inFamous is an open world action-adventure game developed by Sucker Punch Productions, creators of the Sly Cooper series. The game was released on May 26, 2009 in North America, and May 29, 2009 in Europe. inFamous has the player assume the role of Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger who gains electrical superpowers after a mysterious explosion.
inFamous follows the story of Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger and resident of the fictional Empire City. At the start of the game, a package that Cole is assigned to deliver causes a huge explosion that rips apart six city blocks, leaving behind a crater and somehow leaving Cole as the only survivor of the immediate blast. The explosion grants Cole with several
electricity-based powers. As a result of his exhaustion, Cole falls into unconsciousness, only to wake up two weeks later to find that Empire City has fallen into complete chaos. Without the police, gangs have taken over areas of the city and a plague has infected many of the residents causing the city to be quarantined by the government.
A video signal jacker who refers to himself as "the Voice of Survival," periodically hacks into public broadcasts and sends out his own pirate messages about survival information for Empire City civilians, reveals that Cole was the cause of the explosion, thus setting the population of Empire City (even his girlfriend, Trish) against him. Cole must come to terms with his powers, decide whether to help those in need or serve his own self interests, and face off against larger threats that have manifested in the city due to the explosion and its aftermath.
According to inFamous producer Nate Fox, the team wanted to have Cole be "a kind of an everyman," so that they could then "get into the head space of what it would be like to be a real human being who has been granted these exceptional abilities." While Cole is the only playable character, he is joined by two friends; Zeke, a fellow bike messenger, conspiracy theorist and survivalist who becomes jealous of Cole's powers, and Trish, Cole's ex-girlfriend and medical student who resents him due to her sister being killed in the blast but still helps in treating the injured, a "Lois Lane with syringes" as stated by Sucker Punch.
Cole's greatest strength and weakness comes from the source of his electrical powers. Cole's inability to generate his own energy to fuel his powers forces him to rely on the city's unreliable power grid, making players constantly manipulate the city's energy in order to use it for themselves. When Cole is in an area with power, he is able to constantly recharge his supply through the use of pay phones, lamp posts and other sources of electricity. Sucker Punch's Nate Fox claimed that players must be wary of rolling brownouts that will randomly occur throughout the city, which prevents players from recharging Cole's powers. In reality, the game contains no such feature. However, certain regions of the city are separated from the power grid, and Cole must venture into them to return the electricity to the area. When Cole is in a powerless region of the city, his vision becomes blurred and he can only charge his powers from car batteries (which only give a small boost) or roof-mounted generators.
All of Cole's powers revolve around electrical based attacks. Featured attacks include the ability to shoot electricity out of his hands, call upon lightning from the sky, a shock wave that can push enemies and objects, and the ability to create a grenade-like ball of lightning.
Cole is unable to use guns or drive cars because the electricity in his body would ignite the ammunition or gas, causing them to explode. In addition, Cole has a decided weakness to water; his current flows into any standing water, such that full body submersion would instantly electrocute him. Showers of water cause pain as well, so it is mentioned in the backstory that Cole is now forced to sponge bathe.
Cole also has more esoteric uses of his ability, such as his "post-cognition" power, which allows Cole to read the residual electrical energy in the brain of a recently deceased person, in order to learn the cause of their death. Cole can also ride along electrified power lines and train tracks, which allows Cole to travel around Empire City more easily.
inFamous players to make moral decisions, as well. Cole can choose whether to help or hurt the civilians of Empire City, and his actions will not only affect how citizens react to him, but also affect which of the two endings the player can see. If Cole is kind to the citizens of Empire City, they will adore him and help him out whenever possible. But if players choose to attack civilians, the citizens will resent Cole and cower in fear. The player's karma status will have a visual effect on Cole's electricity based powers. For example, players with Good Karma will have blue lightning bolts, whereas players with Evil Karma will have red lightning bolts. Good Karma powers are more centered around catching bad guys alive and not harming civilians whereas the Evil Karma powers are more explosive and dangerous. Filling the positive Karma meter will gain Cole the title of Hero, while filling the negative Karma meter will label him, perhaps more appropriately, Infamous.
inFamous does not auto-pause if the DualShock 3 controller battery dies, a problem fixed in the sequel.
Throughout the game Cole is able to spend experience points to upgrade numerous powers that are acquired during the game. Most of the powers are the same for the good and bad archetype paths but have slight differences. For example both archetypes can use shock grenades, but the good archetype grenades increase enemy knockdown time while the evil ones split into multiple clusters which increases their blast radius.
Lightning Bolt - Fires a single bolt of electricity at an enemy. This ability does not consume energy from Cole's battery cores.
Electromagnetic Shockwave - can be used to push enemies to the ground and off buildings. As well as push objects and reflect enemy rockets.
Shock Grenade - Shock grenades are balls of energy that are thrown into groups of enemies. They only stick to enemies.
Megawatt Hammer - A "rocket" that flies in a straight line and explodes on impact.
Overload Burst - Fire a bolt that chains off conductive surfaces. This is only available to the player if they have Good Karma.
Arc Lightning - Fires a continuous beam of energy that chains off conductive surfaces. This is only available to the player if they have Evil Karma.
Thunder Drop - Holding down the square button in the air causes Cole to store up energy. When Cole lands that energy is released and creates a electric shockwave.
Reduce Damage - Damage received from attacks and explosions is decreased.
Melee - Close combat moves that encompass punches, kicks and other acrobatic attacks.
Electric Drain - Ability to drain electricity from various sources to heal and restore energy to Cole.
Polarity Wall - Creates a energy shield that can stop bullets.
Pulse Heal - Pulses of electricity that heals injured civilians. When used, it increases Cole's Good Karma.
Arc Restraint - Electric wrist and ankle restraints that render targets immobile. When used on enemies, it increases Cole's Good Karma.
When used on innocent people, it increases his Evil karma. Cole can also earn Evil karma for "executing" criminals who have been Arc Restrained
Bio-Leech - Drains the electrical energy from the nervous systems of downed enemies and civilians. It fills up Cole's battery cores and heals all damage at the expense of the victim's life. This act also increases Cole's Evil Karma.
Precision - Gives the player zoom functionality and slows time, allows Cole to fire devastatingly powerful Precision Bolts that go much, much further than regular lightning bolts and hit much harder.
Lightning Storm - Calls a huge lighting storm that the player can direct using the controller's SIXAXIS functionality.
This power has no upgrades.
Gigawatt Blades - Electric gauntlets with large blades. The Gigawatt Blades must be equipped by pressing right on the directional pad before using. Cole can only use the blades once before having to re-equip them. While this is a downside, almost all enemies will be killed after one attack. The blades were originally a pre-order bonus, but are now available as a DLC add-on in the PlayStation Store.
Customers who purchased inFamous within a certain time frame after launch received a voucher inside the game's case to participate in the Uncharted 2: Among Thieves multiplayer beta. The voucher was valid from June 3, 2009 till June 28, 2009.
Players will also receive a code to access the Gigawatt Blades power upon pick-up of the game if they pre-order from GameStop in the U.S. or buy the special edition in Europe or Australia. GameStop.com describes the power as being able to "annihilate any foe and transforms Cole's hands into instruments of sheer destruction, yet still gentle enough to allow for the occasional tickling."
inFamous developer Sucker Punch released a demo on May 21, 2009 for the PlayStation Network on the North American, European, and Hong Kong PlayStation Stores. The demo features two story missions and two side missions. Two missions feature Cole with Hero status, while the other two have Cole with Infamous status, therefore allowing the player to experience both sides of the karma spectrum. Players who downloaded the demo from the PlayStation Store received an added bonus of a Cole costume set for use in PlayStation Home.
The music in inFamous is composed by Amon Tobin (who has previously worked on the score for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory ), Jim Dooley, JD Meyer and Mel Wesson. It was performed using a range of found objects, such as rubbish cans and bungee cords, alongside more conventional instruments used in unconventional ways.
The soundtrack featuring this music was released on the iTunes Store on May 21 2009, and includes the track Silent Melody by Working For A Nuclear Free City, which was commissioned specifically for the game's Power Trip trailer.
This should be obvious, but in case you were wondering, inFamous does not support custom soundtracks from the XMB.
Cole MacGrath - The hero or villain of inFamous. Cole is a simple bike messenger who is assigned to deliver a package, which unfortunately is more than he bargained for. The package explodes destroying a few city blocks, killing civilians and granting Cole with electricity based powers. The player can choose to have Cole be the hero and bring peace to Empire City, or become the villain and plunge it further into chaos.
Zeke Dunbar - Cole's best friend who lives on a rooftop. Zeke becomes jealous of Cole's newfound powers, but despite his jealousy, Zeke is willing to maintain his friendship with Cole and assist him in any way possible.
Trish Daily - Cole's ex-girlfriend. Trish is a doctor who is attempting to help the wounded civilians trapped within Empire City's quarantine zone. Trish asks Cole to perform various tasks such as freeing bases and procuring supplies. Despite his help, Trish still holds Cole responsible for the death of her sister.
Moya Jones - An FBI Agent who assigns Cole the task of restoring power to different areas of the city. Moya is desperately searching for John who has been trapped in the quarantine.
John White is Moya's husband, he was trapped in Empire City while investigating a case for the NSA when the quarantine started. He left numerous encoded messages on satellite receivers, called Dead Drops.