The lights are on
There's nothing like a good video game to bring out the bad or good side in a person. It used to be that you couldn't hurt any innocent bystanders in a game, but now you can run them over with a car, shoot them in the head, throw them a couple blocks down the street, and now, electrocute them. Or, you can get them out of dangers way, take pain upon yourself to protect them, heal their wounds, and power their cities. The eternal battle between good and evil still rages on, which side will you take?
If you were endowed with the power to conduct electricity what would you do with it? This is the question that Cole McGrath has to answer when a huge explosion goes off in Empire City with him at the center. Now the government has blocked anyone from escaping the city for fear of contamination spreading.10 minutes into the game you're faced with your first choice. Let pedestrians get the food crates you just found, or kill one so they back off and keep it all to yourself. Karma moments like this abound in Infamous. Whichever you choose affects your karma meter. This meter goes up when you do good acts, and down with evil. Every action you do affects the meter. Like incapacitating a bad guy by sticking him to the ground, or kicking him until he dies. Not only do major decisions heavily affect your karma meter, they also affect the story itself and your appearance. So it's up to you if you want to be the good guy or the bad guy.
If you haven't guessed already, Cole is a walking powerhouse. His numerous powers increase as you go through the main missions of the game. You can also use your experience that you gain from completing missions and defeating enemies to upgrade your powers for more kick. Sniping enemies in the head with electricity, sticking enemies in the leg with a shock grenade, or going Sith and shocking enemies with a constant stream, the many ways you can defeat enemies keeps combat entertaining all the way. But say you're running low on juice. All you need to do is find something that has electricity coursing through it and you can suck it out into your own veins. This also restores health, and it's a real cool way to keep "ammo" on hand and health high.
As if being a walking electrical powerhouse wasn't enough, Cole is very agile. He can scale buildings in seconds, roll out of harms way, run on power lines, and fall from ridiculous heights and survive without a scratch. This makes traversing the city a breeze. Except the fact that there are enemies everywhere, which brings out a feeling that there's nowhere that's safe in the city which fits beautifully in the setting of the story. Though when you're trying to find cover and recover some health, it gets really obnoxious how there's a guy with a gun on about every rooftop shooting at you with pin-point accuracy.
The voice work is topnotch. Though Cole's voice doesn't really fit his good side as well as it does his evil side. The soundtrack isn't anything to remember. The environments aren't anything to get excited about either, the colors are bland, and each slum looks generally the same. Though the sewer missions are a good break from the city, they eventually get old as well.The cut-scenes are done in a comic book style art with Cole narrating, and that keeps a nice comic book feel to the game.
There aren't a lot of good superhero games out there these days. It looks like all we needed was a new hero. Suckerpunch did a fantastic job with Infamous and if they can perfect their sequel, it will be a monster. But, with a good amount of side missions to complete, and two different ways to play the campaign the replay value is great and Infamous is a great game to invest in.
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