Zeke: Half as long... inFAMOUS 2
Cole: ...twice as bright.
is a PlayStation 3 Action Adventure Wide Open Sandbox Superhero
video game and the 2011 sequel to inFAMOUS
Following the events of the first game, Cole MacGrath travels to the New Orleans Fictional Counterpart
of New Marais in search of a scientist who holds the key to defeating the Beast
, a super-powered monster leaving a trail of death and destruction down the East Coast. The game refines the Karma Meter
and gives Cole new abilites, including an electrically charged melee weapon and a choice between additional Ice
Was followed by the October, 2011 downloadable game inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood
. In it, Cole battles vampires
in New Marais when a vampire lord
named Bloody Mary rises from her grave on Pyre Night
This game provides examples of:
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- A Taste of Power: The beginning has a fully powered Cole with infinite energy and Megawatt Hammer rockets as a default attack facing off against The Beast. However, Cole soon loses all these powers and spends a good part of the game getting them back.
- Action Bomb: There are monsters that run up to you and explode in a blast of acid.
- Airplane Arms: Nix does this a lot.
- All There in the Manual: The interquel comic explains why Moya, a major character in the first game, is entirely missing from the second.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: 2 uses "Ichioku Bun No Ichi No Shousetsu" by Uverworld as the theme song in Japan.
- Ambiguous Situation: Both the "good" and the "evil" paths have reasonable justifications for going down them.
- And I Must Scream: The Beast tells you he spent an eternity being ripped apart by the Ray Sphere atom by atom, and even after putting himself back together he can still feel it tearing into him.
- Art Shift: 2 lost the ink spatter effect from the first game for a more "watercolor" feel, like this. For consistency's sake, the opening flashbacks, in Empire City, use the first game's art style, even when they're all-new. It makes sense, the first game is in a grimy city, the second is in a flooded one.
- Ascended Meme: Zeke's Honey Badger jacket.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Behemoth, a Giant Enemy Crab looking thing, and the Beast, a giant Magma Man.
- Bag of Spilling: Cole keeps the "alpha" versions of about half of his powers from the first game, but still has to absorb Blast Cores to get the other half back after blowing most of his reserves fighting the Beast.
- Barefoot Poverty: Seems to afflict most of New Marais' pedestrians.
- Betty and Veronica: There are two possible female partners for Cole; the sensible and down to earth ice-using Kuo or the wild fire-using Nix. It's reversed when Kuo does a Face-Heel Turn out of fear and Nix does a Heel-Face Turn looking for revenge.
- Bittersweet Ending:
- In the Hero ending, The Beast is dead, the plague is gone, the world is saved and "The Demon of Empire City" is now hailed as the savior of New Marais. But Nix, Kuo, Cole and every other Conduit on Earth were sacrificed to do it.
- In the Evil ending: Cole will be able use the powers of the the Beast to save the dormant Conduits, but he's forced to kill both Nix and Zeke, and millions more "normal" humans to come.
- Book Ends: The first thing the player does in inFAMOUS is press Start, which activates the Ray Sphere and makes Cole into a Conduit. The last thing the canon Hero ending of inFAMOUS 2 has you do is let go of all the shoulder buttons, activating the RFI and killing every Conduit alive, including Cole.
- Boss in Mook Clothing: Ravagers, who burrow, fire homing sludge, will bum rush you, and (in the Hive Lord variant's case) turn out lots of annoying dart-spewing larvae if you don't stay on top of them. Oh, and your normal attack just bounces off their head shields.
- Once you get Sticky Grenades, Ravagers go from dangerous to mildly annoying (and even that only because they nullify grenades stuck to them when they burrow, so killing them in one barrage is not certain). Particularly as their attack patterns has huge gaps during which Cole can recharge.
- Vermaak 88's Titans are invulnerable to the bolt attack, need dozens of rockets to the face before you can remove the face shield via Quick Time Event and then another dozen of rockets to the face to finally kill it. They of course don't just stand there and take a beating. They attack you with ice beams, throw several ice boulders at you, can generate ice spikes on the ground which also serve as protective wall, and heal themselves when you leave them alone for a few seconds. The secret is to attack their arms: they're essentially Dust Men conduits with a quick-time event added in, but you don't need to reveal the weak point to kill them; it'll just take longer. Sticky Grenades are incredibly useful in this regard.
- Broken Aesop: inFAMOUS 2 has a fair amount of Fantastic Racism in it, with one of the Big Bads being a Strom Thurmond Fictional Counterpart who's constantly bleating that Conduits have to be exterminated for the good of humanity. Just before the final battle with him, Good Cole states that, "powers don't kill people. Oh no, it's the person behind the powers that kill people." So far so good. Except, the ultimate problem is that the same energy that empowers Conduits is lethal to non-Conduits. Cole has to either let the Beast Kill All Humans to activate every Conduit, or use the RFI to kill all Conduits and save humans. Killing all the Conduits is considered the "Good" choice. And after that, humanity begins spreading rumors that Conduits were "different" from humans. The point may be that trying to apply normal human morality and ethics to superhumans is going to come up short.
Despite that, Zeke himself gets a crowner that doubles as a real tear jerker in the Good ending for both mentioning, and then throwing such things out the window.
Zeke: Sometimes, I hear folks talking about Conduits and humans like they're totally different. That's bullshit. Because there ain't nobody with more humanity than Cole MacGrath. I love you, brother, and I'm sure gonna miss you.
- Call Back: While the game does well to avoid a certain Late-Arrival Spoiler from the first game, it does throw in a few references to it:
Zeke: Man, this feels like Empire City, when Kessler beat me up.
Cole: I should beat you up.
Zeke: Eh', same diff'.
- The Chessmaster: Kessler came off this way in the first game, but it's subverted in the sequel where a lot of things indicate his grand scheme is much more ad hoc than it first appears, despite his knowledge of the future, with nearly disasterous results. For example, he's got no idea John is the one who becomes the Beast, which at best leads to the death of almost the entire East Coast in inFamous 2, and fails to give Cole the power needed to fight him by the end of the first game, which almost gets him killed at the start of the second. Hell, Kessler admits himself at one point he wasn't even sure that Cole would live through the initial Ray Sphere blast in the first place!
- Color-Coded Elements: Kuo has icy blue powers while Nix has red fire powers, and which of these two he's more in tune with affects the color of his lightning.
- Combination Attack: Cole can do this with Kuo or Nix.
- The Corruption: "The Corrupted" is the collective name of the various swamp monsters assaulting New Marais. And to make it worse, all of them used to be human.
- The plague, which was present in the first game, has become even more of a threat; it's become a humanity-extinguishing supervirus that will kill all humans who aren't awakened conduits if the RFI isn't used to cure it.
- Cozy Catastrophe: The evil ending, where the world falls apart as superhumans slowly inherit the earth.
- Crapsack World: The world has gotten worse since inFAMOUS, as the chaos has expanded outside of Empire City, and the Beast only brings more destruction in its wake as it pursues Cole. This causes massive unemployment, the US military to withdraw from around the world, yet another world-wide economic collapse, and thus other countries refusing to give aid. Oh, and that plague in the first game wasn't stopped by the quarantine at all, and is slowly spreading worldwide.
- Deal with the Devil: The bad ending: Cole sides with John/The Beast to save all the conduits from the plague. At the cost of all ordinary humans' lives.
- Degraded Boss: Ravagers and Crushers are both bosses the first time you face them. Later on, they turn up as Elite Mooks, and not alone.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: iF2's Karma Trailer. Nix represents the proverbial evil devil on one's shoulder, while Kuo represents the inspiring good angel. It's not clear whether Sucker Punch actually knows that the Latin for "left", Nix's "shoulder", is "sinister". In the ending of the game, Kuo is making the selfish, evil decision, and is on Cole's left shoulder, while Nix is making the angry, revenge-driven, yet good decision, and is on his right shoulder.
- In a more Captain Ersatz related example: Joseph Bartrand and his pseudo-religionistic military group doesn't look like much... unless you're an X-Men fan. Bartrand himself, his motives and his agenda look like they could be taken straight from the pages of God Loves Man Kills. To Sucker Punch's credit - that's not a bad thing.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: Played straight in the beginning Even though Cole attempts to fight the Beast, he's blamed for the destruction of Empire City as a result.
- Though thankfully for Cole finally gets subverted in the Hero ending, as instead of yet again being the unsung savior of the world, Cole becomes the patron saint of New Marais.
- Also subverted in one of the missions, where you meet someone who had relatives in Empire. If you went the Good Karma route, she thanks you for helping and gives you a kiss on the cheek. (If you went the Evil route, you're attacked.)
- Dying Moment of Awesome: The good ending. Sure, Cole kills himself (Or does he?) and every other Conduit in the world, but he saves humanity from the Beast and the plague at the same time.
- Apparently not all conduits died, as Infamous: Second Son picks up from the Good Ending and there are clearly conduits still running around including the protagonist.
- Easily Forgiven: Subverted. Though Zeke and Cole are back to being friends as of inFAMOUS 2, Zeke's betrayal of Cole is still brought up several times, and it's clear that Zeke has been working overtime to earn his forgiveness. As Cole says in the intro, he'd do anything to be friends like they used to be. It helps that he's also not a moocher this time.
- Electric Slide: There's some vertical power conduits on the sides of buildings Cole can grab to give himself a short launch upwards with. A pre-order power allows him to hook onto enemies and pull them towards him.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: A lightning storm rolls in on the second to last mission, providing Cole with infinite recharges at any time by draining the storm itself. At the end of this mission, Cole gets back the ability to call lightning bolts from the sky. This power now automatically targets the biggest enemy in the immediate vicinity and is usually enough to kill them in one hit.
- Elite Mooks: Infamous 2 does not have Conduits among the Militia, but they do have guys with high-powered sniper rifles and Heavy-like guys with machine guns. The Corruption doesn't have "elite mooks" so much as loads of minibosses that take a lot of cluster bombs or rockets to die. Vermaak 88 has "heavy" troopers with ray beams who like to create ice columns for themselves to stand upon, and a miniboss form of their own.
- The End of the World as We Know It: The Beast is going to kill most of the population, but they're all going to die from ray field radiation anyway, so he's using the normal humans to activate all the world's Conduits (who can metabolize the radiation) and save what's left.
- The End... Or Is It?: The very end of the good ending for implies that Cole might be Not Quite Dead. That lightning strike looked very oddly shaped. Now if you consider the fact that Kessler, Cole from an alternate future, learned how to time-travel...◊
- Unfortunately it's been confirmed that Cole is dead in Infamous: Second Son.
- Enemy Civil War: The three major factions of enemies have a common point of origin, but they're dead set on killing one another (and you!).
- Enemy Mine: All the various warring factions in the city end up (somewhat unintentionally) joining forces to defeat the Behemoth, which is actually Bertrand's true form. Also happens in both endings, where the rebels and militia will fight side-by-side in a last-ditch attempt to either take down Cole and the Beast in the evil ending, or help Cole slow down the Beast in the good ending.
- Everybody's Dead, Dave: In the good and canon ending, every single named character minus Zeke dies.
- Evil Pays Better: Being evil not only lets you net easy experience by killing random bystanders, but gives you temporary unlimited ammunition if you suck the life out of them.
- Evil Plan: Bertrand's plan to convince the world to hate and fear conduits by mass-producing them and selling them to various countries and military powers as weapons.
- Evil Tower of Ominousness: The Ice Tower.
- Expy: There is one Vermaak 88 soldier with dialogue, dark suit, breathing sounds, and mannerisms that is reminiscent of Darth Vader.
- Face-Heel Turn: Kuo, who decides to let The Plague and the Beast kill millions because she doesn't want to die. A Hero Cole will call out her rationalizations as selfish and even she finally acknowledges it after Cole defeats her and the Beast.
- Fantastic Racism: Bertrand really hates conduits, probably because his powers revolve around turning people — including himself — into monsters.
- The Fettered / The Unfettered: Good karma nets you precise, efficient powers. Evil karma nets you flashy powers that destroy everything around you.
- Final Boss Preview: The game opens with Cole battling the Beast, then retreating to New Marais to lick his wounds and prepare for the rematch. Unusually for the trope, Cole is able to do a lot of damage to the Beast. It's just that the Beast can regenerate fairly easy.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: Nix, Kuo and Cole, respectively. Also, John, Kuo and Cole.
- 555: Many numbers use this trope (most notably on the Militia's constant big-screen TV ads). The cellphone number Zeke gives for Cole is 555-0127. (Probably not Cole's actual number, otherwise he might well have spent the final 1/3 of the game inundated with calls from admirers. Or maybe he has his phone on silent. Quite possibly it's Zeke's number.)
- Flash Step / Teleport Spam: Nix can do this. Kuo's "flight" is half this; she turns into a wisp of mist that flies through the air at high speed.
- Flight: This seems to be one of the more common Conduit powers. The newscast reports sightings of an old lady capable of flight, Kuo's ice powers (for some reason) also give her the ability to fly, the female Conduit activated by the Beast late in the game discovers the power of flight, and Cole gains the ability to fly as part of his Eleventh Hour Super Power power up in the good and evil final missions.
- Foreshadowing: Late in the first game, John White explains that he was right behind Cole when the Ray Sphere went off, the Ray Sphere being a device that creates a massive blast of energy that kills all normal people and unlocks the powers of all Conduits in range. Guess who turns out to be the Conduit Anti Christ in the second game.
- Furthermore, when John disintegrated during the Ray Sphere's destruction, his eyes and mouth glow blue. In the ending cutscene, when Cole realizes he needs to fight the Beast, its silhouette is shown with a set of glowing blue eyes and mouth.
- John, please say more dramatic things about the Beast in Wolfe's audio logs, implying more blatantly each time that you have a connection to it.
- About 2/3 of the way through, Zeke starts coughing every now and then because he contracted the plague.
- For the Evulz: Evil Cole and the Beast, both subvert this at the end.
- Friendship Moment: Cole and Zeke get one when they drink beer and watch a movie together. When someone (likely Kuo) tries to call them they wordlessly agree that they'd rather ignore it and just relax. They even pull a platonic Sleep Cute on the couch.
- Genocide Dilemma: A two for one: Murder all Conduits by using the RFI to potentially save all the normal human beings from the plague, or let the Beast murder countless normal people and speed up their extinction to definitely save the Conduits.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: Subverted. At first, no explanation at all is given for the sudden appearance of the Corrupted in New Marais, and up until they are introduced Cole has spent all his time fighting gun-toting gangs and other super-powered mutants. Later, however, it is revealed that Bertrand himself is a Conduit whose powers involve transforming into said Giant Space Flea as well as turning other humans into Corrupted under the guise of cleansing them from their demons.
- A God Am I: Inverted in the evil ending, where despite his now godlike powers Cole admits he hasn't become a god at all, but the devil.
- Gone Horribly Right: If Cole is evil in the first game, Kessler's plan to teach his younger self not to be weighed down by emotion succeeds far better than he likely thought possible. It succeeds so well, in fact, that an evil Cole in the sequel decides to save the human race by taking over as the Beast. It does "stop" the first one...
- Grey and Gray Morality: By the end of the second game, the morality system is less about Good and Evil and more about two separate races struggling to survive the Plague, and the only solution for either race requires the destruction of the other...
- Guide Dang It: Looking for all the Dead Drops? You can only find 28 out of 29 in the main sandbox. The 29th is located in the Swamp Blockade and doesn't activate until you've been on the main island for a while. Somewhat mitigated in that there's a clue in the trophies about where to find it.
- Hammerspace: Sucker Punch has Cole, during cutscenes, reach behind his back to store and retrieve objects, noticeably blast cores. Presumably they didn't want to waste time animating him putting it in his backpack.
- Harmless Freezing: Averted. Freezing an enemy/civilian instantly kills them.
- Hehheh You Said X: In one of their conversations Cole laughs at Kuo's use of "penal code".
- Heel-Face Turn: Zeke refuses to go with Cole if he chooses to go along with John's plan.
- Nix, who in the end is actually willing to sacrifice herself to save millions, but only because she wants revenge on the Beast.
- The Hero Dies: The Good ending has Cole sacrificing his life to save humanity. Though he kills every other Conduit on the planet in the process.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: inFAMOUS 2 gives Cole and Zeke's friendship more screen-time, including one entire cutscene dedicated solely to them hanging out, watching cheesy movies, and completely ignoring the problems they have to deal with for just a little while. It makes both endings hurt that much more.
- Human Popsicle: Enemies finished with ice powers, realistically this also averts Harmless Freezing; frozen enemies are dead instantly, even breaking them out won't save them.
- An Ice Person:
- Kuo, who will share her powers with Cole if he makes orderly decisions.
- Also the Vermaak 88, who act like watered down version of Kuo due to being given her powers by Bertrand.
- Implacable Man: The Beast is so strong that he survives getting half his head blown off by the initial fight. Cole and his friends flee to New Marais, and the rest of the game keeps track of the Beast's swath of destruction as he follows you down the coastline. Every time you pause the game or hit a new story chapter, it tells you how many miles are left before he gets to you.
- Just having his head blown off? Try surviving a nuke.
- In a Single Bound: The ice troopers primarily use this to get around; rather than having super-strong legs, they instantly create a small pillar of ice under their feet, launching themselves into the air. Cole can optionally get this power as well; it makes his jump distance nearly triple what it ordinarily does.
- Incurable Cough of Death: The deadly plague sweeping through the city is a major plot point. As the game goes on, you'll probably notice Zeke coughing a lot and sounding progressively more hoarse....
- In Love with Your Carnage: Pretty much the entire reason Nix decides to hang out with Cole is because he's supposedly the demon who destroyed Empire City, to the point where she calls Cole the Demon as a term of endearment.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: Averted, finally, and lampshaded, you actually get a trophy for climbing over a chain-link fencenote .
- Irony: In the first game Kessler praised Cole when he did Infamous actions and derided him for hero actions. In the Infamous ending he becomes the Beast and continues his work, while Hero Cole does what Kessler wanted.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Flashbacks establish this was true for New Orleans stand-in New Marais before it was hit by its version of Katrina.
- Karma Meter: The Karma Meter from the first games has been revised so that all the Karma choices, bar one, be an active choice between two missions. Not necessarily different versions of one mission, but usually different missions entirely, in different locations, taken from different people, with different enemies.
- Kick the Dog: One of the evil side tasks that pops up when you are walking around New Marais is to beat up street performers simply because Zeke finds them annoying.
- Knight Templar: Bertrand, who wants to get rid of all the Conduit "abominations" despite being a Conduit himself.
- Actually it is because of him being a conduit that he hates them, his own powers are so horrifying that, as his last conversation with Cole hints, he wants everyone to share in his hatred, and his plan is to make conduits of the most violent and horrifying kind, his own corrupted and the increasingly unstable ice gang, so prevalent that no one on earth would object to killing them all. It is outright stated that he sees himself as a monster as well, making all of his work as way of justifying his feelings, he needs to believe that all conduits are monsters are evil, or else it is just him.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler: In an aversion, especially considering how much of a huge twist it was, the second game doesn't spoil the fact that Kessler and Cole are the same person. Only Cole and Zeke know, and they never discuss it or tell anyone else. Doctor Wolfe noticing that Cole "looks just the same" as Kessler is the only hint, and Cole quickly dismisses it. He does wonder if they happen to be related.
- Level Editor: You can create your own missions, called UGC, in-game. Though you're restricted to building in the in-game world, the editor is fairly extensive, and there are plenty of parts to let you create what you want.
- Magic Pants: Averted when the Behemoth reveals itself to be Bertrand, he is naked.
- Meaningful Echo: In the evil ending, right before Cole kills Zeke.
Cole: Half as long.
Zeke: Twice as bright.
- Meaningful Name: Kuo's name makes sense as following the Good missions maintains the "status quo", which is also Lampshaded by the achievement "Quid Pro Kuo" when you take Zeke's suggestion of freeing the police to save her. Also Nix is named for Nyx (the personification of night) from Greek Legend.
- Mega Manning: Cole gains a "transfer device" that allows him to use some of Kuo or Nix's powers.
- Moral Event Horizon: Played arbitrarily/nonsensically in the mission where you can swap powers with Nix or Kuo. No matter how many lives you've saved, good you've done, and how respected you are, choosing Nix's powers over Kuo's instantly sets you as evil. And no matter how many civilians you've torched, cops you've killed, and babies you've eaten, choosing Kuo's powers makes you good.
- More Dakka: Bolt Stream, the good-aligned powerup for the regular lightning bolt.
- Most Annoying Sound: The footsteps made by the Ice Titan enemies, especially if playing a UGC mission with a bunch of them. (it gets even worse if you have a good sound system with a subwoofer)
- Nerf: Unlike the first game, you can't obtain the ability to drain energy from rails by just sliding on them now. Some of Cole's other abilities also aren't as powerful as they were in the first game — especially his ultimate attack, the Lightning Storm, which now runs off a new kind of ammo that's a pain to refill.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- the Evil Ending, where the Beast give Cole his powers. After that, Cole sets out on a global conquest, awakening any conduits and killing any human in his wake. He becomes what Kessler was trying to stop.
- When Cole unknowingly sets free the Vermaak 88 while saving Kuo from her underground prison at the plantation.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot:
- Vermaak 88 can accurately be described as "Gunslinging South African ice ninjas".
- Zeke calls the swamp monsters "inbred shirtless crocodile freaks" — which both he and Cole agree is actually pretty cool.
- No Body Left Behind: The usual enemies vanish when they go off-screen, but it's oh so definitely averted with Bertrand's remains:
Laroche: Well, it took thirty men, seven chainsaws and twelve pickups, but we finally got that monster's corpse of the streets.
- No Canon for the Wicked: Word of God confirmed that the Hero ending is canon for in this game as well.
- The Not-Love Interest: Especially if you play as Good Cole (Evil Cole will have Belligerent Sexual Tension with Nix), Cole doesn't have a Love Interest in the game presumably because he's still mourning Trish. A lot of the drama and emotional beats in the game comes from his relationship with Zeke and both men's attempt to repair their friendship.
- Oh, Crap: When the Beast shows up. His first reaction to the destruction and smoke everywhere, is speechless shock, and then, "No... No, no... No!"
- During the second-to-last mission, the mooks you're fighting can experience this: Iceman: "He's getting power from THE STORM!!"
- Old Save Bonus: If you played the original game, inFAMOUS 2 will grant you bonuses based on what trophies you've unlocked in the save file you import.
- One Super One Powerset: Averted. While in the first game Cole is stuck with using his lightning powers and nothing else, Infamous 2 allows Cole as part of the storyline to use a machine to copy either fire or ice powers from two other superpowered people, depending on his alignment.
- Personality Powers:
- Embodied by Kuo and Nix; Kuo's cool-headed to match her ice powers, while Nix is wilder and hot with rage. However, Kuo is also brittle when under a lot of stress, and Nix has a few surprising moments of warmth.
- Bertrand also counts, the corrupting hive lord maggot.
- The Plague: It's learned that the plague from the first game is in fact ray field radiation slowly killing every person who isn't an active Conduit.
- Playing with Fire: Nix who will share her powers with Cole if he takes chaotic decisions. She also has oil-based powers: she can create blobs of oil to ensnare her enemies, who can be lit up afterwards, and her main ranged attack is tossing little flaming balls of oil.
- Plot Coupon That Does Something: Cole's overarching goal in the story is to find and absorb seven Blast Cores so that he can power up the RFI device and use it to defeat the Beast. Each one also gives him a set of new abilities. Ultimately, they only resolve the plot in the good ending. Should Cole opt to join forces with the Beast, then the RFI device only serves as an obstacle in his way.
- Power Nullifier: What the Ray Field Inhibitor does. Perfect for fighting the Beast, though it turns out that it kills all Conduits in process.
- Power Trio: Cole, Kuo, and Nix act as the Freudian Trio. See the Characters Page to see specifics.
- Product Placement: While you're running around New Marais, why not enjoy a 5-dollar Footlong at your local Subway™? (Eat Fresh!™)
- Prophetic Fallacy: Kessler didn't actually know why the Beast will go on its apparently world-ending rampage, and thus, neither does anyone who gets the warning, including Cole. Whether Cole acts on that missing puzzle piece once it's discovered or decides that it changes nothing is the crux of the ultimate karmic choice.
- Rare Guns: The Militia use Remington ACR Assault Rifles.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Nix is red, Kuo is blue.
- Sadistic Choice: The final and end-deciding moral choice is one of these. Kill all the world's Conduits to save the rest of the human race, or kill the rest to save all the Conduits.
- Sad Battle Music: The song that plays when you fight Zeke is a huge Tear Jerker just on its own.
- Sequel Hook: Maybe◊.
- Shaggy Dog Story: A lot of people's actions in the first game are made pointless in this game.
- All the good you did for Empire City? It is blasted off the map in the first five minutes.
- The Beast spends the beginning and middle of the game carving a path through America towards Cole, activating conduits and killing ordinary humans to cure the plague. In the Hero ending the RFI is used which cures the plague and kills all conduits, everywhere.
- Kessler went back in time to stop the Beast from rampaging the planet. In the evil ending Cole becomes the Beast and decimates humanity for conduits.
- A preorder power includes a 'lightning hook' which pulls enemies towards you. Get over here!
- If you look closely, Zeke is reading the Thievius Raccoonus in a pre-mission cutscene.
- And then there's the theater with a marquee covered in Parallel Porn Titles - Solid Serpent: The Man, The Movie, Call of Booty, Uncharted Love, Assassin's Need (LoveToo), Hey, Low Reach, No Need For Speed, Epic Hickey, Little Big Unit, Latch It And Skank, and of course, Sly!
- ""STOP. SHOOTING. THE THERMONUCLEAR MISSILE, YOU DUMB HICKS!"
- Possible shout-out in mission 32 to Two Gamers on a Couch, since the entirety of the mission is Cole and Zeke watching a Western, drinking beers, and then Cole absorbing the penultimate Blast Core.
- In Flood Town, one can see on a roof written, "I'm starving". The reply written under it is "You can has cheeseburger."
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Bertrand is revealed as the leader of the Corrupted after trying to give himself powers, and bent on starting a genocide on himself and all conduits, Cole quickly puts him into his place.
Cole: Oh, I finally get it. Oh, you thought the Ray Sphere was gonna turn you into some sort of shiny superhuman, but instead it turned you into a fifty foot maggot.
- Spanner in the Works: The one thing Kessler doesn't account for is the possibility that the Beast isn't motivated by Evulz.
- Nix wears lots and lots of leather and accessories, to signify her unstable mental state. Ironically, the outfit would actually be rather impractical for a stripper.
- Kuo wears a standard business suit upon her introduction, and later switches to something a little more... distinctive. She also gets her hair done, and her skin coloring switches to look like some nice makeup. Still not exactly stripper-wear, but sexier than her old outfit. Compare and contrast.
- Superpower Lottery: Stated.
Wolfe: It's impossible to predict how a Conduit's power will manifest.
- Most named Conduits actually won this one. Bertrand... not so much.
- Sunglasses at Night: Zeke and a few cops.
- Zeke's might be justified in that; he's hiding the rest of his face so Cole won't piece together he has the plague.
- Take That: There are stores called "Red Ring Electronics," an obvious Take That against the Xbox 360. Comes complete with a neon sign that does the full red ring animation.
- Temporal Paradox: Thanks to Kessler's very presence in the first game, the timeline is altered so much that the Beast arrives much sooner than Cole expects, and Cole ends up outmatched and forced on the run.
- There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Zeke paraphrases George Bernard Shaw's Maxims for Revolutionists #124 just before the finale.
"The way I see it, there's basically two types of people. Most of them are guys like me. Guys that sit on the couch, we might not like the shit that happens to us, but we deal with it. Then there are guys like you."
- Video Game Caring Potential: Holy shit does the game managed to pull this with choices for the ending. Neither choice is easy, between killing thousands of humans or helping the Beast under the belief that it's the only way to save humanity. Since the Good Karma choice proved the lesser of two evils and being forced to kill Zeke proved such a Player Punch, the game brought this so hard that players ended up preferring the Good ending over the evil one, contrary to the developers expectations.
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: The Ionic Charges mechanic. You can spend an ionic charge you've stored up to release a powerful area attack that has a high potential of one-shotting most enemies: the trick is that you can only get ionic charges by defeating bad guys... or cops... or random people passing in the street. Since innocent victims are a lot more plentiful than bad guys during later parts of the game, Evil Cole tends to be a lot more free with his wanton destruction than Good Cole.
- Each civilian you kill nets you a "Bystander" bonus above a certain Evil karma level. For that matter, even "Good" karma random encounters can be turned around to negative karma: you can Thunder Drop on groups of wounded, trigger the bombs left around the city (or just kill everyone near the bomb and then defuse it), kill the mugging victims AND the muggers, dump grenades on abductees... it's less than surprising that this time around, instead of just one or two guys hucking rocks, civilians will actually gather in large groups and try to beat you to death with their bare hands.
- Weaponized Offspring: The Hive Lord enemy will create pods that sprout from that ground. The pods hatch Spikers if the player doesn't destroy them fast enough.
- WHAM Episode: "The Face of Change." In this mission, Cole meets the Beast face to face, uncovers its identity, finds out its motivation, and starts to understand how serious The Plague really is.
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The penultimate choices fall into two categories. The good act is to commit genocide on all conduits so the rest of humanity can live; the evil ending is vice-versa, killing off humanity so conduits can reign.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Cole himself also does this late in the second game, if he's a Hero. Kuo will let the Beast live because she's scared of dying, and Cole calls her out on it.
- There's a minor one with Dr Wolfe by the resident Conduits near the end. He explains that the RFI could be used to subtract the Beast's abilities, rendering it weak enough for Cole to lay the smackdown. What he DOESN'T explain is that the RFI actually kills all conduits across the world when fully charged. Needless to say, Cole, Nix and Kuo aren't happy they were lied to. Wolfe's last Dead Drop - his last message to Kuo - is simply titled, "Forgive Me." Hint: she doesn't.
- One side mission has Cole keep watch over a captured militia mook, while the cop who gave you the quest hurries off to fetch reinforcements. As soon as the cop leaves, the militia mook spews one insult after another, and you have the choice between ignoring him or frying his defenseless ass. Doing the latter causes the cop to chew you out for it, first with words and then with weapons.
- With Great Power Comes Great Insanity:
- Nix. She just loves to watch stuff burn.
- Mid and late game good karma missions have you team up with a benevolent member of Vermaak 88. Said member gets stronger with every mission, starting out as a normal mook, then becoming a heavy unit and ultimately a titan. His sanity slips away with every power up, and in the end, you are forced to Mercy Kill him before he harms innocents.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: Bertrand's plan to make humanity fear Conduits.
- Zero-Effort Boss: At the end, if you side with the Beast, then Zeke becomes your "final opponent" at the very end when he tries to stop you and the Beast from exterminating humanity. He stands about as much of a chance against Cole as you would expect. Also counts as a Post Final Boss, since the "real" final boss of the evil path is Nix.
Festival of Blood
- Airplane Arms: The Harpies do this just like Nix. (Same code, probably.)
- Alternate Continuity: The entire plot of Festival of Blood is a story Zeke made up in order to score with some chick, until he's interrupted by Cole.
- Bragging Rights Reward: The rocket and grenade upgrades you gain by completing UGC missions. They would be very helpful during a playthrough, but you can only play UGC missions once you complete the game, so all they're good for is messing around in the overworld.
- Eleventh Hour Superpower: Once you get the Barbed Cross in the final mission, your melee attacks are greatly powered up, allowing you to kill regular vampires in one hit and firstborns in just a few. In the last part, where you have to fend off hordes of enemies, you do so in an area that's filled with water, so you can mass-shock everyone with reckless abandon.
- Evil Pays Better: It's much easier to replenish your blood supply by feeding on readily avaliable innocent bystandards than staking an evil vampire for theirs.
- Final Boss Preview: You can encounter Bloody Mary while just roaming around; however, if you try to fight her before you're supposed to, she drains your energy and taunts you before fleeing the area.
- Flash Step / Teleport Spam: Most vampires, Cole included, can turn into either a swarm of bats or a wisp.
- Halloween Episode: Takes place on the Halloween Fictional Counterpart of Pyre Night.
- Improvised Weapon: After losing his Amp, Cole makes a makeshift Wooden Stake out of a large cross with a pointy bit of wood on the end from a broken coffin lid.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: Festival of Blood features Pyre Night, which was ostensibly Mardi Gras with pumpkins. Still technically averted as Festival takes place on a single night.
- Kick the Dog: Most of Mary's teachings are this, with the notable exception of one that invokes Kick the Son of a Bitch instead.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: A UGC mission made by Sucker Punch has Cole posit the theory that Vampires could actually just be blood-based Conduits, though this wouldn't explain the various runes that only Cole and other Vampires can see.
- Naked on Revival: Vampire Bloody Mary is au natural after being revived by Cole's blood.
- Nerf: Most of Cole's abilities are reduced to their most basic level, barring upgrades that go on as you kill vampires, with a few of the other powers being replaced by features of the game (the sniping ability is replaced with flight and Vampire Sense replaces anything on the R2 button). Cole also can't use his most powerful ability, Ionic Storm, until near the end of the DLC, and even then it's a Scripted Event.
- No Ontological Inertia: Bloody Mary's vampires follow the "head vampire" rule, knowledge of this is what lets Cole (who is canonically good for this game) feed on people without letting the guilt crush him; sure he might turn them for the night, but as long as he kills Mary before night's end, they'll all be cured.
- Our Vampires Are Different: Cole figures Bloody Mary and those she infects are blood based Conduits.
- Rewarding Vandalism: There are two trophies for feeding on people, as well as one for destroying one of the large demon head balloons.
- The Stinger: At the end of the story, the girl Zeke was talking to reveals herself to be a real vampire before leaving the bar with Cole.
- Unreliable Narrator: Festival of Blood's framing device is Zeke telling a story about Cole to a hot woman in a bar. Obviously, it's not clear whether he's telling the truth or not. He claims Cole is a good guy, but that could be either from Cole being Good Karma, or Zeke trying to "sell" the story to the woman because Cole was actually evil. Then again, in the end we learn that the girl Zeke was speaking to was a real Vampire.