inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood Review
Sucker Punch Productions
Sony Computer Entertainment
October 25, 2011
Open World Action-Adventure
If you haven’t heard already, Cole MacGrath is Sucker Punch’s new favorite hero or anti-hero depending on how you choose to play through the Infamous games. I was in love with Infamous from the second I first saw the electric man in action. Cole is one of the biggest beasts in gaming at the moment and for good reason. Cole can scale huge structures, fall from extreme heights, and kick some major butt using a bit of electroshock therapy. The first two Infamous games were great; with top notch gameplay, a big city, and a nice story backed by morality choices. Infamous: Festival of Blood almost kept up the pace, only coming up short in the scale of the city and the choices that were available.
On one hand, Infamous: Festival of Blood was a great game from the start as far as gameplay goes. Using the exact world and game mechanics from Infamous 2. On the other hand, the story was not on par with the rest of the franchise. Cole MacGrath was just a normal bike messenger, but do to certain circumstances he gained the ability to control electricity. After defending his city from a psychopathic time traveler and a terrible threat known as the Beast, Cole thought he had some leisure time on his hands, until New Marais celebrated Pire Night that is. On Pire Night (much like Halloween) the vampire, Bloody Mary (yes, like the drink) is released from her prison, which happens to be right under New Marais. Cole ends up in the mix and happens to get bitten by Bloody Mary, leaving him only one night to slay her or else succumb to her will. The story isn’t exactly what I was wanting from Infamous, but it wasn’t necessarily bad. My biggest beef with the story was not being able to choose what Cole would do next. Since Cole was a vampire and had to eat people, the developers just decided to make Cole a bad guy through the whole game. This really made no sense to me because the obvious mirrored story could have had Cole going through withdraw and possibly mutating. The lack of choice even stemmed into the gameplay.
In Infamous: Festival of Blood your main abilities revolve around Cole being able to shoot electricity out of his hands and fight with his melee weapon. Just like in the other games, he can shoot electricity ranging from normal bolts to grenades to a super charged lightning bolt. Instead of the Amp from Infamous 2, Cole gets a nice vampire-slaying stake instead. Most of the combat moves are the same as they were in Infamous 2 and only change up when Cole actually delivers the killing blow. The biggest addition to the gameplay is the new vampire abilities. Cole can now suck blood, see heart beats, see better in the dark, and even fly. The blood sucking will give you health but is mostly used for recharging your vampire powers. The flying in the game is the biggest step forward by far and if we do get an Infamous 3, Cole will definitely be flying in some fashion inspired by the vampire flight. Once the game is beaten, the User Generated Content is opened up, allowing you to play levels created by other players. It would have been nice to have the choice to fight the vampire’s “thirst” for blood and this could have opened a new story tree and given Cole new abilities like mutating into a monster bat and getting super strength. Other than the single line of power-ups, the gameplay had me excited and feeling like a super charged form of Marvel Comics’ Blade.
All the combat in the game wouldn’t have been the same without the flashiness that came with it. The characters and powers have changed but are still just as electrifying and colorful as ever. Other than that, the city looks exactly the same and I felt like I was right back in the same New Marais. Trust me when I say that being back in New Marais was by no means a bad thing. The city had a nice darkness about it this time around, people were all dressed up in monster and devil costumes and vampires were littered throughout. Cole’s powers are all still nicely animated and the way he turns into a cloud of bats is like something from a Dracula movie. Sometimes I did notice things like characters being halfway in a wall or laying flat on the edge of a structure when they clearly should have fallen off. Sometimes the kill animations would be slightly off, having Cole stab the vampires through the shoulders to kill them or not even stabbing them at all and still getting a kill. Other than that, Festival of Blood was very pleasing to the eyes, especially when the sun starts to come up over New Marais.
When it comes right down to it, Infamous: Festival Blood was a great game with some fantastic gameplay. The only downfalls were the lack of choices and the extremely short playthrough time. I beat the main story in about 2 hours, only side tracked slightly by the 105 or so collectibles. For only $10 this game was definitely worth it, especially if you are a big fan of the first two games.
Tell us about your thoughts on this downloadable game. Do you agree with Keith’s sentiments?