The Backlog: inFamous Part 3

The final levels that close out inFamous can be grueling and extremely tedious. Many of the tasks focus on quick traversal and the magical ability to predict where enemies will be. One mission in particular was quite literally insane, especially considering what they were asking of me. It required near-perfection in timing and luck; two things that it had never required so importantly before.

Difficulty aside, the story goes in some wild directions as the game concludes. What I thought was a central character in the story, suddenly becomes this infrequent voice that babbles on about how you’re making the wrong decision. This jarring switch merely composed of a single phone call telling you not to trust them. It felt like a lack of direction for the character, and simple way to write them off. Some other interesting story bits were given this treatment in the similar way near the ending, as they forced you into the final decisions.

Speaking about decisions, inFamous sucks at them. Once you come upon one of these choices the game treats it like your life depends on it, when in reality it’s the most contrived good or bad options I’ve ever seen. Do I be a dick and kill these people, or do I not be a dick and just do what I’m supposed to be doing? Remember you’re a hero in this game. The primary goal is to save humanity. It’s laughable at best to see your character murder a few innocent people for no logical reason. I couldn’t answer you why this game even has a karma system, apart from being a way to expand on Cole’s powers.

I’ve already accidentally spoiled the intro to inFamous 2. It’s a very strong opener that goes further with the tone presented at the end of inFamous. I can imagine the ending was very foreboding before any word was spoken of a sequel, but for me I knew where everything was going to end up. After the lackluster final boss, you finally get a taste of how you’re going to go about saving the world.

If comic movies have taught us anything, it’s that the origin stories aren’t always the most compelling. inFamous is a competent origin story, that tries to cover every base before the real stuff goes down. For an open world game the decisions and story shove you down a harsh, linear path that ultimately leaves you with a much larger task at hand. The gameplay is excitingly fluid, but can be frustratingly punishing when it inevitably gets in the way. Luckily, the introduction of new abilities so frequently leave you feeling more and more powerful as your progress. For what inFamous lacks in direction and storytelling,  it excels in application of mechanics and plain, old fun.

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