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When inFamous first came out back in 2009 I was skeptical. To me, it looked like a dumb super-hero knock off. I was wrong. I played through over, and over. For an open world title based upon consequences of your actions, Infamous did a lot of things right, and in Sucker Punch's recent sequel, they managed to make a lot more improvements upon the story of Cole MacGrath. If you haven't played Infamous, I strongly recommend you do before partaking in the sequel, as Sucker Punches assumes you have already, and the story essentially picks right up where it left off.

A prophecy warns of the onset of destruction caused by The Beast, and Cole must prepare. Just as Cole is preparing to leave Empire City for New Marais to ready himself, The Beast strikes, obliterating the city, and just barely sparing Cole. As the group arrives in New Marais, you are introduced to one of your enemies, the Militia. The militia is a group of rednecks organized by one of the chief antagonists,  Joseph Bertrand. Bertrand has used recent events to essentially occupy New Marais, in the process oppressing its people.

 

Your new playground!

 

New Marais is much different in appearance from Empire City, but very much alive like its counterpart. New Marais features two separate districts, one resembling a hurricane stricken New Orleans in the form of "Flood Town." Aside from the side quests to liberate the districts from enemy control, there are other karma opportunities. Opportunities such as saving citizens, preventing a mugging, and suppressing police. These are opportunities to further drive home to the people of New Marais whether you are a hero, or a villain. If you liked Empire City in Infamous, you will love New Marais.

 

 

Cole returns with a slightly modified look, and a new voice.

 

Like its predecessor, Infamous shows a gradual change in Cole depending on karmic alignment. Following the hero path yields a cleaner, more human looking Cole. On the flip side, if you choose to become more of a villain, Cole has tattered clothing with a pale complexion. Sucker Punch also brought in a new voice actor. Instead of having a hero who sounds pissed off all the time, they went with a more human sounding character. There is a distinct difference in the tone of his voice if evil or good, which the first game did not share.

What the two games do share is Cole's connection to the people around him. The reason why I enjoyed Infamous so much was the emotional attachment given to the characters of the story, and the sequel builds and improves upon this, in particular with the return of Cole's lifelong buddy, Zeke. With these connections between characters reinforced, Infamous 2 does a great job with further developing characters, and drawing the player even deeper into the story.

 

 

"Who's your daddy?"

 

The hallmark of Infamous was the gameplay. The same is to be said of Infamous 2. The game plays the exact same as the first, so fans should have no trouble whatsoever accustoming themselves to the controller scheme. My favorite part of Infamous 2, is that for once, a sequel doesn't have tragedy befall the main character, stealing all of their abilities. Infamous 2 starts you off as the powerhouse that you ended as in the first game.

Building upon the original abilities, Sucker Punch added in some really cool ones. My favorite is an ability called kinetic pulse. This ability uses an electrical field to life nearby objects, such as a car, and not only carry them around, but throw them with great force as well. My preferred method of taking down larger foes is via car to the face, and Infamous 2 has some larger enemies this time around.

 

 

Bigger battle with bigger enemies.

 

All that greatness aside, Infamous 2 really delivers with its story telling and narrative. Character interaction and dialogue is usually quite brief, but in those moments they weave together a tale that comes together very nicely by the time you reach the end. Another aspect that I really enjoyed from the first game that they brought back was the use of comic stills of the characters. A narrative over comics gives the story a bit more of a super hero vibe to it, and I could definitely see Infamous making its way to comics.

While being a great game, Infamous 2 like any other title suffers some drawbacks. The most prevalent that I experienced was a drop in frame rate, thus leading to Cole falling through the environment to the core of the earth. This didn't happen often, only when grinding rails for a bit too long, and for some reason always with very poor timing during missions. The character animations for NPC's also seems a little unnatural, but the first game was the same, so it's not too big of a deal. Aside from these small issues, Infamous 2 is a great game, with an incredible story.

[embed:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOeX4ia8-7c ]

Closing Comments: Infamous 2 is a worthy successor to its predecessor. It features one of the best stories you can find on any gaming system out there, and top notch character development. With some minor flaws here and there, the great parts of the game really shine through and make this game one that any PS3 owner needs to experience. This game will run you about 20 hours per playthrough, and you will want to play it at least twice. Bot karmic endings have stellar yet completely different endings that just blew me away. Sucker Punch delivered the kind of story that is the reason why I love gaming. The best part of Infamous 2 hands down, the string that ties everything neatly together.

Overall Score: 9.0: It's definitely got a niche fan base, and the casual gamer may not enjoy as much as the hardcore, but it's an amazing game that I would recommend to anyone.