Monday, July 6, 2009

Games to Own #9: inFamous for PS3

I've been having immense fun with inFamous on PS3, it really is one of the best exclusive games available. Although Sony has quite a few stellar exclusives now. If you own a PS3 and haven't bought it yet, why not? While Killzone 2 may have not been everyone's cup of tea, I don't see how anyone could not enjoy this game. InFamous is an open-world game like GTA, you play in third person and you choose whether to be a super hero or a super villian. There's an interesting story, great voice acting and most importantly of all, great gameplay with minimal frustration. It's probably one of the first open world games that has caused me almost zero frustration due to the hard work of the developers. I hope but doubt that more games will follow inFamous in the things it has excelled in.

The first thing you'll notice is that inFamous has very quick loading times after you complete the initial mandatory install, which in itself is also quick. Did I saw loading times? The game loads only once when you start the game and it's very very quick. It's unbelievable what a difference this makes. First you see a sony logo, then the sucker punch logo video and finally the inFamous logo at the bottom of the screen as the game loads your latest save and puts you right there ingame in about...10 seconds. Yes, it's that quick. From then on, there is not a single load in the whole game, even when there's cutscene's and videos, well unless actually there is loads if you're in another city, but they're pretty quick. There isn't even a main menu! It really is an awesome feat. Grand Theft Auto IV on the other hand, had a very lengthy initial loading time. I like to be able to get into a game quickly and it's very annoying when you have to watch a whole heap of logo videos and being unable to skip them.

Secondly, Cole's (main character) agility is fantastic in the game. It's easy to scale walls, do jumping puzzles and leap from rooftop from rooftop because you don't have to be exactly perfect with your analog stick and jump button to get the right direction and distance, the computer knows most of the time where you want to jump to and will help you out. No massively frustrating moments like in GTA IV and Tomb Raider where you can't get the character to do what you want. The jumping and climbing in GTA IV still sucked, not a problem here though.

Finally, inFamous doesn't punish you by having you start from the beginning of each mission if you messed up or died and certainly doesn't require you to visit the mission spot again. No, inFamous has a checkpoint system within the missions and if you fail it, you'll instantly be transported back to the checkpoint with no load times, for a very unfrustrating experience.

These two factors contribute tremendously to making the game very enjoyable. It reminds me of the latest Prince of Persia actually, where the Prince is much more agile and easier to control. But, I think inFamous goes even further and controlling Cole is a pleasure and not a chore. A big thanks to Sucker Punch, for making such a polished product and enjoyable adventure. Try it and you'll be surprised how you could ever have put up with long load times, no checkpoints and crappy character movement. The bar has been raised.

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