Sucker Punch Delivers More inFamous
inFamous 2 is very much like the first, but it changes just enough to create a worthwhile experience. You play as Cole MacGrath, an electrically charged super human in a well done open world. inFamous is a brilliant mixture of urban traversal and third person shooting. Cole’s lightning abilities feel very fluid and accurate, while on the other hand the cover mechanics don’t always work as intended. In addition to the third person shooting inFamous 2 puts a greater emphasis on melee combat. In the first game Cole could attack enemies with his electrified fists, but now he can pull a weapon off of his back and do a serious amount of damage. Each melee hit fills a bar on the bottom left hand side of the screen. When the bar fills Cole can unleash a brutal finishing move on his foes.
The addition of Fire and Ice powers are the largest change to the combat of inFamous 2. At a certain point in the story the player can choose whether they want fire or ice powers in addition to their electricity. The downside to these powers is that you must replace one of your electric powers if you want to use them. They’re all just variations on the normal electrical powers, so they don’t add anything overly new to the experience. While they’re a cool addition they don’t feel as fluid or powerful as the electrical powers. It seemed as if Sucker Punch wanted to make these powers much bigger and important than they ended up being. There are characters with these powers that will accompany Cole on certain missions. They will use their powers on enemies, which will allow for Cole to deal extra damage. The teammates weren’t very well implemented. They would end up attacking enemies that were nowhere near me, which made team attacks almost impossible, and they would only show up in random missions. Since the combat is so fluid and well done there isn’t really a need for teammates anyways.
To match up with the excellent combat, the traversal of Infamous 2’s open world is also well done. In the original inFamous the player had to work to unlock Cole’s powers such as gliding, and grinding on rails. inFamous 2 skips this step by giving the player those powers immediately, which makes the traversal easier from the start of the game. The climbing in inFamous 2 is largely the same as the first. Cole will automatically gravitate towards the nearest foothold. This can become a problem when trying to jump to specific ledges or even trying to jump off of somewhere. One thing I still find weird is that Sucker Punch clearly just used the Sly Cooper tech for climbing buildings. Cole even bends his body like sly does when perching himself on top of something. The problems with the climbing don’t always happen, so it doesn’t really detract from the experience.
The open world is much more diverse than that of the first. The side missions are much more varied than in the first. Blast shards are alive and well, and they’re much easier to find than they were in the first. Dead drops return as well. This time they’re pigeons that Cole must shoot down in order to retrieve the audio recordings. There also random karma events around the world and some of them grant blast shards. If you’re good you can disarm a bomb to retrieve a shard. On the other hand if you’re evil you can chase down a civilian who has a blast shard and beat them until they give it up.
The Karma system in inFamous 2 is just as contrived as it was in the original. There are good and bad choices around the map which are marked by color. Helping people is good, and killing them is bad. The choices are so black and white that it’s painful. One interesting addition is that certain missions split into being good or being bad. Depending on which you choose you will play a different mission. The karma in inFamous 2 is somehow even more black and white than it was in the first. Instead of just making the choices yourself you have Kuo and Nix to tell you whether or not you’re doing the good or evil thing. One of them embodies good, while the other embodies evil choices, which is a poor choice. While they are both cool characters they shouldn’t act like the angel and devil sitting on Cole’s shoulders.
The story of inFamous 2 starts off shortly after where the first one left off. Without spoiling anything I will say that Cole has to move south to New Marais. New Marais is much more colorful than Empire city in the first game, which is a welcome change. The new art style makes the game look much more like a comic book. The story starts off strong, but it seems to lose steam shortly after. The story is interesting, but the missions seem randomly strung together for the first half of the game. The story of the game isn’t bad, but sometimes it seems more like a series of happenings than a thought out plot. The stakes are much higher than in the first inFamous, but the story doesn’t seem to pack the same punch. I don’t want to discuss the story too much, but all you need to know is that it’s alright.
inFamous 2 introduces user made levels. You are only suggested to play one user made level, so you can go through the entire game without ever doing one. I really wanted to like the user made levels, but they were all awful. At first I thought that it was just that users hadn't learned the tools yet, but the levels Sucker Punch created weren't any good either. I don't say this because I didn't enjoy the levels, but because of of 30 user created levels I played only 2 that didn't glitch out on me in some way. The tools are easy to use once you get the hang of them, so I truly hope that these levels increase in quality once the game has been out for a while longer. The user made content won't prolong the life of the game if it's no good.
Overall inFamous 2 is a very fun experience in a well realized comic book-like world. Sucker Punch didn’t change much, but they didn’t really need to. I know it seemed like I was down on the whole thing, but I actually enjoyed it quite a bit. I still wish they had done just a bit more to it. This adventure will take you about 20-30 hours to finish and then you can go back and collect everything you missed. If you liked inFamous and can get over the fact that Cole kind of looks like a grown up Bobby Hill you will most likely enjoy this game.