inFamous 2 (2011)

Nobody Had More Humanity Than Cole McGrath

I had put off finishing it for a while but, after getting the Platinum trophy for Uncharted 3, I decided I’d go back and finish inFamous 2 to get my Platinum trophy for that. My memory of the Good storyline may be a little foggy because I finished that back in June, but I certainly remember the Evil storyline. So let’s take a look at inFamous 2, developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.

Cole McGrath (Eric Ladin) has spent the entire course of inFamous preparing for the arrival of the Beast. As inFamous 2 starts, we get right into that battle and get our asses handed to us. We barely manage to escape Empire City with our long-time friend – and recent betrayer – Zeke (Caleb Moody) and NSA agent Lucy Kuo (Dawn Olivieri) to a town called New Marais, which is in no way affiliated with New Orleans. Here, Cole and Kuo meet up with Dr. Sebastian Wolfe (Michael Ensign), who has a plan to make Cole stronger using a device called the RFI (Ray Field Inhibitor) and Blast Cores. But, an explosion at Wolfe’s lab spreads the Blast Cores over the city. Cole must collect the Blast Cores before the Beast makes his way down the coast to New Marais. Along the way, Wolfe gets killed, we meet a crazy lady with fire powers named Nix (Nika Futterman), we try to over come the control of Joseph Bertrand III (Graham McTavish) and his militia, Kuo is kidnapped by Bertrand and given ice powers against her will, and we make some decisions that will make you either good or evil and affect the outcome of the game.

This is a pretty good game that just barely misses excellence. It’s an open world action-adventure game with similarities to Assassin’s Creed in that you can go anywhere and climb buildings at will. Then you throw in some electricity super powers and you get you some inFamous. I would say the problem with the controls, especially when compared to Assassin’s Creed, is that the wall climbing doesn’t always work that well. Climbing the building in Assassin’s Creed is so smooth and realistic, whereas this game is just a bunch of awkward jumping. I also found there was a couple complications in combat, like how it would take you using the circle button to dodge as you using the circle button to take cover against a wall that then gets you shot and killed. These problems were not super drastic or anything, but when this game will inevitably draw comparisons between it and a game that does wall climbing so well, it comes up in the brain. The new upgrades to Cole’s powers really make you feel awesome once you unlock some of the cooler ones. And you get to dabble in the ice and fire powers of your compatriots later on, and that get’s good too. One of them can even make travel easier. Taking Kuo’s powers gives you an ability that will launch you up into the air and make it easier to get around. Nix’s travel move was not as helpful to me, which bummed me out for my Evil playthrough.

The story of this game is awesome. Unlike most games that only have the final decision have any affect on the game, there are many choices throughout this game that affect the way people react to Cole, the way Cole looks, and even the environment of the city. And, of course, there are two different endings. Throughout the game, you side with Kuo or Nix on different problems that come up, and it even starts making a relationship develop between the character you side with. And then, it spins it all around on you by changing those sides at the very end. Both of the endings are very emotional and well written. I don’t know how they’ll be able to pull off inFamous 3 after some of the stuff that went down, but it made for a pretty touching ending on both sides and for different reasons. But don’t fool yourself, neither ending is a particularly good outcome for old Cole. There were a lot of moments I liked in this game: having a strained friendship with Zeke after he betrayed you in inFamous, dealing with Kuo after her kidnapping and painful conversion into a superpowered person, finding out Nix’s backstory, and even Bertrand had some sort of reason for what he was doing. Even quiet scenes like Cole and Zeke watching TV and drinking beers was kind of touching.

I thought all of the voice acting in this game was great. People complained a lot about Cole’s voice changing from the first game, but I didn’t even notice it. His voice wasn’t so amazing in the first one that they couldn’t decide to go in another direction for the second one. And this guy delivered anyway. The emotional story of this game would not have been delivered without great animation from Sucker Punch and great acting from the voice actors.

This game is also not a difficult game to Platinum, but I did find one problem with it. In the first playthrough, you can knock out about half of the trophies, choosing good or evil. The next playthrough, do the opposite and play it on Hard and you’ll pretty much have done it. Throw in a couple more exploration and collection things that aren’t that difficult and you’ll have your Platinum trophy. The problem for me was that I completed my Good storyline and started into my Evil one, then got bored and stopped. A couple months later, I finished my Evil one, got my Platinum, and was going to get the collectables again for fun but got bored and stopped. The game does not have a lot of replay value. You’ll probably want to play it twice anyways to see what would’ve happened if you made the other choice, but once you’ve done that it gets to be kind of the same old, same old and you lose interest. They are coming out with downloadable expansions to the game, one of which is already out and involves Cole becoming a vampire, but I’m not super interested. And, with no multiplayer, there’s not a lot of reason to hold on to your game after you’ve finished.

InFamous 2 is a great game that comes so close to excellence with it’s great storyline, solid graphics, fun gameplay, and great voice acting, but just falls short because of some wonky controls and lack of replay value. But it’s still definitely a game worth playing, and I recommend you do so, but it might be better as a rental. For me, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game, but I no longer feel the need to hold on to it as I do with many fantastic games. But I still give this game “Great” out of “Great plus 2”.

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