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inFamous Demo Impression May 18, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Demo, PS3.


A bit of an interesting one, this. A sandbox game that has seen a lot of comparisons to Crackdown. The demo doesn’t give too much of the story away, but you play as a man called Cole caught up in an explosion that tears through the city. He awakes from a coma two weeks later to find that he has gained special powers – the ability to manipulate electricity. Rather generously, the demo gifts you with some of these powers to start with.

The first mission in the demo is to free a group of citizens being held prisoner on a train and requires you to power up and move the train using your newly acquired abilities. You will be periodically stopped along the way and forced to fight and this basically serves as a tutorial. When you switch to combat mode the camera changes to an over-the-shoulder-style perspective in which you can rapidly fire bolts of electricity. Other attacks include an electricity grenade and something similar to the force push from Force Unleashed. The enemies were rather disappointing and amounted to nothing more than generic thugs, although they do put up a fair fight and this is where things start to get annoying. It can often seem like Cole takes far too much damage at times and the enemies have pinpoint accuracy from great distances which becomes very irritating.

After that mission is completed, the demo gives you a taste of the karma system which changes depending on your actions, and also alters your abilities. For example, a plague has spread across the city and if you find an infected citizen you can heal them with your powers for good karma, or sap their energy for negative karma. In the next mission (fixing a contaminated water supply) your karma is automatically set to evil and in doing so, your powers become much more explosive and destructive.

The platform elements, while not as fun or tight as Crackdown, are still pretty decent. It feels a lot more similar to Assassin’s Creed or Prince of Persia in the way that you scale the buildings. Pretty much every ledge, pole and wall is scalable in some way and used to your advantage during a fight. or another and Grinding on telephone wires and railway tracks is also fun.

I was already planning on getting the game, but this demo has sold me on the game a little more. There were a few negatives I noticed. The framerate can drop quite a bit when there is a lot going on, and the draw distance and amount of jaggies are disappointing. It also doesn’t warn you if you stray too far from your mission area, and instead instantly fails you and restarts from the last checkpoint. Also, there were a few occasions during a mission where, after a cutscene, it started me of in a pre-determined position regardless of where I was before. This resulted in me being showered with bullets and dying on one occasion. However, despite all that I am still looking forward to this. I liked the dark, gritty feeling of the city and the potential for a unique take on the traditional superhero story. Shaping up to be a promising sandbox game, InFamous is out on May 29th.



1. Adam - May 18, 2009

Prototype looks like it has this beat on both action and platforming.

Can you drive cars/Why can’t you drive cars?

sic @ “if you fins an infected citizen”

2. Matthew - May 18, 2009

This lseems to have a lot more emphasis on platforming than Prototype does, but then again I’ve not played it so I wouldn’t know.

You can’t use vehicles or anything like that. I don’t think you can comandeer turrets that the enemies use either, which is bloody annoying. Their excuse is probably that his electricity will make it explode or something…

3. Colin - May 30, 2009

@ Adam
really cannot compare it to prototype
Theyre far too different
Like comparing gta crackdown and saintsrow

4. Matthew - May 30, 2009

It’s good to see the framerate has been somewhat improved in the full game.

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