Review: inFAMOUS 2: Festival Of Blood (PS3)

Title: inFAMOUS 2: Festival Of Blood
Format: PlayStation Network Download (3.0 GB)
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch
Original MSRP: $9.99
ESRB Rating: T
Extras: PlayStation Move Compatible
inFAMOUS 2: Festival Of Blood is exclusive to PlayStation Network.

Audio Review:
The audio review for this game is available on Episode 240 of the podcast.

Gameplay:
Vampires? Really? Okay, I know how it sounds, but go with me on this. Sucker Punch has brought together another great story in this stand alone game set in the inFAMOUS universe. That’s right, it’s stand alone content. You don’t need either of the first two games to enjoy this, just 3 Gigs of hard drive space. Why so much? Well you’re getting the entire first island of New Marais, all the great physics, lighting, voice work, music and a new underground area as well. Sucker Punch didn’t skimp here, you’re getting the full inFAMOUS experience, albeit in a shorter form.

The game begins with Zeke in a bar recounting the events of last Pyre Night in New Marais to a woman he’s trying to pick up. Pyre Night is an annual tradition built around the legend of Bloody Mary and the end of her reign of Vampire terror. Cole heads into the catacombs below the old church to investigate a rash of missing persons reports. He’s quickly attacked and overwhelmed. He comes to just long enough to feel his throat being slit. As his conduit blood drips into the mouth of a rotted corpse, she returns to life with her former beauty intact. It is, of course, Bloody Mary, who quickly bites Cole to regain her full strength. Unless you stop her and her vampire hoards by sunrise, eight precious hours away, Cole will be a full vampire and her slave. So the vampires are just conduits who feed off of blood, I can work with that.

The game plays just like inFAMOUS 2 (review here) but it has some additional gameplay elements. You don’t have Cole’s full powers at first, after all, you’re starting to become a vampire. You’ll gain back a number of them over the course of the game, but it’s the new stuff that sets the game apart. You now have a “Vampire Sense” which will allow you to find hidden messages around the city as well as spot vampires hidden among the crowds. Similar to “Detective Mode” from the Batman games this adds a nice gameplay element, making you want to explore the city all over again as you unlock the story of Bloody Mary.

You also now have the option of full on flight, at least as long as your blood supply lasts. Cole takes flight as a swarm of bats covers the edges of the screen. I actually didn’t use this much until I was deeper into the game as I’m so used to climbing buildings in inFAMOUS, though it’s great for a quick getaway if you’re being overwhelmed by enemies. There are, of course, collectibles in the form of Canopic jars which will expand your blood supply, but no real side missions and no good or evil karma choices. Within the context of this story, I’m fine with that. You’re quickly becoming a vampire and you’re given one short night to defeat Bloody Mary and save your own soul. Of course you’re evil, you’re biting people’s necks! Side missions wouldn’t fit within the short context of this story. That being said, the game is short. It can be beaten in less than a few hours, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that’s it’s a great package overall and of course, there’s always the User Generated Content (see Online/Multiplayer).

One more addition here that will soon make its way into inFAMOUS 2 as well by way of a patch is optional support for Move controllers. You’ll need both a Move controller and either a Nav controller or a DualShock 3. It works well enough as a navigation scheme and the controls all map pretty well, but I found aiming with the Move controller to be a bit too sensitive with no option to adjust it. Maybe I’m just too used to the DualShock 3 as an inFAMOUS controller but I’m not (yet) a big fan of how Move works here. I’ll definitely try it out again when the patch hits inFAMOUS 2, but until then I’ll be sticking with the standard controls.

Visuals:
Gorgeous, as expected. If you’ve played inFAMOUS 2 you know what to expect. It looks like the lighting is even better this time around though. With the game taking place overnight and into the early sunrise and fires burning all around the city, the lighting effects are really awesome. During Bloody Mary’s backstory, we’re given a completely different animation style as Cole watches an old-timey street theater performance with cutouts, light and shadows coming into play. There’s even a really cool graphic novel feel to some of the scenes, giving this a fresh look and allowing Sucker Punch to try some new things in the context of the story.

You’ll also get a look at a new addition to the UGC which includes speech bubbles on top of comic book style panels. It’s a great solution to the problem of conveying information through simple text in the UGC editor and it’ll be coming to inFAMOUS 2 in a patch as well.

The new catacombs, while linear, look great as well and they fit right in to the city of New Marais. While it seems there’s not much to them at first, you’ll find opportunities to explore them a bit further as the story progresses.

Audio:
You’ll get the same excellent audio here as in inFAMOUS 2, but this time around, there’s much more crowd noise. It’s a festival, a party, and the streets are alive with people celebrating. It makes for a much different atmosphere and it suits the game well. The sound effects are all the same as before and the sounds of the new abilities blend right in with a natural ease.

Full voice work is here with the original actors in their roles as Zeke and Cole. The additions of the girl at the bar and Bloody Mary fit right in and the actresses both do an excellent job. Some of the music sounds familiar but it also sounds like there are a number of new arrangements made just for this game. Either way, it all fits the mood and style of the game perfectly.

Online/Multiplayer:
So the actual main story is relatively short but that doesn’t mean the game is over once you complete it. User Generated Content is back and that means that as long as you can connect to the PSN, you’ll never have a shortage of missions to play in your little virtual sandbox, and now you can play them with a new set of powers.

I played through a good number of these from both Sucker Punch and regular users and it’s great to see people designing with Cole’s new powers in mind. As before, you can sort with a number of options and mark favorites to play again later. It’s the perfect complement to a game like this and I’m really glad that Sucker Punch included it here.

Conclusion:
While the main story is a bit on the short side and you’re confined to the first island of New Marais, you’re getting the full inFAMOUS 2 experience with the gameplay itself. The addition of UGC ensures that this game won’t get stale for a long time to come, even after you beat the main story. For ten dollars, you couldn’t ask for a better experience.

Score:
9.5

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

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  • Excellent review. How are the trophies? Any platinum?

    • Only a handful of trophies, bunch of bronze, two silver and one gold I think.  It’s a shorter game and as a shorter PSN download game it’s being treated as such.

  • Anonymous

    I hope they let you incorporate the power set from FOB to the regular Infamous 2 game.  I’d love to be able to mess around with all of these powers after beating the game.

  • Great review Josh and a awesome game. I have downloaded it and completed it and it is the best piece of DLC I have ever bought. Go get it if you havent.

  • Derek / Beaver6622

    Damn!  Looks like fun.  Guess I should add it to the pile.

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