InFAMOUS 2 follows Cole, a messenger in “Empire City”(New York), who gains electrical powers after being caught in the epicenter of a blast in the first inFAMOUS game and is driven to “New Marias” (New Orleans) by a menace named The Beast. Cole’s powers develop according to the choices he makes, and since I played Cole as “good” in the first game, I tried to overcome my natural tendencies and play as a jerk this time. Once I overcame my initial reluctance, I reveled in my new found powers and the freedom of not having to worry about hurting innocent bystanders with stray bolts of electricity. I must confess to shameful glee at zapping street musicians, which earned me the praise of another evil character.
My choices did not come without consequences, however. The citizens of New Marias ran shrieking from me whenever I landed on the street, or even threw rocks and protested me. All of that pales compared to the ending of the game. Without giving anything away, I will just say that the magnitude of the impact of the choices I made was fully realized, and I felt genuinely bad for actions I was forced to make as a consequence.
Video games are often the place I go to escape day to day drudgery, and become someone else for a while. It is fun to explore what it would be like to have superhuman powers, make different moral choices than I would make in real life, and see what happens. inFamous 2 is a great game for this type of experience.
inFAMOUS 2 does have a few shortcomings. Missions felt very repetitive after about half the game, although I should mention I didn’t try many of the user created missions. The story is rather thin and the source of tension, the approach of the Beast, is lessened since you can roam around the city indefinitely until you trigger key events. Most characters with one exception are not very developed, but the one that is contributed to the gut-wrenching ending.
Feeling awful about what my character had become and had to do was my favorite part inFAMOUS 2. Very seldom do games inspire emotion in me, especially dark emotions like regret and disgust. Playing as Cole was very fun. Climbing and leaping building to building parkour style is a blast, and speaking of blasts, did I mention how fun it is to zap people? Cole eventually develops limited flight ability, but unlike Superman, gravity slowly pulls him back to earth as he glides. To carry the comic book analogy further, I would say that Cole plays more like Spiderman, graceful and powerful, but not invincible like the man of steel.
I enjoyed my time with Cole, although I probably won’t go back and try being “good”