inFAMOUS places the player in the role of Cole, a bike messenger in Empire City, who gains electricity-based powers after being duped into delivering a mysterious bomb that kills everyone in its path except Cole. Cole must then free the city from the gangs which have taken over, all while discovering the secret of the package. The game plays like a combination of a run-and-gun shooter, a platformer, and an open-world sandbox game. Not only are there the typical story-focused missions, but also optional side missions the player can complete to liberate sections of the city from gang control.
The story plays out through a variety of phone calls between Cole and his various contacts–such as his friends and outside government help–and comic book-style cutscenes which Cole narrates. The characters, which seem very generic at first, develop into very interesting people the player actually cares about, especially during the tragic twists in the plot. The side missions range from the typical “clear these enemies out” to Metal Gear Solid-like sneaking missions, and make Empire City feel like a real city. Many of both the story and side missions include “Good” and “Evil” choices Cole must make which affect his overall “Karma.” The only problem with these choices is how clean-cut they feel. Most of them involve Cole either walking away from a situation or helping out in a skirmish between two fighting factions. However, these clean-cut choices could be a parody on comic book superheroes in general.
The missions not only provide the karma for Cole, but also experience points the player uses to upgrade Cole’s abilities and gain new ones. These abilities include both ones that Cole can use to attack enemies, like an electric orb Cole fires from his hand, and passive skills used to help Cole through his journey, such as decreasing the damage Cole receives. Various “blast shards”, electricity-enhanced pieces of debris from the explosion caused by the package, are located around the city for the player to collect. The collection of which increases Cole’s power meter, which directly effects how many special abilities Cole can perform before needing to recharge at the closest power outlet.
Graphically, the game looks very good, especially the electricity effects that come from Cole’s body. It is outstanding to see Cole engulfed in bolts of electricity while riding the rails of the train tracks that line the city. Cole “parkours” around the city, much like Altair in Assassin’s Creed, and fluidly jumps from rooftop to rooftop along with climbing up various ledges and poles. The character designs fit the comic book feel of the world, looking realistic and human, but not too realistic. The only problem with the character designs is how the characters almost look like ventriloquist dummies when they are talking, but this is only a minor detail when compared to how good the rest of the game is.
For anyone looking for the next great game to buy for the PlayStation 3, this is it. inFAMOUS is an incredibly fun action game that combines elements from platformers, open world sandbox games, and run-and-gun shooters. It is a gorgeous looking game, minus the mouth movements of certain minor characters, and the controls work wonderful for how fluidly Cole moves around the city. This is a great game and most likely an early contender for Game of the Year.