Infamous: Festival of Blood is an electrifying experience

Infamous: Festival of Blood is an electrifying experience

William Voorhees, Staff Reporter

Are you tired of sparkly, brooding vampires tarnishing the reputation of the living dead?  Well then, you should get back to the basics with Infamous: Festival of Blood.

Infamous: Festival of Blood is the downloadable follow up to Sucker Punch’s open world game Infamous 2Festival of Blood was released on October 25, just in time for Halloween and is a PS3 exclusive (just like the other Infamous titles).

At the beginning of the game, Cole Macgrath is rushing through the catacombs of a cathedral.  He heard screaming, so he decided to help whoever was in trouble.  Various people were injured after being trapped behind debris blocking their way out.  One of the women that Cole tries to help though turns out to be a vampire, who thusly knocks him out.  When he comes to, he is on top of the shriveled corpse of Bloody Mary, a female vampire.  He is then restrained by a few other vampires as one of them opens a vein on his neck.  This allows blood to drip into Bloody Mary’s mouth, causing her to come back to life.  Since he was bitten, Cole is now a vampire.  He must defeat Bloody Mary by the next day or else she will gain complete control over him and then the other citizens of New Marais.

Similar to Infamous 2, Festival of Blood takes place in the southern Louisiana city of New Marais.  This time around though, we have a date (kind of).  In New Marais it is Pyre Night, a festival where hordes of people, drunk or not, roam the streets dressed as monsters.  The city is decorated accordingly too, with straw “monsters” burning at the stake.  One of the major differences regarding the setting is the fact that you only get to run around the first area from Infamous 2.  This means that you only have about a third of the original map to explore.  It’s okay though, since Festival of Blood is much shorter than its predecessor. 

In Festival of Blood, the upgrade system for powers has been majorly downsized.  Instead of unlocking powers by performing a specific stunt multiple times and then having to buy them with experience points, you are just given the upgrades directly.  Upgrades are obtained when you kill a certain number of vampires.  Also, since the game isn’t as large as Infamous 2, there are not as many upgrades and you cannot switch between them.

Even though there are fewer upgrades for Cole’s electrical abilities, he still gains new powers in Festival of Blood.  Being a vampire actually has some perks.  One of the vampire powers that Cole gains is called Shadow Swarm.  This power allows you to transform into a group of bats to fly long distance across New Marais.  Shadow Swarm basically makes Cole’s parkour skills and Static Thruster power irrelevant.  The only downside to the vampire powers is that to use them, you have to drink the blood of civilians. 

One of my favorite improvements in Infamous 2 was the melee.  Festival of Blood keeps the improved melee virtually the same.  There are only minor aesthetic differences this time around.  Near the beginning of the game Cole loses the Amp, which was a weapon that harnessed his electric powers into a deadly, brute force.  He replaces it with a metal cross he finds right after losing the Amp.  The cross can effectively conduct electricity and it has a spiked, wooden tip so that Cole can kill vampires by staking them through the heart.

One of the features that makes the Infamous series unique is its karma system.  In Festival of Blood, the karma system is left out.  At first, this seems wrong, since the karma system was what set the Infamous series apart from other games.  When you think about it though, Cole needs to drink the blood of civilians, so he would always be getting bad karma.  Even though it makes sense that they would leave it out, it still feels like Festival of Blood is missing something.

Overall, the game is pretty good.  While Festival of Blood doesn’t have the same variety of upgrades that Infamous 2 had, it adds completely new vampire powers that sort of fill the upgrade gap.  The melee is still great, but it’s lame how using an ultra combo doesn’t kill vampires.  You just can’t get as immersed into the game like how you could in Infamous 2.

If you played Infamous 2, you should definitely download Festival of Blood.  If you are a newcomer to the Infamous series though, you should play the first two games before getting into Cole’s latest adventure.