inFamous 2 (2011), video game review.
For this review I am trying a different format. Instead of an introduction and then the “Good and The Bad” section it is now just one big thing, followed by a brief overview. I did change the wording a tiny bit in the overview section. Please leave some comments on this post and others about how you liked them (or didn’t), and any other thoughts.
For those of you who are reading this and are not familiar with Cole McGrath, and the inFamous universe, first off, go read my review for the first game. Then go out and obtain the first game, play through it, and then you can come back and read my review for the sequel. If you have done that then you will know that *SPOILERS* you control a man who was unfortunate enough to be in the center of a giant, electrical explosion. You were on the other hand, lucky enough to survive said explosion, and in the process you gain electric superpowers. You should also (again *SPOILERS*) know that at the end of the game you meet a man named Kessler, who is actually Cole himself but from the future who came to tell Cole about the coming of a creature named “the Beast” who would spell the end of the world, yadda yadda.
inFamous 2 starts off in Empire City (the city in which the first game takes place, but quickly Cole is forced to flee from the city he once called home, to a name city called New Marias. New Marias is a beautiful place, and it mixes up stale gray colors that took up the majority of the originals color palette. Again the city is broken up into multiple districts, but this time around the districts felt different. If you put me at gun point, saying that you’d shoot unless I could describe the differences between the districts in the first inFamous, I would fail, and then you would be forced to shoot me. But in inFamous 2 the districts are all very different. Areas range from a flooded neighborhood, run-down swamp shacks, a town square filled with bright lights and billboards (read all of the movies that are showing in the game), and much more. Colors are everywhere, instead of a gray world there’s now greens and purples, blues and golds, whites and blacks, and there still room for more colors (including gray).
Along with the range of colors increasing, so too have Cole’s cache of powers. I don’t want to ruin anything for you, so I won’t go in to detail, but I will say that most of the powers from the first game return and they have also been joined by many many ones. A few of these powers are completely new, but the majority of them were unlockable variants of existing ones. At first I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t too many new powers, but once I really started to unlock some of the new variants I realized that I no longer cared. In the first inFamous you could upgrade each power, and this would make it more powerful and sometimes give it an extra spark. That was great, but by the end of the game the only core difference that could occur in your Cole or your friends Cole, was that one could be evil and the other good. But now, alongside the alignment differences, there now could be a how host of powers differences. If I had really wanted to I could have grinded through a bunch of side-missions and I would have unlocked all of my available powers, but as it is, when I beat the game I had probably only unlocked about seventy percent of them.
A big controversy before the game came out was that Cole’s character model and voice were both being changed, and while the outrage of the fans stopped the character model from changing, they still went ahead and got a new voice actor. They did do few tweaks to the character models, but it is still clearly Cole, and I like the new voice and minor changes better. Also improved are the cutscenes. Last time the cutscene graphics were either bad, or they were comic book style which lacked emotion. Now the non-comic book cutscenes are beautiful, and the comic book slides are few. Cole in particular is stunning in the cutscenes, his character model may just be one of the best looking I have ever seen. Everything else in the cutscenes is nice, and good, but Cole stood out amongst them.
While again, I don’t want to give away again specifics, I will say that the story is structured differently. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the story is any easy to understand, but it was a nice touch.
As with the first game the best, and most apprehensive, parts of the story take place at the beginning and end, and the stuff in the middle was important.
You will probably have noticed that I haven’t talked about the gameplay much. And that is because there isn’t much to say. There have been a few tweaks here and there, more stuff to do while roaming, the powers (new and old) have been mapped smartly, and core platforming is still thrilling. The most significant change was the improvement of melee combat, which is now a blast. using a new weapon you are able to pull off amazing combos and finishes.
Everything I loved about the original is still great, and most everything I disliked has been improved. The game is still a blast to play, and the new powers make it hard to go back to the first game. Chances are if you loved the first game then the changes will only make that love stronger. Those of you who didn’t well at least give it another try, because inFamous 2 is an amazing game.
inFamous 2 is beautiful. Everything about oozes beauty. It is one of the best looking games.
Cole’s new voice actor is good, but what really stole the show was the amazing score, which kept my ears glued to the game.
Still as fun as the original, and the additions only make it better.
Worth the Money?:
Absolutely. There is a ton of stuff to do in inFamous 2. And once you’ve done it all you can start over and become either a better of worse person, with a whole new set of powers.
Developer: Sucker Punch.
Parental Rating T/13+