Gameplay impressions.What do we like?
The fascinating storyline of inFamous, which takes some very inventive twists and turns, is a real highlight. The imaginative ideas behind many of the objectives help immeasurably in making some very familiar mission structures (see GTA and Crackdown for details) feel fresh and exciting. The stylish narrative, which boasts a 2D comic book art-style, really drives the gameplay along and motivates you to want to progress and find out more.
Cole’s array of visually impressive abilities rejuvenates the fairly basic underlying third person shooter mechanic. This means that missions rarely feel repetitive or tedious, something that we've become accustomed to in games in this particular genre. Whether you're zapping puddles to electrocute enemies, Thunder dropping from the top of a skyscraper, or sending a vehicle spinning into a group of Reapers with the Shockwave ability, there are a range of entertaining and extremely satisfying actions to execute.
The platforming mechanics are also very smooth and Cole’s acrobatic skills are extremely responsive as you traverse the huge, interactive 3D environment, which has been cleverly designed to make the most of Cole's powers. Scaling buildings, grinding along power lines and leaping from rooftops across the Empire City is just as much as fun as using Cole's electrifying skills. inFamous offers a really nice blend of exciting combat and entertaining platforming.
The XP system ensures that gameplay is also rewarding by awarding you with points to unlock new abilities and upgrade old ones. As you do so you really do see Cole develop based on the choices you make. It's satisfying to see Cole mature into a powerful killing machine as you max up his powers.
What don't we like?
The targeting mechanic feels a little loose and unpredictable at times. You can sometimes hit a enemy when you're aiming slightly to his left or right, yet other times you'll miss completely. When there are multiple enemies on screen at one time it can be difficult to tame the over-sensitive targeting reticule, which zips across screen a little too swiftly. Those also seeking depth to the combat may be slightl disappointed that the cover mechanic is extremely basic.
A negative finger could also be waved at the repetitiveness of the missions, but we expect that from this genre. Largely, the developer has done a good job at ensuring the scenarios that you'll find yourself in are kept interesting.
Graphically, we didn't find Empire City as impressive as the trailers suggested. There are areas of the city that lack polish and some sections that are indistinguishable from the next, especially alleyways and sewers.
We love the storyline of inFamous and we've enjoyed the option of being able to take a good or bad path and make some interesting moral decisions along the way. Cole's abilities are extremely satisfying to perform and leaping and dashing around Empire City is a great deal of fun. inFamous is almost the complete package, offering everything that you'd want from a super-hero adventure.
Final Verdict: 9/10