inFAMOUS 2 Review (PS3)

June 11, 2011

PlayStation 3, Reviews

InFAMOUS 2 is a third-person action adventure title for the PS3 that was developed by Sucker Punch and published by Sony Computer Entertainment America.  After receiving critical praise and sales, it was only a matter of time before we would see Cole MacGrath continue his journey.  Is inFAMOUS 2 the worthy sequel that fans have been waiting for?  Let’s find out.

Story: 5/5

The original inFAMOUS had an excellent storyline and the same follows suit with it’s sequel.  Upon starting the game up, if you played through inFAMOUS, you’ll be asked if you would like to continue your story with the good karma or bad karma path, or maybe you want to start with being neutral again.  The sequel continues shortly after the events of inFAMOUS where Cole is told by Kessler (his main arch-nemesis from the first game) that “the beast” is coming and will destroy everything and everyone in it’s path.  Cole is the only one who has to ability to stand a chance against this behemoth of a creature and has to travel to New Marais to seek a scientist who can aid him named Dr. Wolfe.  Wolfe has a device that works in conjunction with Cole’s electric powers that can make him powerful enough to destroy “the beast” and save humanity.  However, before setting sail to New Marais, “the beast” attacks Empire City and Cole tries his best to fight him off.  With the battle not exactly ending in Cole’s favor, he’s stripped of most of his powers and is now nowhere near ready to take on “the beast.”  Afterwards, upon the arrival to New Marais, you’ll notice the city is not as welcoming as you’d expect.  There’s a militia being run by a man named Bertrand who’s bent on having a “perfect, controlled” society, but is also a bigger part of the picture as the story progresses.  As Cole tries to find Dr. Wolfe, events go sour and Cole is running against the clock to try and locate Dr. Wolfe before “the beast” reaches New Marais.  The militia isn’t the only obstacle in Cole’s way though.  Swamp creatures (that look very reminiscent to necromorph’s from Dead Space) are terrorizing the streets, having you wonder where they came from to begin with and what their involvement is with everything happening in the city.  As you progress through Cole’s journey, he’ll form alliances with certain characters and it is here where choices will be made.  Do you put yourself in the way of others or act selfishly and only care for yourself?  Do you protect the lives of thousands or have them all die because of your actions?  It’s these story decisions that really make the player integrate themselves into the character because it makes you really “feel” like someone who can make a difference.  By the finale, whether it be the heroic ending or evil ending, you will be shocked (no pun intended) at how the story resolves.

Gameplay: 5/5

In a generation where open-world titles have become an over-saturated genre, a good chunk of them can’t seem to get it right.  However, Sucker Punch has nailed how an open-world environment should be done.  New Marais is full of life and character.  As you’re running around town, you’ll notice innocent civilians getting mugged or abducted, which then leads to having opportunities to receive good karma.  Another example would be that there are protestors out on the street that can’t stand you for who you are, which leads you to an opportunity to be evil and fry them all.  It’s interesting because the game truly shows that being “heroic” is definitely a more strenuous task than being “infamous.”  As you progress through the game’s 37 missions, you’ll not only earn upgrades for Cole’s electric abilities, but for fire or ice as well.  Depending on the path you forge in the game, if you play the “hero” route, you’ll obtain ice abilities where as if you play the “evil” route, you’ll obtain fire abilities.  The extra elemental abilities are a nice touch and do add more depth to how you tackle missions.  A new feature they added in the game was the ability to open up a “quick ability select” window so that you can choose load-outs for each button assigned ability without pausing the game.  The game also notifies you when you’ve completed a certain stipulation that allows you to purchase a new ability or if you’ve earned enough XP to buy it.  Another element that’s really cool is the destructible environment.  If enemies are shooting you from the porch of an apartment building, you can shoot the support beams and the whole thing will fall apart.  This really helps taking enemies out that might be on or below the object, especially when there’s many other enemies on-screen that you need to focus on attacking.  One slight issue I encountered with the gameplay however was the camera.  Occasionally, the camera would get a little out of control and make you lose focus of the action on screen.  It’s doesn’t happen often, but it did happen a few times.

Traversal was always a key element in inFAMOUS and in this one, they’ve enhanced it.  See that tall building you have to climb?  No problem, scale up the electric pole along that building to launch yourself towards the top to save yourself some climbing time.  As you progress through the game, you’ll earn a “lightning tether” which let’s you aim at any object. launch a lightning grapple and pull yourself toward the object.  His electric thrusters also get upgraded later on in the game that allow him to actually gain some altitude when gliding.  Sucker Punch really knew that the traversal needed to be a bit more enhanced from the original and they’ve certainly done so with it’s sequel.

A brand new gameplay mode they added to the game is “UGC.”  UGC (User-Generated Content) are missions created by other PSN users that will appear on the map as you explore New Marais.  It’s incredibly robust and will certainly offer almost endless replay value for those who appreciate the “play, create, share” aspect of games. Upon completing the game, just like the first one, you can go back complete any side missions you might’ve missed, collect the rest of the blast shards, find dead drops or focus more time on the UGC and try to create the ultimate mission for others to take part in.  As you play through the story missions, there’s no denying that Sucker Punch was aiming for their sequel to be more cinematic.  Whether you’re battling massive creatures on land, taking out a helicopter that’s gunning you down in the streets of New Marais or dangling from a helicopter while engaged in an epic boss battle…the game just flat-out has a much larger scale in production values.

Graphics: 4/5

There’s no denying that inFAMOUS 2 is a great looking game.  The character models are much more detailed and the animations are certainly a spectacle to see in action.  Destructible environments are a nice addition to the visuals as well.  However, despite the game having a bump up in visuals, there were a few graphical bugs.  There were some clipping issues where Cole ran through closed gates (unless Shadowcat from X-Men gave Cole her ability to go through objects that I wasn’t aware of) and enemies would do the same as well.  There were also a few times where Cole would run up stairs and half of his legs would be going through the stairs itself.  Again, they’re not major graphical bugs, but it’s enough where it slightly detracts from the experience.

Sound: 4/5

While Cole may not have the same voice actor from the first installment, the new voice actor is much more suitable for the role.  Cole still sounds like the gruff badass he is, but less like Solid Snake and more like his own character with Eric Ladin taking over the role.  Voice acting is just top-notch across the board with everyone sounding very believable and nothing sounding cheesy or corny.  Sound effects are great and certainly do the job, most of which are the sound effects from the original inFAMOUS.  The soundtrack is very suitable for the game and depicts what’s happening on screen pretty well.  It’s a shame though that none of it really plays when you’re free roaming the city…

Overall: 18/20 = 9.0/10

InFAMOUS 2 is an excellent sequel that really showcases Sucker Punch’s talent.  The gameplay is intense and addictive, the storyline is deep and engaging, the UGC will offer limitless hours of entertainment and the city is just plain fun to explore.  InFAMOUS 2 is by far, one of the best titles this year and should not be missed by any PS3 owner.

PROs:

+Excellent, engaging storyline

+Great voice acting

+New powers are a lot of fun to use

+UGC offers limitless replay value

CONs:

-Camera occasionally gets finicky

-Graphics needed a slight bit more polish

-Soundtrack is good, but doesn’t play in the background enough

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About Glacier928

Marcello is the founder, creator and editor-in-chief of GamersXtreme. His dedication and passion shows as he keeps gamers informed with daily news articles and provides truthful, honest opinions on all gaming related news. Having experience with video game design, as well as over 20 years of gaming under his belt, Marcello has always had a massive interest in the gaming society. Originally, he created GamersXtreme in the style of a magazine back in middle school. Today, he has taken what was created as a basic premise and has evolved it into the site it is today.

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