Infamous was one of 2009’s best games. Developed by Sucker Punch, it turned out to be a huge departure from their Sly Cooper series released on the PlayStation 2. The game starred Cole MacGrath as he awoke to find a crater of devastation surrounding him and new-found electricity-based powers. Now Cole is back in the sequel to last year’s game, Infamous 2. Archie got a chance to go hands-on with the game at PAX and see what new tricks Cole will have up his sleeves when the game launches sometime next year.
The first thing players will notice upon firing up the game is that the environment is a bit more colorful than the town of Empire City (fashioned after New York City) that Cole previously called home. The locale has now switched to New Marais (New Orleans), where players will see different architecture, new environments and a host of other changes.
The graphical special effects engine has also seen a significant overhaul. Explosions erupt in brilliant plumes of orange and yellow, the lighting engine is now much more robust, and the game just seems to “pop” more visually. Environments also now feature destructible elements. During a chase sequence in the demo, bombs were being detonated in many of the buildings that were passed, taking whole chunks out of the architecture and blasting bricks and debris in the air.
While many of the powers from the previous game were available in the demo, like Cole’s energy bombs and ability to glide from high buildings, the taste of the new powers in the game were the real eye-openers. Cole now has the ability to “grind” up vertical power lines and sideways across buildings to make travel in the game much quicker. One of his new powers is an electric tornado of sorts that tears through the street picking up everything that isn’t nailed down. Cars, benches, trashcans and even pedestrians get sucked into the whirling vortexes.
Also new to the game are melee weapons. In the demo, Cole uses a large cattle-prod like weapon that seemingly channels his electricity-based powers to both bludgeon and electrocute baddies at the same time. This made the melee combat sections of the game feel a lot more rewarding and satisfying.
With new locales and powers, new looks and Sucker Punch’s proven track record, Infamous 2 is already shaping up to be a worthy successor to the critically acclaimed first outing. From my brief look at the game, I’m fairly convinced Sucker Punch will be able to make lightning strike twice when the game releases on PlayStation 3 next year.