Posts Tagged infamous
Today, I picked up Gunstar Heroes and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night through Xbox Live Arcade. Gunstar Heroes is an old favorite of mine, and on last week’s podcast, I even called that the game that first defined my gaming tastes. It is short and sweet with brilliant controls and a great stylized artstyle. I’ve already beaten the game, taking about 3 hours to do so this morning. After that, I began playing Symphony of hte Night, which I hadn’t played before, but I do enjoy the Castleroid style Castlevania games. Thus far, I’m digging it quite a bit. The lack of a manual is hurting, though, since I’m not fully sure what all of the buttons do, but it’s not nearly as hard to figure out as UFC 2009 was. I think I will end up enjoying this game.
I tried playing some inFAMOUS a few minutes ago, but I am simply not enjoying the game any more. I’m pretty frustrated with the world as is, and it certainly wasn’t helping. I just reached the Historic District, and the lack of a HUD indicator for enemy directions is driving me insane. I seem to constantly get shot from an enemy I can’t locate, and die confused more often than not. I don’t finish engagements feeling like I could’ve done anything to have saved myself – I just have no idea where the shooting is coming from.
I’ll go back to Psychonauts before the end of this three day weekend. I very much want to reach the Milkman level, as I’ve heard so much about it. I got to the lungfish, lost, and haven’t picked it back up since then. I do that a lot with boss fights. I’m just a little too unfocused to go through most games.
I finally got past that annoying Alden fight I was stuck on in inFAMOUS. The first phase of the fight, on top of the tower, was just a pain. The second part of it, with all the dustmen with rocket launchers, was what messed me up. I was very often getting nailed by two rockets way too fast to react. It was the kinda fight that I feel I won because I got lucky, not because I was on top of my game.
The second part of the fight was much better, in that regard. The last part of that fight kinda felt like an old school boss fight, where you had to watch for subtle movement to see which move he would do next. He threw cars, threw fireballs, and fired a gun at me. The car and fireballs I could reflect with my shockwave, and I had to get behind barricades for the gun. The way he moved his head was the clue as to which move he was going to do, and when I finally killed him, I feel like it was because of skill. I figured out his pattern and countered it until I killed him.
I put the game down shortly after, but now that I’m past that annoying fight, I’m much more likely to pick it back up again and finish the game. I do this a lot with games – play intensely for a week, then stop for a month, then get back into it. I just hope I’m near the end of the game, because I’m feeling done with it. The story is nothing spectacular (although Zeke’s recent shit was interesting), the controls bother me more each time I play, and the UI is pretty crappy – especially in regards to indicating which direction you are taking damage from.
I still plan to do a final thoughts on the game, but I can’t do that until I consider the game done.
I just spent an hour or two playing Prototype after a friend picked up a copy. I have been playing inFAMOUS quite a bit, and comparisons between the two games are inevitable. Both involve a quarantined city, a regular guy suddenly given super powers, and that guy trying to figure out what happened. The comparisons made in the video game media are really quite apt, and somewhat creepy:
- Free roaming city with location based missions and side missions
- Experience gained on kills / missions to upgrade abilities
- Lots of wall scaling and building hopping movement
- Pedestrians all over, with scattered enemies
- Super powered hero who doesn’t know how he gained those powers
- Semi-generic, mostly realistic graphics with exceptionally well done cut scenes to show the story
However, both games are getting quite good reviews, both are hovering around an 85% average, according to gamerankings.com. After a few hours on Prototype, and far more than a few hours on inFAMOUS, I must agree – both are very good games.
While they are very similar in their approach, controls, graphics and character advancement, they do differ in some areas. Prototype is much faster paced, with an emphasis on melee combat. In Prototype, the main character – Alex Mercer, can transform parts of his body into weapons and consume enemies to gain their powers or looks. The combat is far more frenetic and harder to keep track of, but it is balanced with a target lock system that helps you aim in the most chaotic of times. While there are projectiles (you can pick up enemy weapons, like rifles and rocket launchers), it seems like the best weapons are all the melee weapons. In contract, inFAMOUS is slower paced, with no target lock, but less of a need for one since the combat rarely reaches the fever pitch that Prototype regularly dishes out.
This change in pace applies to movement, as well. In inFAMOUS, movement speed is only moderately above that of a regular human at a full sprint, and building scaling is done in a more Mirror’s Edge style, with ledge grappling, rail climbing and other urban exploration techniques. Prototype ditches any such system and lets you literally run straight up a wall with the press of a button. This change is speed makes it far easier to get to the top of the buildings in Prototype, but since you are under fire from far more well equipped foes, you need that boost in speed.
In general, the pacing of Prototype is faster than inFAMOUS, but the rest of the game (enemy count, enemy capabilities, general on screen chaos, target locking) adjusts, so neither game seems more or less difficult or boring due to the general pacing.
Right now, I can’t really judge the story of Prototype – I am way too early in it to tell, but I can say for sure that I like the setup with the web of intrigue. As you find special targets and consume them, you can get their memories and get bits of the events leading up to the start of the game. Each consumed memory opens up a few more people to consume, but this is all done optionally. This compares to the dead drops that inFAMOUS used, where you find recordings left by John, the FBI agent, and listen to his diary of events prior to the blast.
I like Prototype’s setup on this a bit more, but I haven’t really seen how well this works through the whole game, in terms of how often you find these targets, how easy they are to find and so forth. I think it would be quite frustrating to try to find your last few memories, if there was no indication as to where to find them. inFAMOUS has a radar system that you can use to find dead drops in a certain range, but the dead drop setup just isn’t as well laid out as the web of intrigue. However the brilliantly done comic book scenes at certain points are just as good as the web of intrigue. There are fewer inFAMOUS comic book scenes than Prototype web of intrigue scenes, but that is balanced by each one being longer.
All in all – they are equally good, but for slightly different reasons. Prototype is fast, frantic and a hack-n-slash at heart. inFAMOUS is a slower paced shooter with emphasis on wall scaling and more subtle movement.
I spent all day playing inFAMOUS, and actually didn’t put it down until 3:30 AM. For those that know me, they know this is a sure fire seal of approval. A bad or merely decent game would not have kept me up past my usual bedtime of 11 PM – my sleep cycle is way too rigid for that.
After playing it this much, I have started to lean towards the thought that it borrows a lot of it’s elements from other games and does little that is straight up original, but the things it has taken it does incredibly well. The movement is reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed, the shock grenades operate and look just like Halo plasma grenades, certain enemies remind me of the shield wielding Ganados from Resident Evil 4, and so on. This isn’t a bad thing at all, because it has it wrapped into a very nice package that is a hell of a fun ride.
The story is starting to unfold a little bit more, with some characters coming out of the shadows. The story is told through two different pieces – the storyline missions where I am working for an FBI agent named Moya and uncovering the truth behind the explosion at the start of the game, and dead drop cassettes that you find throughout the city, left by an old friend of Moya’s, John, whom she is trying to find. The cassettes each tell a bit of the story of what John experienced prior to vanishing, and give a bit more information to the main story as I go through the missions. Certain scenes in the story are told through comic book style scenes that are superbly done, but I do wish they had more of those scenes.
The controls and moveset is an ever advancing beast, which I really like. I keep learning new moves, and am always excited when I go to get the next move. The moves are given when Cole receives a very large amount of electricity through him, which happens during certain missions. It’s a bit predictable when you are going to get a new move – you go into the sewers to turn electricity on to certain parts of the city – but these little areas are also laid out to help you learn how to use the new move, like how the dungeons in Zelda always emphasize the item you got in that dungeon. The movement is very fluid and intuitive, but only when going up. When I try to drop down, either to hide from gunfire or just move down, I often have difficulty getting down. Cole wants to move towards things he can grab on to (which is great for going up, so you don’t slip and fall all the way down very often), but when going down, this is a bit of a nuisance.
There are also some side missions that range from way too easy to painfully frustrating, all with the objective of taking over parts of the city and freeing it from the roaming gangs. On the easy side, I found a picture of a package that I needed to find, and that package was less than 30′ from where I was standing in a really obvious way. On the hard side, I had to stop a prison riot by climbing up the prison tower and killing all of the rioters, and the climb up the tower was so long and not obvious, I fell a few times and by the time I got to the top, the guards had killed all but two rioters. On the plus side, the view from the top of that tower was spectacular.
Visually, it looks good, but probably won’t age well. It’s fairly generic semi-realistic graphics, the kind that always get beat out next generation, and in retrospect looked pretty bad. The comic style cutscenes will definitely age well, but I doubt most of the rest of it will. It does good work with draw distances though. When I got to the top of that prison tower, I could see all three islands of the city. It was foggy, but I could see very far and it looked really good.
Once I finish the game off, I’ll return for a third writeup. It is a good game, for sure, but it may not be incredibly memorable as the years pass. It does nothing to stand out and change the gaming landscape, but everything it does it finely crafted. It was well worth the cost, but I don’t see myself picking the game up again after I am done with it this first time. Sucker Punch did well, as they always have, but this game is a bit on the generic side.
Today, I picked up inFAMOUS for my Playstation 3. This is a sandbox action game made by Sucker Punch, the wonderously skilled team who did the Sly Cooper series, a favorite of mine on the Playstation 2. After playing for about two hours, I am definitely impressed. The movement is very fluid and the story is conveyed nicely.
You play Cole, a man who was in the middle of a large explosion but somehow survived. Shortly after the blast, you find yourself gaining superhuman powers of electricty, and you begin to make your way through the quarantined city, trying to find answers. The blast was blamed on terrorists, and the government has locked down Empire City, turning it into a nightmarish hell hole. As Cole, you scale rooftops with ease, fight enemies (or make enemies of the innocents), and try to find people who may have some answers.
I was immediately impressed with the controls. It is a pretty standard control scheme – right stick looks around, left stick moves around, X jumps, Circle lets go of ledges. Within that exteremly simply control scheme is an amazing system, similar to Assassin’s Creed, where Cole will automatically latch onto ledges, climb buildings, and move around like you want him to climb. This reminds me a lot of Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal for Playstation 2, which wowed me on control alone. In both games, the controls are so intuitive and so often do what you want, you find yourself not even thinking about what you want to do, and just doing it.
I am only about two hours into the game, so I have a ways to go, but I’ll do a more lengthy review when I have spent some more time at this. For an initial impression, though… I can say Sucker Punch has done extremely well. This Playstation 3 exclusive is another reason I’m very glad I got this Playstation 3 – but unfortunately, that still puts me at only four games purchased in nearly a year. I’m still trying to justify the money spent on this system.