inFAMOUS 2 Review

by Stephen Heller Featured

23 Comments 24 Votes 4919 Views 24/06/2011 Back to Reviews

inFAMOUS 2 Review

When Sucker Punch launched the inFAMOUS franchise it was an interesting experiment; a tale that could have been lifted from any Stan Lee comic with a morality mechanic attached, allowing you to be a hero or an anti-hero depending on your choices throughout the story.

Two years later we are given a somewhat predictable sequel. inFAMOUS 2 is a bigger, bolder and more refined experience that builds upon the original to expand the rich world of Cole McGrath and CO, but does little to change the gameplay formula.

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What inFAMOUS 2 Got Right

Badass new powers - From beginning to end Cole is far more powerful this time round, allowing you to create some spectacular displays of destruction as you clear the streets of New Marais. All of his powers seem to pack a bigger punch, and some of the new ones (such as the Ionic Vortex) are totally bad ass!

With great power comes great responsibility, and thankfully the developers have included an easy to use power management system that allows you to change your assigned powers on the fly. Simply hold left on the d-pad and the action pauses allowing you to assign different abilities to different buttons. It works well and allows the game to flow perfectly.

Fun and frantic combat - inFAMOUS 2 is all about electrifying combat, and when you combine Cole's new powers with the implementation of a far more robust melee system you have some great gameplay on your hands. Armed with a new melee weapon dubbed "the amp", Cole can channel his electricity through this handy tool that delivers some devastating blows to his enemies.

When combining a mixture of movement, powers and melee you can't help but smile as the carnage unfolds. Nothing beats gliding towards a rooftop and taking care of two enemies with a well timed ground smash before throwing out some shock grenades, and Ionic Vortex and finishing up with a melee finisher. The combat is fast paced, addictive and is a driving force to why inFAMOUS 2 just works.


User Generated Content - One of the key selling points of inFAMOUS 2 is the inclusion of an easy to use level editor, allowing you create custom missions and share them with the online community. User Generated Content is essential to the livelihood of the title, as UGC appears in the game world alongside the main story missions.

Missions can be played, rated and shared with your friends which helps to create a sense of community within what is a single-player game only. While some missions are completely arbitrary, there are some true gems out there that offer up something new, and that is a trend that is only going to continue to grow as gamers become more proficient with the tool set.

Environments and colour - While the gameplay of the first title was fantastic, Empire City was just lacking personality and colour. Thankfully the new city of New Marias has lashings of colour, and certainly has a personality all of its own. The city has been modelled from New Orleans, and it really shows the culture of the classic city.

Stepping outside of the general grey and brown colour scheme really brings the city to life as you traverse different areas. Whether it be the party sector of town, the slums or even the swamps the environments always look interesting and it helps to connect the player to their surroundings.

What inFAMOUS 2 Got Wrong

Predictable - While bad ass new powers and a new environment help to make inFAMOUS 2 stand out, you can't help but shake the feeling you've been here before. The general gameplay mechanics are exactly the same as the first, and Sucker Punch rarely try to step out of their comfort zone to shake things up.

That's not to say the game isn't a whole lot of fun, it truly is, but it does little to shock or surprise the gamer. Aside from the combat additions and the user generated content, this really feels like inFAMOUS 1.5 and that is a shame because the tantalising streets of New Marais deserve something a little more fulfilling.


Weak morality system - What should be one of the strongest features of inFAMOUS 2 is actually one of the weakest, and that is the morality system. The central gameplay hook is that you can either be a hero or an anti-hero dependant upon your decision throughout the story.

However these decisions are so plainly black and white you barely have to consider your actions at all. These moments should have you questioning your morality, but instead you are presented with two totally polarising options that require minimal attention. You either go down the alter boy at Sunday school path or the Hitler comes to town evil as hell option. There is no reason to question your options, and that is completely disappointing.

The Final Verdict

inFAMOUS 2 is a whole lot of fun that builds upon the original to create a bigger, bolder and more refined experience. While Cole's new powers are bad ass and the new setting of New Marais does well to create a compelling reason to jump into this new adventure, the gameplay remains largely unchanged from the original, which is a little disappointing. Regardless, inFAMOUS 2 is fun, frantic and explosive.

By Stephen Heller

Gameplay

7.5
Fun and frantic combat, but not enough new additions from the original title.

Graphics

8.5
The game world has spatterings of colour which keeps things looking fresh, and the world in general is far more detailed.

Sound

7.5
If you're a fan of the original the new Cole voice will take some time to adjust, but otherwise a solid soundtrack is on offer.

Value

8.0
The main missions will take 10-12 hours, there are a bunch of side missions to complete, collectables and of course User Generated Content can keep this alive.

Overall

8.0
Fun, exciting but too predictable

inFamous 2

Platform: PS3
 
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More Info on inFamous 2

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Game Profile: inFamous 2
inFamous 2 Australian Release: Out Now

inFAMOUS 2 Review Comments

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:'@
Very solid review. Covers eveything nicely.
I totally agree that Sucker Punch played it safe with this. BUT that is not a bad thing, it just means you are getting more of the same. The great thing is that 'same' is bloody awesome.
I think the gameplay deserves more than a 7.5 though. It is nigh on perfect.
Overall though 8 is a fair score.
I myself bump the gameplay up to a 9.5 and would give the game a 9.
Totally agree with you - this is one of those cases where more of the same is frigging fantastical! However I think it was a missed opportunity for Sucker Punch to really bump inFAMOUS into the same contention of Gears of War, Uncharted type of force.

As it stands inFAMOUS is great, and a lot of people love it but a number of people still haven't played it, heard of it or they just don't care. They should - it's a great new franchise that is finding its feet nicely.

Also some constructive words on the video review would be nice guys - is this something you want more of? We've since changed out capturing method so the next one will be much higher quality but some thoughts and opinions would be nice :)
Your spot on with this being an Infamous 1.5, i really was hoping for something fresh some kinda 'wow' element but it just isn't there.

I've played this for an hour maybe two and it just doesn't interest me. No where near as original and fun as the first one plus the original voice of Cole is out and replaced with a very generic and boring actor plus i hate his new look.

I'm not feeling the cinematic aproach for this neither as for me what amazed me with the first was its strong comic book cut-scenes and look.

Maybe it'll hook me sometime but right now it sits on my shelf gathering dust next to an odd looking Cole figurine from the Hero edition.

The Vid

Loving the vid, great that its all gameplay plus its put together nicely. You did a great job with the voice over too, kept me interested to the end. Things i'd add? i thought maybe you could put the gameplay, sound, value scores at the end and then add the overall score kinda like Gametrailers? Part from that keep em coming!
You know you've done a good job when Dicky praises your work :P

I agree that we need score overlay. We are working to get some graphics made.

Thanks for feedback. Heller's voice is perfect for voice-over work *_*
Yeah I agree that the new Cole voice is a little jarring at first, but it slowly grew on me to the point I didn't notice any longer.

Thanks for the kind words about the video too. We are currently getting some overlays designed so we can do exactly what you suggested. Should be a few weeks away ;)
Awesome review [Derp]

I like new Cole's voice better. inFAMOUS 2 Review
Maybe I should do the voice of Cole :D

"Zeke - Tano is being a manbaby again"

Ahhh I can see it now [Derp]
It's so true that this blew the chance to jump up to god of war and uncharted status. Damn sucker punch playing it safe.
It is still one of my fav ps3 exclusives, after demons souls but with just a little bit more risk this could have been THE game of the generation.
As it is, it's better than the first in every possible way but still so similar that it does not rise to the top of the ps3 exclusive tower.
Exactly how I feel about it @DonnieK - so much missed potential, but that doesn't mean it isn't good!
on the video, it just seems like you are reading off the paper type of thing. umm be more natural with it and it would be good! :) nice review heller! :D
I agree with this review, I would give Infamous 2 a 8-9/10. I think that it is a great sequel but I feel like something is missing, but I don't know what. :P
Great review Heller :) I agree, inFamous 2 did play it really safe in terms of gameplay, but this is one game that actually makes you feel like a real hero, you feel like a total badass, its that feeling people look to have from most mediocre superhero games, but this game nails it, and thats a great acheivment.
Seen this was in the top line on N4G for infamous 2 reviews.
Congrats that's a fair effort. I even logged into my N4G account (had to track down my username and password) and left a comment.
[MOG]
So give me some agrees and positive bubble love hey :P
You are the best @DonnieK - thanks for the kind words and the N4G love. If anyone else has an N4G account they too should share the love for MMGN articles - we are trying to dominate the WORLD!

But seriously, thank you.
do people really want a dramatic change of game play from the original? It seems the morality portion was the let down and not the game play. Considering how much people enjoyed the game play the first time around.
Nice review man.
It is like all sandbox sequels, plays it safe but is still utterly engrossing and fun. I'd give it an 8 also :)
Absolutely fantastic game. An 8 or a 9 would be my score.
Yep an 8 is a very accurate score for this game.
If you love infamous, Cole and the comic style universe it is easily a 9-10 game.
It won't win any GOTY awards but that is not because it does not deserve them, it is because it is a safe game.
I would easily have it in my top 3 this year and top 10 this generation. *_*
i so want this game it looks awesome
this is one of the best games i have played in my life id give it a 8.5 out of 10 rating :D
bought this a couple of days ago its so fun lol :D

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