Nightmare At New Marais: A Review of InFamous Festival of Blood

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Happy Halloween to our readers out there! While I gave the rights to Chris to cover this holiday with a specially spooky take on the Legend of Zelda series, something spooked up on me at the last minute that I had to share today [Pranger’s Note: Expect that Zelda list on Wednesday instead]. In the wake of today’s festivities, Sucker Punch last week released Infamous Festival of Blood. A short but sweet Halloween themed take on their widely successful open sandbox superhero franchise.

Cole McGrath as a Vampire? Alright, I’ll bite.

 

The story goes that the city of New Marais celebrates Pyre Night every year come Halloween. And of course with city wide carousing comes unsavory prowlers in the night. Our hero Cole goes to investigate some disappearances underneath the Church, but is soon captured himself and brought forth to the corpse of… wait for it… Bloody Mary. Yeah that’s right, she actually exists in this universe. Turns out, Mary needed to inject the blood of a very powerful Conduit (term in the game for people with the gene to develop super powers) in order to restore her body to it’s youthful form. She sucks Cole, restoring her body, and turning him into a Vampire, who now has only one night of free will to kill Mary before the sun rises and his mind is completely subdued under her influence, becoming just another one of her minions.

It’s gonna be a long night.

 

It is a bit unclear when this is suppose to take place during in the canon of the series, but what’s interesting about it is that the whole story is narrated by Cole’s buddy Zeke, who is in real time telling the story to some chick in a bar, trying to prove to her that he’s a friend of the “Electric Man.” I find it hilarious, because the whole time, we don’t really know how credible the story really is, or if Zeke really does all the awesome stuff he says he does in this story. In essence, the continuity in the story really doesn’t matter. Just sit back and enjoy the game.

The gameplay is a lot of the same. Cole gets all his usual lightning powers and rather quickly. But there are a few additional vampire techniques, including a vampire sense, which allows you to scope out other vampires in disguise among civilians, and stake them unawares. Probably the biggest selling point is the Vampire flight technique. Yeah, Cole can totally turn his body into a swarm of bats and fly at light speed above the city. It makes the already quick method of moving across the city through wire sliding feel sluggish by comparison. If in Infamous 2, you ever felt jealous of Kuo and Nix’s abilities to zip across the city with ease, now you can experience it yourself. Of course, this new technique requires blood to fuel instead of electricity, so you may have to occasionally feed on local Pyre Night celebrators.

Yes, this is going to be a really long night.

 

One of the main complaints that many people had with Infamous 2 was that Cole was too super powered and that all the enemies became too easy to take down. Well, in answer to that, I can say that Mary’s minions in Festival of Blood, the vampires and especially these bat creatures, were some of the most formidable enemies I’ve fought in the series thus far. They move really quickly, their weapons have a lot of range, and because each of them has that same zippy flying technique that you do, they were really difficult to run or hide from when things get rough.

Truth be told, the game doesn’t last that long at all. You could probably finish all the story missions in 2-3 hours tops. Given time exploring the city with your new powers, searching for collectables, and the few side missions, the game may last 4-5 hours. In addition, for those who are into the user-made-content, Festival of Blood adds some new tools and mission types to work with. It is also nice to know that you do not have to own or have played any of the previous InFamous games in order to purchase this, so if you haven’t played the series yet, this may be a quick, easy, and above all cheap way to have a taste of what it’s like.

InFamous Festival of Blood is available for $10 on the Play Station Network. Happy Pyre Night everybody, and take care not to go creeping about any haunted churches this evening!

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