Debuting in 2009 exclusively for the Playstation 3, Infamous received a lot of attention and received positive reviews for it’s open world game play and non stop action. Think of it as an Assassin Creed type game only with super powers. You do the same stuff in Assassin’d Creed as you do in Infamous, it’s open world, there are collectibles, many missions that repeat themselves, and of course the same enemy over and over. So how did the first game in the franchise hold up?
Take a look at the trailer for Infamous:
Well let’s begin with the story and any game with a good story will sucker me in. The game takes place in Empire City, and Empire City is broken up into a few different districts that each add their own flavor. You are Cole MacGrath, a bike courier for Empire City when you are instructed to deliver a package from an unknown customer who instructs Cole to open when he arrives at his destination. Cole opens the package and a mini nuclear explosion goes off, destroying most of the city, causing chaos and breaking social structures in the days and weeks that follow. Cole survives the blast but discovers he now has super powers. He can control electricity in a number of different ways. The main story is to figure out what was in the package, who sent it, and whether you should use your powers for good to restore the city or to overtake it and become evil.
There is much more to the story then meets the eye. Cole has a few friends that he interacts with, I’m not sure you would call them friends however. First up is his girlfriend Trish, who at first blames Cole for her sister’s death in the explosion. She comes around but is still acts like a bitch. Then, you have Cole’s “best friend” Zeke. He thinks Cole’s new powers are awesome and that he should learn to control them but as the game goes on, Zeke goes on a slippery slope path where he gets jealous of Cole and the attention he gets. You can figure out how that ends. There is also an FBI agent named Moya who gives you missions, mostly things like “Clean this area out of bad guys”, “Save these policemen”, “Restore electricity to this area” and “Water my plants and do my dry cleaning”. These are routine missions that you do throughout the entire game to open up new districts in the city.
I was going to upload a photo of your girlfriend Trish but then realized how ugly she is. Why Cole, why? What do you see in her? Actually thinking of it now, Cole, even though he lives in a big city, reminds me of trailer trash. Just the group he hangs out with. Zeke if he had any kids would probably go to jail for not paying child support and Trish seems to be eating sour grapes on life. Cole’s attitude and maybe it’s his voice just seem like this whole super power thing is to much for him and he would rather just sit back and smash a 30 pack of Keystone Light and put his cigarettes out in the couch. But instead, Cole must do something with these new powers he has been given.
Back to the story, Moya has you do these missions for the FBI in hopes of Cole locating another FBI agent names James White who was investigating Empire City when he became lost in the blast. Agent White might have more answers as to why Cole now has powers and what was in the box.
While you are doing missions for the FBI, there is another problem within the city. Without a social structure, gangs have over taken the city. A particular gang called the First Sons are led by a man named Kessler who tries to capture Cole throughout the game. The First Sons are annoying and they almost always travel in packs with five to seven guys. They shoot first and don’t ask any questions. One concept I like about Infamous is the moral meter, like most games if you do good tasks, you earn good moral and it opens the way for new powers to do good in. Oppositely, if you kill innocent people you get evil points and that opens up the way to new evil powers. Now I’m sure you can imagine the ways to be evil, but being good isn’t too hard either. You can rescue people who are hurt by shocking them back to good health. (Don’t ask how) or you can help feed people in need or instead of killing gangs, you can capture them with electric hand cuffs.
Kessler manages to capture Trish and makes you decide on who to save because on one building dangling from the top our six doctors who can help the city, on the other building it’s Trish your bitch girlfriend. Well I opted to save Trish in hopes of “getting some” but Kessler tricked me. (Shame on me) He put Trish with the doctors and put a random guy in Trish’s place. (The people were covered by bags so you can’t tell). Trish fell to her death as I saved a random guy. That will teach me to be selfish. Oh well, Trish wasn’t up to my standards anyway.
You find John the FBI Agent and he informs you about the Ray Sphere, which was what Cole were carrying when it exploded. You find pieces of it around the city to make you more powerful or to destroy. Cutting to the end of the game, Cole and Kessler meet up at the explosion site and battling it out. Cole defeats Kessler and this is where the twist comes.
Here is where it gets confusing if you don’t keep up with the story. As Kessler dies, he shares his memories with Cole, revealing that he is Cole from the future. Future Cole had a family and children with Trish (I’m so sorry future Cole) but it was destroyed by a thing called “The Beast”. Future Cole comes back to present day to properly train Cole so he can be prepared to fight “The Beast” when his time comes. So let me get this straight? Future Cole aka Kessler kills the love of his life to make sure Cole has no distractions when he fights “The Beast”? Alright sounds legit.
That’s how the game ends, setting up a bridge to Infamous 2.
I’m not that big on super hero games as I’ve noted in other reviews, and I didn’t really enjoy the comic book art that came as cut scenes. Missions often repeated and battling gang after gang became tedious. The characters aren’t very likable and the boss fights were forgettable. Despite all it’s flaws, the game play core was good and the powers were cool. Many of issues I had in the first game they thankfully address in the second, but that’s another review for another time. Infamous was a solid game for the PS3 early days. I give it a 7.3/10.