Back in May 2009 a game called inFAMOUS was released. The game stunned the majority of critics by being…good! Only a handful of games in the superhero genre are even passable let alone good. Due to a strong critical reception and decent sales a sequel was made. Does it stack up to the original game? Or does it falter like many sequels before it? That is what I intend to find out.
One of the most underrated aspects of video games is fluidity of motion. Many games try to make climbing, leaping, and gliding across the city feel natural, but few games actually succeed. inFAMOUS 2 succeeds to a rather impressive degree. While in the previous game I would often get caught up while climbing across town, I am much more easily able to get for one side of the city to the other. This is partially due to the increase of power lines to grind across in the city. Due to this fluidity of motion, the open world never feels like a chore to travel through which is in stark contrast to games such as GTA IV where I always felt like I was wasting my time playing it. If I wanted to get trapped in traffic I would go outside. (Perish the thought)
Sucker Punch has made great strides in terms of gameplay variety since the previous game. Cole now has a much wider spectrum of attacks and variations of old moves. Cole has now gained the ability to lift cars and other heavy metal objects into the air (presumably through magnetism) and catapult them into attackers at fantastic speeds and melee has gone from an extremely useless addition to a key part of gameplay. They also made the city far more fresh than the previous game’s “Empire City.” New Marais is not another slightly stylized version of the Big Apple, instead it is a slightly stylized version of New Orleans. While that doesn’t sound like a significant improvement it is something I have never seen in a game before and it is far more varied than Empire City. It ranges from a rural swamp area to an industrial section to a flooded section of the metropolis that still hasn’t completely recovered from the hurricane. A significantly larger assortment of adversaries are in this game than there are in the original inFAMOUS. You’ll be going toe to toe with everything from bigoted, heavily armed, rednecks called “The Militia” to insectoid monstrosities from the swamp to monumental ice conduits.
inFAMOUS 2 has some of my favorite characters that I have ever encountered in a video game. Zeke is trying his absolute best to be a better person and friend to Cole instead of the jealous mooch from the last game. He is a flawed character but he almost always encourages you to do the moral thing in any given situation. The main antagonist of the game, Joseph Bertrand III, scapegoats the super powered individuals of the world and he uses them to scare people into doing whatever he says. He is a fear mongering scumbag who I desperately wanted to kill over the course of the game. I have rarely cared that much about the antagonist of a video game. Most are stupidly evil to the point they become ridiculous charactertures, but the kind of person that Joseph Bertrand is exists and always has. Introduced into this game are Nix and agent Kuo who serve to basically be the angel and demon on Cole MacGrath’s shoulders. Nix is vengeful and angry because of how bad she has been treated by people. Kuo, on the other hand, is a composed and collected agent. There is more to them than what initially meets the eye. They reveal themselves to be significantly more than the incredibly one note characters that one would imagine them to be based off of that over simplified description.
inFAMOUS 2 retains the original game’s moral choice system. It has been upgraded a bit due to the fact that a few major choices aren’t purely black and white. I had to wrestle internally over the final moral choice of the game which a mere few games have ever made me do. Even when the choices are pretty black and white, the “evil” option makes a fair bit of logical sense and they are thankfully never just “Evil for the sake of Evil.”
The game is visually striking. The world is intricately detailed and has great graphical fidelity. The cut-scenes are some of most beautiful I have ever encountered in a video game. inFAMOUS 2 manages to get to the other side of the uncanny valley with the humans which most games fail to do. However, it has a fair bit of glitches. For example, while watching one cutscene I saw two people trying to occupy the same place and a lot of downed opponents clip into the environments.
In the end inFAMOUS 2 is a beautiful , well written, and incredibly fun game that is a worthwhile purchase to anyone who owns a Playstation 3.