You are Cole MacGrath, the ‘Demon’ of Empire City. You unwittingly set off an explosion that leveled 5 city blocks, killed tens of thousands of people and started the worldwide spread of a lethal plague that just might be the end of humanity. It also gave you, as well as a few select others, superpowers. One of them is now a gigantic monstrocity, a manifestation of chaos that grows stronger with every life it extinguishes as it carves its way down the Eastern Coast of the US, following your evacuation to New Marais, Louisiana.You made this mess and have the ability to do something about it, but will you?
That’s the premise of inFAMOUS– a series that places you into the shoes a real person given control over electricity. Absolute power corrupts absolutely, but will it corrupt you? Are you the savoir of the people or a demon as so many claim you to be?
inFAMOUS 2 is a game that relies on your moral choices- playing like the usual superhero game if the good path is chosen, or Grand Theft Auto in a comic book universe if you choose evil. That said, unlike in the first game, some of the moral choices aren’t exactly cut and dry- one of the dilemmas that sprung from the game’s big twist- which for once actually left me surprised- was so intense that I had to stop and actually consider both sides, making a decision even though I wasn’t comfortable with it being the right one. The fact that the game had suceeded in causing a jaded player such as myself to become so invested lends credit to the quality of the storytelling.
inFAMOUS 2 is a sandbox action adventure game, and an important part of any such game is the playground you’re set loose in- the world you protect or destroy as you see fit. The world is well designed- giving a large scope that gets progressively smaller as your developing powers allow you to travel more effectively. It feels like a thriving yet recovering New Orleans, just as the original inFAMOUS felt like a recovering New York City. I honestly felt a twinge of poor taste though when I entered ‘Flood Town’, the still flooded portion of the city where the people were waiting for help that never came, living mostly on their rooftops.
Regardless of the questionable choice in setting, it does leave a fun and diverse world to explore and different strategies for each. The powers give a genuine sense of being a super-being, though your low health maintains the game’s challenge, with enemies getting stronger along with the protagonist- with the excecption of any bosses and minibosses once the cluster grenade is obtained. Spam the grenade and light them up like it’s the 4th of July.
Being a sandbox game, it falls prey to occasional glitches, namely positioning issues with context-based commands like Bio-Leech and Live Capture as well as enemies sometimes ghosting through objects. These issues were present in the first game as well, but considering the time they’ve had, it could have been fixed by now. Small but semi-often, none of them greatly impacting the game, but still worth mentioning.
Length and Replayability
Just as any sandbox game, it’s as long as you decide to make it- with plenty of exploration and power ups to discover, but the main story itself could possibly be beaten over a weekend- with a good 15 hours of gameplay, although both my good and evil playthroughs lasted about 26 hours each.
In all honesty, this game would be playable only twice(as good and as evil), were it not for the Little Big Planet-esque User Generated Content available. These tools are pretty easy to use, and as a sample of what you can do with them- the developers added in a variety of missions they’ve created themselves with the tools. So with the hopes that plenty of talented people make some fun levels, the game’s length could theoretically be endless. Realistically though, you’re looking at about a solid 65 hours if you’re a completionist.
inFAMOUS 2 is what all sequels should be- expansions of the original that improve upon their base material. If you were engrossed in the original inFAMOUS when you played it, get this game. If you liked Prototype but wanted something with a better story, get this game. If you like Grand Theft Auto and wondered what it would be like if instead of jacking cars, you were throwing lightening bolts, get this game. If you want a good superhero game, well you know where I’m going with this…
out of 10
- Huge world
- Story that pulls you in and doesn’t let you go
- Compelling reasons for both good and evil paths
- Cool powers and semi-destructible enviroments that are fun to play around in
- Small, uncommon glitches
- Generic NPCs
- Semi-destructible enviroments… (Either go all in or all out guys, it’s 2011 and the technology exists.)