inFAMOUS 2: Festival Of Blood Review (PS3)

Game Review: inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood
Release: 10/25/11
Genre: Super Hero- Sandbox Action Adventure
Developer: Sucker Punch
Available Platforms: PlayStation 3
Players: 1
ESRB Rating: Teen

Cole McGrath is back in inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood, but with a twist. Cole’s buddy/sidekick Zeke tells a tall tale about “Pyre night” in the city of New Marais in an attempt to woo a busty lady in a bar. Within Zeke’s story, Cole is caught during the night of revelry and used to reanimate a powerful vampire. Interjecting himself into the story at pivotal times, Zeke tells of Cole’s quest to locate and find a way to destroy the vampire. My level of excitement was at a 10 prior to release; I platinum-ed the first two games and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the new content.

My initial impressions were mixed. I expected the added environmental elements, the new storyline, and a few new powers; which were all delivered. What I didn’t expect was the removal of a core element of inFAMOUS: choice. All throughout the inFAMOUS games, choice is woven through the storyline. But now, there is no reward for good choices and there is no penalty for bad choices. In fact, a new gameplay mechanic of limited flight is encouraged and fueled by harming innocent citizens. As I realized that choices and the karma meter were going to be entirely absent from this game I was disappointed. My excitement level dropped to 7.

Festival of Blood took the same gameplay elements of the first two games and re-skinned them. The blast shard collectibles were replaced with jars of blood, the dead drops were replaced by glyphs and vampire teachings, and very fast and mobile vampires replaced the enemies. The city of New Marais also got a facelift, it looked great all decked out for the Pyre Night. This was just more of what I love from inFAMOUS. The core gameplay mechanics didn’t change but the presentation did, and I ate it up. My excitement level rose to 8 to stay.

Sure, Festival of Blood is a little light on story, and it removes a giant portion of what made inFAMOUS great, but it also shows developer Sucker Punch is willing to experiment with their franchise. In fact, this game was originally announced as DLC for inFAMOUS 2, but more recently, the “2” was dropped. This could simply be a clarification for marketing purposes, or an indication of what Sucker Punch would want to do in the future with this franchise. Nevertheless, this game added great new storytelling features for the User Generated Content and PlayStation Move support which worked well enough. Both these elements should be added to inFAMOUS 2 very soon.

Fans of inFAMOUS and inFAMOUS 2 for the open-world sandbox and gameplaymechanics should love this offering.  Fans of the deeper story and karmic choices may find Festival of Blood lacking.  This is a great game to get a feel for the franchise if you haven’t played the first two games.  Fans of vampires, or those just looking for a break from the myriad zombie offerings won’t be disappointed.  Overall, I really enjoyed my return to New Marais.

+ Fantastic environment
+ New powers
+ Sucker Punch experimenting
+ Fresh take on all the fun elements of original games

– Removal of karma meter/choice system.

Final Score: 8/10

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