inFAMOUS 2 Review
Posted by Nathan Michalik
Lightning strikes twice
Taking place immediately after inFAMOUS, Cole McGrath travels to New Marais in order to improve his skills to fight the Beast. As soon as Cole and Zeke arrive in town, disaster strikes throwing the player head on into the action to save the world from The Beast. The tale is full of highs and lows as Cole struggles to battle the evil power known as The Beast as well as his own personal conflicts, making one awe-inspiring adventure.
Like the prequel, McGrath’s story is full of decisions you as the player must make; not only will these decisions affect the way you play the game, they also affect the story, allowing you to become evil or the hero. Depending on which path you choose, the outcome of the story will be completely different allowing gamers to replay the game a second time for a new experience. Without giving any spoilers, both endings are worth playing.
When a game is based solely on lightning super powers, it better have a solid lighting system. Not only is the lightning system phenomenal, but overall textures and frame rate are nicely polished and smooth. Each bolt of lightning has a satisfying flash of light and some of the later powers are jaw droppingly gorgeous, as are the character renders and city design.
If there is any one aspect of that game that needs more work it's sound effects: for a game so full of explosions, the sound effects are generally weak and dull. The soundtrack, however, is absolutely stunning with orchestral music that fits the environment and setting immensely well, helping the player feel ever more involved in the story of New Marais.
Because Cole has travelled from Empire City to New Marais with the aim of improving his powers, players will have much more control over each type of lightning power as well as the growth of these abilities. Using an arsenal of skills such as lightning bolts, grenades, rockets, shock waves and more, taking out enemies has never been more satisfying. Will Cole’s power expand beyond lightning? You’ll just have to decide that for yourself later as the story progresses.
Likely based on the success of popular games like LittleBigPlanet and ModNation Racers, inFAMOUS 2 introduces user generated content (UGC) to the series allowing players to create their own stories, missions and even mini games. The amount of control given to players is both intimidating and inspiring, allowing creation of just about any type of story or mission one could think of with the cost of an extremely steep learning curve. Even with the difficulty, the community has already created a wealth of amazing missions that will greatly prolong the replay value of this title.
Since its launch, Sucker Punch has also released a steady stream of add-on tools and content to the UGC system. Other than UGC packs, there are a few costumes and powers in the PlayStation Store allowing for personal customisation and ‘short cuts’ to learning powers.
The newest patch added PlayStation Move support following the successful release of the PSN title inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood. The controls are similar in both games and work very well, the precision and control Move gives players allowing for more accurate lightning strikes and more satisfying action. A downside would be the lack of button customisations and adjustments.
There are only a handful of preset settings for sensitivity, and remapping buttons is not possible meaning you’ll likely start to melee every time you want to jump and jump every time you want to melee for the first couple of hours. All in all, those pitfalls are overshadowed by how well the motion controls work, and smaller effects such as the orb changing colours based on players karma help 'forgive' these shortcomings.
The difficulty ranges from easy to moderately difficult allowing new and old players alike to enjoy the game. Most experienced fans of the original game will likely breeze through most the regular missions and defeat the epic bosses in a few attempts.
The combination of rich story, superb visuals, PlayStation Move and karma system allows you to take on the role of Cole and become immersed in his world like never before. Whether you’re a fan of the first inFAMOUS or new to the series, the amount of gameplay and riveting story should please all. A few small tweaks to the Move controls would go a long way in improving the overall feel of the game but an absolutely fantastic and worthwhile title nonetheless.