Reviews: Infamous 2
I Really Liked This Game
Infamous 2, despite a few flaws, is a very good game with an interesting cast, fun missions, cool powers and a intriguing story. I picked this game up from a pawn shop and I was surprised with how much fun I was having with it. Pros:
- It has a very likable cast. None of the characters felt one-dimensional. Even the villain was someone you could hate and yet really pity. If I had to name my favorite characters in the game, it would be Zeke and Nix. They were, to me, the best characters in the game because how complex and interesting they were. That doesn't mean the other characters were bad. In fact, I would say there was no one in the cast I hated.
- The combat was really fun. The melee combat was pretty good. I liked using the amp to whack my enemies. The special moves you could do using the amp were always fun to do and never got old for me. I also liked using the powers I had in the game. There were a lot of creative ways to kill your enemies using the electric powers that you had. Besides the electricity powers, you can also use ice or fire powers based on your morality in the game. I went the good guy route so I got ice powers. Freezing enemies was always a blast for me. Overall the combat was really good to me.
- The story was very well told. When I started the game, I couldn't stop. The story was quite good and it had some good twists and turns. It had its dark moments, its awesome moments and its hilarious moments. I also have to say that the good ending was, without a doubt, quite sad and bittersweet. I won't spoil it for those who haven't played the game, but I will say that I almost wanted to cry. Infamous 2's storytelling was, to me, great.
- As much as the side missions were fun, I did feel that they started to get a little repetitive after a while. It doesn't help that some of the people who give you the quests have the same voice actors. Overall, I feel like the sidequests should've had more variety.
- The morality system should've been less binary. In this game you are either good or evil, nothing in between. I wish that Sucker Punch would've allowed you to play as a neutral character. That way, you could be more varied in morality.
So Good It's Great
'Good' can sometimes be a bit of an insult describing a game. And it's true that there's nothing so exceptional and innovative about Infamous 2 that I'll be talking about it long after I've played it, I might not even put another Infamous game highly on my list of games to get. But I have the sneaking suspicion that it might be so good it's perfect. It's non-stop enjoyable and always cleverer and better then it's expectation. I'm trying to think of a flaw and maybe the last button press of the game isn't as awesome as Heavy Rain or Metal Gear Solid 4 would have done it. Maybe. The characters in the story are really good, fully fleshed out and powerfully engaging. One of them looks like a drunk Elvis impersonator and yet I really really cared. They do clever things with all of them and it all takes place with a beautiful minimalism, all their character pours out and yet there's not a single cutscene in the game that could have been described as long. The villain is powerful but in a quiet and sinister manner. Were they taking a cheap shot at religion? Not really. He talks about condemning the sinners which pushes it into cult and they reveal an interesting and fairly deep motivation for his actions. The gameplay is pure fun, freeroaming sandbox in a well-depicted interesting world with many powers to make traversing a joy, varied combat that allows shooting melee and a whole host of powers that will tie together in a theme of the responsibility and difficulty of taking on personal power without anyone having to mention a word about it. It was possibly a little less subtle in the good/evil missions themselves. Rows of sidequests with mini-story arcs most of which had their unique twist and their own way to mix up the gameplay. There's a lot of combinations of allies fighting on your side and 2 way/3 way wars with the protagonist coming in the middle and raining destruction as he sees fit. There's something innately cool about seeing the AI fight on your side and they can be pretty helpful. Collectables with meaningful reward in gameplay and story with a mechanism that compromises nicely with the fun of the search and the difficulty of having to pixel hunt through a city. Every upgrade added another option to your arsenal instead of a pure stat upgrade. It won't change your life, it was simply a delight to play and experience
Not my cup of tea.
Here are the openings to both inFamous games: Silent Melody, and Fade Away. I listened to both of these songs and realized: I really enjoyed the first game, and almost entirely hated the second one. I tried to compare how the ending songs capitalized the experiences, and arrived at, "Silent Melody made me feel awesome about how dark and twisted the ending and plot were, while Fade Away made me depressed that the game was pretty much a wrap-up". (At least until Second Son was announced) I enjoyed the gameplay of inFamous 2, even though the introduction of ice and fire powers felt unnecessary when they could've just expanded on the applications of lightning and electricity rather than half-assing ice and fire. But the story, characters, and setting made me angry. They'd set up a non-conventional superhero tale in inFamous 1 and scrapped it to tell a blander one in 2, with Cole fighting the Mutant Registration Act, Morlocks, meeting an anarchist who wants to be special and ultimately sacrificing himself for the perceived greater good. The city I'd fought so hard to save was obliterated. The character I'd respected was killed off. inFamous 1 ended and left me with questions and bewilderment. inFamous 2 ended with Porky Pig popping out of a circle waving to me and shouting, "That's all folks!"