If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Lightning does strike twice...
the soundtrack is amazing!
'Infamous 2' puts you in the role of series protagonist Cole MacGrath, a person with electric superpowers who's done great good or evil (depending on how you play) for his home town of Empire City. After losing a battle with a super being known only as 'the Beast', Empire City is destroyed and Cole and his allies flee to New Marais (think New Orleans) to upgrade. The story is pretty straight-forward comic book fare with Cole getting involved in the conflicts of New Marais while powering up for his rematch with the Beast. The comic-style cutscenes from 'Infamous 1' are back and sharper than ever, but the real joy is the improved in-game cutscenes which seem movie-quality thanks to the engaging main characters. The cutscenes and story do change a little in 'Infamous 2' depending on whether you're a hero or villain but it's mostly towards the end of the game. The game DOES assume you've played 'Infamous 1' so interested gamers will want to start with the original game first.
If you have played Infamous then you will feel right at home with Infamous 2. Not much has changed gameplay wise from the original except for loads of polish. Your character will keep his powers, avoiding a Metroid or God of War scenario, and earn additional powers throughout the game. Climbing mechanics, aiming, melee combat all feels more fluid and lively when compared to the original. You will explore a brand new city, take side quests and missions, find dead drops and shards... its all here all over again just with a new coat of paint. On top of new powers to unlock, Cole now has access to THE AMP which allows him additional combat moves especially with melee. To top it all off the map now has some destructible elements which add a nice bit of devastation to Cole's attacks, and goes along exceptionally well if you decide to take the EVIL path.
One thing that does put a damper on the gameplay however is the camera mechanics. This time around the camera got in my way a lot more than it did in the first installment, especially when it came to melee combat with the amp. The camera gave this really nice comic book effect sometimes, giving nice low angle close ups to the fight but it also cut off my view of oncoming danger; and sometimes when jumping would go behind a building or wall leaving me blind to my position. While not a major problem it does put a tiny damper on the gameplay
A big time improvement over the first game, and overall the game looks great! The graphics are rendered exceptionally well, and the effects of Cole's powers never looked better. The best part of all is the new city. It looks magnificent when compared to the previous. There is a lot more activity and visual effects going on that really do make the city feel more alive. It is a major improvement over the first title I feel.
Sound wise, the game is very lively. Cole's powers have a lot more effect to them and overall the game just sounds great. Voice acting is of high quality in my book. The new voice actor for Cole at first might seem out of place, when compared with the original, but it grew on me over time. Story wise the game has a decent story, on par with the first game. Like in the original you can chose to be Good or Evil depending on your actions making for two endings and in a way; Two story arcs each leading to different sets of skill upgrades and storyline elements.
Depending on how obsessed you get with collecting shards, dead drops, side quests etc the game should take you anywhere from 14 - 17 hrs. Replay value is exceptionally high! Not only do you have both a Good and Evil storyline to complete, but shards, dead drops, side quests all return and then some. If you loved the first you will have no problem playing though this game twice with ease.
There is also an online element to Infamous 2 which allows you to create and play user created maps/content. While the controls and implementation of the creator do need some work (in my opinion) the level of creation available is high. Given some time expect to see some wild user-generated content online!
OVERALL A- ... 90%
Infamous 2 does the original game justice. It doesn't change the formula much, instead just improving upon what made the original a greatest hit; while also giving it a nice face lift graphically. Throw in new super-powers, user-generated content and online, and you have yourself a winner. While Infamous 2 is not a perfect game, it does more than enough to make itself out to be a powerful, high quality title well worth the price of admission.