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Old 06-01-2009, 04:54 PM
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Adam Adam is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA
Posts: XMVDCCXLIX
Default Re: Video Games - Watcha playin'?

I picked up inFamous recently (yes, the stupid capitalization is the "official" way to type the title). Thnk Grand Theft Auto, but with electricity-based superpowers and Assassin's Creed/le Parkour style wall crawling and acrobatics. I'm mostly enjoying it. The powers are fun to play with, the controls are intuitive, the open city has personality, and the characters are cheesy and entertaining. I do sort of wish there were more variety to the side missions. There are maybe 6 to 8 different templates for side missions, and you do them over and over.

My biggest gripe is that the game features yet another overhyped morality system that amounts to a series of starkly black and white decision points that move your karma meter towards good or evil. I'm told that the plot unfolds differently depending on the position of your karma meter, certain powers follow different upgrade paths depending on your karma, and citizens on the street will either cheer for you and snap photos or else throw (harmless, afaik) rocks at you based on your choices. All typical elements of a karma game, and the execution is as good as any I've seen but, as always, it just feels flat. I want to play a game where the choice to be good or evil isn't essentially arbitrary. I want a game where my character turns to the dark side, if he or she does, not because oh, well, I've already beaten the game as a good guy, let's try it as a psychopath, but because there is a temptation to do so. It should be easier to be an asshole, but the rewards should be correspondingly smaller. inFamous could have been that game. You take a karma hit if you injure civilians, and the idiots don't seem to grasp the idea of not milling about in the middle of a fight between a dozen goons with assault rifles and a guy who shoots lightning from his ass. If the consequences for hurting an innocent were more severe, and the rewards for not doing so were greater, then karma decisions would be interesting choices. As it is, if I accidentally electrocute a couple of passers by while I'm taking down a group of thugs, I can get the karma back just by wandering around healing (one of your abilities involves using your charged up hands like a sort of defibrillator) random injured people for a minute or two.

Also, although this is not a problem with inFamous, it's the first game I've ever played on my Blu-Ray player PS3 and, much as I love the system for what I bought it for, I'm not impressed with it as a platform for gaming. My damned controller desyncs all the time, requiring a hard system reset before it will resync, and, from what I can find on the tubes, it's apparently a fairly widespread problem. The suggested fix? Don't use any wireless devices, other than the controller, near the console, including the wifi adapter that's built in to the frickin console. I've also seen at least one person suggest that you can fix the issue by popping the unit open and blowing dust off of the bluetooth antenna, so maybe I'll try that.
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