Reviews: Infamous II
Festival of Blood - Ethically Compelling
The major complaint about inFAMOUS, as with most games in recent memory, is that the Karma Meter and moral choices are poorly implemented and is one of the most poorly thought out game mechanics to blight modern games. As an infamous video game critic once said "I'm tired of games that claim to give you choice but it only really comes down to either Mother Teresa or baby eating." It's just not a very compelling or thought provoking system when it has to follow the same programming rules as the balance for the various flavors of lightning death. Enter the Gaiden Game Festival of Blood, a spin off/expansion which forgoes the other modern gaming trend of a Halloween Episode add-on featuring zombies by being a Halloween Episode add-on that features vampires instead. Trail blazing. It's worth the asking price for being only a couple hours long as a game in its own right, but what struck me about it was that it actually includes a vastly more striking and thought provoking morality system then the vanilla game ever did. For one thing, it completely forgoes any kind of karma meter that is shown to the player or tracks any "good" or "bad" choices overall, mostly because the game comes packaged with the main character becoming a vampire and allows you to drain random innocent civilians to your hearts content. As mentioned in the main tropes page under "Evil Pays Better", you have a blood meter which allows you to do special vampire powers, like being able to fly around the map as a swarm of bats. You refill this meter by drinking blood from bystanders, or by staking bad vampires, which as mentioned, is not nearly worth the risk most of the time and doesn't completely fill your powers back in one drink like the civilians do. There are absolutely NO consequences for having a chowdown, and it is presented as almost a necessity of the game. This is what makes it a better moral choice then even the finale of inFAMOUS 2. It is possible, if taxing, to complete Fo B without draining any innocents (outside of being forced to during tutorials) and only refill the blood meter by staking bad vamps. It's going out of your way, and making things much harder on yourself for no tangible reward to speak of... but isn't that what being a hero is? Having the power to commit evil but refusing it despite the hardship? Food for thought.