thelawnwrangler's Infected (PlayStation Portable) review

ZAMBIES, ZAMBIES, ZAMBIES!!!!

Zombie games these days have been getting pretty tired. There are those that have you grab a gun and KILL KILL KILL; then there are those that have you corridor crawl and hope an infected dog doesn't pop through the window in front of you. Infected for the Play S Portable is an arcade style shoot 'em up, but is an extremely special one. It should definitely be looked at, if not bought (a good choice, if so) at its current $9.99 price tag.

Infected puts you in the shoes of Officer Stevens. Stevens can be customized in many ways actually (that you have to unlock). There are like 28 different outfits (and those can be customized) that look cool and funny in their own unique ways. As well as the outfits, there are costumes; like the members of Nu-Metal sensation Slipknot, Blood Rayne, and Zombie Santa (along with tye dye t-shirt). The customization is really diverse is actually an aspect of the game that you’ll mess with a lot as you continue to unlock outfits and costumes. ANYWAY, It’s almost X-mas in New York City, and instead of presents under the communal tree, there are zombies. Chaos ensues, cripples are eaten, organs are ripped out of asses; pure mayhem. Scientists and Military Men have teamed up and assigned you with the job of killing all of the zombies and trying to save as many people as possible until a cure if found. It’s a crazy concept and it’s crazy in a good way (like the Jason Statham family comedy “Crank”).

The mission structure goes into 5 different parts of NYC (Times Square, Central Park, etc. They can all eventually be accessed through subway). Once you select an area, you come across several missions to do (consisting of 5 types of missions). You can KILL ‘EM ALL, Rescue people, Protect People, and 2 others I forgot (an awesome move on the review front).

As a PSP game, Infected surely does serve its purpose. It has pick up and go play feel and it’s simple controls make it feel like a fun arcade game. Each command is conveniently placed right next to each other button wise and makes killing zombies pretty comfortable and pretty fun. Even if you don’t want to spend a lot of time playing, you can just do a mission, save, and put the PSP down. It’s good for some quick fun and time killing, while it is also oodles of goodness to play in a sit down and concentrate mode.

What really puts the icing on the cake is how you kill the zombies. You basically damage the zombies with firearms until their aurora turns red (for it is yellow at first glance). Once it’s red, you pull out your nifty, military grade “Viral Gun,” take a shot of your blood, charge up (if you wish, this just results in huger explosions) and fire at the red zombies. This causes the red zombies to explode in a cloud of blood gore. If there are several red zombies in a group, one shot of your viral gun should cause a chain combo and make other zombies within the area to go red, so you can go make them blow up. The combo system is great fun and is a good opportunity to put in a point system, which adds to the arcade feel. The only downturn to this is that huge combos that should look awesome and spectacular and wrong become slow and choppy (this also occurs occasionally in regular battles). You can’t really point the blame because hey… it’s a PSP game (that doesn’t look too bad, kind of like an early PS2 game), but it could’ve been taken care of with a little more polish. If you don’t mind the technical difficulties that occur when things on screen get too hectic, you’ll manage to have some fun.

The weapon selection is small but enough to get the job done. You have the handgun, shotgun, machine gun, rocket launcher, and BEE EFF GEE. Also, within some levels, you can pick up grenades (incendiary, hand, mines, etc.) and a viral chainsaw. Here’s where the game gets an RPG skin and allows you to upgrade all of the weapons (except for the chainsaw) with money you get from each mission. While you won’t necessarily go, “YES I CAN UPGRADE MY MP5, WOOOOOH!!!” it’ll affect the gameplay in a good way and allows you to have more fun.

There’s a lot about this game to praise, so I’ll get the cons over with a few paragraphs.  A lot of the game’s fault lies on its lack of content (much like Left 4 Dead). While the game is fun for the first hours of play, eventually you’ll wonder what else there is to do. There are only 5 types of missions and soon enough, just killing zombies will feel like a chore and protecting people is exactly like baby sitting… with zombies; it’s just not fun forever… but what is, right? (SEX, THAT’S WHAT). Plus, there really isn’t too much of a story to follow; rather, there is this sort of Amped 3 like concept of making you laugh, and making you want to progress in the story so you could laugh more.. The jokes can be hilarious (and they mostly are, this is a funny game), but there are also those jokes that make you say something mean or become enraged because it’s just so stupid. Then you realize wait, I just finished the game… no more laughs?! Frownie face, smashing, etc; you’ll feel empty. The experience of going through the campaign is great through; regardless of it’s short span, semi weak jokes (remember… most of them are hilarious in South Park style), and repetitive missions. Also, remember that this is a video game we’re talking about; not many people have succeeded in making you laugh while playing a game… although Infected does come close.

So yes, repetition is a disappointment, but the game still somehow manages to give you some replay value. The arcade style Infected gives off can bring you back plenty a time. Each mission judges you on your timing and will reward you medals based on how fast you complete the mission; this feature also comes along with a points system. These two along with the combo system makes it feel like Infected is a coin op-esque zombie shooter.

Games that have licensed soundtracks are normally extreme sports games (with a few exceptions); like the Tony Hawk or Dead Rising. Surprisingly, Infected manages to have a soundtrack that isn’t annoying, but fits very well with the gameplay. Seriously, wasting zombies with your blood in huge explosions while break beats are bustin’ in the background is truly great. While it only consists of experimental and Nu-Metal tracks, it seems that ONLY those two genres would fit (although some early Metallica would’ve fit, or like… speed metal). It truly is awesome when you load up into central park while the lead singer of Slipknot is screaming into your ears, then you blow up zombies. The music really gives the game a great atmosphere.

You’re probably wondering what else there is left to do after you finish the campaign. Infected does offer a multiplayer option and it's... okay. A lot of people will like it, and a lot of people will hate it. It has basic deathmatch and whatnot (as well as a "Mad Cow" mode which is not that bad); but what really sets the multiplayer apart from other multiplayer games is the infection feature. If you beat someone, you "infect" their PSP. Your character will stay on their screen as they play infected and annoy this shit out of them or something. It's an interesting addition but with no one playing multiplayer anymore it's kind of pointless... and annoying. It truly is up to the person playing, because for some others, it was just not fun according to them. But if you do manage to find a friend who can get the game as well, give it a go, you guys (or gals) might like it.

Great tunes, loads of customization and some bitchin' (word) gameplay make Infected a unique game. It's comedic elements and multiplayer mode COULD be part of that list, but it's up to the player, because it's mainly hit and miss. The ludicrousness of the campaign and action really shows that Majesco can make an awesome game in the vein of crazy (with brothers like Crank and Amped 3). No matter it's flaws, Infected is an awesome game and should be picked up more. I sure do hope this comes to XBLA or PSN because it's arcade feel makes it a PERFECK fit.

PROS:

  • Pick up and go gameplay
  • Simple Controls
  • Great Gore
  • Music
  • Customization
  • Fun Local Multiplayer
  • RPG Element (Weapon Wise)
  • Arcade Feel (medals, points)
  • LOL!
  • Decent Graphics
  • INSANE Concept

 

CONS:

  • lol?
  • Choppy Frame Rate
  • Multiplayer
  • Repetition
  • Not fun Online Multiplayer 
  • Short Campaign

            

Infected for the PSP gets a 4 out of 5 STARS. Check the sh*t out of it. Yip.


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