An electrifying, although slightly disappointing thrill ride
Infamous stormed on to the scene in 2009 when PS3 was in desperate need of some exclusives. The game was a solid sci-fi, superhero origin story for protagonist Cole MacGrath, successfully blending platforming and action gameplay mechanics with a cool story, all in an open world environment. The sequel is out now and while it is still a fun ride from beginning to end, it is ultimately a disappointing sequel.
The story picks up where the first game left off, only now you're in the New Orleans inspired city of New Marais while you are focusing on gaining enough powers to stop "the Beast" while at the same time dealing with the leader of the local militia and his group of gun-toting goons. The gameplay is virtually the same as in the first game, only now you get big electric stick to hit people with and you also get some fun new powers to unleash on enemies and average Joe's walking in the streets. Developer Sucker Punch made the abilities so damn fun to use that you never feel the need to try out an ability once and then go back to the one you are using the most. You always want to mix it up and try different stuff because it is just so much fun. I was in a fight teaming with allies taking on a bunch of enemies and I was using a new ability on every enemy I saw and it’s very impressive how easy it is to use all these different powers. The Infamous franchise is what The Force Unleashed should have been like.
Now while it is fun and easy to use all these cool powers, that doesn’t mean the gameplay is perfect. The combat is zoomed in way too much when using melee combat and it becomes tough to see where the enemies are coming from. Another problem is that some of the enemies take way too long to defeat. They aren’t particularly difficult to beat, but some of the battles against larger foes tend to drag on a little too long. The game also features a mode where you can create different missions but there’s no tutorial on the disc to teach you the tools offered in this mode so because of this, when I tried the mode out a few times, other than placing random people around I really couldn’t figure out how to create any of the fun stuff shown in the preview videos released before the game came out.
Usually the sequel to movies and games is bigger and better in every way. The origin story is out of the way and there’s room for some really fun stuff (not to say that origin stories aren’t fun) but unfortunately the story is this sequel doesn’t hold up the first game at all. The story in the first Infamous had more memorable characters, a better, easier to follow story and it also didn’t have Nix. I like being the bad guy in games where you have a choice to be good or evil but this woman was so incredibly annoying that I avoided being evil at all times, just because I didn’t want to side with her at all. Nix might be the worst character I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing in a game and unfortunately her presence drags the story down.
Infamous 2 is ultimately a good game and a successful follow up to the terrific first game. The gameplay is great, the abilities are fun to use and there’s lots of stuff to collect and unlock. The story isn’t as good as the first game and there are some gameplay problems, but ultimately Infamous 2 is a solid, albeit disappointing sequel.