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Cole MacGrath is back for more in Sucker Punch’s sequel to their free-roaming original Superhero tale of a delivery boy that gains new powers in a catastrophic explosion.

The first game took place in Empire City, but for the sequel Cole and his group of sidekick cohorts are headed down south to a new city, New Marais to prepare for the arrival of something very big.

Our full review after the jump.

inFamous 2 takes place after… well… let me just explain something to those who might not know. inFamous and inFamous 2 are very dependent on how you play the game, in terms of story and gameplay.

For this reason, the endings of the games are different, and so all you really need to know is that this game is a continuation that takes place after the first game. I will also keep the review completely spoiler free for both the first and second game, as many of you have just downloaded inFamous with the Welcome Back pack from Sony, and are probably busy playing through it.

That Hoodoo That You Do

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The game is now set in the city of New Marais, which is based on the disaster-stricken city of New Orleans in the south of the United States. After the game starts with a large battle in Empire City (that you fail at), you and your crew flee down to New Marais in order to properly prepare for the arrival of the large creature you were fighting, that is now hunting you down.

As you progress through the game’s storyline, you are constantly reminded about how far away the “beast” is from New Marais and when you pause, you can see a giant path of destruction on the U.S map showing it making its way down to you. It can actually come across as pretty damn unsettling sometimes.

Buzz-Kill

Where gameplay is concerned, inFamous 2 follows the familiar formula of starting pretty simple and then acquiring new powers over the course of the game. Obviously, with inFamous 2 your new electric (and now other) powers are not only simply unlocked by reaching certain goals or distances into the game, but are also unlocked depending on if you play the game as good or evil.

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In inFamous 2, they have chucked in a a melee weapon as well as new powers to let you kick ass as much as possible, but for the most part, the game still feels incredibly similar to the first one. Take that information how you want, because for some people that will be a relief, while others may have wanted a completely overhauled experience.

I have a few gripes overall with inFamous 2’s gameplay experience throughout the campaign. While you will get more mobile later on, moving around the city still feels like too much of a chore for too much of the game. You are often left climbing buildings to get to better means of transport, but the climbing mechanic is still very clunky and could have definitely benefited from some Assassin’s Creed auto-parkour elements.

Far too much of the gameplay still revolves around Cole shooting people with his hand-shooty-electric-power, which essentially still keeps the game more feeling a little too much like a shooter for my liking. Sure, they have included a melee weapon that makes close combat a little more viable now, but you will find yourself shying away from it more often than you like after dying countless times while being shot in the back by other enemies during combat.

While this video gives a great look at the variety of fun gameplay, it also does a great job of leaving out most of the problems.

Controls also become a little bit of an issue later on in the game as new powers are unlocked, as the game designers weren’t able to think up a new system of power swapping and selecting as the game progressed. This means that you sometimes find yourself constantly having to bring up quick menus to swap out powers that shouldn’t need to be swapped out. If you want to use your super launch/jump ability, and then land next to a car, lift it up and throw it at enemies, you need to bring up the menu to swap between those two as they fall under the same controller input motions. It’s a terrible break in the flow of gameplay and its very clear that some of these powers would be used back to back very ofter, so the lack of a better interface or layout is a huge oversight from the developers.

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The gameplay actually managed to get on my bad side more often that I would have thought and often had me yelling at my screen, all due to some frankly daft decisions and bad game design from Sucker Punch. inFamous 2 has this horrible tendency to give enemies weapons that can kill you with one shot and its beyond annoying to have to do an entire mission over again because you annihilated swarms of enemies with your super powers, only to have one enemy douche-bag with an RPG, fire a rocket at you from half a block away and kill you instantly.

The same goes for some of the boss battles, that just become more annoying than interesting or exciting, as you find yourself constantly getting knocked down and damaged from the boss while you try and find weakspots to wear down its health bar, only to be killed right before it dies because it has a power that allows it to instantly kill you should it hit you just that once.

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Don’t get me wrong though, inFamous 2 still has its fun moments. It’s a good inFamous game, but I’m still on the fence on whether the inFamous formula was a really good one to begin with.

Last Updated: June 15, 2011

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inFamous 2
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Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since ’08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

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