Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Split Your Lungs with Blood and Thunder
Continuing my Halloween/Horror-themed game playing to be season-appropriate that started with Sleeping Dogs' Nightmare in North Point, I put my PS3 to the test yesterday and found out whether or not it could just...you know, download the 3.1 Gig download that is inFamous 2: Festival of Blood, which I had purchased last year for a cheap Halloween sale but couldn't play because reasons. Reasons that include not being able to leave my old PS3 on for the fifteen hours that was required Reasons that have since been resolved and thankfully so, because I honestly didn't know what I was missing from my life by not having played Festival of Blood and now that I have fixed that little error, things seem that much better. Brighter and sunnier, even. Just nicer all around.
Much like Sleeping Dogs, inFamous 2 was just an absolute joy to play and that still holds true to this day, having gone back into it for the first time in months and picking it all back up rather easily and happily. That means that inFamous 2's fluidity and enjoyment translate well into FoB at base, not even counting the fun little bits that FoB adds, and does it ever add a doozy. And much like Nightmare in North Point, Festival of Blood changes things aesthetically for the most part, but leaves the bulk of the main gameplay in standard. Your amp is replaced with a cross from a coffin that still has a bit of pointy wood left on it and that does change the animations - to finish vampires, you need to stake them with the pointy wood, obviously, and it is satisfying. But the bulk of Cole's moves are still in play here, or at least the main suite of them - Zapping, repulsing, grenades, rockets and gliding are all present and accounted for and they're your bread and butter powers anyway.
The funny thing is that inFamous 2 got a lot of praise (from me, at least) for having the best system for freedom of movement I've played, and that's up to current standards, but Festival of Blood even manages to one-up it there. Admittedly, it cheats a little to do this, however. One of the first vampire powers you get (if not -the- first) is the Bat Swarm ability which allows you to turn into....well, a swam of bats and actually fly. No gliding, no hovering or anything like that - actual sustained flight. It's fast flight too! You zip around the city pretty wildly with it....which is why there's a fairly drastic timer set on it. You see, in addition to your Electricity Gauge, you have a 'blood pool' or what have you, which fuel your Vampire Powers, obviously. Flight drains it rather quickly and you only have so much to start with, though you can collect upgrades (think blast shards, but in the form of blood jars) that extend your maximum blood pool which gives you more flight time. It is definitely worth it to track them down (100 of 'em) once you're able to, and it's made trivial if you find glyphs that unlock your Advanced Vampire Sense, since that will point them out on the map while you're in bat form.
The only issue that I have with Festival of Blood is that...it is rather short, unfortunately. I started it sometime around 2:30 PM this afternoon and had nearly 100% completed it in under six hours. All I have left to do for all the trophies is completing some User Generated Content missions which will unlock what I imagine is the final power that I don't have, triggering both trophy unlocks in a single stroke. (One for doing the required amount of UGCs, one for getting all the powers) It was a hell of a ride while it lasted, and granted, the game is still just fun to toy around with, flying about (literally now) and such, but I only have so much time for games and far too many games for that little bit of time, so I'm afraid I'll have to be moving along as soon as I mop up the last little bit here. I can't help but feel as if there's a little disproportionate return on it as, while I got it for cheap (I think it was honestly $3 when I bought it) it still took more than two times the length of time to download it as I'm going to put into it play-wise...which is my ISP's fault and not the fault of the game, of course.
Aside from that, one more night in inFamous 2's New Marais was an enjoyable experience all told. I'd definitely recommend Festival of Blood if you dug inFamous 2, and if you didn't dig inFamous 2 then you just hate fun, so I don't know what to tell you. If you're interested, it's currently $3.99 for Playstation Plus users (and will probably stay that way til November 5th, 2013) and it's definitely worth that, no questions asked. I do however feel like I'm kind of the last person who played inFamous 2 but not Festival of Blood at this point, so it might be a bit moot anyway, but it's still always nice to put a recommendation out there. Never know who's going to check things out, after all. And with something as good as Festival of Blood was, you're gonna wanna make sure it's known universally.
I was just so happy when I thought of the Blood and Thunder thing, you don't even know