On an odd Friday morning of summer 2009 I was having some random weird conversation with a guy named Ross inside GameStop. Not far off into the topic of games, he asked me: "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if one day, electricity, the thing that kills your body could be your very best friend?". At that moment I thought to myself "Poor Ross! What DO THEY do to you in here? Probably must be those long work hours??". A couple more minutes and I thought that he'd be standing on the counter with no pants on singing the Paradise City theme by Guns N' Roses. It wasn't until I got to play inFAMOUS that I finally knew what the hell he was blabbering on about.
inFAMOUS is a special game. What Suckerpunch did with this game is absolutely fabulous. There are games already out there about some famous superhero, but yet what I fail to understand is why most don't meet expectations or fail to live up to the superhero's reputation in the industry. *Cough*The Incredible H..Bulk!*Cough*. Weird thing is inFAMOUS is based on a superhero who didn't exist at all until the game was created, and yet this unknown dude made inFAMOUS and incredible game, so much that there's a highly anticipated sequel coming very soon. I'll figure it out some day...So let's dive in shall we?
At one time, the protagonist Cole was a happy guy with a girlfriend named Trish and a fat best friend named Zeke. Everyday he'd mind his business in Empire City, delivering packages as a courier. This routine was perfect until one day one certain package decided to change it all. Cole was instructed by an anonymous (NOT those spineless hackers) person to deliver and open this package. He opens it and behold, with this action a huge explosion takes place, causing chaotic damage. Cole, who was closest to the explosion, is wounded but miraculously alive! It gets better when he discovers something fantastic: his body is now a walking hungry battery, capable of sucking the life out of a lamp post in seconds and do so much more that you come to discover as you play through the game. Unfortunately this kickass explosion puts the entire city under lockdown causing no one to leave, including Cole and Zeke. At this moment, the only way out is by helping an FBI agent named Moya who's looking for her husband and would gladly offer you freedom in exchange for certain favors you must do for her.
The city is now in ruins, so it's your job to at least help repair it as you are somehow responsible for the damage anyway. The simplest action which happens to be the most vital one, is restoring electricity to designated parts of the City. This includes Moya guiding or telling you where you should go in order to restore electricity which is usually underground in the sour system, and I have to say, these sequences are quite rather entertaining! Restoring electricity involves powering up an underground generator, and in turn earning you new abilities every time you restore a certain part of the city. There are lots of abilities for Cole to earn, such as sucking the life out of people (Bioleeching), shooting electric bombs or calling in a lightning airstrike killing the enemies. Of course there are enemies! To begin with before the whole explosion shenanigan took place, Empire city, just like any other city had crime and criminals. Thanks to you, these once drug lords and villains have now mutated, changed and turned into worthy opponents, capable of putting up a good fight, all in the name of hurting the innocent. Some of course are more powerful than the others. Exhibit A: Kessler, who could use some serious dental work and a gallon of mouth wash but happens to call so many shots. Kessler is seriously after the RaySphere, a "thing" that blew up once you opened the packages, causing you to have super powers and turning the bad guys into evil monsters. Yes, you did it. Yes it's your fault. Yes you are responsible.
What you do with these powers can have certain effects to the game's awesome "Karma" system. Here's how it works: almost every action that you do in Empire City has an effect on your karma. Do something evil, bad, or simply selfish and you earn negative karma. Continue to do this and you're gradually headed on your way towards the badass "inFAMOUS" evil side. Vice versa also works. Sacrifice yourself to do good deeds, actions and other decisions that benefit other people instead of yourself and you'll looking at an angelic Cole, well on his way to the good side known as the "Hero" side. In turn, the karma system rewards you with XP points and yes, the XP points can be positive or negative each corresponding to its own set of unique super powers for a good side or bad side.
There are decisions that you make as you play through the game and they come bundled with this Karma system. When something big (or even small) is about to happen and your input or help is required, you will be presented with a karma choice. Hmm, should I be selfish and take all the food, or should I just stand and watch while these hungry people take it away? The choice is completely up to you. The results of your actions are also reflected into the game itself. Doing good side missions for example, will cancel out their evil side equivalents. Continue to be good, and you'll find the city full of people who cheer and admire you and take your photos. Hell, when the enemy decides to pick a fight with you simply because they are extremely bored, the people will be on your side, throwing stones at the enemy! But hey, if you chose to walk the "inFAMOUS" bad road, then the very same people will hate you like a deadly disease. They won't even hesitate to throw stuff at you or walk up to you and rudely kick you in the shin just to say hello. This gives you more reasons to attack them, and suck the life (Bioleech) out of them should your want to quickly recharge!
There is a lot more surprises, different people you meet or simply the fantastic story that I can't fully describe due to the nature of the game as it has to be experienced first hand. The story is fantastically written, and beautifully presented with cutscenes in form of comic drawings. So what if you are just so tired of listening to Moya and her instructions on where to go next? I'm glad you asked. There are lots more to keep you busy and running around Empire City so that you can earn those juicy experience points and unlock that power upgrade you badly desire. There are side quests such as racing through satellite dish checkpoints on rooftops, acting as a bodyguard for someone, find missing items, helping out the cops do various things or simply hunt down those many blast shards spread across the entire map, plus so much more to do.
I can't list everything in this awesome game. I can only say that this is one of the best PlayStation 3 exclusives out there. It's unique storyline will have you playing through the game scene after scene, anxious to find out what new awesome superpower you get to collect and most importantly, how much more chaos you can now cause with this new power. Although Suckerpunch's inFAMOUS is certainly a deviation in a different direction from their well known Sly Cooper series, it is nevertheless a very welcomed change. Whether a fan of open world games or not, inFAMOUS is abslutely worth a go. It is a fantastic game, one that keeps you busy with so much to do. It's that game you keep on your shelf once your friends come over to your house and you say: "What? Oh that game? That's inFAMOUS. An awesome game and yes, you may borrow it."