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Friday, July 8, 2011

Review of Infamous 2

Infamous 2 is a superhero sandbox game that takes place in New Marais. The story of Cole Macgrath returns with major gameplay decisions for his as well humanities future. Karma fueled decisions makes up the bulk of Infamous 2's gameplay. There will be some very important decisions you the player have to make as Cole. Nix and Lucy Kuo serve as Cole's guiding lights throughout Infamous 2 when choosing good or bad decisions.

Collecting Blast Cores and bringing down the corrupted Joseph Bertrand III and his militia makes up much of the early portion of Infamous 2. However Bertrand isn't Coles biggest problem. The red Dr. Manhatton clone "Beast" is heading down the eastern coastline on a crash course with Cole and New Marais.

Releasing the RFI has consequences. As a player you will have to make drastic decisions at the end of Infamous 2. The story isn't as fleshed out or has a big "twist" as Infamous did. I really did enjoy the story of Infamous 2. There was one shocker in the storyline I won't reveal. The pacing was proportionate to gameplay. The comic book narration and cut scenes were done and really contributed to the whole superhero vibe.

Infamous 2 is graphically superior to Infamous but it’s not a huge difference. Improved texture work and a color palette used in New Marais do make the game look really good. The lighting was impressive in the French Quarter inspired areas of New Marais. Infamous 2 also has a bit of God of War 3 syndrome regarding character detail. Cole looked great in cutscenes and throughout gameplay. Nix or Kuo looked like plastic mannequins with a nice shiny coat of vasilene coating there faces and skin.

Good voice work, good orchestra and superhero music. Good sound design in the sandbox world. All of the voice actors did a really good job in Infamous 2. The characters seem more fleshed out and much of that has to with good writing, dialog and voice actors performances. New Marais was always immersive with city sounds as you played.

There are always things to do in New Marais. It is a sandbox videogame after all. You can do many side missions, karma missions or even random missions. Side missions for the most part aren't that exciting. Karma missions are based around Nix and Kuo helping you. Random missions pop up which consist of deactivating blast shard bombs or killing people running around with blast shards. Karma is assigned to every mission in Infamous 2 in one way or another.

There are many collectibles in Infamous 2. You can collect hundreds of blast shards throughout New Marais. Dead Drops are collectible by shocking pigeons. You can unlock new powers by completing missions or completing stunt techniques. The combined aspects of other conduits are new to Infamous 2. Cole can use his powers with Nix or Kuo when they are around him on certain missions. The tesla missile, ionic vortex, Kuo's ice powers, nix's powers.

The new combat system is really great. Unlocking faster and more powerful finishers was fun. The "amp" weapon is used to beat down militia and other conduits. The finishers sometimes can glitch depending on which one you perform. Otherwise, they look awesome. Cole swings around and fly’s up in the air in slow motion and comes down and smashes his enemies with electricity covering everything. The new combat system isn't perfect but was awesome and much needed.

User Generated Content is new a new mission structure that greatly adds to Infamous 2's replay value. There are all kinds of user missions you can create and play which practically makes replay ability limitless. The single player campaign will last you maybe ten hours. The different story elements regarding karma choices might make you play through it again. The collectibles are plentiful. Infamous 2 has plenty to make you come back long after you finished the single player.

Infamous 2 isn't perfect. There are some glitches throughout gameplay and the ending of "good Cole" I didn't like although I should have. Even with my gripes Infamous 2 is a great game.