A lot has been said about this game (official website, 9.2 on IGN). I’ve played the demo and I liked it but the handling was a bit overwhelming in the demo, so I didn’t buy it right away. Now, it’s out in the platinums series and I must admit, the game is better than the demo. The handling is pretty good except when you try to rain death and pain on your enemies from the corner of a building: The corner is in the way too often. While it’s smart of the enemies to clump in your dead angle, in the real world, I’d just extend my arm over the edge and deal some blind damage.
But the other things work well. Cole jumps well, clings to edges, pipes and cables as if he was Spiderman. A 100m sheer drop is met with a tumble and Cole is on his feet again. Walking electric cables is fun and it’s great fun when you learn to glide them. Especially since they charge you up so you can really dish out. When you get to protect a box with medicine, the best place is on the cables above the area where you hail wrath and worse on the mortals below.
With time, you’ll learn several ways to deal damage which, used in strategic ways, will make the game a piece of cake. Taking enemies down will get you positive points, killing them (especially when they are already down) gives you negative score. Helping people gives you positive score, hurting them reduces your score. Just as in real life, your score doesn’t stop at 0 but can go bad. Really bad. Bad as in people running away from your shadow, gathering in mobs and throwing stones at you. Or they can become your fans, hurl stones at your enemies when they attack you and ask to you spend the night with them (an offer which you can’t accept).
Just like in Black and White, you decide to become a superhero or a supervillain. If you go the good route, your powers will be more controlled. If you go evil, mass destruction is your toy.
On top of that, we have a nice, complex background story which keeps things together. The side missions aren’t too thrilling but it’s a lot of fun to jump off and on buildings, scale walls, sheds, cars, train tracks. The enemies don’t just stand there but try to take cover, they disperse when you jump them from above like an angry thunder cloud. There are various parties involved, each trying to sell their own version of the truth. It’s moving when a group of policemen salute you after helping to arrest a gang member who killed one of them. To gain control over the city, the gangs turned off the power and your vision becomes blurred when you have to go into such an area.