Notoriety is an action-adventure sandbox game developed by LegendGames Entertainment and designed by Buddy Thompson. It stars the protagonist, James Draiman, a former rock star whose life fell into a world of crime after a botched deal with a mob leader.
The game takes on a sandbox-styled open-world concept similar to most open-world games today. The combat system is derived from the styles of Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto series, Red Dead Redemption and Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, including both bare-handed and weaponized combat, in addition to the ability to take hostages. Similar to Hero's Retribution, players are able to weaponize various items throughout the city, such as baseball bats, lamps, televisions, and even larger items like shelves and tables. Players may also steal a variety of vehicles, from cars to airplanes, and even lawnmowers and go-karts. However, not all vehicles will have keys in them. In this case, players will enter a short mini-game for hotwiring a vehicle. In the case of lawnmowers and go-karts, they will simply be inaccessable. In addition, players are able to take on vigilante/bounty missions given out by the police. These missions may help to give the player a positive reputation, or increase their notoriety.
This game features a morality system, similar the Reputation system in Red Dead Redemption, and the choice system in video games developed by TellTale Games. Morality is divided into two categories: Nobility and Notoriety. The player's morality can impact the outcomes of some story missions. For example, players choosing the Nobility path will often not kill targets that they've been assigned to chase down. In this case, they may shoot them in the leg or handcuff them so that they can be dealt with by others. However, if playing the Notoriety path, players will be given an "execution" ability. This allows them to enter a short quick-time event that results in a more brutal method of dealing with bounty targets. Similar to Sucker Punch's inFamous series, the game also includes side missions that are specifically centered toward a single Morality path. For example, missions that specifically revolve around killing a bounty target will net the player extra Notoriety, whereas missions involving delivering pizza and performing odd jobs for hospitals will increase Nobility.
An unexpected feature in Notoriety is the inclusion of an RPG-styled pick-up and storage system. When players kill NPC's, they are able to search them for a majority of items. This includes the tradional trio of money, weapons, and ammo. However, similar to Bethesda Game's Elder Scrolls series, this also expands to items such as food items (candy, drinks, a bag of chips), accessories (such as a watch or backpack), drugs (medicinal and otherwise), keys (which can be used to both unlock NPC homes or start cars), and even clothes. Players can actually strip an NPC down to their underwear and proceed to either sell or wear the stolen clothing. Food items and medicine can be used to heal the player. Some drugs offer positive side effects, such as immunity to damage for a short time or an adrenaline rush, which slows the movement of the world around the player. However, most drugs will have a negative effect on the player. Some may cause James to get sick or sluggish, whereas others may poison him, leading to a health-draining effect or even death. All items that players take from NPC's can be sold, with the exception of money.
Notoriety also features aesthetic and weather-based changes, much like Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V. In addition to to regular weather conditions, the game also features a season system, similar to Rockstar's Bully and Game Freak's Pokemon: Black/White generation of games. These include puddles that form when it rains, noticeable damage to vehicles if left out during a hailstorm, and even the death of plants and ice forming on the windows of vehicles whenever it snows.
Another unique feature is the play death mechanic. Whenever being chased by cops and injured, either through a gunshot or other wound, players are able to fake their death for a short time in order to trick the police. Using the shoulder buttons of the controller, players are able to duck down or lie down inside of vehicles. Whenever injured, a "play dead" feature shows up. Pressing down on the D-Pad while ducking inside a vehicle will make the player appear dead. However, this has its drawbacks. The way the feature works is that James will hold his breath while playing dead. If he holds it for too long, he will either pass out or actually die if his wounds are severe enough. This results in either the police taking him in or the death of the player.
The story follows the events in the life of rock star, James Draiman, the lead singer/songwriter of the "Skull Breakers" band. After moving to Nevada with his wife, Miranda, James took a loan from someone he believed to be a band manager, in the hopes of starting a family once he retired from his musical career. However, it turns out that the man he borrowed money from was the leader of a mob, and due to a late payment, threatened to kill Miranda. With no other choice, James was forced to get his bandmates together to rob a bank in order to pay his debts.
However, he arrived too late. Upon arriving to pay off his debt, James found the body of Miranda lying in his home studio with three men towering over her. As he rushed over to her in disbelief, two of the men knocked him to ground, took the suitcase of money, and left. The third man warned James never to miss another payment, or else they'd hunt down the rest of his family.
Broken, unable to accept the reality of his loss, James fell into a depression that was soon followed by a heavy drinking binge. James' new drinking habit caused him to develop a case of schizophrenia, leading into a split personality disorder. He became easily angered and his rage caused him to lose his common sense, bringing out a dark side of his persona.
The story picks from this point, where James' angry persona vows revenge on the mob boss, and enlists the help of his bandmates in order to track him down and kill him.
|Unnamed Mob Leader|
- Notoriety is referenced in Hero's Retribution though an in-game film.