Two years ago, Sucker Punch, known from the Sly cooper franchise, very unexpectedly came up with a new IP. As a lightning strike Cole McGrath was dropped in the open world game InFamous and delivered us a couple of hours of gaming fun. That the gaming industry suffers from sequelitis is proven by the Autumn lineup as with games like Uncharted 3, Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3 the 3′s are flying around heavily. However, InFamous 2 does things good on all accounts.
InFamous 2 immediately starts where the first game ended. If you haven’t played the original, Sony’s ‘Welcome back’-program allows to download it freely so you can still catch up on the story. After a short summary and having walked around in New Empire for about five minutes you, Zeke and Kuo move to a completely new setting that resembles New Orleans a lot, New Marais. This move was necessary as ‘The Beast’ destroys everything that crosses its path and you as electrical conduct only barely had enough powers left to make this escape. New Marais is your new home and playing ground in your quest for new powers and the source of all evil, the Ray Sphere.
Qua structure not a lot has changed in InFamous 2. You get missions where you need to stop hostile gangs, follow certain people and fulfill certain objectives to keep the story moving forward. Next to that there are plenty of side missions that earn you Blast Shards or determine your Karma level. Decide to heal people, dismantle bombs and stop robberies and you get rewarded with positive Karma. Take down street musicians, steal Blast Shards from innocent people and explosively change the looks of the landscape and you’ll get an impulse of bad Karma. These missions, however, only deliver slight changes and it’s the main missions that really determine whether you’re good or evil. After a few hours of playing for instance, you’ll have to make a drastic decision and that will give you a heap of new powers in one go.
Next to the many extra powers Cole now also has some new tricks up his sleeve. Next to gliding over power and tram lines you can also get shot into the air and by means of an upgrade also have a “Spider Man”-look-a-like move that allows to sling from one building to the other. The biggest improvement is probably found in the melee combat. Thanks to a new weapon, the Amp, you’ll perform some really kick-ass combos that look fantastic thanks to slow-motion moments.
What makes InFamous 2 unique in its genre is the possibility to create your own missions. Thanks to User Generated Content Sony builds further on its Play, Creat, Share-élan and prolongs the lifespan of the game with a couple dozen of hours. And we’re not just talking about placing some trees or hostiles in the game world but thanks to the complete toolset it’s possibly to put the laws of the world to your likings. The sad thing about this “feature” is the lack of a tutorial or manual. The only thing at your disposal are some templates you can use to learn from.
Graphically the game got an “Uncharted” make-over. Everything looks a lot better and sharper and different locations deliver plenty of variation. The Comic-style is maintained but is less apparent, something I personally was disappointed about. The game has enough funny one-liners to keep things a bit light.
InFamous 2 is a worthy successor and definitely worth checking out. The game is better than the original on all accounts and thanks to the User Generated Content also adds plenty of additional hours of gaming fun. The Summer may be a bit dry with regards to new games, but InFamous 2 is definitely a good deal.