inFamous 2 Review

inFamous 2 Review

What we liked:

+ Powers are awesome
+ Tons to see and do
+ Great boss battles
+ Superb narrative

What we didn't like:

- Getting stuck in animations
- Some quirky glitches

Rating
9.2
Excellent
DEVELOPER: Sucker Punch   |   PUBLISHER: SCEA   |   RELEASE: 06/07/2011

Review

Lightning apparently does strike twice.

The original inFamous is considered by some to be one of the best sandbox games of this generation. It is also considered one of the best superhero games ever created. When Sucker Punch announced a sequel, the level of excitement was through the roof. The idea of once again stepping into the shoes of Cole MacGrath and his struggle with his powers was exciting to say the least. inFamous 2 takes everything that made the original special and amps (yeah, puns already) it up to the next level. Fans of the original game should not miss out on this incredible sequel.

The most important thing to note about the sequel is that if you have not played the original game, you will be lost. inFamous 2 assumes you have recollection of all the events in the original game, including some of your karmic decisions. There is a quick synopsis at the beginning, but after that it relies on your knowledge to fill in the blanks for characters and events. As long as you played the original you will be fine, but if you jump in fresh, a lot of the dialogue and characters will be alien to you.


The story in inFamous 2 starts off with a bang. Following the events of the original, you are immediately thrust into a battle with The Beast and are quickly handed your defeat. This forces Cole to retreat to the South where he arrives at your new sandbox called New Marais. From here, the game fills you in on how close The Beast is to arriving in New Marais, and just how long Cole has to power up his abilities before the final showdown can occur. There are new and returning characters and the difference between good and evil is even harder thanks to involving dialogue and some great character development.

From the minute you step into New Marais, things feel familiar. Sucker Punch was wise to keep things familiar because well, the first game was truly one of the better open-world titles available. The mission structure is setup just the same with story missions scattered throughout the map as well as side missions that focus on both good and evil paths. There are also plenty of activities to sway you one way or the other such as taking out street performers or stopping muggings. There is never a lack of something to do, and you will constantly be distracted from the main quest to partake in what the city has to offer.

Unlike most games where you gain powers and then lose them for the sequel, inFamous 2 gives you most your goodies from the last game, while introducing new ones throughout the game. I absolutely love the new powers here especially tossing cars as projectiles and the “Just Cause” inspired Lightning Tether. Cole plays fantastic. Switching from melee attacks into shooting grenades or tossing lightning shots is as smooth as silk. Sucker Punch has also tweaked Cole’s scaling abilities to make traversing the buildings of New Marais more fluid. I still found myself bouncing off of walls and landing on objects that I didn’t want to land on, but for the most part the game has been improved significantly over the original.


The city of New Marais might not seem as large as Empire City, but it is definitely more vibrant than the former. Citizens litter the streets and I love how they still react to which karmic path I take. Watching them take pictures of me on their cellphones as I move around the city, or scowl down the alley at the sight of my appearance truly immerses you in the world. This time around, I also love the relationship with the characters in the game. Zeke returns, and your bond with him throughout the game is fantastic. Newcomers Kuo and Nix really add depth to Cole’s character, and the new villain Bertrand is definitely a colorful character.

Progression is key in a game like this and inFamous 2 pulls it off without a hitch. Every new power opens up new possibilities and ways to play the game; not to mention making you feel like even more of a superhero. The karmic decisions are also incredibly immersive and give you two entirely different ways to play. I like how the game imports your actions and trophies from the original game, and with two completely different endings you have a mountain of game to tackle. There is literally so much to do in the game and combined with that “one more mission” mentality, it is easy to get lost in Cole’s world.

With all of that said I did have a few issues with the game. My first gripe is that Cole is known to kind of stick to objects around the world. This is fine, but during some of the chasing sequences this can be the difference between restarting the mission and catching your enemy. Cole also can get caught in animation loops during combat and next thing you know, you are dead. There are also plenty of occasions where Cole will clip through the objects in the environment, or simply get stuck on a piece of geometry. Absolutely none of these are game breaking though, and serve more to accent just how good the rest of the game truly is.


If all of this content wasn’t enough, Sucker Punch has also implemented a user-created content option that allows you to craft missions and spread them about the world. Our review build had some cool stuff from Sucker Punch as well as some of the more popular beta missions. This feature has potential to be really cool and provide endless hours of entertainment for gamers. Sony has been huge on keeping games fresh with user-created content and inFamous is no exception. You can rate missions and even choose to filter what type of content you want to see in your game. Just another reason to keep popping the disc in long after the campaign is over.

On the visual front, inFamous 2 looks fantastic. The new city is rich with life and detail and Cole’s powers are truly jaw dropping at times. The frame rate keeps a steady beat most of the time and the new enemy designs feel much more inspired than the first game. I also love the new massive boss battles, especially ones that take place across multiple parts of the city. The soundtrack had some truly epic tracks that really made me feel like a superhero. The voice acting is definitely good, but hearing a new actor for Cole can be jarring at first. After a while I grew to like the new voice and it actually fit his look a little better this time around.

inFamous 2 is a fantastic sequel to an amazing game and yet another must-own title from Sony’s first-party lineup. If you enjoy comic books or superhero games you truly need to experience this. Fans of the original will be pleased and newcomers will find a lot to enjoy, though I highly recommend taking advantage of Sony’s welcome back package and experiencing the first one before diving in. inFamous 2 may not have the best release date (seriously, right in the middle of E3), but if you miss out on this experience, you will be doing yourself a huge injustice.

Review copy provided by publisher.

Screenshots
Ken McKown
Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.

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