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Planet Moons Infected (PSP)


Romier S
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I've been eagerly awaiting hearing more about Planet Moons new shooter for some time now. I've been a fan of thiers since they released Giants Citizen Kabuto on the PC, and even moreso with the release of Armed and Dangerous. I was disappointed to hear the Planet Moon would be exclusively developing titles for only the PSP after the sales disappointment that was Armed and Dangerous, but it looks like it's not such a bad thing after all.

 

Infected looks to be a fairly interesting third person shooter. I've no doubt Planet Moons token humor will fill this game with zounds of entertainment. Thankfully some of the game mechanics are very interesting..

 

You can read a preview of the game here:

 

http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/infected/preview_6129440-2.html

 

At its core, Infected plays like your typical third-person shooter. You'll roam the city streets, looking for the infected so you can smear them all over the pavement. You'll have a target-lock-on system that makes the gameplay pretty point-and-shoot, and you can also dash or use a 180 turnaround move for more-agile maneuvering. The process of purging a zombie is simple: Unload into it with your regular weapons--which include a pistol, a shotgun, a submachine gun, rocket-propelled grenades, and even the affectionately named BMFG--until it's susceptible to being splattered by your blood bullets. Once the enemy's health is low enough, one well-placed shot will splatter it all over the sidewalk. And the best part is, any nearby enemies caught in the spray will also be taken out, which means you'll be able to set up some gnarly combos in the more crowded areas.

 

But wait, there's more! Each level will have a real urgency to it, because at the outset, there are only a few infected citizens roaming the streets. But the longer you wait, the more innocent bystanders will be transformed into the slavering undead. So it certainly behooves you to get off your keister and get to slaying. The ratio of people to zombies is represented by a little meter at the top of the screen. If too many humans are infected, the mission will go into "viral overload," causing the entire level to be flooded with enemies that will actively come after you, making you work a hell of a lot harder to stay alive. So, obviously, you won't want to stand around twiddling your thumbs too much while the virus runs amok among the hapless populace.

 

The game is also going to have a full online multiplayer game that can be played using the PSP's Infrastructure mode. This is where the game REALLY gets interesting though:

 

So what happens when you've played through those dozens of missions and have saved New York? Time to start splattering your friends. Infected will ship with a number of four-player competitive modes that are built on the core single-player game. There's your basic deathmatch and team deathmatch, of course, as well as two more interesting modes: savior and mad cow. Savior challenges you to rescue innocent civilians and fight off the undead faster than your opponent can. Mad cow places a bovine power-up somewhere on the map, and the player who manages to find it first will literally become a mad cow, complete with enhanced powers and scoring potential. Kill the mad cow, and, of course, you'll become the mad cow.

 

Planet Moon's tagline for Infected is "infect the world with your PSP," and really, that's as apt a description as any of the game's unique viral multiplayer component. Whenever you play a multiplayer match, the winner of that match will transfer his or her own unique version of Stevens to the loser's game, like a virus. This will infect three of the loser's single-player missions, making the enemies in that mission all take on the appearance of the winner's custom character. What's worse is that any health, speed, or weapon upgrades that player possessed when he or she beat you will carry over to those enemies, making them a whole lot tougher to defeat.

 

Once you're infected by another player's virus, you've got a couple of options. One, you can try to play through those three missions, and if you can beat them all, you'll clear the infection. Two, you can challenge other players to a new multiplayer game, and if you win, they'll catch the virus from you, rendering you cured. Needless to say, if enough people engage in unprotected multiplayer matches, your viral character could spread very far indeed. One of the niftiest features of Infected is that the final game will contain a world map that will literally show you all the players on Earth that currently possess your unique virus.

 

That is pretty damn awesome! I've been wanting to go wireless for awhile now, especially with moving into a new apartment and having acquired a laptop from work. If the game turns out good, I may have to do so ASAP.

 

Some screenshots to look over:

 

infect.jpg

 

infect2.jpg

 

infect3.jpg

 

infect4.jpg

 

You can also take a look at some early movies of the game here(there is no music during the gameplay and the graphics are still looking a bit rough around the edges framerate wise):

 

http://www.gamespot.com/psp/action/infected/media.html

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  • 4 months later...

Finally got around to buying this at the weekend, thanks to some generous trades at GameRush.

 

So far, I'm really enjoying it. At its core, the game is Robotron effectively. This is not a bad thing. The two gun mechanic works well, with the game urging you to chain together as many combos as possible by waiting to shoot enemies with your bloodgun. Lots of upgrades to earn & buy, lots of things to unlock. Each level has gold/silver/bronze limits.

 

It's fun to kill zombie Santas. Got to love that Planet Moon sense of humour.

 

Although 3D, the levels are fairly flat, which works well - the nature of the PSP makes camera control difficult, so by keeping the levels flat, it helps the player navigate the gameworld. Locations so far have been various city blocks, subways & parks. There's an onscreen map that helps greatly, as does the ability to quickly turn 180 degress using the d-pad.

 

Controls are nice - the right trigger acts as a lock on which combined with target cycle on the left trigger helps immensely in making it easy to strafe around targets & rapidly switch to a new target for building combo chains.

 

Haven't tried the online multiplayer aspect yet. I like the sound of the viral infections, not sure if one on one multiplayer will be enough to keep it interesting online. So far, the single player is enough to keep me interested.

 

I'm not sure on the value in this at $40 for a lot of people as the gameplay is fairly samey - it's Robotron after all - but I'm enjoying it & it hits the right buttons for me.

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Yeah, I played the shit out of my Gamefly rental and played some online as well. THe online is pretty neat with the virus and it makes you go back and play single levels more once you get infected to clear the virus. :)

 

I bought it for my g/f's son for X-mas for $29.99 (he loved the game when we played it). So I'll play some more after X-mas. We'll have to play each other online sometime Brian.

 

-Dean-

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  • 2 months later...

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