I choose you

May 25, 2009 by Tim

inFamous is a game that rewards commitment. Total commitment to your karmic path of choice is the only way to progress through the ranks and power up to either good or evil. And the choices you’re presented with are often very clearly one or the other.

As you progress up the ranks of one path, you can unlock new abilities. If your rank goes down due to acting in an opposite nature, you lose access to those abilities. It’s a fun idea, but you have to make a decision to play as a wholly good guy, or an entirely evil guy. There are no rewards for neutrality. So once you’ve made your alignment decision at the beginning of the game, all the rest of the choices from thereon out just become trivial button entries, as the only real choice has already been made.

That’s the one big flaw in a system that claims to offer you choices, but then only rewards you for complete and continued adherence to the single path. And even more than that, when those choices are so black and white that there’s no moral struggle or question involved. If you want to play a good guy, and you’re presented with two choices, one clearly good and one clearly evil, then there really isn’t a choice to be made, is there.

I would have liked to have seen more choices that were morally obscure. Choices that were not immediately evident to be good, or evil, and made you question your own definitions of right and wrong, and what is acceptable or unacceptable, and then watch the consequences play out based on what the public at large thinks.

It’s a relatively minor nitpick in the grand scheme of how fun this game looks. Still, it’s hard to ignore how largely superficial the ‘choice’ system is when there are no shades of gray.

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