inFAMOUS Review
inFamous box art
System: PS3 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Sucker Punch 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: SONY 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: May 26, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The Karma Meter in inFAMOUS is a gauge of your good or evil tendencies. Throughout the game, multiple Karmic Moments will present themselves, which will put you on a path toward good or evil depending upon the decisions you make in key circumstances. In all there are three tiers of good and evil; you can become a Guardian, Champion, Hero, Thug, Outlaw, or Infamous, respectively. Upon achieving each successive tier, you will become more powerful, as the choicest abilities will become available for purchase.

inFamous screenshot

The path of good will lead to a heroic character marked by blue powers and cheering crowds of citizens. Becoming evil will make you grotesque in appearance, causing the citizenry to despise you, even going so far as to hurl rocks and insults at you. Whichever path you take, the story will begin to mold itself around your decisions. This dual-storyline presentation makes inFAMOUS a game you're going to want to play at least twice.

As interesting and enjoyable power-leveling and the Karma system may seem, I was a little put off by its implementation. For example, in order to gain access to the truly bitchin' powers, you'll have to get to either the Hero or Infamous Karma rating. That means there is absolutely no room for a middle of the road playthrough. This forces you to handle tough situations in a rather standard way - you'll either have to take care of your foes with hamstrung tactics, or you'll have to be a soulless bastard. What's more, most abilities are unlocked quite quickly. While this means you'll become powerful early on, it also means there isn't a lot of reward for improving your character. I suppose it is nice to see your abilities become more powerful and take on increased effects, but more often than not the differences seem more mathematical than substantive.

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Also, I feel the game suffers a bit from a lack of identity. This mostly concerns combat. Though this title is billed as an action title, it strays precariously close to that of a shooter. While I love the shooter genre, I'm sure not everyone who'll buy this game does. Players should know that while Cole will never pick up a conventional weapon, much of his combat prowess is accentuated by powers that act strikingly similar to guns and grenades. On the upside, mixing in Thunder Drops (electrified ground-pounds) and Shockwaves (a force push of pure energy) keeps things fresh and action-packed.

The visuals in inFAMOUS are awesome. The three districts presented are entirely distinct and full of life. I really enjoyed all the hilarious signs in the Neon District: "Mid-Life Cycles - Light up the Darkness," and "That Smell Is our Deli." The level of detail put into the environments is staggering considering just how grand the scale is. Additionally, Cole's powers animate beautifully - the particle effects are particularly sweet. Likewise, storyboard, comic book cutscenes are interspersed throughout the game, providing a nice contrast to the flowing in-engine visuals. Missing the mark, however, are the conversation animations; the lip-syncing is poor and the hand gestures look painfully artificial. The same goes for the voice acting. Cole's voice is a clichéd amalgam of every low-budget, gruff hero you've ever heard, and many of the supporting NPCs such as Zeke, Moya, and Trish don't seem to fit. Graciously, the varied and content-specific background music helps immerse the player.

inFAMOUS screenshot

Regardless of the few nitpicky critiques I've made, inFAMOUS is a great effort. The five people I played this game with, including myself, all had a wonderful time. We spent hours passing the controller back and forth, giggling, and asserting our virtual dominance. And that's what this game is all about: having a ton of fun. The extremely user-friendly controls, deep open-world, loads of missions, and outrageous powers combine to make this one of the best titles to hit the PS3 to date.

By Jonathan Marx
CCC Editor / News Director

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.3
Graphics
The environments are nice and sharp, and the three districts are not only grand but nicely detailed. A shout out definitely needs to be made to the comic book-style cutscenes, it's just too bad character conversations were so poorly animated.
4.7
Control
An absolute joy to pick up and play. Hopping around the city is utter quality. However, the heavy shooter component may turn off action purists.
3.5
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The background themes change constantly and evoke the appropriate emotions. On the downside, the voices didn't seem to fit their avatars.
4.5
Play Value
This game is extremely fun in every aspect. It also has loads of content and challenging enemies to blow through. While the dual-storyline somewhat confines in-game choices, it allows you to play this great game twice!
4.4
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Be a Hero: Take on the role of Cole, an everyday guy and urban explorer, who develops a wide range of electricity-based powers. Learn how to adapt to Cole's evolving powers in an attempt to save Empire City and its people.
  • Super Powers: Feel what it is like to discover, grow and use a wide range of electricity-based super powers (good or bad); and grasp the responsibility that comes from being so powerful.
  • Epic Battles: Experience what it is like to be a true hero, taking responsibility for every action, as players battle against powerful iconic villains.
  • Open Dynamic World: Coupling rich powers with a reactive environment and population, experience complete freedom to explore a deep, open interactive city. Players will be challenged to decide if they choose to save or destroy Empire City.
  • Urban exploration: Scale the cityscape to discover new vantage points and employ a vertical combat system. Utilize Cole's climbing skills to go where most people cannot, opening up a variety of offensive and defensive combat options.
  • Organic, City Ecology: Watch the citizens and city react and evolve depending on players' actions. Events will unfold based on the role players take in them, creating broader reactions in the city's people and environment.
  • Screen Resolution: Up to 720p (Standard HD).


  • Screenshots / Images
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