If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Did I like inFamous 2 enough to want more? Heck yeah!! Fortunately for me and my fellow fans, Sucker Punch made a vampire themed DLC in time for Halloween this year. Horror isn't my thing, but if it's inFamous related, I'm all over it. (Plus, it wasn't really all that scary anyway.)
The game starts out with your buddy Zeke meeting some chick in a bar. He starts telling her a story about how Cole became a vampire and how he helped save him. You once again take control of Cole MacGrath as he is attacked by a group of vamps called different things throughout the game. He is bitten and drained by a vampire leader named Bloody Mary. She is revived and tells Cole that when the sun rises, his free will belongs to her. Since he doesn't like that idea, or the idea of being stuck as a vampire, he sets out to kill her to cure his curse.
You're given toned down versions of Cole's abilities from inFamous 2, and a handful of new vampire powers to aid your quest. As you do certain things, like kill an amount of a kind of enemy or do certain quests, your abilities upgrade manually. I was disappointed in the lack of electric powers available. Once again they just didn't want me to Thunderstorm through the game! And if you're wondering, no, the ice or fire powers are not available either.
That's kind of how Festival of Blood is. It's a separate game, (which I'll admit I'm not sure if that's normal for DLC or not,) and thus has no effect on your inFamous 2 game files. You can only access the first island of New Marias. They do help New Marias feel fresh by adding a couple underground areas, and by decorating the town for the festival taking place. Still though, it's only one section of the city and where you don't have access to your full powers, it just feels like part of a game in comparison. But I suppose for a $10 game, it's pretty expansive. Just not when you're used to everything else.
Story wise, it's decent. Only about 8 chapters/missions. I took my time with it as my fan girl "OCD" compelled me to search out everything and kill every vampire I came across. A few hours long would be my guess but I didn't pay much attention to it. There are no side missions, which I found to be disappointing. You are only given the story missions and then after you do them, the User Generated Content unlocks and you can play missions other people have created.
I did have a few problems with the actual story though. I would have liked it if Bloody Mary and Cole had interacted more. Bloody Mary's position is constantly shown on your map, but if you go to her, she just sorta sicks vampires on you. All of their meetings just turned into chase scenes. You do get to learn more about Mary as she leaves behind her vampire version of Dead Drops. I found myself hating her because of how she described how she treated her victims. In that aspect I did get sucked in to the story. But she never talked about the situation at hand or the revenge she was after, so her motives seemed weak at best. Cole and Mary's conversations seemed to boil down to, Mary: "You should stay a vampire and be my slave!" Cole: "I don't want to!" The end. So while I was ready to fight her at the end for how mean she was, Cole didn't seem to feel the same.
I would have loved it if the story had thrown in more things for the fans of the series. There were mentions of conduits, but never Blast Cores or the Militia. It would have been really cool to see the God fearing Bertrand interact with the fully demonized Cole. Who doesn't want the Reaper Skin to be available like it is in the main game? And I know that Cole had a limited time to save himself from the curse, but he wasn't still worried about the Beast at all? Wasn't the world facing an Apocalypse or something?
A lot of my problems with the story like that can be attributed to, "It's Zeke telling a story. What do you want?" I just would have liked . . . well, more connection to the series I suppose. But I can also appreciate that it didn't go into those things for people out there that haven't played the other games. It may even act as a good introduction into them as people can play the toned down version to see if they might be interested in the full version.
However, one of the main things about inFamous is how the moral choices effect you and how people treat you. (And the ending of course.) All through the game when you drink blood and such, it mentions the moral dilemma Cole is in. Drink blood to keep strong and use the vampire abilities, or let people go on living. It acts like it's a big deal but as far as game play is concerned, it doesn't matter. There are no good or bad choices and there are no good or bad consequences. That is probably my biggest complaint in the story. You want us to feel bad about killing people when it makes no difference whatsoever? I avoided drinking blood all I could, and as such avoided using some of the vampire powers. This made it harder for me on some missions. Yet, it was for nothing. You're stuck in "bad karma" throughout the game and there's only one ending so you can go out and kill civilians as much as you want I guess.
That does limit re-playability quite a bit. Only reason to revisit it is just to go through the story again. While that's fine for me as I like replaying games just for that purpose, I can see it could be a problem for other people. It seems they really are relying on the players to make missions for each other to extend the life of the game.
On the plus side, they did add some great content for the User Generated missions. There is not the ability to make comic cut scenes, and some of the new vampire powers, (particularly the vampire sense,) make for some possibly cool missions. The few I've played have been well put together for the most part, unlike in inFamous 2 where you're LUCKY if you find a decent one. I'm sure the not so good missions will flood us soon though. There is just added stuff to make them more interesting.
I still had issues with Cole's health being too low, but I didn't have much trouble getting through it. Only died a hand full of times. It is easy to get outnumbered and ganged up on. (Darn you Harpies!) There is only a final boss at the end . . . if you even want to call it a boss . . . More just like a chase and enemy swarm to me. I also felt the timeline until dawn was inconsistent. You're given time updates now and again, (which are story based, not time based,) but the game itself would contradict what the time said. It literally came up saying, "One Hour Until Dawn" and in the next cut scene, they said something like, "Only a few hours until sunrise!" It was hard to feel pressure when they couldn't keep the time straight.
I was more than thrilled when they introduced Cole's vampire sense, which is basically a rip off of his "echo" senses from inFamous 1. Really glad to see it come back and they really put it to good use. You basically hold R2 and you can see things not otherwise visible like a vampire in hiding or secret text on walls. I had a lot of fun using it. I also had a lot of fun slaughtering vampires who were trying to kill me for reasons I didn't quite understand. If Bloody Mary wanted me as her slave, why was she sending her goons to kill me? Whatever the reason, the game play itself, while a toned down version of the full game, was still enjoyable. It might be a little repetitive for some people though since there are fewer options to choose from
I encountered a few glitches, but they were always with UGC. The first occurred with one made by Sucker Punch. It gives you that mission as a sort of story mission and the next mission should come up after your done. But it didn't for me. I saved, came back to it and the mission was up again. I did it again and THEN it let me go on. I also had a problem in one UGC where I defeated an enemy but it wouldn't die. Life bar empty and everything. It finally managed to kill me and then so I killed it a second time and then the mission was over.
All my nitpicking aside, it is an enjoyable game. I like vampires, and I love inFamous, so a good combo for me. I would have liked it to be a bit longer and more options available, but again that's just in comparison with the full game. For something that cost $10, it wasn't bad. I'd say inFamous fans should definitely pay Full Price. People that want to try out inFamous . . . there are free demos, but it's still a great world to explore for only $10. And you won't really miss out on anything if you haven't played the other games so I think you can still get away with a Full Price.
Now if you'll excuse me, my inner fan girl requires I go try to unlock more trophies. Happy Blood Sucking everyone!