(Sony for PS3)
By Mike Delano
As storytelling in games continues to improve (recent examples being the impressive narratives in BioShock and Grand Theft Auto IV), the big industry question has become: “When will video games get their own Citizen Kane, their own Godfather?” inFamous, a new open-world superhero adventure, would seem an unlikely reference point in this debate, but the game makes it clear that the question itself is fundamentally wrong. Games aren’t evolving toward a genre-defining narrative, they’re evolving into an ultimate gameplay experience that doesn’t have a parallel in any other medium. The entirety of the gameplay in inFamous, from the simple pleasures of gliding over rooftops and grinding on electrical wires, to the frenzied and varied combat system, is incredibly satisfying. After playing, it’s hard to revisit the open-world games of old where the massive game worlds only served as backdrops as you raced from mission to mission. Hopefully inFamous is a harbinger of the day when the best games are so fun to play that they transcend their traditional audience and speak to a larger group. The masses won’t play for the stories (like the one in inFamous which, despite its towering strength in all other areas, is lame), they’ll play for an experience they can’t get anywhere else.