inFAMOUS 2: Festival of Blood DLC
Developer: Sucker Punch
Released: October 2011
Played: complete with 85% of trophies in 2h:39min
This is going to be a quick post and not a full review, since this is a relatively short DLC pack. Full review of inFAMOUS 2 here.
Festival of Blood is a silly side story that may or may not have canonically happened. Zeke meets a lady in a bar and tells her the story of how Cole was turned into a vampire and Zeke had to save him before the curse took full effect at dawn.
Cole doesn't have much in the way of electric powers for the duration of the DLC (though he does earn a few more at certain optional milestones), and only the first island is unlocked, so I'm guessing this is supposed to be set early in inFAMOUS 2's story. You get some nifty vampire powers to play with - full flight (though limited by blood energy) and a vision mode that allows you to spot secrets and upgrades and disguised vampires. Flight is fun because it's not something you ever get to play with in this series, and it makes city traversal feel fresh again.
Flight is powered by blood, which you can gain by staking vampires or sucking on civilians. There's a very brief effort to suggest that Cole may not need to drink blood, but it's quickly glossed over, and the series' iconic morality system is completely dropped for the DLC. It's like the writers want me to feel bad for drinking blood, but they couldn't be bothered to really do much about it.
The story is rather basic - Cole is now a vampire, and needs to kill the one that turned him (called Bloody Mary) before dawn, when she'll take full control. Mary's backstory is much more interesting than the main plot - you can find some of her musings on her history as optional audio logs, and you learn the defining bits as part of the main story. Her backstory is more interesting, but still relatively shallow.
The worst bit is when you're forced to play some UGC (user-generated content) missions to progress the story. They're two official missions produced by Sucker Punch, but they're of unimpressive quality and feel like a poorly shoehorned attempt to get the player interested in UGC. Since the UGC was entirely optional in the main game, I spent a good half hour wandering around the map collecting audio logs and canopic jars in the hope that maybe I'd unlock the next story mission somehow. When I'd finished both those things I had to check a walkthrough to realize that I had to do that UGC mission to progress. Not cool.
To me the best parts were the bookends with Zeke where he's telling the story to the girl he's trying to seduce. You get to see Zeke being charming and funny and completely (and unintentionally) sidelined by Cole. Too bad these are only a few minutes at the start and end.
Festival of Blood felt kind of mediocre to me overall. It's neat to see the city all dressed up for Pyre Night, there are a couple of fun new powers, and the bits with Zeke are entertaining. But all the vampire stuff is fairly generic and relatively uninteresting. At only $5 and as a standalone it's inexpensive fun, though I didn't find it particularly memorable.