Review: inFamous 2

Review: inFamous 2 (PS3)

The world is a harsh place to grow up in. I was just a simple delivery boy until the day disaster struck. The parcel I was carrying around, wasn’t normal, it exploded right in my face. A lot of people died that day, but I wasn’t one of them, when I woke up I felt strange, I had gain some kind of power. I could control electricity and use it for my advantages. Most of the people looked at me like I was some kind of monster; they called me the devil from Empire City. But do I really want people to fear me? Or do I want to be some kind of hero, a protector of the city? The world is a harsh place to grow up, especially when you have special powers.

You’ll still play as Cole McGrath during inFamous 2, the delivery boy who gains powers during the explosion in inFamous 1. For those who have played inFamous there’s a nice little surprise at the start of the game, Cole hasn’t lost any of his powers he gained during the events of inFamous. This means that you’ll start with a strong protagonist. Strong, but not strong enough. Empire City is under attack by ‘the beast’, a huge humanoid monster that’s destroying everything in his path. Cole tries to destroy the monster by using his powers but he fails. Cole decides to flee to New Marias (based on New Orleans) to further expand his powers. Once arrived in the city, the adventure begins.

The first thing you’ll notice is that this sequel builds on the first episode and doesn’t really innovate a lot. Off course there’s a whole new city you can explore but the controls, interface and feeling aren’t changed at all. Is this something bad? Off course not, never change a winning formula, right? The only downside to this story is that you still can’t visit inside locations. The game is set in an outside environment where Cole can walk through streets and climb from rooftop to rooftop (you even live there). Why the creators decided to lock every door of every building created is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps their choice lies in the nature of Cole’s Powers. Inside locations just wouldn’t give you the freedom you need to activate your devastation powers; it would limit the force of Cole. On the other hand those limitations could bring more variation to the gameplay.

Although you wouldn’t really miss this variation, inFamous 2 is a solid game that offers a lot of different possibilities to play. The first and characteristic choice you can make during the game is being good or evil. When you do good things, people will start to see you as their hero and will often ask you for help. When you do bad things, people will start to fear you, you can use this fear to gain the things you really want. The choice of being good or evil is completely up to you and depends on your own characteristics. During the game you will sometimes have to choose between two different ways of completing a mission. Would you like to create your own monsters or would you like to prove the world that somebody is a monster? These choices influence Cole’s karma. The better things you’ll do, the better Cole will become, the more evil thing you’ll do…. This doesn’t only count for your choice during a mission but also for your behaviour in the city. There are a lot of opportunities to increase your good/evil karma. For the risk of spoiling them for you, I won’t go into any further details.
Basically this whole good/evil karma was introduced during inFamous 1, we’re talking about a sequel now and a sequel won’t be a sequel if there weren’t any innovations to this concept. The innovation comes from two new characters; Nix (evil) and Kuo (good). You can compare Nix and Kuo with Robin from the Batman series. Nix or Kuo can become your partner during the game. Depending on your choices of being good or evil, you’ll end up with Nix or Kuo. These aren’t just regular ladies but conduits with their own powers. Nix has the ability to control fire while Kuo has the ability to control ice. The fun part is that Cole can combine his powers with one of theirs to create a massive attack.

Talking about powers, Cole will become more and more powerful during this game. By absorbing blast cores he gains strength and new abilities. This isn’t the only way to unlock new powers. By completing tasks such as: ‘kill 5 enemies with a headshot using precision’, you’ll also unlock new powers. These powers will cost you experience points you gain during battle and helping other people. The nature of your powers, ice or fire, depends on your partner of choice and therefore your karma. Except from these powers, Cole can also use the Amp, a melee weapon to beat enemies up close.

All those powers won’t be fun if you can’t use those during missions. The missions are amusing to play and offer enough variation. There are ‘slower’ missions where you’ll need to recon the environment but there are also very intensive missions where you’ll have to defeat a lot of enemies. These enemies start of very simple at the start of the game. The further you go during your journey, the harder and stranger those enemies will become. Don’t look surprised when you have to fight against giant mutated insects.

The most appealing aspect from these missions is that the really serve the story. You know what you’re doing and more important why you’re doing it. Every mission will reveal more and more from the story and gives you a goal to continue playing the game. Other than those missions are the little side-quests you can do in the city. These are often the same little tasks like saving a hostage, creeping out a musician, killing pigeons, small things that will influence your karma.

Play, create and share:
Something entirely new to the series is the ‘play, create and share’ principle that was introduced with Littlebigplanet. It’s possible to create your own missions by using a little box set to create an appealing environment and own mission. You can set your own goal and restrictions for your own mission. During the game you can enable these ‘homemade’ missions by simply allowing the internet connection to be active during your game. You can spot these missions thanks to the different colours of the mission markers. Sucker Punch makes a selection of the most appreciated missions and let them appear in the game. You can however also search the database to find a mission that best servers your needs. Thanks to this, inFamous 2 will never be completely ‘game over’.

We can conclude that inFamous 2 is a very complete game with an outstanding storyline and ditto voice actors. If you search an action adventure game for the PS3, don’t look any further. inFamous 2 delivers everything what you’ll expect form the title and even more. It’s a game created with a lot of love and it deserves the same amount of love from gamers all over the world.

Game Rate: 9/10

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.