Playstation 3 had a rough few years at first. Other than a handful of exclusive, albeit good, games, there wasn’t much reason to boot up the console. Beyond Uncharted and Resistance, there was little I’d played on it. Infamous quickly became a reason for me to play. A superhero with electric powers? I’m in.
After years of developing good, but predictable games, Sucker Punch completely stepped into new territory. With the exception of the Batman Arkham games (which hadn’t been released yet in 2009), superhero games were terrible. Sucker Punch decided to create their own superhero game from the ground up with a new IP. And thus, Cole MacGrath was born.
There was a lot of smart design choices I enjoyed; Cole being unable to use a gun or swim, or locking out other sections of the city until power was restored. The developers were incredibly creative with the power set by tying it in as a way to explain typical game troupes. I always enjoy little details like that.
I want to get the big negative out of the way, the karma system. It is just as binary as it has ever been. Events play out regardless, only in a different color pallet. You’re offered different missions throughout with either a good or evil leaning. While these side missions are different, the main story is completely unaffected either way, except for the different ending, which doesn’t amount to much. Plus, there’s an option to go all bad at the end of the game, regardless of karmic standing. The only good thing this system introduces is a different power set depending on your alignment. Otherwise, a waste.
One of my favorite things to do was travel the city. While climbing buildings got to be a bit tedious (something they thankfully fixed in the sequel), gliding and grinding were incredibly fulfilling. Once I’d finished the game, I had a lot of fun grinding on the railways and launching myself across town.
Combat was fun and just as smart, including the environment (water and such). My only gripe was the enemies. After the big explosion, all of this just came out of the wood work? How long was Cole passed out for?
There’s one reason Infamous sticks with, the twist reveal. While the story was decent, there wasn’t anything that stuck out for me. Even when Trish died, I didn’t care. When Kessler was revealed to be future Cole, traveling back to prepare him to be the hero he needed to be, I was completely floored. Even now, it’s still something I think about often and inspires my writing. That one bit alone launched this game into a new category for me.
Infamous was a great start to a series. While there were some hokey elements to the gameplay and story, it was overall a great first step. With the amazing services Sony’s been offering lately, it’s easy to get a copy. I can’t recommend this game enough.
Did the karma system work for you? What about the ending? Comment below!