InFAMOUS 2 is one hell of a game, and while I really liked the first game, I felt like it was missing something. At the time I didn’t quite know what it was, but after playing through inFAMOUS 2, I now know what that thing was… SOUL! As good as inFAMOUS was, I didn’t feel that the characters or story told were overly compelling. Sure Cole had some awesome powers, was a bit of a badass, and had this huge burden to bear, but when the game was over did you really care? Probably not because in the first game Sucker Punch didn’t do a whole lot to make you really connect with Cole, they focused more on creating a massive landscape that would allow you to use Cole’s powers in unique and awesome ways. InFAMOUS 2 does both, creating characters and a story that are compelling and complex, while not losing sight of the core components that made the first game so great.
InFAMOUS 2 picks up where the original game left off and get rights to the action. The game opens in Empire City, which is still devastated by the events of the first game. Suddenly, a massive explosion tears through the city destroying everything in its path. Cole, Zeke, and Kuo narrowly escape the destruction and Cole gets into an awesome opening boss battle with “The Beast”. The group then heads to New Marais in search of a scientist, who is said to hold the secret to giving Cole the ability to defeat “The Beast”. For now they have managed to put some distance between them and “The Beast”, but he is closing fast as he tears a path of destruction down the coast line. But be warned, almost nothing is as it seems, and just about everyone has an ulterior motive.
In terms of gameplay it seems that Sucker Punch’s goal here was to go bigger and better on just about everything. If you thought that Cole had some awesome and devastating powers in the first game, trust me you haven’t seen anything yet. Depending on whether you choose to be FAMOUS or inFAMOUS, the types of powers you will develop will be different, but they will all be awesome. You use XP you collect from various actions to buy new powers once you meet the criteria to unlock it. I was a little down on this aspect because it basically forced you to check the menu to see what the unlock criteria was, and then you could go about doing it. For folks who like to collect things and unlock it, this won’t be out of the ordinary, but for folks who just like to play through, it could be a mild annoyance. The game does have a cover system, but you won’t use it that much.
This is one area I think the game improves on what was already a pretty nice system. One of the big complaints from the first game was a lack of melee combat ability for Cole, which in close quarters puts the player at a disadvantage a lot of the time. InFAMOUS 2 solves that with the introduction of “The Amp”, a weapon that Cole can use to channel his electricity and bash enemies with. Let’s just say that this comes in handy quite often and through the use of linking and finishing moves, the results can be absolutely devastating. Cole’s electrical powers are rather deadly. No matter which path the player takes, they will have access to a multitude of devastating attacks. The game features both mini-boss battles and regular boss battles. You will have to use everything in your arsenal to take them down. The only advice I can give for handling most bosses is to be patient, listen for instructions on how best to attack them, and if you are around an ample electrical supply, give them everything you got, recharge, and then do it all over again until you take them down…PERMANENTLY.
InFAMOUS 2 does have a few moments where it falls off just a bit though. The first is in respect to how much voltage is in each one of Cole’s fire bolts, because it takes an inordinate amount of them to drop even normal enemies. Another issue I had was that the aiming system is still a little too sensitive. I know this isn’t a shooter, but I wish the controls were just a bit tighter.
Ultimately, I think that inFAMOUS 2 delivers on just about everything that a gamer could want. The game has a great story and gives the player a lot more insight into what is happening than the first game did. It has deep and compelling characters like Kuo, Nix, and Betrand, who each have some interesting secrets of their own. Sucker Punch did a great job of telling each of their stories in a way that the player will understand and relate to. InFAMOUS 2 has some absolutely intense action and challenges the player, but not to the point of frustration. The game doesn’t have a multiplayer component, but for those of you with a creative side, the User Generated Content (UGC) system adds a new component to gameplay allowing average players to create missions that other players can play and then rate.
For those of you looking for a game to sink dozens of hours into, you have found it. Between the core narrative, side missions, dead drops, UGC missions, and other collection based task, you could absolutely put over 100 hours in on this game. Critics will be hard pressed to find things not to like about inFAMOUS 2. Sucker Punch delivered the kind of sequel that you always hope for, but hardly ever get. InFAMOUS 2 should definitely be on your buy list. We give inFAMOUS 2 9 out of 10.