A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that inFAMOUS is a kind of open-ended Grand Theft Auto-style game -- peppered with more than 100 missions and containing fighting scenes against enemies -- but it's a lot tamer than the "infamous" GTA series (it's rated "teen" instead of "Mature"). Yes, the player can choose to be a bad guy by abusing his newfound superhuman powers, but will be rewarded for using it for good. Electricity-based powers are used against human enemies, and some blood can be seen during or following a battle. Some potentially disturbing comic book-like scenes exist, too, such as humans hanging from a noose. There are suggestive visuals (including a sexy female boss) and some foul language can be heard.
What's it about?
What would you do if you suddenly developed superhuman strength in a corrupt world: protect the weak and innocent, use your newfound power for personal gain, or a little of both? You can find out for yourself in INFAMOUS, a PS3 exclusive that puts you in the shoes of Cole MacGrath, an everyday guy who not only survives a mysterious explosion while delivering a package in downtown Empire City, but is transformed by it. In the aftermath of the blast, the quarantined city collapses into chaos as it becomes overrun by powerful criminals.
Is it any good?
Sure, this open-ended adventure has a goal in mind for you -- track down whomever was responsible for the blast and prevent the city from self-destructing -- but you can also decide whether to use or abuse your evolving superpowers as you begin to experience fame and/or infamy. In fact, your electricity-based powers will evolve depending on which path you take. Play as a noble fighter and you'll access one type of upgrades while becoming evil unlocks more sinister and sadistic abilities. This is all tied to a six-level Karma System that monitors your good or evil deeds and leads to specific consequences of your actions in the lengthy single-player story, totaling 100 missions on three large islands.
The game is one of the best PS3 exclusives of 2009 thus far. Consider it a Grand Theft Auto-like open-ended adventure with so much to see and explore, plus it's a "blast" to use special powers and roam about the landscapes, even vertically. The tight game-play -- created by Sucker Punch of Sly Cooper fame -- is wrapped in a gorgeous world and with great-sounding audio, too. inFAMOUS is a great pick for teenage PS3 owners.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether kids should play titles that let you be good or evil -- such as Fable II, Black & White 2, Spore and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. When playing these decisions-have-consequences games, do you always choose to play as the side of good? How does it feel to be bad? Do you think playing games like this (that permit you to be bad) tempt you to be bad in real life or is this just an endeavor that never becomes anything but a game?
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