Review: Infamous 2

Jul 14, 2011

I was a bit apprehensive when I booted up Infamous 2 for the first time, as I wasn’t sure if Sucker Punch could capture lightning in a bottle a second time around. Two complete playthroughs later and a Platinum trophy to show for it, I’m happy to say that the game is a fantastic follow-up.  The game is void of any dull moments, and other developers should really take note on how much “fun” is packed in one game.

If you’ve played the original Infamous or read Matt’s review of it, then you already know what you are getting into. You still play as super lightning powered Cole MacGrath in a large open-world as you gain abilities to tackle a plethora of enemy types. A few jaw dropping moments early in the game lead you to abandon Empire City for New Marais, a city that mirrors New Orleans. The game elements remain intact from its predecessor. You’re still accompanied by your loudmouth but loveable BFF Zeke, the fantastic traversal around the city’s lush buildings is still exhilarating, and you continue to earn incredible abilities to unleash an amazing array of carnage and destruction. Even all the powers that you had in the first game are with you from the start and never leave your side. You read that right, Sucker Punch doesn’t pull a Metroid or God of War on you and take away all your godly powers in the beginning only to have you slowly replace them one by one. You left off a super hero in the first game, and you stay a super hero in this one. The best part is that all the new powers that you earn during the 20+ hour adventure only compliment and/or improve your original powers.

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While the good elements of the first game are still intact, there is a matter of the imperfections that follow along. The story still isn’t strong and just serves as the backdrop for Cole to get from one place to another during his missions. With the exception of Zeke, all the characters feel two-dimensional, which includes the main antagonist. Even the two new characters of Kuo and Nix, who serve as Cole’s morale conscious, are just binary representations of good and evil. One is the goody-goody and the other is the “destroy everything, because I have daddy issues” character. Just think of them as the Angel and Devil on each shoulder and you get the idea. But none of that matters as this game is all about the action. The game makes you feel like every young male’s wet dream of being a super hero and all the powers you wield only help in maintaining that feeling. There are two particular powers that I enjoyed the most, the Ionic Vortex and the Lightning Tether.  The former is a devastating tornado that obliterates everything in its path, and the latter acts like Spider Man’s web that tethers you to the nearest building and flings you right to it. I don’t want to discount any of the other destructible powers that you earn, as they still earn their place in the wonderful chaos you deliver.  Everything around you just explodes and crumbles beautifully and the city is perfectly crafted to create a nice sandbox for you to play in. There is also a nice array of enemy types to keep you on your toes at all times. This includes simple militiamen, devious and crafty creatures, and relentless ice-men that stop at nothing to chase you down on the streets and on the rooftops. The newest and interesting aspect added to the game is the User Generated Content. This allows any creative fan to build their own types of missions that pop up all over the map like side missions. I didn’t dive into the actual mechanics to build a mission myself, but having played over 30 user created missions, I walked away thinking that they’re a bit shallow in context, but allow a great variety of action to be had at anytime. Dialogue is obviously limited to text, so they end up feeling like sub-missions, but if the user is able to concoct a well made experience, the missions and action can be very long lasting. Let’s hope the community is able to keep this feature thriving.

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I wanted to make sure I got the full experience in Infamous 2 before I accurately rated the game, which means that I went down the Good and Evil rabbit holes. With that being said, I have two final take aways for this review. First, if you’re only going to play one role in Infamous 2, make it the evil one. The final confrontation is much more climactic and rewarding. Second, PLAY THIS GAME.

Worth Buying? – Yes. It’s the most fun you’ll have in a long time.

Did well – The action is non-stop and this sequel only builds on all the great things of its predecessor

Did poorly – The story falls short, and the binary morale choices don’t expand the experience outside of getting new powers and a different ending.

Would my wife sit and watch? – The action is too frantic for her to sit and enjoy.
Purchase @ $50

 

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