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Oct 31, 2011

inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood Review

Lights Off
5 Incredible
Retails for: $9.99
We Recommend: $9.99
  • Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
  • Publisher: SCEA
  • Genre: Action, Adventure
  • Released: Oct 25, 2011
  • Platform: PlayStation 3
  • Reviewed: PlayStation 3

Sucker Punch’s approach to making this Halloween-themed spin-off of their popular franchise as a downloadable game instead of DLC for inFAMOUS 2 is a great sell both for timing and the series. As someone who’s played inFAMOUS and not it’s sequel (yet), the idea that this would be its own, self-contained game in the vein of Dead Rising: Case Zero served to the pleasure centers of my cerebral cortex.

The story centers itself on one island of New Marais, the New Orleans inspired location of the 2nd game and takes place over the course of 8 hours. Zeke tells the story of Cole’s run-in with vampires during Pyre Night, the game’s take on Halloween. From there you encounter Bloody Mary, of the mirror game and alcoholic beverage fame. She acknowledges her distain for both and intends on making her your servant for all of eternity as she turns you into a creature of the night, a vampire.

The campaign’s main story won’t take you much longer than 3 hours to complete. Story missions are generally entertaining, but either be dull or frustrating as they offer slight variations of the same objective. Veterans may decrease the total completion time by a varying amount. Newcomers are in for a treat (heh), as you play this over-the-top entry to the inFAMOUS series with an accelerated progression system and lacking any mortality choices, you’re left with a neutral Cole who must feed on humans to satisfy his hunger for blood. Despite his needs, he is determined to eliminate other vampires set out to destroy the world on this one night.

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New Marais is a wonderful setting for the Festival of Blood (which is never actually said or referenced in the game) to take place. The main island you play on is big enough to not get repetitive, but not so big that you feel lost or can’t remember key locations.

The game’s missions are all story based, no real side missions to be had. Introduced into the sequel to inFAMOUS, was User-Generated Content – or UGC. From here you can play missions created by Sucker Punch and the community that vary in length and difficulty to extend the life of the game. For a downloadable title, I can see why Sucker Punch leaned on this as a way to further the game than to make side quests in the traditional way – it made for a tightly packed story that resolves well. One could find the games trophies to be side quest as they require a high number of kills or specific tasks completed to attain. There are also blood jars to find around the world as well, which provide a nice bonus.

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Make no mistake, the title says inFAMOUS with no numbering, but everything from controls to powers and locations is everything inFAMOUS 2. You won’t find spoilers from inFAMOUS 1 or 2 here to ruin your fun with the undead. All of Cole’s basic powers are in-tact: electric bolt, electric grenade, electric rockets, and the hover ability all make a return.

Using your new melee weapon to stake vampires to vanquish them for good is ever-so-satisfying. Towards the 2nd half of the story, you’re given the ability to go into a “detective mode” of sorts to looking for differences in humans to find hidden vampires amongst the crowd and you must silently dispatch them before they turn into an 8-foot tall manbat. A new, game-changing power exclusive to Festival of Blood is the Shadow Swarm. Only by filling a meter from drinking the blood of your victims are you given the ability (albeit limited) to FLY. Yes, you transform into a swarm of blood-thirsty bats that elevate you to new heights much faster than any traversal the game’s environment or Cole’s electrifying powers could provide.

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inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood really sat well with me for a snack of the full version of either inFAMOUS. It’s short, to the point – but a whole lot of fun allowing you to be this down the middle version of Cole McGrath where the lines of good and evil are blurred for the sake of fun and enjoyment. Festival of Blood’s download size is 3GB, so that should be a good indication that no graphic fidelity was lost in delivering you the same detail and stunning views given in inFAMOUS 1 & 2. At $9.99 ($7.99 for PSN+ subscribers) you will find great value in playing in this alt-universe New Marais for a one-night only experience that does it’s best not to overstay it’s welcome.