With Great Power, Comes a Great Game
Tuesday, June 14, 2011 2 Comments
Check out our newest guest contribution coming to you from Justin Mutch of Union City, CA. Want to write for Wrecked? Find out how here.
These days, originality in video games is a bit hard to come by. With new (and equally generic) Call of Duty clones being released what seems like every week, avid gamers need something fresh to chew on. Luckily there are a few franchises that vanquish the repetitive nature of games like those that focus solely on multiplayer. InFamous 2 came out on June 7th, and for anyone with a PS3 who likes variety in games, this was a momentous occasion. The first game was a massive hit, and the plot definitely called for a sequel. So after two years of waiting, we finally get to see Cole’s next struggle to save another city. Or destroy it.
You play as Cole McGrath, an average-joe college dropout that was given super powers. He could absorb and channel electricity and also gained super-human strength — totally badass. However, water was his Kryptonite, so he could never shower again. Let’s just assume that his powers come with a refreshing lavender scent. Anyway, in the first game, Cole has to stop the city from being taken over by the local gangs and hobos with guns. The cool part though, was that he could choose be a hero or a villain. Either way, his powers were awesome and fun as hell to play around with. He received a chilling revelation at the end of the game (SPOILER ALERT FROM THE FIRST INFAMOUS): the evil douchebag who gave him his powers was actually COLE FROM THE FUTURE, and all the crazy decisions he was forced to make were to prepare him to fight a destructive enitity known only as The Beast. (END SPOILER) Mindfucks, much? Infamous 2 starts off in Empire city, and you’re given the option to begin with good or bad karma. While leaving to a New Orleans-inspired town called New Marais to upgrade Cole’s powers, the Beast appears and kills everyone to death. Cole tries to fight it, but fails. He flees back to new Marais to gear up for round two.
Now that we’re all caught up, let’s talk about the gameplay, which is improved from the first game. Cole is equipped with the Amp, two-pronged lightning rod made of metal and pure hatred. He can channel his electrcity through it while bitch slapping his enemies. In addition, Cole’s electrical powers have much more variety. You can choose between various types of lightning bolts, electricity grenades, ionic powers, etc. The (hardcore) parkour abilities is generally the same as the first games’, which is neither good nor bad. You gain a power called lightning tether, which is grappling hook made of lightning that helps alleviate the frustrating parkour. Furthermore, an issue a lot of fans had with the original game was the repetitve side missions, but they fixed the hell out of that problem in this game. It’s great when developers actually listen to the fans’ criticism.
Sucker Punch also spent some work developing Cole as a character as well. In the first game, he was a gritty and almost emotionless character who talked like Christian Bale’s in Batman. Infamous 2 reveals a new Cole with a more normal voice with a sense of humor (i.e. he laughs when an ally says “penal code”). Visually, he no longer looks like Jens Kidman from Meshuggah, which is actually kind of disappointing. The storyline is intriguing and very grim: a zealous militia has taken over New Marais to cleanse the town of “deviant blood,” which to them, is just about everyone they don’t like. Monsters are appearing from the swamps, and the Beast is destroying the entire East Coast on its way to New Marais. Additionally, the ability to choose good or evil is much more intricate than before. If you’re good, you can join up with a sidekick named Kuo, who has ice powers, or the napalm-spewing Nix if you’re evil. I played the good karma route, and all I can say is that the good karma ending compares to Metal Gear Solid 4 in terms of both epicness and depressingness.
The inclusion of user-generated content only makes the game more worthwhile. It’s not as simple as LittleBigPlanet’s UGC, but it’s still useable. It goes without saying that Infamous 2 has very high replay value. With the intense non-linear story, action-injected gamplay, talented voice acting and vastly improved graphics, InFamous 2 is a game that every PS3 owner should have. If you don’t have a PS3, you’re missing out on some of the best open-world action games out there.
Have you played Infamous 2 yet? How do you think this one compared to the first? Sound off in the comments section below!