inFamous 2 released exclusively on the PlayStation 3 last week but you may not have heard too much about it because the E3 video game expo overshadowed everything else in gaming.
That’s too bad because this is a really good game that improves on the first one and introduces some quality elements to the franchise.
It’s one of those games that every PS3 owner should at least try. inFamous 2 is developed by Sucker Punch and is rated T for teen. It retails at $59.99.
I don’t typically care too much about graphics, except when a game looks so horrible that it has to be mentioned. inFamous 2 is not that game.
Sucker Punch really upgraded every visual aspect of the game. The cinematic scenes look amazing and the world Cole maneuvers in looks far better than it did in the first.
inFamous 2 picks up where the first one left off. Only this time Cole has to face a massive enemy known only as “The Beast,” which is basically a supernatural being that destroys everything in his path.
Cole’s overall mission is to destroy this beast. But Sucker Punch gets Cole to that point by sending him through a story that involves meeting new people, learning new skills and making moral decisions along the way.
The game’s backdrop is an open-world that let’s you decide when to progress through the story. You have the option of doing side missions or just climbing, gliding, and sliding along the city’s infrastructure.
What separates this game from other adventure titles, though, is how it combines everything so smoothly. Cole learns more about him capabilities and moral limits but never really loses sight of the overall mission.
Many sandbox games will often let you descend into a never-ending string of pointless side missions or quests. That makes it easy to lose sight of the overall narrative thread.
Sucker Punch gives us options but not so much that you go to far without building Cole’s physical powers and emotional makeup.
I do wish the moral decisions were a little more challenging and allowed for more options. One of the key things about inFamous is deciding whether to build your evil or good karma. Different skills unlock depending on which side you pick. It’s pretty much impossible, though, to fill either meter if you decide midway to switch sides.
That means you’ll more than likely automatically make decisions based off which karma meter you decided to fill. So you won’t really feel a connection to the results.
The basic idea is that Cole is deciding to either save humanity or destroy it. But I really never felt the weight of that while making the decisions.
Cole’s super powers are based off electricity. He still manipulates it into grenades and bolts, for instance. But there are a few surprises along the way as you work though the missions and unlock variations of electric abilities and different types of powers all together.
What that means is that Cole still has some really cool powers. Unfortunately, Cole’s overall weakness is still there. Playing the middle difficulty, I found that Cole was routinely overpowered by a group of bad guys. Few of his powers are useful for crowd control and he tends to take more damage than he inflicts.
So you’ll have to run around a good bit to let his health regeneration and to recharge his powers using nearby electrical sources.
That doesn’t really take too much away from how great it is to wield electricity. It just means you’ll have to duck behind cover more than you might want to.
Build your own
Perhaps the biggest feature added to inFamous 2 is the mission creation tool. With it, you can build your own level from scratch or tweak existing templates. The options to this tool are impressive and it’s obvious that the developer wants gamers to create their own experience.
Some of those missions or games already created are really fun to play. My problem with the tool is that I think it will be far too difficult for most gamers to understand. It took me hours before I felt comfortable enough to create my own mission. Even then I didn’t save it because it was horrible.
This is the kind of thing that more developers should let gamers do. But I think Sucker Punch could have boiled it down a little. Give it a try for yourself, though. There’s a chance I’m just too stupid to use it.
The good news is that I’m not too stupid to play the nice missions other people created.
inFamous 2 is one of the best games released this year because of it’s dedication to both a story and the open world feeling. You can do whatever you want without really feeling lost or disconnected from Cole’s main focus.
The game brings better graphics and a variety of skills and weapons to upgrade. But you might be left wishing Cole’s powers were a little more juiced up and be left bewildered by the game’s theoretically cool mission design feature.