One of the PS3's best franchises gets an infusion if fresh blood this week with the Infamous: Festival of Blood DLC. The standalone add-on changes things up considerably for Cole McGrath, turning the lightning-throwing hero into a bloodsucking vampire. This individual offering doesn't tie back into the main game, so is the Festival of Blood worth your time and money?
Evan Narcisse, who loves being a goody-two-shoes in the Infamous games and will be reviewing Festival of Blood:
The Infamous games aren't quite as heralded as other PlayStation series like, say, Uncharted, where they're touted as reasons to buy the hardware. But, to me, they're great examples of flow. I love moving through the open-world cities, jumping from story mission to side quest, grinding along power lines and throwing electricity around all the while. Festival of Blood keeps all of that stuff I love and adds new powers, enemies and new environments to the experience. It has fun with vampire lore and hints at connections with the Conduit mythology the core Infamous titles have set up. Best of all, I don't have to worry about Karma affecting the powers I'll get when I bite into the neck of an NPC. I've always been as good as possible in Infamous 1 and 2, so I'm relishing the chance to be really, really bad without consequences. Even re-made for tonal variation, New Marais is still a bustling city that feels alive as you move through it. Overall, Festival of Blood works great as an introduction to what Infamous feels like. Yes.
Joel Johnson, Infamous non-player who remembers Sucker Punch's "thieving raccoon" games fondly: Not only have I not played Infamous: Festival of Blood, I've never played the previous Infamous games at all. In fact, the sum total of my knowledge of the series was a ten minute session of sitting next to Totilo while he showed me some of the scenes from its city-that-is-but-isn't-New Orleans.
That was when I sort of got it. I'm not Mr. Sandbox, but when a developer does a sandbox game right, especially when they focus on movement—Hello, Crackdown!—I find myself compelled.
So a fun, silly vampire twist on a game built around movement from a developer brave enough to set a game in a flooded homage to New Orleans (and who also made the great Sly Cooper games?) I'm gonna have to nod the affirmative. Infamous seems like the sort of game that almost anyone could enjoy. YES.
Stephen Totilo, who usually plays evil in Infamous games anyway: Last year, Halloween brought us a standalone episode of Red Dead Redemption in a zombified Wild West. This Halloween we're getting a vampire version of Infamous 2. Please let this be a tradition. (Werewolf Assassin's Creed next year, perhaps?)
For all the vampire fiction out there, I don't think I've played as a vampire very often. I can in Festival of Blood and it's been an overpowered delight. Core powers have been remixed so I can fly as a swarm of bats, stake vampires through their chest and spot evil bloodsuckers who masquerade as humans. You only seem to get a third of the city, but there's still a lot to do and more support of Infamous 2 user-generated quest system (which appears to be used to stretch the campaign). I'm having a great time with Festival of Blood, a couple of hours and 30% content-completion in I love that you don't even need to own Infamous 2 to enjoy this DLC. Open-world vampire-hunting is a great idea. PS3 owners are lucky to get it. Should you buy it? Yes.
Gut Check is an off-the-cuff impression of what we think of a game: what we'd tell a friend; how we'd respond on Twitter or Facebook or over a beer if someone asked us "Would you buy this game?" Our lead writer, who has played a lot of the game, decides. Other writers chime in for additional points of view.