The gaming landscape now is a lot different than how it was in 2009. Collect-a-thons weren’t very common, and the few that were available usually featured animal mascots as protagonists, like Ratchet & Clank. The vast majority of superhero video games were clumsily-made movie tie-ins. It was the perfect opportunity for something new, something better — enter: Infamous.
Infamous may have been influential at the time of its release, but does the gaming world still have room for this decade-old series?
What Made Infamous So Great?
The PlayStation 3 was off to a rocky start in 2007 and 2008, with fans criticizing the emptiness of the PS3 library. But when Infamous showed up, Sony gained an original PS3 mascot in Cole MacGrath.
I recently booted the game up on my PS3 on a whim. I didn’t expect much out of it, but aside from a few quality of life issues that need tweaking, I had a blast.
The premise of the original Infamous is simple enough: you’re a parkour expert with the ability to control electricity. You explore an open world, use your powers for good (or bad), and the main antagonist is a terrorist with a god complex.
Open world games were nothing new at this point, but good open world superhero games like Spider-Man 2 were few and far between. Infamous was a fresh take on the genre, and it introduced fun and interesting ways for you to parkour your way through the city, like blasting enemies with lightning while hovering or grinding along telephone wires.
Granted, there are flaws with the series — while the gameplay is fun and engaging, there are certain changes that Infamous could benefit from. The morality system is rather shallow and some of the missions can feel repetitive — some would argue the same shallowness exists in Mass Effect’s morality system and the same mission repetitiveness in 2018’s Spider-Man. But in terms of the core gameplay experience, there is no reason why Infamous couldn’t make a return in the near future.
What About The Last Time We Saw Infamous?
Infamous Second Son was a sequel to the first two games, released in 2014. It introduced a new protagonist in Delsin Rowe, because the widely varied endings of Infamous 2 left the canonical fate of Cole McGrath up in the air. But the greater question is, did we need Infamous then?
Yes, I think we most certainly did. The PS4 was brand new and once again, Sony needed a quality system seller. It may not have provided a mascot this time around, but it still had the name of Infamous. Second Son sold extremely with generally positive reviews, and it even received a Player’s Choice re-release.
How About Now?
With the PS4 era coming to a close and alternative open world experiences like Spider-Man and Red Dead Redemption 2 out there, is it really the best time for Infamous to make a return?
Quite honestly, I’d have to advise Sony to sit on it for a bit — with open world games flooding the market to the extent they have, the timing just isn’t right. But it wouldn’t take much for a well-timed marketing push to remind people, “Oh yeah! It IS fun climbing up buildings, zipping around the world map, and collecting blast shard after blast shard.”
So while I do think that another Infamous sequel would make a great addition to the PS4/upcoming PS5 lineup, it would just get lost in a sea of open world games. But that’s just one man’s opinion, and there will always be room for more Infamous in my library.
But what do you think? Would you like to see Infamous make a return? Let us know in the comments below!
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I’ve been writing almost as long as I’ve been playing video games. I also do standup and improv. The game that made me realize that video games could be more than just a toy, was Metal Gear Solid 2.