ESRB: Teen (Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence)
Infamous does a lot of things well. Nothing particularly great, but a lot of things well. The basic premise is that you control Cole MacGrath, a courier, who, after one of his packages explodes, leaves him in the epicenter of a destructive event unlike any other that leaves the island Empire City cut off from the mainland and results in a quarantine. He quickly realizes that the accident has granted him electric superpowers. Voices in his head and ensuing events lead him to a few main antagonists.
The interesting aspect of this game is that no matter what, Cole is a hero. His actions in the end benefit everyone, regardless of his intentions. However, he has a karma reputation, bolstered by your actions and several key Karma Moments in which you must decide between a “good” and “evil” decision. Unfortunately, the story turns out pretty much identical no matter what you do, giving this feature a very tacked on feeling.
Note, however, that the ending is pretty good nonetheless.
The controls feel pretty fluid, though there are moments where you might be retrying a jump a few times because you have your goal a certain way in order to grab on. Climbing buildings can also be occasionally awkward. Overall, though, it feels pretty good.
There are plenty of recharge stations, so you’ll never have an issue with running out of energy, and no portion of the game is particularly hard on any difficulty level. If you’re feeling ambitious, go ahead and start on the hardest difficulty.
There isn’t a lot of replay value here. There are several stunts to do which gain you nothing, and several side missions that alter your karma level in some instances and will conveniently clear enemies out of an area, but are otherwise worthless. There are some “dead drops” to collect, basically satellites, from which you glean some information, but are also pretty much worthless. And finally, there are the blast shards. Collecting a few will give you an additional power node, to a point. Eventually you max out on those, but there are still plenty of shards lying around. Unfortunately, for a trophy hunter like me, none of these aspects can be ignored, because it’s one of the easiest platinum trophies in existence. If you’re looking for blast shards, there are really too many to use an online guide for. Scour the map with the detection system and you’ll get all but two. Those two include one that is way out on a destroyed dock you have to jump to, and one at the tippy top of a building next to the epicenter, neither of which appear when you “ping” in the area.
So like I said, it does a lot of things well, but nothing spectacular. Play it, it’s certainly an enjoyable experience, but it might be worth just a rental if you have plenty of downtime. Two playthroughs will have you covered, and you can get through it two days without a problem.
Bottom Line: 8/10