Infamous 2 follows the adventure of Cole McGrath as he electrifies his way across the city of New Marais. This time Cole is sporting new powers and this sequel also features new locations and even a set of new characters as uou are faced with your greatest challenge yet: the destruction of The Beast. The coming of The Beast was foretold at the end of Infamous, and it makes an appearance as the main villain in Infamous 2. Your job is to scour New Marais and find ways to increase your powers before The Beast catches up to you. While running around the city you are faced with a number of moral decisions, and your choices have a direct effect on the powers you develop. Regardless of which way your morality bends, you’ll have plenty of firepower at your disposal.
There is a significant visual change from Infamous to Infamous 2. The new game looks great, and is a vast improvement over the original. The graphics are sharper and the lighting is a lot better. Right from the title screen, you know you are playing a highly polished game. Cole himself has undergone some changes that fans have been up-in-arms over since its conception. They altered his look from the first game, and if it wasn’t for the outcry from fans, Cole would be unrecognizable. Thankfully, fans pushed the issue and Sucker Punch made Cole look similar to how he did in the original. They also switched voice actors from Jason Cottle to Eric Ladin as they wanted an actor that could do motion capture, but the difference in voice acting is vast and gives the franchise an inconsistent feel.
The sequal’s single-player campaign is definitely similar in size and scope to the original game. You collect missions in almost exactly the same way as you did before. You see mission markers on your map, and you just follow the marker and accept the mission. Rinse and repeat. The mission structure is fairly repetitive and mimics the structure from Infamous. Classics such as escort and “protect and revive citizens” mission-types are frequently found around the city. Infamous 2 does manage to shake things up by introducing bigger and badder bosses for your fighting pleasure. These boss battles are quite entertaining the first time around, but as the game progresses they become boring and predictable. The game also manages to introduce a number of new enemy types that give the game a fair amount of variety, something the original game definitely lacked.
The gameplay is tantalizing, and Cole’s powers are a lot of fun to use. You are given a wide variety of upgrades which expand upon your powers immensely and offer a number of unforgettable moments. Just when you think you have the ability to let loose and wreak havoc upon your enemies, they make Cole fight in confined areas. This doesn’t allow you to take advantage of the full arsenal given to Cole. Enemies have more places to hide, making them harder to hit, and Cole doesn’t have the space needed to maneuver around the environment. These spaces also work against Cole because he has to expose himself to the enemies he is facing in order to attack them, yet Cole loses heath very quickly, creating a number of frustrating moments.
For all that is wrong with this game, there are plenty of improvements to appreciate as well. You now have the ability to change the type and range of your attacks on the fly. By just holding a button you can quickly and easily switch from your standard lightning bolt to your long-range bolts to your pincer bolts. This adds an element of strategy to the game, since you have a number of ways to take out your enemies. The melee system is also much improved, with a brand-new system of hand-to-hand combat similar to Batman: Arkham Asylum but with a little less control. It is a welcome addition over the original stunt melee system that just became frustrating and unsatisfying. You can now dispose of your
enemies in style with a slowed-down, zoomed-in perspective which works well in this game.
Arguably the biggest addition to the game is the built-in mission creator, which gives you the ability to create levels for other people to play in. This addition is excellent because the tools given to you are extremely powerful. You have the ability to recreate any mission in Infamous 2 within a short amount of time. For those who wish to dive deeper into the gameplay, you also have the ability to alter the AI of the enemies, allowing for a level of customization rarely found in these types of games. Sharing and playing your creations is seamless and easy. All of the community levels are marked in green on your map, so they stand out from story missions. All in all, this is an excellent addition to the game.
Overall, Infamous 2 is a good game on its own merits, but if you compare it to the original, you see that it is very similar. Since it is so close in scope to its predecessor, it suffers from a lot of the faults of the first game. This isn’t necessarily the death knell of the game since there are a number of areas that are much improved over the original, including the new visuals, new powers and the mission editor. What you are left with is a better-than-average game that fans of the original are going to like. Therefore, we recommend you give this game a shot; there are enough new additions to please the crowd and plenty of elements that should feel familiar to Infamous fans.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Playstation 3 version of Infamous 2 by Sucker Punch
- Built-in Mission Creator
- Great New Powers to Play With
- Lots of Visual Improvements
- Smaller Single Player Campaign
- Confined Space Fighting