But all this flashy stuff didn't stop us from craving the more basic of abilities, namely being able to drive cars, or pick up and shoot guns.
When you spend hours on end shooting sparks at people it'd just be a nice relief to grab a chain gun or rocket launcher and blast off some hot metal, you know? After all, the hooded mutant-like thugs you fight drop guns, rockets and all sorts on the floor. Why can't we pick them up?
And without cars, navigation can be tedious. The city's three islands are pretty big and objectives sometimes have you doing a fair bit of trawling. Now, Cole can speed along train rails or electrical cables in a blaze of sparks, but they're not direct enough.
And if you make a mistake and fall to the floor it takes too long to climb back up again - it's not like Crackdown where a few super jumps gets you there.
All that considered, by the time you mess about climbing, picking a route over the electricity cables or make your way to the train tracks, it's usually quicker to just run through the streets to your targets, which can be dull, even if the city does look incredible.
The rooftops are littered with 'collectibles' of sorts too; Blast Shards which you collect to increase your maximum stored power, and Dead Drops which are satellite dishes with encoded messages in them. But again, getting around in Crackdown is much easier.
The missions are varied and mostly fun - you'll defend outposts, shoot down flying planes, scale buildings on treasure hunts, power up trains, rescue friends from huge enemy bases and all sorts.
inFamous' comic-style action, spectacular powers, gorgeous city and gripping story make it one of the best games so far this year for PS3 owners.
It has its frustrations and we miss burning around in a car or the rumble of some good old-fashioned gunpowder, plus we think Crackdown pips it in the open-world action game league. But that won't stop you having a very amusing 25 hours of gaming (play it through twice, once good and once evil, and it's even longer).
Not as electrifying as we'd hoped, but still one of the best PS3 games of the year
- Amazing open-world city
- Solid story-led action
- Cole's powers are very cool
- Occasionally laborious travel
- A few guns would have made it more fun
- Frustrating deaths (but good checkpoints)