When it comes to the pantheon of super hero saviours, an alarming number of them wear lycra suits and spandex tights, come up with ridiculous nicknames and invent silly labels for all their gear, gadgets and gizmos. Even when they have no super powers, they spend more time stroking their Batarang than actually fighting crime.

Not Cole McGrath though. Caught in the destructive force of a city destroying bomb, this humble bike messenger tames his newfound electrical powers and gets down to business. He desperately wants to round up best-buddy Zeke and girlfriend Trish before hightailing it out the city, but when the bridges are cut off and the FBI realise his potential, he’s strung along to save it.

inFamous is a free roaming adventure from Sly Raccoon devs, Sucker Punch, giving you the entire city to prance about in and an abundance of missions to complete. As the city hits self destruct and oppressive gangs materialise, electro-man Cole lets out looping swirls of effervescent lightning from his palms, crashes to the ground with an earth-shattering pulse and repels rockets with a quick electric-field. On the other hand, his urban gymnastics are far more authentic, clambering from sill to gutter instead of leaping straight to the rooftop.

As the game progresses and you learn to harness your abilities, Cole will move through the world with increased fluidity and tackle the rapidly more difficult enemies with intense proficiency. When you start you can hardly spark a battery, by the finale you’ll be grinding over the power lines that drape from building to building, taking out nuisance snipers with extreme precision and raining lightning from the sky to demolish everything in your path.

While its action elements crib from Crackdown and Grand Theft Auto, plus stealth sections that provide ample nostalgia for Sly Raccoon, it handles Cole’s relationship to the semi-destroyed world with a Fable II-like maturity. His ability to shoot lightning from his palms obviously makes it hard to blend in, so his name is constantly mentioned by pirate TV broadcasters, posters featuring his likeness are plastered around the city and Empire citizens snap camera-phone pics… or hurl rocks. It depends how you react to the moral dichotomies in the game, heroic actions giving you fame and accurate powers, selfish decisions condemning you to infamy and reckless attacks.

inFamous’ story certainly provides sufficient motivation to keep playing with twists and turns at every corner, no character reliable and no side quantifiably “good” or “bad”. Lavishly produced graphic-novel panels provide the central plot points while collectable dead drops fill in the details. It’s not the best plot in the world, but it neatly condenses decades of comic book tropes while simultaneously ripping from the headlines for its urban destruction setting.







One response to “inFamous”

  1. Del Torro El Sorrow avatar

    The most positive review ever on Ready-Up, and that’s saying something :|.

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