It all happened because of that package… one stupid little package. Now the city’s gone to hell, and every freak has come out to pick its bones. But something’s happened to me. Something incredible. I don’t know what’s going on, but I know one thing: The world is going to change in a big way.
InFamous is an open-world action adventure game developed by Sucker Punch Productions and released in May of 2009 for the PlayStation 3. In it, you control courier Cole MacGrath who, after surviving an explosion that leveled a third of Empire City, has gained electricity based powers. Cole learns to control his new powers as the city falls into anarchy and murderous gangs take over the streets. After a failed attempt to escape the city, Cole is tasked by a FBI agent by the name of Moya to retrieve the package that caused all of the current destruction: The Ray Sphere. If Cole can get the Ray Sphere back, Moya will arrange an escape for Cole and his friends. And so, in Cole’s quest to retrieve the Ray Sphere, he will fight off the gangs that have taken over Empire City, and deal with the mastermind behind the city’s destruction, Kessler.
Going back to this one, it does look a little dated when compared to modern consoles. It was released early into the PS3’s lifecycle. But I feel that it works, at least for the apocalyptic setting it’s going for. The city is in varying states of destruction, with apartments and storefronts boarded up and piles of trash bags and broken cars scattered all around the area. It also shows through how the non-player characters interact with the player and with the world. You’ll see people fall to their knees in despair, look through garbage cans and dumpsters for food and react to what Cole is doing at the moment.
Cole has exceptional agility and acrobatic skills that are used in tandem with his powers. Cole can climb almost any surface that he jumps onto and use it to ascend even higher. It comes into play both when he’s traveling across Empire City, and when he fights the gang members that comprise the game’s enemy roster. This maneuverability will help him as he climbs buildings and runs across rooftops fighting off the gangs with his new powers. Since Cole developed powers over electricity, he can shock his enemies with a quick lightning bolt as a regular attack, and more powers will be added as the game goes on. By the end of the game, Cole will be able to float through the air, throw grenades and rockets made of electricity and even summon lightning storms with enough power. And these powers will be affected by the main gimmick of the game: the Karma system. At certain points in the game, Cole will be presented with a choice: act on the side of Good and help the citizens of Empire City, sometimes at the cost of Cole’s well-being, or act for Evil’s sake and help Cole out, often at the cost of another person. These choices will determine how Cole’s powers will operate, with Good actions making them more precise and Evil actions making them more destructive. This choice does open the game for another playthrough, but the gameplay itself will not be changed much.
InFamous is a game that shows its age, but I still feel that it’s an enjoyable game. Strangely, with how open world games feel somewhat identical to each other and are so widespread, it was nice to go back to a rougher, more experimental game. I hope in the future that Sucker Punch goes back to the iInFamous franchise, because there is a lot more that can be done in its universe. InFamous is available only for the PS3.