Okay, so the impenetrable plot and confusing mishmash of enemies mean you'll probably pay little attention to Infamous 2's story after an hour or so, but it doesn't feel incongruous amid the hotchpotch Mardi Gras backdrop of New Marais. What it lacks in coherence, it makes up for in providing a varied narrative playground for Cole's spectacular powers.
Electric ball room
Main missions and sidequests mix up situations and enemy types in a constant stream of novelty, from rooftop races and assaults on Conduit strongholds, to covert Militia tailing and defensive stand-offs against swarms of mutant freaks. This diversity proves not only the game's greatest triumph, but also sustains you throughout, despite its greatest flaw.
Where Infamous was guilty of taking too long to make Cole feel super, the sequel suffers from the exact opposite. By carrying over his original powers and constantly drip-feeding new ones throughout, Cole quickly out-muscles the confines of combat. He's too powerful and his enemies too weak. And although use of his most devastating abilities, such as sticky grenades, is curtailed by a charge meter, recharging it is a simple case of siphoning more electricity from an abundance of street furniture.
Even if you do die – often simply because occasional camera problems and a cacophony of neon and explosive pyrotechnics conspire to obscure threats – checkpointing is just too forgiving. You're respawned mid-mission with only the remaining enemies left to defeat.
It's a pity, because Cole's rich toolbox yearns for a sterner test than even the game's giant boss battles provide. Once you realise these imposing behemoths are equally as susceptible to his formidable powers, even these encounters soon devolve into a simple button-mashing frenzy.
Next page: Making good
Wouldn't a superhero sequel be the perfect setting to try out reverse levelling?
You start out a master of all your powers but each battle takes its toll, you slowly start to lose strength and stamina over time as your exhaustion from battle wrecks your physique. With that you lose grip on your more powerful attacks as you're simply not in shape to perform them.
This then ever increases the challenge throughout the game, instead of becoming a near unstoppable behemoth by the mid-point, battling tanks away as if they were flies, you have to become more tactical in your engagements - should I risk fighting that horde or work my way around, conserving strength for those unavoidable confrontations..
I suppose adding a dimension of realism to a man who can shoot lighting from his bare hands (not bear hands as I initially wrote, he would be too awesome for one game) might not gel that well though :)
Bottom of page 2 - isn't that one of the early missions from the first game? When you're still being introduced to climb+shoot they have you get that food drop down, and then you can choose whether or not to slaughter the crowd that comes looking. That square is definitely Empire City.
Not sure about this one
I've only played the demo of Infamous 2 whereas I had played the original through a couple of times (good and evil) but my immediate feeling was that the controls felt like they had been overcomplicated. I didn't like the way that at least a couple of the buttons now seem to have dual functions (L3 I think is one - depending if you are in range of a power source or not?), and they seem to have done away with the standard attack lightning "bolt" and gone for some sort of ball of electricity.
I was going to buy the new version, but based upon the experience of the demo I decided to wait until I can get it cheaply, probably as a preowned copy.