Infamous: Festival of Blood

Platform: PS3*
Genre: Action/Adventure
Players: 1
ESRB: Teen (Suggestive Themes, Violence, Blood, Use of Alcohol, Language)

Infamous: Festival of Blood is a downloadable game from the PSN with a story separate from the other two Infamous games. Cole is bitten by Bloody Mary and must defeat her before the sun comes up.

It seems to me that this game was shoved out to build on the hype of zombies, vampires and Halloween, and didn’t bring a lot to the table – certainly not for the series. The only thing this does for the other games is offer a taste of the User-Generated Content that was so big for Infamous 2.

Something I found very frustrating about the first game was the morality system. It existed, but the game played out the same no matter what and it really did nothing for the experience. In fact, it felt like the game pushed you to be evil, which was very frustrating when you wanted to make your own decisions. This game ditches that entirely and you are forced to bite people. You can choose not to, I suppose, but that limits your gameplay options as blood is pretty much the equivalent of electricity in the other games. A better implementation would have been to flesh out how drinking blood versus not drinking it affects how you can fight enemies, make certain segments more difficult or affect the public reaction to you.

There are new collectibles: instead of blast shards there are jars of blood. There seem to be just as many of them as there were blast shards, even though the game is only about two hours long (which was, in itself, very disappointing). They aren’t worth collecting, and become a thorn in the backside of any trophy hunters.

The one other thing I wanted to comment on (and this also goes for the rest of the series) is the ‘Zeke factor’. The series tries to make Cole into this flawed hero in that he won’t accept help from his friends, and so every time Zeke tries to help he whines about how he never gets to help. Here’s the thing: the one time Zeke tried to help in the first game, he was way more hurt than help. Second, Cole has super powers. Zeke does not. I understand this is probably hard for him, but it doesn’t make Cole a bad guy for asking him to stay out of the fights (for his own safety), and certainly isn’t keeping my attention. Zeke just ends up being annoying over the course of the game.

So the good: by the end of the game, you get this super duper cross with which to defeat Bloody Mary, and it makes you way over-powered versus all of the enemies. The combat system is kind of cool, and this lets you really get in the groove of it when they send hordes of enemies at you that you can simply mow down with this melee weapon – so that was fun.

But otherwise, this is a pretty weak showing. It does injustice to the downloadable front where people are really trying to make a case for big titles at cheaper prices with the same kind of entertainment value as a retail AAA title. Festival of Blood does not deliver.

Bottom Line: 6.5

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