminds me of Sam Kieth and his series The Max. The beautifully drawn panels are brought to life with his very heavy handed inking style. Unfortunately, without much story, they are really just still images pointing to what might happen next. I find that Cole's (and the supporting cast) lackluster attitude also detracts from the enjoyment of the game. If they don't care what's going on in Empire City why should I? It's like a teenager who doesn't feel like saving the world.

While I'm complaining, is it just me or is the aiming off? I feel like I'm centered on an enemy and I just miss my shot half the time; this is frustrating and makes head shots just luck-of-the-draw, at best. Getting stuck climbing during fights, just sucks. The overall world, while admittedly incredible, seems a shame to be so muted and gray. This game could stand for a little more color just to liven it up. I guess it was done to show off Cole's electrical powers, but really, I get it.

Maybe itis the endless gray buildings getting me down but I'm not enjoying this game as much as I want to. It was free for me (from the PSN Welcome back program,) which is, already a bonus in my book. I've been getting through it but inFamous is repetitive and unrelenting. Typically, I'm usually swarmed by enemies and forced to retreat onto the closest roof top. Shooting at bad guys from the roof is about as much fun as shooting fish in a barrel. Maybe I'm missing something. Can anyone tell me it gets better?


1 comment:

  1. i 100% agree with the C rating. i'd also add that Cole's lack of any sort of emotion or interest in what he's doing throughout the game only detracts from what would be interesting gameplay. Although i enjoy playing, i find myself getting bored within 2 hours of playing.