An electrifying superhero sequel that builds on the strengths of its predecessor.
inFamous 2 continues the story from inFamous. Cole McGrath must battle the Beast, a prophesized destroyer of Empire City from the last game. However, Cole is defeated by the Beast and loses the entirety of his abilities. Weak, he travels to the city of New Marais and works on acquiring new found abilities to take on the Beast, who draws closer to Cole with every power he gains. Zeke also returns to the fray, and new characters like Lucy Kuo (an undercover agent), Nix (a New Marais native opposed to the Militia) and John White – the Beast. There is a new villain in the form of Joseph Bertrand, leader of the Militia. The story is fantastic and is detailed and well-written. It assumes player familiarity from the first game, so make sure you play that before its sequel – something you'll want to do anyway. InFamous benefits from another superb presentation. The city of New Marais looks more colourful and lively than what we saw in Empire City, and the districts are varied and distinguishable. The animations are great, the comic-style cut-scenes are again awesome and everything looks polished. The menus work well once again, and acquiring powers is a lot easier now, thanks to a more streamlined powers system. However, the requirement of holding down a button while selecting different power variants can be cumbersome.
The sound design is also superb. Voice acting is strong throughout, in spite of Cole's change of voice actor – who still does very well regardless of the omission. The sound effects are also good and immerse you fully into the new city. The soundtrack, evident from the last game, is brilliant, full of drum beats and fast melodies as opposed to the electronic distortion of inFamous.
inFamous 2 controls just like the original, which is a great thing. Zipping around the city and firing electric bolts feels fun and fluid, and you'll be great at the game within the first couple of hours. Melee is a more emphasized feature this time around, although it can be imprecise. The new weapon, the Amp, is a great melee weapon, but fighting causes problems with the camera. It often turns round and you can find yourself blinded while facing enemies, and it sometimes pans round erratically. You'll also be dealing with some AI glitches, such as clipping through the environment and repeat, robotic animations. However, using the superpowers is the heart of the inFamous 2 experience and it is terrific. There are some familiar abilities from last time out, but there are new powers. The stand out is the Ion Vortex, where Cole thrusts the environment around through a large, powerful black hole. It rips apart support beams, throws cars and kills any civilians – and enemies – in its wake. It's a powerful and necessary ability that makes combat great fun.
The mission design is also great. Some task you with powering up generators and launching a tesla missile to another generator across the city, thus culminating in a defence battle against a dozen enemies. There are also some very large enemies that become regular foes rather than boss fights. These range from Corrupted (biological creatures that attack in packs), Ravagers (large four-legged creatures who charge) and the Devourer, a massive armored monster that fires its tongue at its target. These make for some of the most tense and cool fights in the entire game, and are only tiring when repeated through side missions and the like.
Speaking of side missions, there are 60 side quests for you to complete, and all are fun. During the two playthroughs (good/evil) you'll come across decidedly unique missions compared to the different karma paths. These missions also unlock access to powers, so completing them is required in order to get the best abilities. For the first time in inFamous, there is an online component in this sequel. Fear not, it is rather an online community for User-Generated Content. A level editor enables you to select the mission parameters, the dialogue, the design (enemies, set pieces, objectives) and the requirements in order to succeed. It isn't user-friendly and is quite complex, but it is exciting to see what the community can do. I've played dozens of UGC missions and they are cool, so the community is definitely thriving off this feature.
Again, you'll be faced with karma choices throughout inFamous 2. However, these are now in-game activities tied to your karma path. For example, there are musicians and entertainment acts, civilians with blast shards, protest groups and more which are specific to the evil route. Then there are armed bombs, hostage situations and injured civilians, individual to the good route. These objectives are decent and award XP, but the frequent occurrence of them can become repetitive, but at least they are optional.
You'll want to play through the game twice for both karma paths, which will result in over 40 hours of gameplay. Then there are the 60 side missions, in-game karma objectives, 350 blast shards and user content, which could add up another 10 hours. There is a lot of content here, and it is all quality. There is no succinct multiplayer, but that wouldn't work in inFamous anyway, so UGC is a correct way to go Oh, and the two different endings are unique and awesome. It's a superb action game with a fantastic story, great gameplay and brilliant endings. A must play action experience.
Overall - 9/10