The release of the original Infamous title was, unfortunately, poorly timed. Becoming available at the same time as the game Prototype, many people either played one or the other, and a gaming battle of ‘which one is better’ ensued. This meant that many gamers spent more time watching these events unfold than playing the game itself, and thus Infamous was slightly overlooked. The release of the sequel however, could not be timed any better. With nothing of its calibre to rival it in popularity, Infamous 2 definitely has its moment to shine.
The plot of Infamous 2 is certainly nothing to write home about, but at the same time, is much more impressive than what the original offered. The game begins in chaos, with ‘The Beast’ attacking Empire City, a place full to the brim with innocent civilians that require saving, and in a rather epic fight scene, you (as returning protagonist Cole) show your heroic side and seemingly vanquishes the Beast. Before the celebrations can begin however, it becomes clear that the Beast is not quite as dead as you thought and you’re struck down in one fell swoop. He then carries on to destroy the city (in true evil fashion) while you lay unconscious and helpless. Fortunately for the state of mankind, you’re not out for long, and boy do you wake up with a taste for vengeance. The Beast may have beaten you once, but you’ll be damned if it happens again. And so it begins…
This game draws you in from the very moment you start, throwing you into chaos and pleasing your senses with fantastic voice acting and crisp graphics. One particularly appealing aspect of the series is the comic book style art used in the cut scenes. Rather than simply showing you a video of what is happening, the artwork combines with Cole’s voice-over to really hammer home the idea that this is not just a game, but a story to be told, Cole’s story, and it’s going to be one that you’re gonna wanna hear.
Another aspect that hits you straight away is how vibrant the graphics are, even in the drab city of New Marais where everything is concrete and metal. However you run so fast through the world that you barely notice any of it as you complete missions. Though increased movement speed is always preferred over being forced to dredge along step by agonising step, you may find the world becomes nothing more than a blur that that you make your way through, instead of a dynamic universe your actions make a difference to.
Like the original, you once again have a choice between being evil or good, but for once choosing to be good doesn’t put you at a disadvantage. In the first title the perks of being evil far outweighed the perks of being good, but it’s pleasing to see good actions finally get the recognition they deserve. Though this is definitely a positive, you may end up feeling like the your choices aren’t having much impact on the world. Sure it varies the story and dialogue quite a lot, but when a man shooting electricity out of his hands is going around either killing people or saving them from harm, you’d think they’d react to you in some way, right? Apparently not.
There aren’t that many bad things to say about Infamous 2. The game uses voice acting without butchering it, creates fluid character movement without awkward camera angles and even though the plot isn’t that amazing, it’s easy to look past when all other aspects of the game are that well done. Infamous 2 is nothing if not fun, and who can resist a game where you get to smack things with a giant electric hammer?