D: Sucker Punch
Platforms: Playstation 3
Preview date: February 17, 2009
inFamous is a new intellectual property (IP) by Sucker Punch, developers of the Sly Racoon franchise. Like all other games by the company, inFamous is a scheduled Playstation 3 exclusive. It's a open world game, played in a third-person perspective as the player explores the game world using the protagonist’s superhuman abilities and natural agility he gained from his profession as a courier.
The game follows Cole McGrath, a courier in the fictional Empire City where the game is located. During a routine job an explosion destroys six city blocks and Cole mysteriously gains electricity super powers but is also left unconscious for two weeks period. He then wakes up to find that Empire City has fallen into chaos with no order of law and, to make matters worse, the city's population is pointing the finger of blame at Cole, who’s package he was delivering was the source of the explosion that set the city's problems in motion. From there Cole tries to obtain a grasp of what is going on, and learn to control his powers, as he works to save Empire City. This involves taking on the rival gangs who have used the city’s state of chaos to take control of much of the city’s streets.
There are also other who, like Cole, where effected in similar ways to Cole. Gaining powers and abilities, but so far we’ve not seen any who gained the level of power Cole has. This means that aside from simple gun weilding thugs, Cole will also face others with powers similiar or different to his own like earth and metal based powers.
Cole's powers are the most interesting features of the game. He only has one power, to manipulate electricity, but he uses it in such a variety of ways that will astound the player and give them a real sense of control as they piece together different abilities to create new ways for dealing with different foes. Cole can fire electricity from his hands, send objects flying through the air, use his powers to heal people, glide through the air, power a train to move around the different areas of the city, and many more. However, Cole may be able to control electricity but he himself does not create it. Cole will have to find sources or electricity on the fly to recharge, which is a problem as Empire City's power is in short supply. Players will have to be careful when using large amount of power at once, they must give thought to what might be coming next.
Aside from his powers, Cole is also something of an urban explorer. He can scale walls and leap between walls, in a similiar way to Assassin's Creed, to move around the city. He can also use this as a way to find cover, jumping and clinging to a telephone pole to make himself difficult to shoot as he returns fire with bolts of lightning. He also seems to have an array of hand-to-hand combat skills, kicking and punching enemies into the air before lashing out at them with his powers. The entire gameplay system promotes the idea of finding combinations with Cole's powers, like knocking them into the air before smashing them into a wall with a bolt of lightning.
inFamous is looking to become a fascinating free roaming game and incorporating super powers to make the game world your play ground, to save or ruin. The premise of creating combinations of powers to dispatch your foes and explore the beautifully destroyed Empire City while you do, collect more powers and skills to add to Cole's arsenal. The player will have a choice in the game as to what type of hero they wish to be. They can be a real model hero, putting the population ahead of Cole. Or, Cole can focus more on his own survival than saving people. However at the end of the day you will still save the day, one way or the other. Hopefully Sucker Punch will be able to hide this linear point to point with lots or variety and possibilites in the game to mask the overal fact that you have very little choice in what goes on. If we're lucky Sucker Punch may allow Cole to become a villain, but so far it doesn't seem likely.