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After inFamous became a rightful hit, gamers waited for the next chapter in the series. In 2011, Sucker Punch released inFamous 2 and it did not fail to deliver.
Story: inFamous 2 is the follow up to inFamous, I highly recommend playing the first game before heading in to this game. There is a catch up what happened though at the start of inFamous 2.
The following months after the final showdown of the previous game, sees Empire City return to its normal state; no more quarantine zones, no more enemies. Just back to your average city. However, Cole MacGrath knows something is coming to destroy it all again and he knows it is down to him and him alone to stop it. Cole, along with his friend Zeke and new ally in the form of NSA agent Lucy Kuo, are on the search for the creator of the Raysphere, the object which turned ordinary people, like Cole, into Conduits, aka people with special abilities. Before they set off from Empire City, Cole meets the person he's been waiting for, The Beast. But, for all his preparation, Cole is easily beat and critically injured which results in his friends having to rescue him and escape to New Marais in search of the creator.
There is however, a new enemy in the shape of an industrialist who hates conduits like Cole and in the form of his militia, attack and kill anyone they believe is a conduit. Cole has to take it upon his self to save New Marais whilst searching for the creator of the Raysphere, in the hope the upgraded powers will defeat The Beast. But just like the previous game, there is two paths to chose. Do you become the strongest, greatest conduit. Or do you stop and help the people out after it is discovered the Raysphere caused a plague that's wiping out non-conduits. Only Cole can decide, only you can be the hero or the enemy. Yet again, another superbly written story that just has you captivated from the very beginning.
Visuals: inFamous 2 presents crisp, bright and welcoming environments. There has been huge improvements in detail and you can see they really took the time and effort to make everything look real. New Marais is beautifully bright and vibrant, giving you that happy place feel. But when you explore the industrial areas, or areas under enemy control, its dark and menacing. The new graphics set the scene perfectly. Another great add was, visually Cole's appearance changes if he decides to opt for the dark side. This does it a much more realistic feel. As you can see him becoming consumed by the darkness. The special graphics for Cole's powers, which now include the Ice or fire element depending the path, are still as dynamic and electrifying as before but do pack a much bigger punch. The comic book style cut scenes are back but they are saved for the major moments in the game.
Audio: Like the previous inFamous, the track does have an edgier sound but this has been vamped up as well. When your in a chase scene, the music starts pumping. The music bounces off the story really well and adds to the excitement. There is a stand out track which is actually played when the credits roll. Depending what path you picked and what ending you get, this piece of music at the end is quite symbolic and does get to you as you have invested in Cole as a character and friend. It really is a stunning track which matched with the story, really hits you hard. It's called Fade Away and its by Black Heart Procession. Even if you have never played this game before, I highly recommend the track. It's very haunting.
Gameplay: This has had an improvement in the combat department. You know have a melee weapon called the Amp which Zeke constructs for you. It centres all your electrical ability into a powerful weapon to take down enemies. The melee combos you can produce with the Amp is really stunning and much improves on the original combat available previously. The controls are easy to get a hold of again and the aiming systems feels improved and not as frustrating. Your abilities are just as impressive but with added Ice or Fire, you feel yourself being so powerful. It really is a great addition. There are collectibles and side missions like before. Blast shards and blast cores are needed to upgrade your power. Dead drops are there to help tell the story but this time in carrier pigeon form. The open world is fantastic to explore and with Cole's climbing and grinding abilities, you could find yourself taking hours just exploring the vastness of the map. A great feature added is vertical poles which have been systematically added through out the districts, which break up the constant climbing up buildings. Now you can just jump on the pole and glide up the side of the building. It adds a new dimension and fun to the gameplay and action.
Extras: With inFamous 2, Sucker Punch created a mission creator for any player who wishes to, can create there own mission inside the inFamous 2 world. It is an exciting idea but unless you really into it, you can find it boring and the constraints rigid. None of the less, it does add to the replay-ability. I mean, you could create as many extra missions as you like.
If your sad, like me, you would also notice in one of the districts, theatres have parodies major video games titles. Might not seem much, but to me its a nice little nod to the gamers.
Conclusion: A new city but The Beast is still coming. inFamous 2 feels like a major upgrade and well polished game. The adventure, the excitement, the ability to choose your story, your direction. To be consumed by darkness, or the hero that everyone needs. Regardless of your choice, following Cole's story is one you won't forget, as like before, the game leaves you wondering what's going to happen next, right up to the last mission. The story has you emotionally involved with the characters and that's what makes this game. You don't want it to end. Don't miss out.
When inFamous emerged in 2009, its inventiveness served to reinvigorate a sandbox genre that had started to feel formulaic. The developers at Sucker Punch were onto something really good; no longer were cities merely anonymous spaces to mooch around gormlessly in - inFamous made an art of mobility; maximising its platforming and climbing elements and thus drawing attention to its landscapes as something interactive, not incidental. More noteworthy was its implementation of superpowers; so often plonked into the gaming medium as little more than an after-thought, here you had a character in Cole MacGrath whose electric powers were numerous, varied, destructive and satisfying. The game's 2011 sequel - stylised inFAMOUS 2 - has its issues, but on the whole, does a fine job of reminding us of what we've been missing out on since the first game.
After opening to a battering from the gigantically destructive entity known simply as "The Beast", former courier turned walking-electrical-conduit Cole MacGrath heads for New Marais (loosely modelled on New Orleans), in a bid to strengthen his powers. The city is controlled by a righteous militia, overseen by zealot and part-time megalomaniac Joseph Bertrand. Block by block, Cole must loosen the rebels grip on New Marais, and win over the people - either by earning respect, or instilling fear.
It'll all be familiar if you've played the first game. Being "good" means using the arc-restraint to arrest enemies, healing wounded civilians, avoiding an excessive amount of collateral damage, saving hostages, and defusing bombs. But if gaming has (possibly) taught us anything, it's that it's both more fun and more profitable to be "evil". There's no need to worry about civilians stupid enough to stick around during the more explosive fire-fights, and some of Cole's upgradable, evil abilities are great, especially the potent Hellfire rockets and the summoning of beasties to help do your bidding. Cole's Karma rating affects his appearance, and also little touches within the city; inspire civilians, and they'll help you fight the militia. Cause them grief, and you can expect the fools to throw rocks at you in a futile show of defiance.
On the whole, the story missions aren't quite to the level of its predecessor. They're still really good, but on measure, there's fewer standout boss fights, hectic train-top chases or generally memorable segments. The story throws in a few nice twists to spice things up however; there's the juicy love-triangle involving Cole, Agent Lucy Kuo and fearsome swamp warrior Nix (two of a raft of characters enhanced through strong voicing), who come to symbolise opposite ends of the karma moral system underpinning the game. At certain points, you'll have to choose whose plan to go along with; the former offers logical solutions to problems, the latter more sadistic but straightforward ideas - both are nicely conceived and of a similar standard and difficulty. You have the choice at one stage to meld your abilities with one or the other - resulting in Cole attaining additional ice or fire powers. There's evidence the developers have learned from past mistakes too, as the way the way in which the dual endings are handled marks a big step forward. Whereas the original featured two endings but essentially the exact same final boss, things are radically different this time around depending on which final mission you wish to undertake. The Evil ending in particular is a fabulous spectacle to behold and arguably the game's best passage of play.
Combat remains one of its strongest assets, and continues to mark the series out from other open-world games. It more or less mimics Uncharted's shooting system, with less reliable covering but significantly more potent "weapons". As well as being able to channel a stream of lightning bolts, Cole can chuck electric grenades and use forceful blasts to fling enemies from rooftops, a trick that never seems to get old. With a litany of neon-sprinkled casinos, a towering cathedral and a spooky cemetery, there's a diverse bunch of locations that all seem strong fits for battle, and on this score the developer delivers once again. Crucially, Sucker Punch never lost sight of a fundamental point - that playing as a superhero, above all else, should be fun. Cole is awesome; he's more than human and in every facet of his control, you never forget his superiority.
It's fortunate looks aren't everything though, because inFAMOUS 2 isn't going to win any beauty contests. The original looked just-about-acceptable in 2009, but two years down the road, the graphics were starting to show serious signs of age. Admittedly, Sucker Punch didn't have a GTAIV-sized budget at their disposal, but a certain standard is still to be expected from a first-party PS3 exclusive. New Marais itself is alright (albeit suspiciously similar to the New York-inspired Empire City of the first game) and the gameplay as a whole runs without any glaring technical issues, but close-up objects and scenery appear basic and sparse-looking, whilst civilians are low-rent and don't move at all convincingly. Worst of all is the lack of anti-aliasing, resulting in visual distortions that cause certain special effects (mostly noticeably those involving ice) to appear horribly blocky and pixelated. Perhaps we've become accustomed to the glut of technical powerhouses coming from Sony's development houses in recent years, but there's a roughness that makes inFAMOUS 2 seem somehow plainer than its sparky gameplay deserves.
Every game has its gimmick, and here Sucker Punch opted to jump on the "Create and Share" bandwagon, with User-Generated Content (UGC) missions. In principal, the idea was mouth-watering: gamers devising and creating their own levels and uploading them for others to play, thus creating a lengthy stream of free content. In practice however, it's an out-and-out failure. Proving that its level editor isn't very intuitive and that the majority of gamers are frankly no good at making games, the UGC is plagued by unfinished or broken/glitched levels as well as a whole host of seconds-long missions designed simply for XP farming (so as to attain new abilities faster) or a cheap means of changing your Karma alignment quickly. I ended up abandoning - for a whole host of reasons - more than half the missions I started, and the whole process became mind-numbing very quickly. Even the very best creations come off a distant second-best to those of the main game.
Like its predecessor, inFAMOUS 2 isn't especially lengthy but will have no trouble keeping you hooked for two solid playthroughs, which amounted to a couple of weeks in my case. That the good and evil endings are more pronounced in their differences helps in this regard, whilst the trophies similarly encourage you to try the diverging paths, as well as the Hard difficulty setting. This isn't too tricky but does require that the player is less gung-ho in their approach to the bigger battles, so is recommended for more experienced gamers.
There's always room for improvement, and looking ahead, the series could certainly stand a new lick of paint. But graphics are no substitute for gameplay, and few games this generation can match it for sheer unadulterated fun. Though it's not the game its predecessor was, it still offers a more varied, more imaginative and more enjoyable sequence of events than 99% of open-world games available. The UGC missions, intended as the icing on an already-sweet package, fail to hit the mark, but for the duration of the story at least, inFAMOUS 2 is sure to have you glued to your PS3.
When it was released in 2009, inFamous added innovation to a genre that many gamers loved, despite the games put into this category like Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row lacking something genuinely new. This game allowed you to take control of skinhead Cole MacGrath, a man with awesome electrical powers. Though it was a huge change of style for the developers, who had previously developed the light-hearted Sly Cooper games while inFamous was a very dark game. Now the sequel is here, released in June after some controversy which I'll tell you about later. But is it a worthy sequel to the electrifyingly good game, or just shockingly average? Turns out it's even better. There are a few changes that some fans of the original may dislike, but overall it's brilliant.
It's just as well I normally start here, because story is arguably the worst main aspect of inFamous 2 and I don't want to finish on a negative point, do I? The game begins with Cole battling The Beast from Kessler's visions but fails and ends up in hospital with Empire City destroyed. He is taken to a place far away named New Marais by Lucy Kuo, who recommends he sees Professor Wolfe who can help him get the powers to finish The Beast. A device named the RFI is needed to do this, but our protagonist - or antagonist - must find seven 'Blast Cores' to charge it. That's really all there is to it. The main problem with inFamous 2's story is that the sequence of events is very linear: grab all the Blast Cores, charge up the RFI and kill The Beast. Two great different endings, however, redeems it slightly but it's not really enough. This is a bit disappointing considering the story on inFamous was pretty fantastic.
Before the game came out, Cole was redesigned. He had a full head of hair and sported a much cooler look. But fans objected, claiming they had a 'connection' to the original character, so Sucker Punch changed him back. I liked the new design, but I don't really blame the developer. After all, they must want to keep their customers happy. He isn't really the same anymore, though, with a much lighter personality and much less growly voice actor. Cole's best friend Zeke is back but just the same as before but don't worry - what happened before (I won't spoil anything) is 'water under the bridge', in his own words. He fully supports Cole's mission, spying on Militia enemies throughout the city and even joining it himself to do some spying. There aren't any returning characters other than that except John's voice in the Dead Drops scattered around the city. There are several new people, though, such as Lucy Kuo and Nix. They both act as the good and bad characters respectively. Kuo is a contact of Wolfe, giving our hero help throughout the game, particularly in the second half. You meet Nix in a swamp. She isn't a villain as such, but encourages evil actions.
The basic gameplay remains the same as its predecessor. You start off with some powers including the simple bolt and shockwave which knocks enemies off their feet. You also get to 'ride the lightning', speeding across metal wires across the city. The sewer sections are no more - this time you earn powers through finding new Blast Cores. These range from electric-infused grenades to small but powerful storms that can wipe out large groups of enemies. The upgrade system is very similar to before. There are specific o depending on what karma you are (which I'll come to after). You need to perform different stunts, for example, getting a head shot to unlock these. When available, they cost XP which you can earn for completing missions and doing the stunts. There are plenty of upgrades to use and the game allows you to find the best combination and use it for the best results though some people will prefer the powers at their most basic because there are some disadvantages to the upgraded versions, such as being slower to use. Thankfully you can change back and forth between original and levelled up abilities. You can't just use powers as much as you please though. There are dots of energy across the top of the screen. These go when you use energy. Using a bolt will only make a dot slightly smaller, but a rocket will cost considerably more. To recover energy, you must suck the energy out of electrical objects using L2.
A very big part of inFamous was the morality system, and it returns in the sequel. You can be either Good or Evil in the game. Being Good generally means healing ill civilians and rescuing hostages. If you're Evil, however, you are obviously much more disrespectful - killing the many musicians and campaigners complaining about you. For each karmic state, there are three ranks. You are rewarded depending on your rank. At the highest rank of Good, you gain energy for hitting enemies while at the highest rank in Evil, using a 'Bio Leech' gives you unlimited energy for a few seconds. At various points in the Story, you get to choose between two different missions that give you Good or Evil karma points, depending on what mission you choose. This is a cool part of the game that adds a fair bit of replay value. There are also side missions for each of the karmic states. Sadly, the moments that give you choices aren't as frequent in this.
Sucker Punch promised improved melee combat. In the first game it was a bit too basic, simply a case of tapping square constantly. Now you get the Amp, an electrical device. Hit an enemy with it twice and you finish them off with a fancy looking attack. It isn't all that good to start off with but over time you can upgrade it to earn finisher attacks that are beautifully animated and quicker combos meaning that you can use finisher attacks after only one or two hits. It's still not a perfect system, but one that will impress much more than before.
Don't be disappointed after completing the main campaign because there's still plenty left to do. There are more than 60 side missions in the game. They range from just killing a boss that is on a rampage to destroying a boat full of enemies. Some of my favourites were using the camera to take pictures of various things, such as electrical poles and flying enemies. They aren't very exciting but mixed things up a bit, adding something different to the game. Though the devs really should work on looking at your legs through the camera. There are things called Blast Shards scattered around the city, hidden on buildings or even inside bombs. Getting a number of these increases the number of dots on your energy. With over 300 of these scattered around the city, you're bound to take a few hours to discover all of these! But don't worry - completing 60 side missions earns you Blast Shard Sense, which shows them up on the map so you won't be searching around forever. There are also nearly 30 'Dead Drops' to find. Last time they came in the form of satellite dishes on roofs but now they are tags on carrier pigeons. Shoot them down to collect it. These are audio messages that reveal some of the story. Most of them involve Wolfe, Kuo and John at the time the Ray Sphere exploded. Earning them may only give you a Silver trophy, but for some they are a reward in their own right.
==Graphics and Sound==
Even in the unlikely case you don't like the game, you have to admit that inFamous 2 looks brilliant. The city is very detailed - despite being huge, a lot of effort has been put into making every last square inch as good as all the rest. New Marais is a much brighter and livelier place than Empire City was. It has a lot more personality, and the city is split into several parts, each one with its own unique look. The name says it all in Flood Town. Remember, electricity doesn't mix well with water so there are some great opportunities to fry your enemies with style. Next to it is an industrial city right next to the sea, full of huge buildings and even containing a massive ice tower. From the top you can see the city at its best. There is also a place full of lights. It even has a cinema with film listings of 'Latch It and Skank', 'Hey, Low Reach', 'Little Big Unit' and more. Why do those names sound familiar? There is also some great voice acting. Cole has a new, much less abrasive voice which is much different than in original. It somewhat matches his new, much lighter personality. Zeke, Kuo and Nix also have some great voice actors, but I can't really say the same for the characters who give you side missions. Most sound strange. In fact, they're very strange. The music isn't so memorable but is quite good when you are listening to it, with some fast-paced tracks that suit the action in the battles.
The 16+ rating for inFamous 2 isn't really unreasonable at all. Violence is the main reason. When you attack enemies, there is no blood but you are rewarded for killing them in a variety of ways. Civilians on the street can be killed and you are even given points for doing this when you are Evil. Despite the fact that this isn't as violent it is in GTA, a 12+ rating wouldn't have been high enough. There is also occasional strong language. S**t is rarely used, but more minor uses like ba*t**d are heard a bit more often. One of the main enemies in the game is seen with a cigar at one point. There are also some boss battles which involve some nasty looking creatures that some younger players may find disturbing. I wouldn't recommend anyone under 12 play this.
Despite being a really good game, it has some negative points. One is the creation system. It could be fairly good, but that's for anyone who really understands it. There are far too many switches and buttons for me. Next is the story - it really doesn't live up to the gripping storyline in inFamous. This has a far too linear plot, despite a morality system which could really have affected the whole story. However, the Dead Drops, which reveal events that take place previously, during and after the original game. If you can look past the weak narrative, though, you will find a truly excellent title.
inFamous 2's gameplay is simply fantastic. There are some great powers and while you sadly don't earn all of them until later in the game, you still get a lot of chance to experience them as you can continue when all the main missions are complete. There is a great upgrade system which enhances your time with the title. The morality system, despite what some people say, is very good in my opinion. It changes the way civilians act towards you and there are some exclusive missions depending on what karmic state you are. It also offers longevity, with loads of side missions, Blast Shards and Dead Drops to find. I really recommend you play it twice, too, so you discover the two endings and different missions. The graphics are heavily improved. The animations are excellent, and the city is full of detail. There is some great voice acting. While Cole's voice actor is different, I think he does a great job although hardcore fans of the original game may dislike it. The other voice actors also do brilliantly. Overall, this is one of the greatest PS3 exclusives. For fans of action games, this is an essential purchase.
This review is also posted on Ciao under my name YoshiCheesePuff.
InFamous 2 is the sequel to the critially acclaimed 2009 title inFamous and is again a PS3 exclusive title. As the first game was so beloved by the gaming public, developer Suckerpunch had a tricky job on their hands to tweak and improve the original without pushing things too far and alienating fans. I have to say they did an excellent job and this game improves on inFamous in almost every aspect. When playing the game you truly feel powerful and it is pure enjoyment to use Cole's range of electric superpowers again and again.
You play as Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger come superhero. Cole has electirc powers which allow him to shoot bolts from his hands, drain energy from electical devices, hover for short periods and fire electic rockets and grenades. The story picks up where inFamous left off, with Cole ready to battle The Beast - a monster who will detroy the world. You travel away from Empire City and head for New Marais (modeled on New Orleans post-flood) in order to gain new powers to aid your fight. The plot is not as strong as the first game and basically consists of Cole searching for Blast Cores - energy crystals that give Cole new powers and more energy. Once enough Blast Cores are collected, you are able to use the RFI (Ray-Field Inhibitor) to battle the Beast.
InFamous is an open world game, so you can wander around New Marais at will, helping citizens, fighting enemies and completing missions. There are 40 main storyline missions and load more territory missions which once completed mean that no ememies return to a part of the map. THe mechanic that sets inFamous apart from other open world games is the element of choice and karma. Throughout the game you can choose to play as either good or evil. Evil actions range from simply beating people up for no reason, causing destruction, stealing blast shards and zapping annoying street performers while good actions require you to heal or rescue civilians, defuse bombs and capture enemies alive. There are a number of missions where you can choose an evil path or good path by going to different locations. One example is when stroming an enemy stronghold you can either rescue some police and get them to help you (good) or supercharge a explosives rigged tram and blow the whole place sky high (including a number of innocent prisoners - evil). Whether you are good of evil effects the powers you get, how people react to you in the game and your appearance and it is definately worth playing the game through twice to experience both sides and both sets of missions (and both endings). If you have played the original inFamous you can choose to start the game on level 1 good or evil. There are also blast shards and dead drops (audio files) to collect throughout the game, as in the original.
Cole has a range of superpowers at his disposal and these have had a significant upgrade in inFamous 2. You have basic electic bolts, shock grenades, plasma rockets and a shock blast. In inFamous 2 each of these powers comes with a range of upgrades and options and you can create a set of powers unique to your style of game play. For example the standard blast can be upgraded to a Pincer Bolt (three bolts which hit ememies form all directions), Artillary Bolt (long range), Magnum Bolt (very powerful - good), Skull Bolt (headshots cause explosion - evil), Bolt Stream (machine gun style bolts - good) and Scythe Bolt (5 bolts at once - evil). You can choose which suits you best. Every power has similar choices and customisation.
There are also a host of new powers in inFamous 2. The main area is Ionic Powers. These allow cole to create things like electic tornados and lightming storms s well as making ice spikes shoot from the ground or simply draining the life out of anyone nearby. At a certain point in the game you choose to mix powers with one of two characters in the game, opening up either Ice powers or Fire powers (Good or Evil) which give you a couple of new attacks each. The final area of increase powers comes from using The Amp. this is bassicallt a big tuning fork that Cole uses to hit people, thus making melee combat much more enjoyable. The Amp give a number of pretty cool finishing moves and I found myself using it quite a lot during the game. These inprovements in your powers make you feel so much more powerful than in the original inFamous.
Another improvement for inFamous 2 is that there is a much wider range of enemies. You fight people with guns and rocket launchers, beasts with claws for arms (melee), ice soldiers and a range of mutant swamp beasts, some of which are HUGE. This really adds variety to combat and again increases the sense of power you get when playing as Cole.
The visuals in inFamous 2 are very good and a definite improvement on the original. They are not as good as some games (uncharted 2, Battlefield Bad Company) but are vibrant and clear. New Marais provides comtrasting scenary from run down buildings to flooded swamp huts and an industial gasworks and the lighting is bright and well done. Cut scenes are not amazing but again are much better than the first game.
The game takes a good 20-30 hours to complete and as previously mentioned is well worth playing at least twice to complete all missions and experience good and bad karma choices. There are also mission creation tools and the option to have user generated content missions embedded into the main game. These missions appear as green mission markers and you can play and rate as and when you want. You can also filter these to play only the top rated as a lot of the missions are not great and without any voice acting they can feel a little detached from the rest of the game. Some of the missions are fantastic though so it is all about finding these. I am currently on my 4th play though and still really enjoy the game.
InFamous 2 is a fantastic oppen world game that really makes you feel like a superhero (or supervillian). The karma choices work better than in the original inFamous and have a pleasing effect on the gameplay experience. Powers are improved and customisable and enemies are more varied and difficult to defeat. The game is huge and offers great replay value and the visuals are excellent. The only downside is that the story is almost non existant, though this is the only area in which inFamous 2 is not better than its predecessor.
One of my top 3 Playstation games to date, buy this and feel like a superhero.