I think thereís one problem with the PSP that most of us reviewers are ignoring: we donít know what we want with it. Since the technology is so advanced, we want a console experience in our hands. We want the best graphics, the best gameplay, and the best stories. We want it all. But at the same time, we want quick, breezy games with fast load times, so when weíre waiting in line or the bus, we can just turn it on and play a game. Unfortunately, we canít have both. The best and prettiest games all have substantial load times no matter what system youíre playing them on.
Yeah, let’s kick some ass!
The PSP has a few games that do a pretty good job at just loading up and going, but even the best games for just picking up and playing, like Ridge Racer , take some time to get into. Infected tries to answer all of our wishes in one UMD-sized package. Itís a pretty breezy, light game thatís quick to load and provides short-bursts of gameplay, while at the same time including lots of options, including wireless multiplayer, character customization, and some impressive graphics. It isnít perfect by any means, but itís an enjoyable game that I think youíre going to be mostly satisfied with.
Infected is basically a videogame adaptation of the hit film 28 Days Later that starred the dreamy Cillian Murphy. Disease-ridden zombies are running around the streets of New York, infecting anyone that stands in their way and perpetuating the cycle. Youíre an armed-to-the-teeth cop who is the only hope for humanity. As you probably guessed, itís your job to go from area to area saving the few remaining civilians and killing as many zombies are you possibly can, which includes ripping their flesh from their bones with chainsaws and launching loads of buckshot into them from your shotgun.
Well, this screen speaks for itself.
Youíll quickly discover that killing zombies on your PSP is just as enjoyable as killing zombies anywhere else. Infected isnít a Resident Evil -style zombie adventure where ammunition is scarce and the gameplay is slow; instead, youíre packing lots of ammo and constantly running around. Infected requires that you first weaken your enemies with shots, exposing their blood to the air and then shooting your ďviral gunĒ at them, which causes them to explode. If you can weaken a whole group of zombies with physical attacks and lure them all together, you can perform a combo attack that creates a truly epic mess of zombie parts. Sometimes, I got seven or eight zombies together and created one giant, bloody mess.
Hard hats and chainsaws versus machine guns. Seems fair enough.
Itís a lot of fun, to say the least. Yeah, itís simple, and with some graphical concessions this game would probably be possible on the original Gameboy Advance. But thatís the thing: this feels like a handheld game. It isnít a PS2 port; it’s a game specifically designed for the PSP, just like Ridge Racer was. It doesnít feel like the developers set out to make a console game to port to the PSP. Sure, it can get repetitive at times, but itís great for just sitting down and playing for ten minutes at a time when youíre on the bus or waiting for class to start. Thereís nothing wrong with that.
The game is great looking, too. Sure, the PSP has a few games that look better, but I doubt youíre going to see a chainsaw-wielding Santa Clause in Coded Arms or Spiderman 2 . One of the biggest pluses in this game is the sheer amount of on-screen action: dozens of zombies will be coming right at you, flinging pus and vomit along the way, and the game never slows down. Combine this with a plethora of character creation options and neat weapons effects, like flying plasma and rockets, and I think youíll be hard-pressed to find a more competent graphics engine on the PSP.
Not a bad cow, but you can’t see the teets.
A lot of time went into the sound, too. Iím not a huge fan of any of the bands on the soundtrack, which is dominated by Slipknot but also includes Ill Nino, Fear Factory, and Chimaira. Anyone who likes heavy metal is probably going to be pretty pleased with the soundtrack, but if youíre like me, youíll probably just turn it down. During the game, periodic news sequences pop up tracking the progress of the zombie invasion, and these are quite funny. When the delightful blonde reporter interrupts a childrenís show and begins talking about mothers ďripping out the stomachs of their children,Ē you canít help but crack a smile.
Ultimately, itís Infectedís multiplayer options that will probably seal the deal for you if youíre still reading this. You can play either wireless against your friends or out in cyberspace against some random guys. In multiplayer matches, your character is a unique ďvirus,Ē which means if you win against someone, your virus infects them. Then, should they go on and win a match against someone else, they spread your virus to them. You can then track how far your virus has traveled. This awesome feature is supplemented by a dozen different maps to play on, ensuring that you won’t get bored fast.
Hang on, it’s that guy from Korn!
Infected is the type of game the PSP needs. Its light, fast-paced gameplay is great for just picking up and playing. With over forty levels, itís got just the right amount of depth to be a top-shelf PSP game. The great graphics, awesome multiplayer, and reasonably long campaign mode are sure to keep you pleased for a while. I wonít even mention the fact that this is pretty much the only ďgoryĒ or ďadultĒ game on the PSP thatís any good. Infected is an entertaining game. Donít hesitate to pick it up.
Eight out of ten