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inFamous 2 Review

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  • PS3

It's not quite as refined as you'd expect a sequel to be, but Infamous 2 is still an electrifying good time.

With Infamous, Sucker Punch delivered a deeply satisfying and (pardon the pun) downright electric open-world action game. Two years later, Infamous 2 improves in some pleasing, meaningful ways on what I thought was already one of the most playable games ever made in this genre. But it also exhibits a surprising lack of polish in several areas, some more integral to the experience than others. It's only because the core gameplay is still so much fun in Infamous 2 that these rough patches stand out as much as they do.

Specifically, it was the fluidly responsive controls and the laundry list of explosive powers that made the first game such a joy. The controls remain apparently unchanged, again allowing superhero Cole MacGrath to aim and dodge with the ease and mobility that a superhero should. There's also a generous list of new variations on the game's stable of weapon-like electric powers, which still fall into familiar categories like grenade, rocket, and pea shooter. You can even choose between ice- and fire-related variants on these powers later in the game (by making what feels like a contrived, button-prompted moral decision) that further broadens your arsenal. The expanded lineup of powers is certainly robust enough, and the flow of combat is further streamlined by a handy pop-up menu that lets you cycle through available types of abilities on the fly. The powers are once again split across both sides of the moral coin, and while it felt like the first Infamous taunted my pure-hearted boy scout with a bunch of more entertaining, destructive-looking powers available only to an evil character, this time the game does a better job of assigning some desirable abilities to the good side too.

Unfortunately, Infamous 2 shares its predecessor's predilection for overwhelming you with enemies from all sides. You become so overly powerful in the second half, the game responds by ramping up the number and ferocity of the enemies, but there are a few too many cases where the combat feels cheap. It's just not much fun when you get surrounded by elite soldiers who can slide right up behind you, knock you down with a shotgun, then keep damaging you while you're waiting to climb out of a stun animation and regain control. Liberal checkpoints aren't much consolation when things like that happen two or three times in a row. On the whole it's still a blast to lay waste to hordes of enemies in this game, but you do start to wish the enemy design and placement were as refined as the controls and abilities.

In most games, getting from place to place is just a means to an end, so it says a lot about the first Infamous that simply traversing the urban sprawl was an enjoyable end in itself. Sucker Punch has made Cole even more mobile in this sequel, through both new abilities and new environmental features. The "static thrusters" that let you make like a flying squirrel will now get you some extra lift, and there's an ice jump--the single best incentive to play a good character, second to satisfying your own conscience--that shoots you straight upward at the touch of a button. Likewise, new electrified vertical rails on most buildings will send you flying skyward as soon as you touch them. The magnetic way that Cole gravitates to things he can cling to or climb on is still much appreciated, but there are the few frustrating instances where he ends up sticking to the wrong grapple point, which ultimately makes it take longer to get where you're going. Like the combat, it's another case where the central idea is so good that you wish the implementation was a bit more refined.

Origin stories are probably the easiest sort of superhero tale to write, and sure enough, Cole's first tentative steps into his new power and responsibility did a great job of buoying and driving the story in the first game. Now that he's a full-fledged hero, Infamous 2 is inherently a little less exciting, sending Cole south to the New Orleans-esque New Marais to escape the Beast, the towering dervish of destruction foretold in the vision that ended the first game. New Marais is where Cole believes he can seek the origin of the ray sphere technology that started all this mess, and thus amplify his powers to the degree necessary to take on the Beast and stop its wanton rampage across the Eastern seaboard.

Every time you start the game and load your save, there's a great framing device that tells you how many miles the Beast has left to travel before it reaches and obliterates New Marais. The Beast's progress is tied to your own progress through the story, so there's no actual timer ticking down, but this still creates a foreboding backdrop behind your local troubles, which are many. An anti-mutant politician called Bertrand has the city in near-martial lockdown, and mutated swamp freaks are rampaging through some quarters of town. In this already heated mix, Cole and his now-tolerable sidekick Zeke run up against some other gifted individuals with their own superpowers, and tangle with Bertrand's militia, the monsters, and an elite team of high-tech mercenaries as well. The game does a decent job of humanizing its new characters, but in general there's a little too much going on for the story to find its center. By contrast, I really enjoyed the singular mystique the first Infamous built up around the Kessler character and Cole's struggle to understand his new powers and the menace he was fighting. By comparison, the plot here feels a bit scattered. The first game's morality system returns here, and while you generate small amounts of good or bad karma by the way you behave in combat and such, the big story-related moral decisions boil down to fairly contrived freeze-frame button prompts. These choices really only act as gateways to which cutscenes you see and which powers you get to access (and, in a few cases, which missions you have available), though again, I couldn't help picking the good option in every case on my first playthrough.

At least New Marais is much more visually interesting than the grey grit of Empire City, not least because it's a pleasure town rife with neon-lined casinos and brothels, and marked by some authentic-looking architecture. More generally, Sucker Punch has also broadened the game's color palette, enriching the game's look with brilliant orange-red sunsets and other elements that make the game more interesting to look at. Best of all, the first game's spotty frame rate has mostly been corrected here, making for a more fluid experience.

In direct contrast to the lovely visual presentation, there's a bizarre lack of sound work in almost every area of the game. Out in the open world you'd expect to hear way more ambient sound than the occasional murmur of a passerby or honking car that's here. Crickets, the rumble of a passing streetcar, the lapping of the water that surrounds the city, even some basic white noise--any and all of those things would have made the world feel busier and more alive, but none of them are consistently there. There's a similar dearth of sound design in places ranging from the abilities menu to major dramatic cutscenes. That might sound like a nitpick, but you don't realize how necessary good sound is until you take some of it away.

With a whopping 40 story missions, 60 side missions, hundreds of power-enabling blast shards to collect, and endless minor street crimes to prevent (or commit), Infamous 2 is already chockablock with content. So in a sense, it almost doesn't matter whether the game's user-generated mission framework is actually any good or not. But it is. There's a pretty easy-to-use mission editor in here that lets you work from a template or start with a blank slate to create all kinds of custom missions that focus on combat, physics puzzles, or even basic narrative-driven scenarios. People are already making some pretty elaborate missions, but of course there are also the requisite short obstacle courses designed to quickly net you a bunch of trophies and the requisite recreations of Super Mario Bros.' 1-1. The best part about Infamous 2's user-made content is that you can see as much or as little of it as you want. The game makes it simple to filter which missions show up in your world based on a broad range of criteria, or just disable it all completely. There's already an argument to be made in favor of playing the game through twice on good and evil paths, and since the user missions let you earn karma and experience just like the story ones, their value is evergreen.

Whatever complaints you might make about the ways Infamous 2 could be better, the core of the game is so much fun that it's inarguably worth playing. It's only because the series has so much potential, and already makes good on so much of that potential, that I feel compelled to point out those faults at all. The day we see an Infamous 3 that makes good on everything this series could be, well, that will be an exciting day.

Brad Shoemaker on Google+
84 Comments
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Posted by mracoon

If I had a PS3 I'd get this.

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Posted by Funger

The caption for this review is shockingly bad.

Posted by shadowwolf9

Playing the first one at the moment. Will definitely pick this up in the future!

Posted by PeasForFees
@Funger said:
The caption for this review is shockingly bad.
It's only a quick jolt.
Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials

Another easy 5 stars from Brad. What a fanboy.

OH WAIT

Posted by Apollo87

So far the best game I've played this year.

Posted by MooseyMcMan

I concur, the game is pretty fantastic. 

Posted by Enigma777

About the score I was expecting. Personally I'm really enjoying though even though I had to start from scratch after losing my nearly-completed save file. If you liked the first one, then it's a must-buy!

Posted by Benny

The most electrifying game in video game entertainment?

Posted by gunslingerNZ

Can't wait until I get to play this. The first inFamous was the most fun I've had with a video game in a very long time.

Posted by Rolento

Truly an awesome game. Loved the first and am having a fantastic time with the sequel. Brad's nitpicks are right on the money. It's not a perfect game, but it is certainly one of the best of the generation in my opinion.

Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials

I agree with this review, except I would have also mentioned that the music is really good. I didn't notice the sound design issues myself, but I think the music should make up for them somewhat.

Posted by JTB123

I would love to give it 5 stars, the UGC stuff is amazing and I the more I learn the more I enjoy it. But still, I do agree with Brad here, there's just too many little things that detract from an otherwise amazingly well crafted experience.

Posted by Jayross

Great review; I can't wait to open my copy and get started.

Posted by Jayross

Also, is Brad saying they... "jumped the shock"?

Edited by whatisdelicious

This is one of those cases where I'm really glad Giant Bomb supports the philosophy of "get to know us so you'll know whether to agree with us or not," because I totally disagree with some of Brad's complaints here. If I wasn't familiar with how awful Brad is at most video games, I might think that this game is way too hard. But those shotgun guys? Just be alert. Explore your powers. Don't get backed into a corner. Look at your minimap to tell where the enemies are and if any are fast-approaching. DODGE. There are PLENTY of ways to combat them.

And on the whole, InFamous 2's moral choices are WAY better than the first game's. The ones Brad is criticizing don't feel contrived at all. There's no other way to do those, and they're no different than Mass Effect or whatever. Just instead of rotating your analog stick, you're hitting a button. No difference.

Also, the sound design thing really isn't that big of a deal. Yeah, it'd be cool to hear more stuff going on, but most of the time, you won't even think about it unless someone (like Patrick in the Quick Look) points it out.

By and large, this is one of the best games I've ever played. Seriously. I love it. Brad recommends it too, but I just wanted to point out that a lot of the things he's saying are faults are totally fine and anyone considering the game shouldn't get hung up on them.

Posted by whatisdelicious

@Apollo87 said:

So far the best game I've played this year.

Totally agree. And some of the games this year have been pretty amazing already. This is going to be an awesome year, unless everything in holiday that's supposed to be amazing ends up disappointing.

Posted by Phoenix87

I've started playing the first one since it was free, and it is fantastic. Probably won't play part 2 for a while.

Posted by natetodamax

@PeasForFees said:

@Funger said:
The caption for this review is shockingly bad.
It's only a quick jolt.
Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials

@whatisdelicious said:

If I wasn't familiar with how awful Brad is at most video games

...Are you?

Posted by RVonE

@whatisdelicious said:

Also, the sound design thing really isn't that big of a deal. Yeah, it'd be cool to hear more stuff going on, but most of the time, you won't even think about it unless someone (like Patrick in the Quick Look) points it out.

By and large, this is one of the best games I've ever played. Seriously. I love it. Brad recommends it too, but I just wanted to point out that a lot of the things he's saying are faults are totally fine and anyone considering the game shouldn't get hung up on them.

The sound design issue IS a fault and is not fine. It's a reviewers task to point out stuff like that. I'm still enjoying inFamous 2, but saying it's totally fine is just silly.

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Posted by Brad

@528seven said:

@whatisdelicious said:

If I wasn't familiar with how awful Brad is at most video games

...Are you?

He'd like to think he is, sure.

Staff
Posted by fkinthecoffee

Fair review. The lack of sound was something that really stood out for me during the first few hours of gameplay. It's especially shame because the music they have in the game is really good, but far too often you'll have a mission with nothing playing on the background. It really takes away from the experience.

Posted by Chuck_

I didn't call this one right. :(

I'm enjoying this game, even having only played it for a few hours, a lot more then inFamous. Unfortunately, issues I had with the first game are still there like the sub-par acting and story telling and terrible excuses for pedestrians.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

I was a huge fan of the first game, but was slightly disappointed by the demo of this one.

Eventually decided to pick it up anyway and I'm glad I did. A lot of the changes (particularly to Cole) really bothered me at first, but they've mostly grown on me. The amp was something I really hated at first, but now can't imagine Cole without. My only real complaint now is like Brad said, the lack of refinement. It really does just feel like more of the first game, which isn't really a bad thing.. but when you look at sequels like Assassins Creed 2, Uncharted 2, etc, it's a bit disappointing that this wasn't a bigger leap.

Posted by Zimbo

I love the game and think it is a lot better than the first (which I loved too) however I do agree with pretty much everything in the review. The game definitely isn't perfect.

Edited by whatisdelicious

@528seven said:

@whatisdelicious said:

If I wasn't familiar with how awful Brad is at most video games

...Are you?

Considering how many Quick Looks they've posted, not to mention an entire Deadly Premonition Endurance Run where Brad's at the helm, yeah.

@RVonE said:

@whatisdelicious said:

he's saying are faults are totally fine and anyone considering the game shouldn't get hung up on them.

The sound design issue IS a fault and is not fine. It's a reviewers task to point out stuff like that. I'm still enjoying inFamous 2, but saying it's totally fine is just silly.

Have you played it? I'm 1/3 through my second playthrough and I still don't notice it being too quiet unless I'm specifically looking for it. If you're just standing in the city doing nothing but trying to listen for sound, yeah, it's a little weird. But most of the time, you're too busy doing stuff to notice, or care. I'm not saying it's an invalid thing to point out; I'm just saying that if anyone thinks it's a major flaw that might give them second thoughts about buying the game, don't worry about it.

I just think that some of the complaints are a bit too nitpicky. Like if people think it feels too similar to the first, they're probably pretty early in. By the end of that game, you're doing things that make the first game feel archaic.

Posted by RVonE

@whatisdelicious said:

@RVonE said:

@whatisdelicious said:

he's saying are faults are totally fine and anyone considering the game shouldn't get hung up on them.

The sound design issue IS a fault and is not fine. It's a reviewers task to point out stuff like that. I'm still enjoying inFamous 2, but saying it's totally fine is just silly.

Have you played it? I'm 1/3 through my second playthrough and I still don't notice it being too quiet unless I'm specifically looking for it. If you're just standing in the city doing nothing but trying to listen for sound, yeah, it's a little weird. But most of the time, you're too busy doing stuff to notice, or care. I'm not saying it's an invalid thing to point out; I'm just saying that if anyone thinks it's a major flaw that might give them second thoughts about buying the game, don't worry about it.

Why would anyone worry about it when the game is receiving good reviews across the board (including Brad's)?

Online
Posted by Marokai

Brad in the podcast: "Yeah Infamous 2 is better than the first Infamous."
 
Brad's review: "4 stars!"
 
I don't say anything to detract from the review itself, I merely comment on reviews from time to time when I see an odd split between the reviewer's own personal opinion and the more objective side of him that then forces him in to either downgrading or upgrading the score depending on his feeling on how others perceive the game. Are reviews personal opinions, as so many, including reviewers themselves, keep defending them as, or are they not, and will reviewers finally admit it? I don't know when any of that will happen, but, for now, it's interesting to look at each time there's a new review here.

Edited by whatisdelicious

@RVonE said:

Why would anyone worry about it when the game is receiving good reviews across the board (including Brad's)?

Hey, people can be pretty stingy with their money sometimes. They hear one or two flaws and they write a game off. Brad says at the end that most of those things don't matter at all, but he spends a lot of time discussing them. I know people who probably wouldn't even make it to the end of the review. It's frustrating because they're missing out on an awesome experience, but 4/5 stars instead of 5/5 and a couple of nitpicks is enough to get them to put away their wallets.

Posted by EpicReflex

I thought the first game sucked - incredibly annoying characters - lame powers that simply imitated standard TPS weaponry - shitty story - boring/frustrating traversal - and it was ugly. This the sequel looked good in all its trailers and build up, then i watched the quick-look and it was basically the same game, save a few additional powers, which admittedly looked cool, and a different city. 
 
I suspect the Prototype sequel will like it's predecessor be a more entertaining game.

Posted by mutha3
@Zimbo said:
I love the game and think it is a lot better than the first (which I loved too) however I do agree with pretty much everything in the review. The game definitely isn't perfect.
Yep. 4 stars sounds about right for this game after finishing it.
 
But 5 did not for Infamous 1 back in the day. I can't help but feel that Brad sometimes jumps the gun a bit with games he really likes.
Posted by SaturdayNightSpecials

@whatisdelicious said:

@528seven said:

@whatisdelicious said:

If I wasn't familiar with how awful Brad is at most video games

...Are you?

Considering how many Quick Looks they've posted, not to mention an entire Deadly Premonition Endurance Run where Brad's at the helm, yeah.

I think it's pretty well-established by now that being on camera and expected to talk degrades one's skills at games.

Brad may very well not be as skilled as the rest of the editors, but since you've never seen him play a game off camera, and since he seems to enjoy hard games as much as the next person (Doom 2, Super Meat Boy, etc.) you really can't credibly act like that negates his opinions.

I could even make the assumption that you're better at Infamous than the average person and that devalues your opinion, which would be just as valid as what you're saying.

Posted by betterboulder

Just finished the game and I loved it. It's a must have. My only regret is that I flew through it too fast.

Posted by whatisdelicious

@528seven: But I'm not saying that invalidates his opinion. I'm saying that it means it doesn't apply to me, which is why I love this website. Jeff said in one of the E3 streams (Day 2 with Jaffe I think) that he wants to be able to write a review and have a GB user COMPLETELY disagree with him, but because they know him and his tastes and what he's like, still be able to make an accurate decision. That's precisely what happened here.

Posted by whatisdelicious

@EpicReflex said:

then i watched the quick-look and it was basically the same game, save a few additional powers, which admittedly looked cool, and a different city. I suspect the Prototype sequel will like it's predecessor be a more entertaining game.

By the end of the game, the powers you have are ridiculous compared to the first game's powers. Traversal is way, way improved by some of them. Not going to spoil what they are, but they blew my mind with some of those powers. And I'll agree that every character in InFamous 1 was bad. But here? Kind of the opposite. You should give it a rental at least.

Posted by rmanthorp

I want a PS3 so bad :<

Moderator Online
Edited by SaturdayNightSpecials

@whatisdelicious said:

@528seven: But I'm not saying that invalidates his opinion. I'm saying that it means it doesn't apply to me, which is why I love this website. Jeff said in one of the E3 streams (Day 2 with Jaffe I think) that he wants to be able to write a review and have a GB user COMPLETELY disagree with him, but because they know him and his tastes and what he's like, still be able to make an accurate decision. That's precisely what happened here.

And I agree with that, but you seemed to present your rebuttal almost as a correction rather than an alternate opinion.

It's great for people to disagree, but in the end neither you or Brad are able to tell anyone what their experience with the game will be. Maybe the things Brad complained about will be "totally fine" for someone else, maybe they won't. I certainly have moments of frustration with the combat, and even if there is a way to go about it more effectively, the game hasn't really suggested how to do that, so the result is the same. If I were writing a review I wouldn't hold that impression back just because I could theoretically have improved my strategy and eliminated the issue. Since like you said, knowing the reviewers helps people get more out of the reviews, a person should be able to look at that complaint and get an impression of whether it applies to them or not.

Posted by Undeadpool

One of the things I really liked about this was they gave Cole MUCH more of a personality. In the first game he was just this gravelly, gruff-voiced, generic anti-hero, but this new voice actor's given him something of a twang and a bit more of a sarcastic delivery. He's kind of a redneck now, which is cool cause it's SOMEthing to latch onto personality-wise.

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Posted by dragonzord

He beat Super Meat Boy and did almost all of the bandages. Playing infront of a camera and talking to people while playing a game is totally different than playing by yourself. It's like saying someone's bad at Math because they get equations wrong because someone's having a conversation with them at the same time

@whatisdelicious said:

@528seven said:

@whatisdelicious said:

If I wasn't familiar with how awful Brad is at most video games

...Are you?

Considering how many Quick Looks they've posted, not to mention an entire Deadly Premonition Endurance Run where Brad's at the helm, yeah.

Posted by TheMailToad

I definitely agree about the story of the game. I never was as engrossed with anything going on as I was in the first Infamous, and im not compelled at all to play through it again on evil, something I did immediately after finishing the first game.

Posted by doejonathan
@Marokai said:
Brad in the podcast: "Yeah Infamous 2 is better than the first Infamous."
 
Brad's review: "4 stars!"
 
I don't say anything to detract from the review itself, I merely comment on reviews from time to time when I see an odd split between the reviewer's own personal opinion and the more objective side of him that then forces him in to either downgrading or upgrading the score depending on his feeling on how others perceive the game. Are reviews personal opinions, as so many, including reviewers themselves, keep defending them as, or are they not, and will reviewers finally admit it? I don't know when any of that will happen, but, for now, it's interesting to look at each time there's a new review here.  
While it may seem like a contradiction, you have to factor in originality. A game may be more polished, have more variety in gameplay or a better story than it's predecessor, therefore be deemed as a better product overall, if the added quality isn't suffice to overcome repetition within a franchise, the score can end up being lower.  
It can still be a reviewer's opinion if he feels the developers shouldn't be lauded for unimaginative game design.  
Posted by onan

@Marokai said:

Brad in the podcast: "Yeah Infamous 2 is better than the first Infamous."

Brad's review: "4 stars!"

I don't say anything to detract from the review itself, I merely comment on reviews from time to time when I see an odd split between the reviewer's own personal opinion and the more objective side of him that then forces him in to either downgrading or upgrading the score depending on his feeling on how others perceive the game. Are reviews personal opinions, as so many, including reviewers themselves, keep defending them as, or are they not, and will reviewers finally admit it? I don't know when any of that will happen, but, for now, it's interesting to look at each time there's a new review here.

Everything is about context. I agree completely. 5 stars for the first game, and 4 for the second game, even though it's technically better than the first game as a game. Sometimes more of the same just isn't good enough, even if it's improved. For every Uncharted, there's a Core-designed Tomb Raider franchise resting on its laurels and hoping no one notices. I'm hoping InFamous steers more toward the former than the latter with its next iteration.

Posted by onan

@Undeadpool said:

One of the things I really liked about this was they gave Cole MUCH more of a personality. In the first game he was just this gravelly, gruff-voiced, generic anti-hero, but this new voice actor's given him something of a twang and a bit more of a sarcastic delivery. He's kind of a redneck now, which is cool cause it's SOMEthing to latch onto personality-wise.

Really..? I couldn't stand the voice actor they got. He goes from tolerable to sounding ridiculous at the drop of a hat. After finding out he's the same guy that was cast to voice the original E3 re-design of Cole and instructed to sound more gruff after they reverted due to fan outcry, it makes sense. He's got a friendly nice guy voice, and most people never sound good when they force themselves to try to sound like a badass.

Also, redneck bike messenger from NYC? That's just an error on their part.

Hopefully they fix it in inFamous 3.

Posted by Cazamalos

loving it

Posted by Marokai
@doejonathan:  I can understand factoring in originality and all that jazz, but if we're going to start talking about originality I feel like that opens a can of worms that people could still knitpick over. "You said you like originality but you gave THIS a 5 star review and THIS a 3 star review!" Not saying that originality doesn't matter or anything like that, but there's a lot of review vs. stated personal opinion contradictions all over plenty of reviews on this site, and others.
Posted by samcotts

Great review.

I'm yet to play, but I'll make sure to in the next couple of months.

It does annoy me how Sucker Punch are throwing so much potential away with a weak plot, uninteresting protagonist, and unlikable surrounding characters. Like I said, yet to play it, but I'm getting the impression all of those things are correct. And it's such a shame to see it wasted when the inFamous games play amazingly well, and I love the idea of playing as a new, electric-driven superhero that doesn't have all that baggage that a superhero who's been around for 20+ years has. Sucker Punch could have done some amazing things with it.

Bring me an inFamous game with a Bioware-level narrative and characters, then we're talking about a mind blowingly good game.

Posted by ChrisInCali

Played through this, and enjoyed it.  It's basically the first game, but prettier and with big ass monsters.  Good review.

Posted by MisterMouse

Hopefully they really do some cool stuff with Infamous 3 because I feel like this is a game that should catch on more with people more so than it is.

Posted by Greenlight13

I respectfully disagree with Brad on this one. I think inFamous 2 is superior in inFamous in every single way. The plot in the first felt somewhat inconsequential as Kessler just popped up at random and it wasn't until he killed Trish and started calling you that you got any sense of attachment to him. The first time you really see anything from Sasha is when you fight her. There was a tendency to just set a threat down in front of you moments before you deal with it and expect you to care. The Beast and to a lesser extent Bertrand are build up through the entire of inFamous 2 and the former in particular is very formidable.
 
The actual way the story is told is strong in the sequel too, with actual cutscenes, dynamically different events based on your moral choices (especially the final boss and ending), and just flat-out better characters. Cole was a gravel voiced generic action man in the first, here he maintains his badassery but is also has a light-hearted and at times funny side to him (the phone scene on the roof near the end). Zeke was just plain annoying in the first, whereas here he has some heart to him and the pair's bond near the end really got me. Kuo makes for a better companion than John and Moya in the first game, heck even Bertrand & The Beast had some nice compelling motivations. Everybody just seems far more human. The good ending is the first video game in yeaaars that's actually touched me on an emotional level.
 
The side missions are pretty much entirely different from each other, as opposed to the repeating types in the first, and some of them have some pretty unique stories to them rather than the generic originals. The karma related stuff is also better in my opinion, and you can call the press button A for this choice, and button B for this one contrived, but you're choosing from two clear-cut thoughts in his head, nothing wrong with that. Heck the first game featured just as much of this. There's multiple opportunities to dramatically change your alignment too.
 
The lingering blast shards aren't as impossible to track down, melee is actually fun, the graphics are better, the locations are better, there's a far greater sense of scale, the enemies are more dynamic, and your powers are better.
 
I will admit the sound is somewhat lacking, not so much the ambient sound, but a lack of subtle music as a backdrop. But hey, you make so much noise getting around and shooting stuff you don't notice unless you're standing still. There are still dudes with 'unfair' range and rocket launchers, but hey, if that didn't happen you'd just completely own everything. I never felt I was being cheated by the combat. And I'd put the climbing mechanics up there against any open world game, including Assassin's Creed.
 
So yeah, in all, I think this is a much, MUCH better game, and the only thing working against it is the fact it didn't come first.

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