by Brandon Waldenberg
previewed on PS3
The electrifying Cole MacGrath
Created by Sucker Punch Productions in 2009, inFAMOUS arrived to critical acclaim and fan appreciation, and they hope to pull it off again in the sequel inFAMOUS 2. Considering Sucker Punch had only worked with the Sly Cooper series before this, inFAMOUS was a drastic change for the company, going from childish platforming games to a more mature super hero story.
inFAMOUS followed Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger working in Empire City. While delivering a package through the bustling streets of the city, Cole was transformed by the device he was carrying into a super hero with powers over electricity. Unfortunately, the whole Empire City was devastated by his transformation. Cole MacGrath must choose whether to use his newfound powers to his own gain, or for the good of Empire City. inFAMOUS combined a variety of gameplay styles into a giant sandbox city, where players must choose their Karma path. In short, Sucker Punch created a game that cried for a sequel and that's inFAMOUS 2. From what we have seen, Sucker Punch has worked to refine gameplay for the sequel and is going to add more content to an already astounding game.
Though Sucker Punch talked originally about changing the main character in inFAMOUS 2, fans rallied around Cole, demanding that he stay the same. In inFAMOUS 2, Cole will be opposing a new villain known only as the Beast. At the very onset of the game, Cole is nearly defeated by the Beast but is able to escape with his life, running to New Marais with his friend Zeke. Zeke and Cole decide to hole up in this new city to train for Cole’s inevitable encounter with the Beast. When they reach the city, they find that it has been taken over by a shadowy organization known as the Militia. This group of misfits has taken over New Marais in an attempt to keep out all supernatural and abnormal beings from their beloved city. Cole must confront the Militia while he explores New Marais, learning about himself, Kessler, and the First Sons while gaining new powers before he confronts the Beast again.
As a sandbox game, inFAMOUS 2 relies on its new location heavily for gameplay. The developers have based this new location off of New Orleans after it has been hit by hurricane Katrina. New Marais is now a city of lawlessness with criminals and the Militia moving freely around. Since police are useless, Cole and Zeke use their freedom to practice their parkour moves. Sucker Punch has promised that New Marais will be a much more diverse and populated city than Empire City was, and more dangerous as well. We have seen some really interesting concept art, depicting a swamp, a church, a cemetery, and an abandoned mansion, showing a variety of environments in New Marais.
What about the cannon fodder?
Sucker Punch has already stated that they have attempted to refine inFAMOUS’ gameplay, making existing powers better and adding new ones. One of the features that I am most excited about is the inclusion of the amp. Since so many players used melee in the first game, Sucker Punch wanted to make the system better and the amp was their answer. The amp is like a giant electric wrench that makes watching Cole beat down fools that much more fun. His movements are cinematic and dynamic in all the videos, looking much more natural than in the first game. Cool new moves like being be able to lift cars and toss them with ease at enemies and grind along the sides of buildings have been featured. There have also been rumors that Cole’s arsenal will expand to controlling ice as well as electricity.
While the Militia will be supplying a diverse population of human enemies for Cole to bash and burn, new baddies will be joining the fray. Strange pale monstrous humans with giant pincers for arms seem to populate parts of the city. These monsters seem to take quite a bit of punishment from Cole’s new arc weapon before going down and they look like pretty terrifying foes. We have also seen Cole fighting some strange burrowing creature, that could pop up anywhere from underground. I’m happy the game will include new types of enemies to conquer with Cole’s new powers, as experimenting with new powers was one of the best parts of the first game.
To be electrified!
While inFAMOUS 2 won’t be coming to consoles until 2011, I can assure you that this game will be worth the wait. Sucker Punch Productions is looking to up the ante in every way for this sequel. Players will have a whole new city to explore in New Marais. With a great variety of unique environments to travel through, players will have an awesome new sandbox experience. With new story elements added, not only that but with new enemies and powers that Cole will be tackling, inFAMOUS 2 is shaping up to be another must buy from Sucker Punch.