Empire City is a living entity, or well as much as a city can be after it is ravaged by plague and cut-off from the rest of the world. The city is rotting from the inside and the visuals carry the feeling in every city street you walk on and every building you climb. The city will also change based on Cole's decisions. The more heroic Cole is, the better the city (and Cole) looks. There are, however, a few technical issues that break the illusion. I managed to find myself trapped inside the buildings on more than one occasion, while at other times, I was blocked by invisible walls.
Music pushes the theatrics even further. Readers in hurricane-prone areas will probably agree that the days following a major storm are eerie. There are a number of daily sounds that we tune out on a regular basis and it isn't until they're gone that we realize they were ever there. While by no means silent, inFAMOUS communicates this feeling with sparing use of music. Music is only used to indicate that something might be off in the area or during key moments. The rest of the time, your ears are filled with the sounds of the city - but only after you are able to revive the area. Otherwise, it's a still, creepy silence filled with echoes of gunfire.