Infected Review

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Developer: Planet Moon Studios Publisher: Majesco
Release Date: November 15, 2005 Also On: None

Planet Moon Studios, the Scottish development squad credible for Citizen Kabuto and Armed and Dangerous, has another quirky title ready for gamers looking for
something different in their action games. Infected, one of the most recent PSP releases, is a solid action title that is fast-paced and serves as a quick fix and a solid foundation for the PSP action/shooter genre.

In Infected, you play the role as an anti-viral officer named Stevens who must attempt to stop the contamination of New York City. A strange virus has infected the citizens
of the city, including Stevens. Oddly, the virus doesn’t affect Stevens the same as everyone else, and his blood is discovered to be the only way to kill the virus and those citizens who turned into flesh-eating zombies. So a viral gun is created, and it’s your job to run around New York City turning all of the zombies into clouds and piles of blood and gore. The story doesn’t really appear throughout
the game but the few events you will see are funny enough that you’ll want to listen to and watch what
is happening on the screen.

The action hits you from the first mission and doesn’t stop until you’re tired of killing zombies. The game takes place in five different real-life NYC locations, including Central Park and Greenwich Village. In almost every level, you’ll fight off hordes of the zombies while rescuing uninfected civilians, defending locations, and clearing places for evacuation helicopters to land. The way to kill the zombies is to weaken them until they change in color, which is your indication to use the viral gun that kills them off. Though this might sound like it takes more time than it should, the pace never slows from an all-out rush. Whether you’re beating missions and earning medals on the single player or you’re “infecting” the world with your in-game avatar in the Ad Hoc/Infrastructure wireless modes, there is surprisingly a lot to do in Infected. On top of that, there is an incentive to earn gold medals on each level, because these medals unlock things like new costumes, character faces, weapon upgrades, and more. These upgrades, especially the weapon ones, make the game even faster and more frantic than before, and they make your in-game avatar even more unique.

Even with such a fast pace, Infected looks good and plays smoothly. There isn’t much variation between enemy models, though there are a few different types. That said, the models are pretty generic but look good all the same. The environments are detailed with different buildings, trees, and other environment pieces while a constant snow lays down on New York City. Of course, all that snow is broken up by firey explosions and red, bloody clouds when multiple viral gun kills are linked together. The explosions, gunshots, and blood splatter noises are fantastic alongside music from metal bands like Slipknot, Fear Factory, Chimera, and one of my personal favorite bands, Trivium. All of this graphical and audio presentation never stutters the frame rate, which runs very smoothly throughout the game. The controls don’t hold things up, either. Except for movement, they’re simple and rely on two or three main buttons to get the job done.

Infected’s head-banger soundtrack and fast paced, no-brains-necessary action is very similar to a third-person, handheld version of Serious Sam. Whether that’s your cup of tea or not is a different story, but I enjoyed Infected quite a lot. It’s not the best PSP game, and you won’t be playing it until next Christmas, but it’s got the virus-infected charm and bloody, gory fun to keep action fans playing for quite some time. Check it out, it’s one of the better shooters on the PSP.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 8.2
Written by Cliff Review Guide

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