inFAMOUS 2 Review


The end of inFAMOUS told of a destructive force known as The Beast. This Beast would destroy everything in its path, killing everyone in the process, and only Cole MacGrath can stop it. As it was, the entire first game was a training session for Cole put on by Kessler, a man from the future who saw first-hand the terror of The Beast.

inFAMOUS 2 brings us right back to Empire City, but only for a moment: the opening scene makes us watch as Empire City, a place players became quite fond of in the first game, is flattened by The Beast, showing us immediately what this guy can do. From there we head to New Marais, a New-Orleans-like town with its own share of problems. A man named Bertrand and his Mmilitia have set up shop in New Marais, using the fear of Conduits like Cole to rule the city with an iron fist. While Cole’s primary mission is to power the Ray Field Inhibitor, which can stop The Beast for good, he must do so while also dealing the maniacal Bertrand.

Besides Cole himself, only the bumbling Zeke returns from the previous installment. Every other character you’ll meet is brand new, and each one adds a layer of depth to an already deep narrative. Kuo is an NSA agent who is kidnapped by Bertrand and given powers against her will. Nix, a Conduit with the power of fire, is a resident of New Marais with a personal grudge against Bertrand and his Militia. These two women act as Cole’s moral gauge: whenever he makes a choice that impacts the story, he literally has to side with one of these two women, angering the other in the process. Besides these two allies, you’ll meet Desmond Wolfe, creator of the Ray Sphere and RFI; LaRoche, a local resistance member who will aid in the fight against the Militia, and of course the Beast himself. The Beast is actually a lot more complex than just the “destroy everything” hulk we’ve seen so far, but spoiling it wouldn’t be smart…

The city is a living, breathing entity itself, and it serves as a perfect setting for the game. At first I thought New Marais was just a cut-and-paste Empire City with a Cajun vibe and a different shape. However, I soon realized that New Marais is a place all its own: a city filled with people to see and places to go. The only part of New Marais with major problems is Flood Town, a section destroyed by hurricane-induced floods years before Cole arrived (sound familiar?). The areas in the city are more varied than Empire, with everything from a full-size cathedral to murky swamplands on the city’s edge. It wouldn’t surprise me if Empire City becomes an afterthought to most players very quickly.

inFAMOUS 2 plays just like its predecessor, with a few added tweaks that improve upon the familiar formula. The open-world approach returns, and Cole can traverse buildings and cover ground just as fast as before. The controls are virtually unchanged; however, they are much tighter and responsive than the previous game. Cole actually moved where I told him to, not where he felt like going, as he did before. Cole has a catalog of new moves to work with, too, from giant tornadoes that suck up everything in their path to new Ice and Fire powers, depending on if Cole is a Hero (Ice) or Infamous (Fire). The game adds a quick change feature, allowing you to change the properties of Cole’s special attacks on the fly by pressing Left on the D-Pad. This is very helpful in fights with multiple enemy types. The ability to go wherever you want at any point in the story is a plus as well, as there’s a ton of New Marais to see.

My favorite part of the game is the morality system. The addition of literally having to choose sides between characters as mentioned above is amazing, not only helping the morality system but buffing the story overall. As you travel to whichever path you chose, the other woman will call you and berate you for choosing that way. Jeez, choosing between two women is hard enough already, Cole doesn’t need to be berated about it. The final choice is the best one of all, as it turns everything Cole has done so far on its head in amazing fashion. Better still, the two endings are COMPLETELY different from one another, unlike the first game’s “same ending, just with different words and colors” endings. As GamerNode’s Kyle Hillard wondered, it will be interesting to see where exactly the franchise goes from here, but I know I can’t wait to find out.

inFAMOUS 2 does exactly what a sequel should do: improves on the original in every way. The story is enhanced, the gameplay is refined, and the world is just as open and open to exploration as it should be. Most of all, players will actually find themselves caring about each and every character in the game (except Bertrand; he’s a turd). inFAMOUS 2 is a fun ride through a new town, and it’s easily one of the top 5 games of the year so far. Don’t miss it.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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