Infamous, stylized as inFAMOUS, is an open world video game for the PlayStation 3 video game console. It was developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Computer Entertainment. The game was released internationally in May and June 2009. In Infamous, the player controls the protagonist Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger caught in the epicenter of an explosion that devastates several city blocks of the fictional Empire City. The explosion sends the city into chaos while Cole finds himself with new electricity-based super powers. Though the game's story follows Cole using his new abilities to restore some semblance of order to Empire City, the player is given several opportunities to use these powers for good or evil purposes in the game's Karma system. These choices ultimately affect character growth, the reaction of the City's populace towards Cole, and finer elements of gameplay and the story.
Sucker Punch developed Infamous as a change of pace from their earlier Sly Cooper series of stealth-based games, but using a similar comic book-inspired origin story to help the player become more connected with Cole. The game's pacing in the introduction of new super powers and ease of movement about the city by unconventional means were critical factors during development. The desolate urban atmosphere was inspired by comics such as DMZ and No Man's Land. Amon Tobin was among the artists that helped to compile its soundtrack, which aimed to reflect the environment.
The game was very well received by the gaming press. It was praised for many of its elements, including the implementation of Cole's powers and climbing ability, and the game's content and mission structure, as well as the sum of these elements that makes the game very alluring. Reviewers commented on the repetitive nature of combat and enemies, limitations of the Karma system, and technical aspects in the graphical display. Infamous was also compared to and contrasted with Radical Entertainment's Prototype, a video game released the following month which had many elements similar to Infamous, including exploration of an open world-style city by a protagonist with superpowers. The game is offered by Sony as a free download as part of their 'Welcome Back' program, following the PSN outage of 2011. A sequel, Infamous 2 was released in June 2011.