So over this holiday weekend I beat infamous 2 as hero, with full blast shards, and dead drops. Outside of the hard difficulty setting and the infamous trophies I’m well on my way to earning the platinum one in this game.
I really enjoyed the first Infamous, so I’m kind of kicking myself that I waited as long as I did to grab this one, but I digress. I wanted to take a minute or two to sum up my impressions of the story continuation, gameplay, and overall aesthetics. So let’s dive in.
The story does a pretty decent job of picking up right where the first one left off. Cole is aware of the risk and is working a former NSA agent named Kuo to increase his powers through the help of Dr Wolfe in New Marias (think New Orleans). As we are loading into the boat, who else should appear, but “The Beast”.
I was pleased that they would throw together a large set piece like this to open with and really kind of prepare you for the game. It was also a good, narrative, piece to resetting your character a bit. I mean Mario’s princess has to be in another castle, and no hero can STAY an end game powerhouse at the start of their sequel right? So a minor tick back after a massive, yet futile, battle with the beast and a short boat ride later we are in New Marias searching for Dr Wolfe who is under siege by an anti-conduit militia. Long story short, the lab explodes, blast shards you need to power up are spread everywhere and it’s time to start working on earning respect through love or fear begins anew.
So instead of continuing to explain and spoil the entire story I’ll briefly touch on some things I really enjoyed about this that’s new, or part of what I enjoyed from the storytelling in the first game.
- Dead drops are still present, I’m a storyline nerd, so these little insights into back story and character development leave me foaming at the mouth. (29 total)
- The story twists and turns, although no startling revelations like that from the first infamous, still some interesting shifts in the story dynamic. Game Informer accused the story of being convoluted and losing sight of the primary focus, I could see where they would get that impression, somewhere in the middle of the game the beast becomes less a concern, but still serves as the major tie in towards the end.
- 2 new conduit partners to kick it with, good and evil as would be expected, but even that serves as a surprising plot twist for you towards the end of game. I’ve learned not to expect a game developer, aptly titled, Sucker Punch to give me a straight shot. 🙂
- Multiple factions, not that you can CHOOSE between the factions, but at the start of the game I was a bit afraid the militia would be my only enemy choice. It didn’t take them long either to start introducing the additional baddies either.
Now lets discuss the gameplay. If Cole was a beast in Infamous, well in Infamous 2 he’s a titan. The introduction of so many varied skills, ionic abilities, and mobility options; you’re never really left to one option. The combat (especially later in the game) manages to stay fresh, and for me, something you look forward to. I didn’t like riding trolley lines as much as the train, or the inability to drain while grinding, but these are minor concerns. They did add vertical rails to grind, and that’s a change I’ll take gladly. I’m also looking forward to seeing what and how they are going to branch the skill sets for the evil faction on my second play through (I saved evil for my second option since I was going to play on hard, AoE and reckless abandon make that far easier to do).
The exploration vertical as well as horizontal is still in tact, and towards the end of the game especially becomes increasingly more fun to see how fast you can zip around New Marias. I’ll never get tired of the insane speed from grinding and flying around the city. Which was good, because you will be doing a lot of that. It’s an open world game, so exploration is just as important to the full experience as completing the missions.
The User Generated Content is a nice addition for fun that they added, and as would be expected, ranges from really impressive to “how do I abort this mission?” The creator is simple enough to use, and well, the rest depends on how creative you are feeling.
Now, the aesthetics. I’ll say this first, I did miss the vertical nature of empire city. I even missed the junk yard type environment, initially. However what I found offered by New Marias was more style, and character, with considerably greater environmental hazards. These also work towards the gameplay challenge and in some cases combat creativity (flood town, water, lightning, bad guys).
They did a great job of taking a dreary environment and splashing it with color to keep it appealing, as well as to incorporate huge set pieces and a larger more destructible environment to create a greater sense of power.
Yes, and the obvious, Cole looks different, and he sounds different. 5 minutes into the game and I had forgotten what the original Cole looked or sounded like.
Speaking of sound, between the music, sound effects, and ambient sound in the game it’s as much a game to hear as to see and that also goes a long way with me.
In the end, if you own a PS3, there is no excuse not to have this game in your library. The added UGC, and enticement for secondary play through really helps add to the value of the investment.