In "Infamous," the protagonist Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger caught in the center 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. The 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 story's Karma system. These choices ultimately affect character growth, the reaction of the City's populace towards Cole, and finer elements of the story.
"Infamous" takes place in fictional Empire City, laid across three islands: the Neon District, where many businesses and entertainment venues are located, the Warren, the slum where goods are shipped into and out of the city, and the Historic District, the smallest of the three islands, but the most post-modern. The districts are connected by bridges, and each district has its own elevated train system. At the start of the game, six blocks of the Historic District are wiped out by an explosion from a bio-electrical device called the Ray Sphere. A plague develops soon afterwards, forcing the government to quarantine the region. In doing so, they block the only bridge to the mainland from the city, causing societal collapse within the isolated city.
The protagonist is Cole MacGrath, a bike courier of Empire City who happens to be in the center of the explosion, surviving it and gaining electricity-based super powers. His best friend and fellow courier, Zeke Jedediah Dunbar takes initial refuge from the chaos on the streets at a rooftop pad and becomes both impressed and envious of Cole's newfound powers. Trish Dailey (voiced by October Moore) is a medical student and Cole's girlfriend at the start of the game, who rejects him after accusing him of causing her sister's death. Shortly after the explosion, Cole meets with FBI agent Moya Jones (voiced by Kimberli Colbourne), who assigns him missions to complete in Empire City in hopes of finding an agent named John White who was trapped in the city while investigating a case for another agency when the quarantine was enacted and has left numerous encoded messages on satellite receivers. A rogue VJ, "The Voice of Survival" (real name Dallas, voiced by Derrick Forget), manages to broadcast his conspiracy-laden, panic-provoking messages across the city from a TV station, as well as a legitimate reporter who tries to give the government some PR.
As Cole explores the city, he confronts three others with super powers like himself, including Sasha), a scorned lover and former high-ranked member of the First Sons, trying to earn Cole's romance, and has the ability to use a tar-like plague-inducing substance to control the minds of others. She controls the Reaper gang, ex-drug dealing junkies as Cole put it, of the Neon District. Alden Tate, son of Richard, the previous leader of the First Sons, and a wizened old man with powerful telekinesis abilities that leads the Dust Men gang in the Warren District under his control. They fight the First Sons, a fraternal organization founded in medieval Europe that operates in the Historic District by Kessler, a man with many super powers, controls the First Sons, using them to seek out Cole and the Ray Sphere, the device that caused the explosion in Empire City. ...