- Publisher: Sony
- Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
- ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
- Genre: Action
- Pros: Great Storytelling, Stellar Voice Work, High-Powered Action
- Cons: Some Repetitive Missions, Less Value Than Other Recent Sony Special Editions
"Infamous" was released around the same time as "Prototype" and the similarities between the games -- both featured increasingly powerful protagonists who went from average guys to superheroes amid cities crumbling under enemy attack -- led the two titles to be lumped together for a lot of writers and gamers. In the end, "Infamous" was the much-more creatively vital experience (although "Prototype 2" did correct many of the errors of its predecessor) and Sucker Punch built on it two years later with the accomplished "Infamous 2," a title that beautifully built on what worked about the first game without feeling too much like a repeat. Both games and a voucher to download the stand-alone adventure "Infamous: Festival of Blood" are included in the "Infamous Collection" for a low purchase price.
In "Infamous," you will get to know and love Cole MacGrath, a bike courier who develops electricity-based superpowers after the package he's carrying turns out to be a device that forever changes his home of Empire City. The first "Infamous" worked remarkably because of a perfect blend of moral decisions on the player's part and a brilliantly designed difficulty curve when it comes to power. The best action games space out new powers, combo moves, etc. with an increase in difficulty in terms of enemy ability or A.I., so they don't get repetetive. "Infamous" does that remarkably. It utilizes a system that feels more designed around user choice and like confident storytelling of its very own. It's a great game, and introduced us to one of the best new IPs in the last half-decade.
"Infamous 2" took what worked so well about the first game and arguably did it even better. There is a bit of franchise fatigue in the first act, which feels somewhat like mere DLC for the first game, but that quickly dissipates as the more-impressive world of "Infamous 2," set in a New Orleans-esque town called New Marais, opens up to the player. It's one of the most interesting and well-designed video game settings of the last two years in gaming. The creative drive behind "Infamous 2" was clearly to take the tools of the first game and bring them to a new world. It was one of the best action games of 2011.
Late in 2011, to coincide with the Halloween season, Sucker Punch and Sony released a DLC adventure called "Infamous: Festival of Blood," a couple of hours of dark carnage that blended the world of "Infamous" with that of the world of vampires. Given the gothic setting of "Infamous 2," the choice seemd obvious but the gameplay and storytelling in "Festival of Blood" didn't quite live up to the other two games. Even the mechanics seem a bit faulty here such as when the slo-mo combat kicks into play and an enemy literally disappears into the wall. There were also more camera issues in "Festival" than the two standalone games.