Cole in inFamous
Cole MacGrath was a simple bike messenger before delivering a mysterious package called the Ray Sphere that changed his life forever. After the explosion, the city believed that Cole was the one who triggered the blast and labeled him as a terrorist. He is then stuck in a dying city controlled by gangs with his girlfriend, Trish, that despises him and blames him for the death of her sister. Zeke, Cole's best friend, is also stuck in the city. As time goes on, Zeke becomes envious and longs for his own powers.
At the beginning of the game, Cole meets an FBI agent named Moya. She promises that if Cole is able to find a certain Ray Sphere and another agent named John, she will release him and his friends from the quarantine that was imposed on the city by the government. Cole uses this as the main motivation in his fight.
Cole proceeds to follow Moya's missions, restoring power to the city and fighting off the various gangs that have taken it over. As he comes to interact with Sasha, Alden, and Kessler, he learns that Kessler displaced Alden from the leadership of the First Sons and initiated construction of the Ray Sphere, while rejecting Sasha's attempts at romance. Cole is able to defeat Sasha and capture Alden, but during a breakout attempt by the Dust Men, Zeke's own heroism allows Alden to go free, much to Cole's irritation.
Cole is finally able to track down John, but learns that John is neither from the FBI nor Moya's husband, but rather an undercover NSA agent who assisted in the creation of the Ray Sphere. John explains that the Ray Sphere consumes the bio-energy from those around it and transfers that power to the person holding it, granting them super abilities at the cost of thousands of lives, and urges Cole to help him find and destroy it.
Cole and Zeke track down Alden, who has recovered the Ray Sphere; Cole is able to distract Alden long enough for Zeke to recover it. However, Zeke realizes that he could gain superpowers himself through the Sphere and attempts to activate it, but nothing happens. Kessler shows up and offers to help Zeke fix the Ray Sphere to gain powers; Zeke agrees and departs with Kessler, taking the Ray Sphere with him. Alden goes on a killing spree while heading into the Historic District. After a long battle, Alden is defeated and jumps off the bridge. During the battle, Alden destroyed huge sections of the bridge.
Cole discovers that Kessler has kidnapped Trish along with six other doctors, and forces Cole to choose between saving her or the other doctors. Regardless of the player's choice, Kessler has arranged for Trish to fall to her death, but is briefly revived by Cole. If the player has good Karma, Trish will be proud of Cole and profess her love, while if the player has bad Karma, she will curse his name with her dying breath. After mourning loss, Cole works with John to find the Ray Sphere; the player can opt to destroy it or use it to further enhance Cole's powers, but either option causes the Ray Sphere to malfunction, disintegrating John. Cole goes to face Kessler at ground zero of the original explosion. As they fight, Zeke appears and tries to intervene but is tossed aside by Kessler. Cole eventually mortally wounds Kessler, and tries to seek answers for Trish's death from him. Kessler uses his last moments to implant his memories into Cole's mind, revealing that Kessler is actually a version of Cole from the future of an alternate timeline.
In that timeline, Cole and Trish were happily wed with children, but soon the appearance of a superpowered entity known as "the Beast", a being of cataclysmic strength and ability, plunged the world into chaos. Cole had naturally developed superpowers in this reality, but he fled with Trish and their children rather than attempt to fight for fear that his family might be caught in the crossfire. Eventually, there was nowhere left to run, and the Beast, now so powerful that no force on Earth could stop him, eventually caught up to them and slaughtered Cole's family. Grieving, he realized the only way to stop the Beast would be to jump back in time and better prepare his past self for battle.
Under the alias "Kessler", he seized control of the First Sons from Alden, shunning Sasha's advances due to his past love for Trish, and ordered the construction of the Ray Sphere much earlier than in his previous timeline. Kessler was also the anonymous customer that instructed his younger self to deliver it. Even though he still loved Trish, Kessler arranged for her death so that Cole would never be able to choose a loving family over the safety of the world. After Kessler dies, Cole declares his hatred for Kessler, but promises that he will be ready for the Beast.
After the incident, Cole gains the ability to manipulate and create electricity. Throughout Cole's fight in Empire City he gains several new powers, such a electric grenades, induction grinding and polarity shields. Cole's powers vary according to the player's choice. One of the game's themes (and a theme found in most super hero stories) is what does a man do when he has incredible abilities.
In the game, Cole can use his powers however he wants, Empire City is in his hands. If he chooses to help, to be a super hero, his electric powers are more precise and blue. If he chooses to take advantage of the situation and be evil, his powers inflict more damage and are of a reddish color.
Cole's powers can also change the way he looks and the city looks. If he chooses to be evil, he'll be all pale and ghost like. if he uses his powers for the greater good, the city will start to rebuild itself.
Cole doesn't have an unlimited amount of electricity stored in him. He can run out and when this happens he must find a source of electricity (a generator for example). Because of his powers, he can't swim and if someone is in the same puddle than him, they will get shocked.
Cole in inFamous 2
Cole's character was redesigned for inFamous 2 and given a new voice. The developers stated they wanted Cole's design to be friendlier and make the characters better connected with the players. The changes have been criticized and many prefer the original design. In fact, the newer Cole was so criticized that Sucker Punch decided to make Cole look more like he did in the original. It has been commented by Sucker Punch that replacing the original voice actor for Cole wasn't because they were dissatisfied with Jason Cottle's performance, it was merely because of a scheduling issue that rendered Cottle unable to reprise the role. Cole will have a new set of powers including his lightning powers from the original game.
Cole in Festival of Blood
Cole returns in the stand-alone downloadable game inFamous 2: Festival of Blood, in which he is bitten by a vampire, and gains new powers related to his transformation into a creature of the night.
Cole has appeared in Naughty Dog's Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as part of the "Heroes of Playstation" DLC in the PSN store. "Cole MacGrath", with the Hero appearance, appears on the Heroes team in team-based modes, and "Evil Cole", with the Infamous appearance, appears on the Villains team.
Cole also appears as a bonus character in the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita versions of Street Fighter x Tekken, where he has a ludicrously over-muscled appearance, to fit in better with the other characters, and wears the neutral outfit from inFamous 2.
In the LittleBigPlanet series, Cole MacGrath can be used as a purchasable costume, based on both his original and second appearances, and in both karmas. The Cross-Buy DLC nature of the series allows Cole to appear in both LittleBigPlanet 2, LittleBigPlanet Vita and as a racer in LittleBigPlanet Karting.
Both Cole and "Evil" Cole are playable on the crossover fighting game PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale.