(Warning this review contains possible plot spoilers for the FIRST Infamous, but if you haven’t played the first, why are you reading this anyway? Go play the first then we’ll talk again, tisk!)
Infamous was the first game my Ps3 ever slowly drew into its now ever hungry disc rom. I shouldn't even have to mention that the game has some special significance for myself, if only for that reason alone. Luckily though for me, Infamous was a great game with some actual good merits, unlike something to the effect of Kane and Lynch, otherwise I would have to remember that for the rest of my life… Strange though it took me quite a time to bother to get hold of the second one. The reason for this… I am not quite sure. Whatever the reason, I kept pushing it to the back of my list and there it stayed. Either way I did myself a huge disfavour and the following review will explain why.
The first and perhaps the most striking feature of Infamous 2 is the fact that it essentially is the first game. Infamous 2 is by all accounts, the original strapped with a new story, some minor additions, couple of new moves and a character or two. Although this sounds quite bad, and this is something one would associate with a negative connotation, anyone who played and enjoyed the first though, should know that this is in no way a bad thing.
The story continues where the first let off. It was predicted by your future time travelling self, that a gigantic monster called The Beast will arrive and completely destroy Empire city and eventually civilization as we know it. It has been left to Cole, the lightning wielding protagonist, to insure he becomes strong enough to be able to defeat this creature and stop this worldwide calamity. After months of training and mastery the game opens up essentially where the Beast arrives and the game opens with a boss style first sequence, with Cole and the Beast squaring off. Needles to say for the game to progress in any way, Cole fails, is saved by his companions and shipped off into the deep south to a city called New Marais. Here he must then gather blast cores in order to gain enough power, to face the beast again and this time arise out on top. A story plot just as good as the first then slowly develops from this. Just as the first Infamous it tends to start off at a bit of a slow pace, but before you know it, the game has grabbed you and you are strapped in for the ride right until the credits start rolling.
If you played the first game(which you should've , you get a chance to continue on where you let off, in the sense that if you were good or evil, you choose to continue on this path and gain some respective bonuses and even some extra story elements. Naturally the second game works with the same mechanic as the first. This means you get a choice to be either good or evil, with many “karma” moments along the way where you must make a choice. Depending on your choices and general actions you either get good or bad karma. Karma functions as experience points and enables you to buy different abilities and upgrade your existing one’s. The path you choose creates a unique story and also affects the character development of Cole himself. So the all good Cole responds much differently to the same situation than the all bad one. Choosing your route early and sticking to it is advisable since rising to either of the extremes enables you to become much more powerful than tiddling around in the middle somewhere.
Game play wise you will find everything you loved and hated about the first as well. You run, hover and grind your way through the open sandbox city and use a variety of lightning style abilities to defeat you opponents. All your favourite abilities like the snipe shot, grenades and of course the rockets make a comeback and there are even a few new ones this time round that includes upgrades as well as some particularly powerful ‘super attacks’. Perhaps the biggest and best addition to the game play mechanics is the introduction of melee combat. Cole acquires a sturdy new, antennae’ish melee weapon that enables him to engage in intensive and satisfying melee attacks. This becomes so natural that I can almost not believe it wasn't present in the first.
The environment feels a bit more varied than the first as well, as there are now some swamp elements and more interesting unlock-able locations that gives a welcome relief from the pure urban jungle feel of the first game . The side mission and territory system has also returns but in my experience the missions is a bit more varied and a lot less repetitive than the first which is a welcomed relief as well.
On the complaint side of things, some boss battles still tend to be a bit repetitive and some beasts that you face is unnecessary hard to kill, while at the same time posing little threat to you, so facing them is more a bore than a challenge. The irritating limits on the camera angles also made a return, making standing on the roof of a building and aiming at enemies lower than yourself quite a bit impossible at times. The game also tend to be a bit buggy, which I am a sure a good patch would have sorted, had I bothered to download it, but having a big glitch in a final boss fight did kind of irritate me. I am nitpicking at this point though because generally the game runs smooth, looks beautiful, is well-balanced and very fun play.
With an epic story that builds heavily on the first game, fun game play fans and newcomers will enjoy, interesting improvements from the first and quite a bit of replay value this game is must play for any fan of the series or any other action adventure players. As I said Infamous 2 is similar to the first in many ways, but it also learned from its predecessors faults and improved upon them. Although it isn't perfect what more can u ask from a sequel? Of all the similarities I can draw and hammer on there is one that is by far the most important. That is the fact that just like the first, this game will grow on you and without you even realizing at first, it will have left a mark on your gaming history not soon to fade away.