You’re once again placed in the role of Cole McGrath, who survived the big explosion in Empire City, which started it all in the first game. This time Cole is down south in New Marais and he’s still dependant on draining electricity to replenish energy for his super-powers.
The story takes off a few months after the last games ending. Cole still has his powers, and with his good friend Zeke and Agent Kuo at his side, he is looking into expanding his powers after this monstrous man-shaped lava monster slaps Cole around for a bit. They know that with the current powers, there’s no way Cole can defeat this beast.
A new place to fight for
Cole and his gang leave Empire City and arrive in New Marais. Slowly the story develops as you once again surf on powerlines, shoot down the bad guys and reveal secrets. There’s a bunch of turns and twists in the story, and I must say that Sucker Punch has made a really interesting story.
This time around you don’t have to stop and watch at random TV screens whenever there’s a newsflash popping in the game – it shows in the upper right corner of the screen, avoiding these moments that breakes the flow of the game. It also helps a lot that there are way fewer of these this time round.
Upon booting up the game, the player gets to choose between starting a new game or continue either the good or evil gamesave from the first game – rewarding the player with an extra core. As in the first game, cores are your source of energy and they show you how many shots you can fire, so collecting shards and expanding your core string is always a good thing.
With new powers comes new ways to combat the enemies and you have to think of new tactics to go with them. The new monsters are also cunningly designed, to attack you in different ways from the first game. So you really have to keep yourself alert, and think of new ways to take them down. Depending on the surroundings, you also have to adapt and use a tactic with the powers available to you, that best suits the situation. For example this one fight with a huge devourer, who attempts to eat you (duh? Look at this guy on Youtube playing around with one).
Don’t go headless into the fight
I had met one once or twice before and I developed a tactic of flinging cars at this humongous gaping pie-hole, until it died from it. But at this encounter, I had a really hard time defeating it, since there were no cars around for me to throw it the monster. What was I to do then? My perfect tactic was useless. I found that I had to let his tongue wrap around me and as it drew me closer to his devouring mouth, I had to shoot a massive amount of electicity bolts at his uvula, until he dropped me and ultimately lost enough health, to die from it.
The introduction to the game (after the initial introduction sequence) is pretty epic as you have to fight The Beast right from the start, and they (Sucker Punch) will take you by surprise at how fast they’ll threw you into the game. This fight is paused by small breaks, telling the player which buttons to push, giving a great and fast learning curve for those not familiar with the controls. With the game being a sequel, more than that would be overkill – most people who play this game have been playing the prequel anyway.
At one point, I had no idea what I was suppose to do, so I guess the game glitched a little on me. I was on the railway station after a big fight, and the game just didn’t go any further – when I finally found out I had to look for prisoners, there were no indication of how many I still needed to free.
While climbing complicated obstacles, such as the big cranes at the harbour, I was having a few encounters with too many “landing spots” as I couldn’t hit the right spot with Cole’s feet, which in turn really slowed me down and broke the flow that this game supposedly should have.
New voice for Cole, but Z and W stays
The sound design in Infamous 2 is well polished and dynamically shaped to fit into the events in the game. Soothing music for a nice cruise on the powerlines, and bombastic drums during a fight. While they have kept the voice actors for Zeke and John White, Cole has a new voice – not that it matters to me, I couldn’t hear the difference.
While the CGI cutscenes are beautiful made with great interaction and movements, even when it comes to something as small (yet very important) as lips, and the stunning sights in HD , making a really great experience, there’s a few problems I encountered. Clipping occurred, mostly on round obstacles that Cole could stay on, and when a Devour drags me through an obstacle, I don’t have the slightest chance to survive as it is impossible to defend myself.
This sequel continues where the first title took off, both story-wise as well as in the gameplay. If you liked the first one, this will hardly disappoint, as Sucker Punch has taken all the good stuff and flavoured it with a bunch of new improvements, forcing you to adapt new playstyles as you have to tackle new types of enemies with new powers.
I’m the good guy.. erh girl
I like the game and I had a great time with my first playthrough, continuing being a good “girl”, although Cole might take offense to that sentiment. I’ll definitely complete the game as an evil Cole as well, before archiving the game in the game library. That means there’s at least six to eight hours of more gameplay to experience, whereas most singleplayer adventures ends when you slay the last boss. That’s a big plus in my book.
But while Sucker Punch does a lot of good with this game, there are still elements that could be better. You could argue that it doesn’t improve enough compared to the first game . You’re still collecting shards, crawling buildings and shooting lightenings at bad guys, nothing really new there, apart from a couple new powers that the game slowly introduces you to. Also, if you’re too far away from your target, your lightning wont do any damage, forcing you to get somewhat close to the firepower, so there’s no sniping techniques to get through a hard spot. I had the impression, that the game saves often, but the game doesn’t tell you when it does. If it does, it’s very subtle. On more than a few occasions, I was hesitating to turn off the console, since I was in the middle of a mission.
But all in all a solid singleplayer experience that provides you with an above average amount of game time. Especially, if you decide to play through it both as good and as an evil Cole.