Infamous 2: What the Hell, Cole?

Infamous 2

Did he like, lose a bunch of weight then a testicle or something? Why are you suddenly like a dopey angsty teenager? I’ve never complained about sequel characterization, but what the funk is going on here?

In Infamous the first, Cole MacGrath was a rational, stoic guy who was just looking to do the right thing to help his friends out. The only morality was in how he did these things. He was very faithful to his beloved girlfriend Trish, and would never do anything to harm anyone who he had a positive relationship with. Throughout the game, Cole struggles with the “shortcuts” presented to him by his newfound electromancy. Does he simply kill those who get in the way of what he wants, or does he do it the hard way and be the self-sacrificing hero? It was up to the player.

In Infamous 2, however, there may still be two moral roads, but they’re cast in an entirely different light. If you go down the evil path, Cole is an arrogant, horny prick who’s about as mature as a prepubescent boy and as obnoxious to listen to as a bad politician. If you try to escape that horrific fate and play he good guy, he becomes an arrogant, self-righteous prick who’s still not very mature and still very obnoxious.

Infamous 2

This time around, they allow you to keep a heavy chunk of the powers you had in Infamous the first, so it isn’t like most Metroid games where you trip over a curb and drop all your abilities into a gutter. The evil path now features fiery moves that cause mass damage or damage over time to enemies, whereas the good side incorporates slowing and immobilizing ice into the combat agenda. Combat-wise, some changes were made. Firing projectiles now drains your electricity gauge, making recharging every few volleys an absolute necessity. Also, a new weapons upgrade system was implemented that allows Cole to utilize new types of weaponized electrical discharge.

Cole no longer fires lightning bolts as his main means of attack, by the by. He now fires small orbs, or “bullets” of electricity to fry his enemies. Bullet types are fairly standard, however: Machinegun rapid, shotgun spread, magnum slow but painful, and the good old fashioned high-damage lightning bolts. They’re an interesting expansion, but by no means your only method of attack. Missiles, grenades, and massive area of effect finisher attacks are all expanded on as well, though not as grandly as one would hope. With some fiddling, they look flashier, but do more or less the same thing that they did in Infamous the first. Which is kill things.

Infamous 2

One other thing to touch on before concluding this farcical review of a farcical game: Enemy types. You’ll find that outside of the main story, you won’t be encountering many of the new enemies that were brought into the game. The mutant, cryo, whatever supersoldiers that take forever to kill and their much larger cousins only appear a stark few times throughout the plot. Don’t plan on finding any of them once you’ve beaten the game and are messing around in the purest of pure sandbox modes. You’ll only find the bare minimum, which is overall what this “expanded” Infamous has to offer. Minimum Cole, minimum new content, minimum fun. You’d get more of a charge (pun intended) from playing Prototype, and that’s not even one of the better sandbox games out there.

Oh, almost forgot. They added a metal stick that Cole uses to hit people. Supposedly that’s a very new and amazing feature. It’s called the Amp. You won’t notice the difference between it and his fists.

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