Infamous 2

Following the success of the first Infamous game, Sucker Punch Productions developed Infamous 2 and published it with the help of Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 in 2011. Cole MacGrath was back with his electrical powers and so was the karma system letting players decide on how Cole plays through the game. Would the second installment be an improvement or would it be shockingly bad?

Story:
The plot for Infamous 2 picks up after the events of the first game as Cole MacGrath desperately tries to defeat the “Beast”, a powerful monster that will likely destroy the world if no one can stop it. Cole fails, and he and his friend Zeke run away from Empire City as it is destroyed by the Beast.

Taking haven in a city named New Marais, which resembles New Orleans quite a bit, Cole discovers that a Doctor named Sebastian Wolfe is trying to create an even stronger sphere, one that would give superior powers to Cole’s. Wanting to defeat the Beast and save the world, Cole wants to work with this Doctor. Unfortunately, New Marais is a heavily populated city and a man named Joseph Bertrand resides there with his personal army of militiamen. Bertrand is against conduits like Cole and wants to kill anyone with these powers.

Cole searches throughout New Marais for power shards to help power the new sphere and gain powers capable of defeating the “Beast” but he isn’t alone in his quest. Bertrand has developed a tool that strips conduits of their powers and is planning on using it on Cole. Cole begins to work with another conduit named Nix and together they battle Bertrand’s military. They soon discover that Bertrand is also a conduit and has been unleashing mutant conduits to help win over the people of New Marais in his cause to wipe out other conduits.

The Beast begins to approach New Marais, just as Cole defeats and kills Bertrand. A former conduit named John White is revealed to be the Beast and he tells Cole that all humans will die from the radiation of the original blast sphere but that he can save the humans with the new power sphere. The new sphere will kill all the other conduits though, so it’s up to Cole whether he wants to save the humans or turn his back on them and live with the small population of conduits.

I chose the good path, and sides with the humans. Cole activates the sphere killing himself in the process along with the other conduits and the Beast. There’s the “bad” ending in which Cole sides with the conduits. Cole kills Zeke and Nix and joins the Beast as they start to destroy the world together.

Gameplay:
Very similar to the first Infamous, Infamous 2 is an action-adventure game with “super-hero” or “super-villain” elements depending on how you choose to play the game. As Cole, you’ll be able to travel all around New Marais unlocking new sections of the city by clearing out the militia and securing areas. While Cole can run on the streets, he can also power grind along telephone and power cables to make things go faster. He also has a glide function where he can use his lightning powers to slowly approach the ground giving him the ability to travel over long distances through the air if he jumps.

Citizens will react differently to Cole depending on the karma meter. If you’re acting righteous, the citizens will cheer for you and even sometimes assist him. If he has been a bad boy, don’t expect a warm welcome as the citizens run away and boo him. Cole depends on the power of electricity to keep him going and to be able to use his powers. By sucking away at anything that has electricity, Cole can refill his meter. If it disappears, Cole can no longer use his powers until he finds something to refuel him. It didn’t happen much to me, but there were a few times particularly during battles when I did run out of electricity and I’d have to hide or search for an electric sign to refuel. It’s quite fun to charge up and I didn’t mind having to do it every so often.

Infamous 2 has RPG elements intertwined in the game. Like the first, you’ll be able to upgrade your powers by earning experience points through missions and battles. Depending on how you are playing you’ll unlock evil and good powers to help assist. You’ll also get some new powers that aren’t electric, depending on how you are playing the game you’ll earn some ice or fire powers too which added a lot of fun to the game.

I didn’t care for the comic book style cut scenes in the first game but they grew on me during the second game. Overall, the game looks better as everything seems smoother and more detailed. Character models looked realistic and I’m happy to say the presentation was an upgrade. I found exploring New Marais much more enjoyable than exploring Empire City.

Memories:
I wanted to love Infamous but it just didn’t click with me. I gave the second game a chance and enjoyed myself much more. I’m not sure what it was but perhaps a change in setting helped. It also felt a bit more darker and I remember I loved the ending with Cole sacrificing himself. It sounds twisted but I love it when the hero dies in the end, there’s something about the ultimate sacrifice and courage to do so that I admire. Of course, if you played the evil way and had Cole kill everyone that’s a different story.

Overall:
Infamous 2 upgrades the style, powers, characters, and gameplay of the first game which was rough around the edges. You’ll spend time exploring New Marias and learning new powers in a fun action-adventure game that will satisfy your need to be an edgy super-hero or super-villain.

Infamous 2 scores an 8.5 out of 10.

Do you remember when Infamous 2 first came out? Which style did you play it? Did you like Empire City or New Marais better? What was your favorite power to use? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments.

If you’d like to own a copy of Infamous 2, you can purchase a brand new copy of it for the PS3 for $7 on eBay.

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