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Developed exclusively for the PS3 by Sucker Punch Productions, Infamous is an electrically themed open-world adventure that fuses a Grand Theft Auto-style narrative with Crackdown's superpowers and the parkour-inspired acrobatics of Assassin's Creed, all set within a modern metropolis left reeling after a catastrophic explosion. At the epicenter of that explosion was Cole MacGrath, a simple courier whose package detonated in mid-transit, leveling a six-block area of Empire City, and seemingly unleashing a mysterious plague that prompted a military-enforced quarantine. Even more mysterious is the fact thatCole not only survived the blast, but walked away from it with the superhero-like abilities to harness electricity, cling to nearly any surface, and scale buildings with stunning alacrity. As the beleaguered citizenry of Empire City try to eek out an existence, waiting for supply drops, coping with isolation and anger, and living in fear of roving gangs, they begin to look to Cole as either the source of their misery, or their only hope for deliverance. It soon becomes clear, however, that Cole is not the only one with mysterious powers. The gangs terrorizing people aren't mere hoodlums or looters, but mysterious wraith-like creatures known as Reapers. Infamous gives players the freedom to use Cole's powers for good or for ill, but regardless of whether they choose to navigate the story altruistically or go the self-serving route, gamers will frequently confront Reapers of varying size and strength. From a combat standpoint, Infamous resembles a typical third-person shooter, except Cole's powers render him incapable of handling firearms. No matter, though, as his arcing bolts of blue lightning serve the same purpose as bullets, and small bundles of charged energy function as electric grenades. He can also create electric handcuffs to restrain foes, use blasts of energy to send people or objects spiraling backward, resuscitate injured bystanders, and even sap the life from downed enemies. Cole is not a never-ending reservoir of electricity, however, so players must locate transformers, lampposts, power wires, car batteries, and other electrical hotspots in order to recharge.
As is the case with many open-world games, Infamous includes a number of side missions and collectibles, though the developers actively sought to encourage vertical exploration by tying the collectibles to the main storyline. Instead of tracking down hidden packages or flags, gamers set out to find audio recordings from a federal agent, or chunks of a strange substance that makes Cole even more powerful. Another continuing side quest finds players shutting off valves to prevent the Reapers from releasing a hallucinogenic substance into Empire City's water supply. Unfortunately, Cole must come in contact with the psychoactive drug in order to reach the valves, but the resulting hallucinations open a mental link to the mysterious leader of the Reapers, and these revelations offer gamers a more complete understanding of Cole's place in the ongoing struggle. ~ Christopher Brown, All Game Guide
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