GDC: A brief hands-on with inFamous

Where I was once not a believer, I am now. Hopefully, this will be one of those games that the PS3 owners should be grateful they get. This, of course, from a reaction of playing it for a mere ten minutes, bear in mind.

The demo is short, but I have to say, the trailers are misleading. What Sucker Punch has done here is implemented the sense that you, Cole, are one odd guy among a many regular people, yet just as unfortunate. The whole city is under quarantine, and in the scenario I played, you, a friend, and the entire city are in a mad rush to an area where the government has apparently just dropped some food. It does well to establish a bleak setting, but it also had some points where all I was doing was running, and it was truly trying my patience, especially since I had to wait for my friend character to arrive before the scripted cut scene kicked into play.

The city itself looks great, rivaling the magnitude of Grand Theft Auto IV and the decrepit details found in some Gears of War setpieces. I got to mess with only the very bare minimum of special moves, but they themselves were fun enough to fight with. The trailers and gameplay videos I’d seen up to now looked rather dry and boring. Actually playing the game, where I was actually getting hit and had to avoid dying, made the attacks seem at least more suspenseful if not completely converting me.

The acrobatics, though, are just plain sweet. Cole is extremely well animated, and I saw someone else riding along a power line and it just looked kickin’ rad. Even knowing that you’ll survive jumping off a building is pretty satisfying in its own way, not to mention being able to shove entire cars off their parking space. Enough moves like this and players can potentially have more fun jumping and riding around town feeling awesome than actually fighting.

There’s still a nagging feeling in me, though, that I could be seeing just the best this game has to offer, leaving me to be thoroughly disappointed upon final release. But I have hope. I have a positive outlook, and I have a desire to go back and play it again soon. So on that note, I say… it’s looking cool.