Some guys just can’t catch a freakin’ break. Case and point? Cole MacGrath. After getting zapped with a mysterious thingy known as the Ray Sphere he’s more electrifying than Scarlett Johansson’s underpants and has a tendency to attract all manner of nasty vermin. Battling his way down to New Marais (totally not New Orleans) and going mano-to-mano with the behemoth simply known as The Beast, the guy could use a bit of R&R to recharge the old batteries and get himself a little down time.
No such luck, for even on All Hallow’s Eve the universe just can’t stop frakkin’ with this poor unfortunate sonufabitch. Gallivanting around the first island of New Marais, amidst the revelers and partygoers letting off some neon-clad costumed steam, Cole crosses paths with a pale Gothic-looking chippy who takes him out for a bite. Literally. The vixen is Bloody Mary and besides having a strong allergic reaction to sunlight, crosses and wooden stakes, she’s bat-shit crazy and on a rampage, and Cole is her latest pet project. Running against the clock, Cole now has eight hours to stake this vampiric she-bitch before sunrise or join the ranks of the undead forever.
The story is told via comic book through Cole’s bro Zeke as he’s drowning his sorrows in a bar desperately trying to gain the affections of a stunning young lass. The mechanic works well and it’s great to see Zeke take centre stage for a moment (in a manner of speaking). The bloodlust Cole has inherited from his Sire, Bloody Mary, has given him a new lease on (taking) life as he chows down on New Marais' drunken louts to enhance these new abilities.
The choice between good and evil is now moot with his vampire nature taking hold. By feeding on citizens Cole can now take to the skies switching to first-person view surrounded by a colony of bats. It’s visceral and looks absolutely badass. As you find more collectable bottles of blood, you can extend your flight time and even incorporate it into regular combat using it to dust the clusters of vampires mid-flight. This single addition changes the entire way you’ll play inFamous and is more than addictive when you descend on a group of wannabe Draculas and serve up an all-you-can-eat stake buffet. Mmmm delicious!
You’ve also been graced with Vampire Vision, which allows you to pick up the trail of your pulseless brethren, but more importantly, ascertain which common citizens are actually first-born vamps in disguise. Using this vision shows who has a heartbeat and who doesn’t, allowing for immediate identification and pacification. This is a necessary evil, as trying to bite a disguised first-born for a quick pick me up results in them shedding their human form, spreading their wings and trying to turn you in to a Happy Meal.
As Mary’s influence and infection spreads, ordinary citizens become beholden to her and operate at her whim, namely, to throw a spanner in the works and to keep Cole in perpetual night. To vanquish this evil only the power of Christ will do, so armed with a wooden cross amp infused with holy water and other such religious artefacts Cole heads to the catacombs beneath New Marais for an epic final confrontation with his very life and soul at stake (no pun intended).
Coming in at the price of a movie ticket, inFamous: Festival of Blood may be a little short in length at about 3-4 hours to complete the story and grab all collectibles and trophies, but the pacing and story feels just right. Cole’s new powers completely change the way you play, the graphic novel styled plot devices fit the story rather nicely as does Zeke’s narration of Cole’s adventure. This is a perfect little bite-sized dose of DLC and a hoot and a half to play through.