InFamous 2 is the sequel to the Playstation 3 game Infamous developed by Sucker Punch Studios for the Playstation 3. It is an open world super hero video game with a good vs evil morality system.
The game continues the story of Cole McGrath, a bike messenger who was given electrical super powers in a large explosion. It picks up one month after the events of the first game. For anyone who hasn’t played the first one, they explain what needs to be known about the story at the start of this game. The game takes place in New Marais, a fictional city based on New Orleans.
Infamous 2 features a similar morality system to the first game. By performing good acts like healing civilians, saving civilians and rescuing hostages, you gain good karma. Evil acts such as killing innocent bystanders will gain you evil karma. Different levels of good and evil karma will give Cole access to different good or evil powers. Good karma powers tend to be more controlled and Cole conserves his energy better while with evil karma powers, all the attacks are more powerful and more destructive.
Cole’s sidekick Zeke returns along with a new character named Lucy Kuo who is introduced in the beginning of the game. Kuo is a NSA agent who is there to help Cole defeat The Beast, a monster who is said to come to Earth and destroy everything in it’s path. Later in the game Cole will meet a character named Nix, a New Marais native who represents an alternative moral choice to Kuo.
Choosing the good or evil path doesn’t really alter the story of the game. The cutscenes will play out the same as well as much of the dialog regardless of whether the good or the bad path is chosen. With all the excellent detail in the enviorments and variety of weapons used throughout the game, the cutscenes can stand out in a bad way while playing along the evil path. The comic style cutscenes that explain major points in the story will still show a “good” Cole even though Cole’s appearance in the game will look drastically different. The in-engine cutscenes will show the “right” Cole, be it evil or good.
Sucker Punch went out of their way to expand the powers of Cole and they do an excellent job of creating the feeling of having super powers. Cole is an electrical super hero so his powers are electric variations of rifles, bazookas and machine guns. There are many more new powers in InFamous 2 versus the first. By pressing left on the D-pad and the appropriate button, Cole can switch to different type of attacks on the fly. Having this variety of weapons really adds to the strategy and fun of the game.
The game is broken down into different type of missions, story mission, karma missions, side missions and user generated missions. Story mission advance the story and opens up more powers for Cole to use, allies and enemies for Cole to meet. Side missions are usually attack and destroy missions that earn the player XP. XP is used to upgrade powers and attacks in the weapons menu. The karma missions are like the side missions but they have a good or evil slant to what is being asked of Cole. Completing a karma mission will lock out a similar opposite karma mission, leading you along a set good or evil path with little to no incentive to switch over in mid-game.
The game also features user generated levels that anyone can create and upload for anyone with their PS3 online to try out. These missions show up in the world mixed in with the other missions but only in a different color. These missions can also be filtered showing only the latest missions or no user missions at all. Completing these missions also earns you XP. People who want to create levels can start with a template or with a completely blank slate. Everything from the scripting of the missions, the enemies and how they behave, as well as dialog can be customized for any mission. Side games like space invaders have been created with these tools so expect to see much more than just fighting here.
Sucker Punch went a long way to add more to this game, including weapons, enemies and destructible enviorments. There are a many balconies in New Marais and they can be used to crush anything below them or take down anyone standing on them, which is usually a guy with a rocket launcher.
Enemies consist of the usual machine gun, rifle or bazooka fighters, but there are mutated monsters within New Marais adding a new fighting element and strategy to the fighting. For example, lightning bolts will not slow down many of the monsters, especially the human size ones. These enemies become more melee enemies while long range attacks work better with the armed soldiers. There are many times within InFamous 2 where the armed soldiers are fighting the monsters and it is fine to let them duke it out for a bit before having Cole jump in and finish everyone off.
Like the previous InFamous, Cole will gather blast shards. Collecting enough of them will increase Cole’s energy bar, which allow him more attacks before having to recharge. There are also dead drops in the form of pigeons that are scattered all around New Marais which will flesh out more of the back story and explanations of what is happening throughout the story. The blast shards and the pigeons are everywhere in the city and becoming sidetracked collecting them is a very easy thing to do, even during story mission.
The pacing of the game is well done but not perfect. A few of the hiccups in the story come after several of the huge battles where Cole needs to recharge parts of the city. It can feel somewhat dragged out for a moment, but the action quickly kicks back up after these sections. The fighting in the game is exciting and fun. As the game progresses and enemies become tougher, you’ll find yourself using more of the city to survive and take down your opponents. Just the act of throwing cars at monsters to keep your distance in order to refill your energy, all awhile they are charging at you at full speed becomes an event.
The sound in InFamous 2 is extremely well done and adds the atmosphere. It’s a full 5.1 surround soundtrack that helps when determine which direction the enemy is coming from. The musical score is a traditional New Orleans and orchestral mix, similar to that is found within Hollywood movies. The sound design makes the battles even more exciting.
InFamous 2 is an excellent sequel keeping together what made the first game good while adding new elements and powers. The overall story is good, though it does drag as some points. What InFamous 2 excels at is exciting battles. Nearly every fight, even the small ones, can seem epic.