inFamous Demo: Electrifying

Eurogamer's full review of inFamous has already been posted and it's difficult to disagree with Tom's verdict: despite minor issues and an initially uncompelling series of missions, the game manages to transform radically within a few hours of play and proved compelling enough for me to sit glued to the PS3 until it was completed. With so many releases and so few spare man hours, it's rare that a game is able to command my attention like this, but it's fair to say that the appeal of the Crackdown DNA is strong in this one.

Our tech analysis? Well we've been sitting on it for some time (mostly due to delays in getting the Digital Foundry site completed). It's based on the playable demo that's just hit PSN, but having played the final release, it's fair to say that the analysis is just as sound for the retail product. Technically speaking, inFamous is a game of two halves: on the plus side there are some beautiful effects and lighting, high detail levels in the cityscape, and an excellent physics engine. On the minus side, art quality is variable, pop-in can be jarring, frame rate can vary wildly (more so in the more ambitious missions in the final release) and the game has no anti-aliasing. The 'jagginess' is mitigated somewhat through blurring effects like depth of field, but the high detail, high frequency texture work often leads to some unsatisyfing scenes.

Technical analysis of the inFamous playable demo.

It's fair to say that the demo is a fine sampler for the full product. It gives you instant access to a good percentage of Cole's powers, shows the difference between the good and evil paths in the game, and proffers a small selection of missions that get you into the mood for the full game proper. Moving onto the final retail release can be initially disheartening after playing the demo - it's slow to get going in terms of interesting tasks and Cole feels under-powered against the hordes. But the game soon picks up and the epic scale of some of the missions can be quite breathtaking, especially when that lovely physics engine is really put through its paces.

Coming tomorrow: Remember the Agency Tower ascent in Crackdown? inFamous offers its own homage to this classic gaming moment, giving you an unparalleled view of the blasted cityscape. We've captured the gameplay, stripped out the spoilers and you can watch it in HD.

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