inFamous 2 Review
Do you like feeling like a super hero? Or perhaps you prefer to be an evil mastermind, terrorizing everyone in sight. If either of those descriptions apply, then prepare yourself, as inFamous 2 is an amazing follow-up to an amazing PlayStation exclusive.
To give you a quick refresher on the backstory, in the first game Cole opens a mysterious package that contains the Ray Sphere, leaving Empire City a destruction-filled mess and giving Cole some new electrifying abilities. He's then thrust into an ongoing battle to gain strength, which will enable him to defeat a monster called the Beast. The second game picks up one month after the first game ends and shows the Beast attacking Empire City. Unable to fend him off, Cole and friends flee to New Marais, the new setting of the game. If you're unfamiliar with past events, do yourself a favor and play the first game before getting into inFamous 2. Not only does the second game allude to the first, but the original inFamous is an absolute must-play.
The gameplay mostly remains unchanged. Cole is still a one-man army and has all of his previous moves intact. That's great--players won't have to waste half of the game gaining them back. A new addition to Cole's arsenal is the Amp, a melee lightning conductor that channels Cole's lightning powers. Lightning isn't the only element at Cole's disposal, though. You'll also manipulate fire and ice, such as kinetically shooting off fire-imbued rockets or blasting cold energy into the ground to freeze surrounding enemies. How you unlock these abilities is tied to the decisions you make throughout the game.
It's a huge asset that Cole's powers feel so diverse, as it not only gives you the chance to change up your attack tactics but also transforms you into a walking war machine. To Sucker Punch's credit, playing as Cole is an absolute joy and feels extremely responsive, putting you in full control.
Precise movements wouldn't account for half as much if the environment was dull and uninspired. Thankfully, New Marais, modeled after New Orleans, is an even more interesting place to explore, mostly thanks to its diverse districts. From the now devastated Ascension Parish (New Marais' oldest district) to the red light district known as Ville Cochon, each area has its own distinct look and feel and tantalizes you to search every nook and cranny.
Players have a ton of stuff to do and see in New Marais. Whether you're hunting down blast shards scattered across the city that raise your electricity gauge, helping citizens or pummeling cops and citizens just to be an asshole to gain good and bad karma respectively, hunting audio logs to gain insight on more backstory, completing stunts to unlock more potent and devastating powers, or participating in any of the myriad side quests, you'll have more than enough to keep you entertained.
To top it off, inFamous 2 now features user-generated content, letting anyone design and create their own missions, upload them, and open them to other players. This feature alone gives inFamous 2 nearly unlimited replay value. The best part is that you can make them as simple or as complicated as you want, and trust me, the amount of options available is immense. Time will show how popular this feature will be and whether players will embrace it just as they embraced LittleBigPlanet's deep level customization.
InFamous 2 is hands-down a must-play, especially if you're a fan of the original. It's one of the best story-driven open world games currently on shelves. The different decisions and and endings give players incentive to play through this fantastic game again. If you haven't played inFamous before, don't wait any longer. Grab the first game as your free welcome back gift from PSN and then move on to its fantastic sequel.