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inFamous - inFamous
Graphically speaking, it's not as arresting an achievement as, say, Uncharted, Killzone 2 or Ratchet and Clank, and you will notice spots of texture pop-in and slow-down as you make your way around. All the same, there's a convincing level of detail and some superb atmospheric lighting, and the game has a physicality to it that some more stylised superhero efforts lack. Plus, as I'd expect from Sucker Punch, the character design and animation is top notch, with Cole expressing more personality in his moves and posture than most game heroes ever manage. In terms of super-hero movies, think X-Men 2, Batman Begins and Watchmen. Beneath all the lightning blasts and arcs of energy, there's something solid and believable - even, it must be said, political - going on; an impression echoed in the stylish, graphic novel cut-scenes, the restrained use of music and the underplayed, hard-nosed dialogue.
In the end, though, I wouldn't want to make too many claims about inFamous' status as a work of gaming art. What I would like to make clear is that, provided you give it the time and the commitment it deserves, this is a fantastic piece of entertainment - the sort of game where you'll have to drag yourself away because it's getting too late at night, only to find yourself thinking about playing it for most of the next day. It's also a pretty sizable game, particularly when you factor in the secondary missions, and when you consider that you might want to try both good and evil paths on top of that, there's no messing with it when it comes to bang for buck. It's a shame that it comes without Crackdown's multiplayer antics, but then I think Crackdown's ultra-violent slapstick might not have sat so well with inFamous' more downbeat tone., and I'd always rather have a great single-player game than a good one with a mediocre online mode appended. Of course, with Radical's very similar sounding Prototype coming soon, it might be tempting to wait before buying in case that turns out to be an even better game, but, personally, I wouldn't want to. inFamous? Hopefully. unMissable? Definitely.
On most levels inFamous beats Crackdown to set a new standard for open-world superhero games. You need the right approach to get the most out of it, but if everything clicks for you, you simply won't want to stop playing.
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