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inFamous Demo Impressions

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Unearthed through the generosity of NeoGAF was a gigabyte’s worth of demo for Sucker Punch’s upcoming open world adventure known as inFamous. I needed to get my hands on it; I needed to know how it felt. And for good reason.

Video portrayal of this game simply doesn’t convey how responsive Cole is and it certainly doesn’t highlight how easy it is to scale buildings. Say that I wanted to get that glowing metallic piece to increase my electric charge meter – not a problem in this game. I don’t even have to think twice about it; just up and go.

The verticality and ease of traversal in InFamous is a liberating experience. A mark of a good demo (and a good open world game for that matter) is the freedom to do anything you want. The inFamous demo offered a wide array of abilities including a taste of both the dark and light side of Cole’s powers. I can’t say the differences between the powers are that drastic, but that could be exclusive to the demo.

Electrical grenades, grinding on rails and shockwave pushes were some of the abilities featured on menu for this demo. It felt empowering and gratifying pulling off attacks and stunts however and whenever I wanted. A cover system aided with controlling the mayhem, but it was difficult to resist the urge to spam lightning grenades and watch the chaos sort itself out.

Scripted sequences kept the action moving, but there was just enough freedom to foster my own creativity. Shoot and run or pick and pop? I could do either on whim. And to be able to pull it all off at a very smooth thirty frames per second? Why that’s just gravy. I can pardon the occasional pop-in and I can certainly forgive them for not delivering stratospheric levels worth of eye candy.

By the end of the demo, I was left wanting more. A lot more. inFamous is what I want in an open world game. Control, freedom and just enough script to keep the action flowing. This is fun and it is certainly on my short list of must buy games. It’s a damn shame that the public will have to wait until May 21st just to sample it.

inFamous debuts May 26, 2009 exclusively on the PlayStation 3. For more information, visit the official website.

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