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inFamous is a sandbox-style video game for the Sony PlayStation 3. It is was developed by Sucker Punch Productions, creators of Rocket: Robot on Wheels, and the Sly Cooper video game franchise. The game was announced at Sony's E3 2007 Press Conference on July 11, 2007. The debut trailer indicated that the game would be released sometime in 2008, although the July 2008 issue of Game Informer has stated that the release date has been moved to Spring 2009. It is the company's first original IP since Sly Cooper.

The game is a third-person sandbox world that combines elements of the superhero MMO City of Heroes with a roaming open-world, allowing the player to make choices between being a hero or an anti-hero that will affect the game. The player will also have access to electrical powers. The player will obtain them right at the beginning of the game.

It has a sequel, inFamous 2.

Plot

According to the Game Informer preview, inFamous follows the story of Cole McGrath, a resident of a fictional Empire City. At the start of the game, an explosion rips apart six city blocks, leaving behind a crater and Cole as the only survivor. The explosion has granted Cole several electricity-based powers, but he falls into unconsciousness, waking up two weeks later to find that Empire City has fallen into chaos; without police, gangs have taken over the city, and a plague has infected many of the residents causing the city to be quarantined by the government. It is revealed by "The Voice of Survival", a surviving disk jockey that broadcasts across the city, that Cole was the cause of the explosion, and thus sets the population of Empire City against him. Cole must come to terms with his powers, and opt to help those in need or simply survive on his own, facing off against larger threats that have manifested in the city due to the explosion and its aftermath.

According to Fox, the team wanted to have Cole as a "kind of an everyman", such that they could then "get into the headspace of what it would be like to be a real human being who has been granted these exceptional abilities". While Cole is the main playable character, he is joined by two friends; Zeke, a conspiracy theorist and survivalist who becomes envious of Cole's powers, and Trish, Cole's girlfriend and medical student who resents him but still helps in treating the injured, a "Lois Lane with syringes" as stated by Sucker Punch.

Gameplay

inFamous is a sandbox video game. The player controls Cole and his newly acquired electrical powers as he makes his way around Empire City. Ultimately, the player will need to defeat three major forces that have each taken over one section of Empire City.

Cole's primary means of interaction is through his electricity-based powers. These include shooting electricity from his hands to nearby targets, creating an electricity-based shield to repel foes, and creating a delayed explosion of a ball of energy much like a sticky grenade. The electrical powers can be used both against living targets as well as inanimate objects; Game Informer describes one such situation where the player could opt to take out armed guards with electricity directly, or instead use the power on electrical generators to cause them to explode, damaging the guards in that fashion. However these powers also have considerable disadvantages and limitations: for example, Cole cannot use guns as the electricity would cause the ammunition to explode. Also, Cole can only manipulate electricity, not generate it: meaning, for instance, that Cole's powers are severely limited in areas suffering from blackouts (which are in considerable number, since the city is recovering from a disaster). Cole is also able to drain electrical energy from any source that uses electricity like cars, but during a blackout he is able to drain the electrical energy from nearby human beings but this will give him negative Karma.

Cole is also described as an urban explorer, and the player will be able to jump and climb buildings in order to move about the city, although these are not enhanced by any super-human ability. Later in the game, the player will be given a more efficient means of traveling about Empire City, though Sucker Punch did not reveal what this was.

As the player completes the main goals, side opportunities to help the citizens of Empire City will be presented; an example given by Game Informer includes a scenario where, on the way to defuse a bomb, the player is presented with a heavily injured woman that needs medical treatment; the option whether to stop and save her or to continue on will influence the development of Cole. This is tracked through a karma system which influences the growth of Cole's powers, some being enhanced by good deeds, while ignoring the pleas of the citizens will favor the growth of other powers. The karma system will also affect how the citizens react to Cole; if the player has helped citizens, they may come to Cole's help in certain battles, while in the contrary position, the citizens may flee as Cole approaches. However, the player is able to alter their karma and pursue the alternate direction should they want to.

Development

In an interview with IGN, Fox described that many details of every city building have been modeled as to allow the player to climb the buildings. The game uses a lightning model called "deferred shading" which "makes it possible. . .to have any and every light in the scene moving, flickering, or changing colors".

Sucker Punch officially announced on their Twitter page that the game had been awarded an ESRB "T" rating in America and the European equivalent, presumably a BBFC 12 as PEGI initially awarded the game a 16+ rating.

Reviews

IGN 9.2/10
Strategy Informer 8.5/10
EuroGamer 7.0/10.

Trailer

Website

inFamous Official Website


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