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whatisdelicious avatar 1:35 PM on 06.18.2009  (server time)
Difficulty Issues: The inFAMOUS Review

So if you've read Destructoid's inFAMOUS review, you know that the main complaint they had with the game was in the difficulty. They say that because Cole is so vulnerable, the enemies so vicious, and the game overall so tough that it just didn't feel like a "superhero" game.

Well, my response to this, after having played inFAMOUS once on Medium and once on Hard, (good first, evil second), is that this complaint simply isn't valid.

I say that because the game doesn't allow you to. It counters that in too many ways. inFAMOUS doesn't make you restart from the beginning to play on a lower difficulty. You can swap on the fly, at any time. If you're having trouble with a mission, drop the difficulty down, then put it back up afterward if you feel like it. And this game is the most forgiving in terms of checkpoints that I think I've ever played.

Conrad mentions playing on Hard in his review, which strikes me as a little weird. You're playing the game on its hardest difficulty setting and then complaining that it's just too hard? Isn't that the point of hard mode?

Reading through Jim's review in particular is frustrating because you can just tell that he had a vision of what he wanted the game to be beforehand and just never strayed from that. He expected it to be "all about kicking ass, lifting cars and scaling buildings in a single bound," which is not inFAMOUS. So why look at it like that? inFAMOUS, from day one, was proposed as a "what if?" game all about getting superpowers in the real world.

As in, at least somewhat grounded in reality.

So no, Cole can't take a bullet to the eye like Superman, but Cole isn't Superman. He's got limitations.

And rather than just recognizing that they weren't having any fun playing on the difficulty they were playing at (I presume Medium) and dropping the difficulty down so that they could play with more reckless abandon and feel more like a typical superhero, not one of the three reviewers mentions doing anything of the sort.

And yet they all absolutely nail inFAMOUS to the wall for being too hard.

As for some of their other complaints, like the NPCs being unlikable, enemies shooting you from too far away, numerous glitches, etc... I can totally get behind those. Yeah, I hated Zeke the whole way through the game and Trish was more of a bitch than I could handle. Enemies seem way too precise and I encountered my fair share of glitches. But you know what? None of that shit mattered.

inFAMOUS was still totally awesome throughout. I personally felt like it was balanced really fucking well. It's Cole's origin story, so I didn't really expect him to be all-powerful from the outset. Even Batman started off being unable to handle a small group of thugs efficiently. He started off sloppy. Really sloppy.

But if I had gone into it totally wanting nothing less than for Cole to be able to bounce bullets off his eyeball and found that I was annoyed that he couldn't, I'd probably just have swallowed my Gamer Pride, dropped the difficulty level down, and had a totally awesome time instead of plodding through totally unsatisfied.

That's what I did with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. I got about 1/4 of the way through that game and realized that I wasn't having fun because the enemies were taking an illogical amount of bullets for dudes in t-shirts, so I restarted the game on Easy and had a hell of a lot more fun.

The Destructoid reviewers all brought their inFAMOUS experience down by going in with unfair expectations, and when the game tried to meet them halfway, they refused, depriving themselves of a really good time and rating the game lower than it honestly deserves. For God's sake, Conrad closes his review by saying he had enough fun to start playing through it a second time but still can't recommend a purchase.

Whatever, Destructoid. Whatever.

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