There’s NSA agent Lucy Kuo, who will help him develop freezing powers such as summoning a frozen column of ice, and then there’s the infinitely more fun local resident Nix, who will help develop the fiery helpers in his arsenal, such as napalm grenades and hellfire rockets.
Each character offers unique missions that cancel one another out, depending on the player’s karma path. For example, at one point in the story, Cole can either guide a trolley car packed with explosives and ram it into a plantation mansion (as Nix cheers him on) or listen to Kuo and free a group of police to help take back parts of the city.
Memorable moments (in no particular order): Taking down a hostile helicopter with the three-pronged Pincer bolt; dunking a beat-up truck in a swamp, pulling it out of the water while standing on top (a real Magneto moment) and tossing it back to land using electricity; defeating a militia squad by throwing cars to sink its large tugboat; performing a high-speed grind along electrical cables; taking a boat ride through the swamps; manipulating a Tesla energy missile to strike and power up generators in Ascension Park (with a spectacular pyrotechnic display); and beating up a behemoth called the Devourer.
Violent encounters: Cole controls the fate of any enemy or citizen he does not kill outright. At his mercy, creatures and humans can be shackled through his electrical powers, or healed or leeched of all of their energy, with flashes of their skeletal remains appearing during the process.
As a villain, Cole relishes wiping out a mob of angry protesters, killing street musicians and collapsing parts of buildings.
Read all about it: DC Comics offered a six-issue miniseries called inFamous ($2.99 each) that concluded in May. The books offer a refresher course, and expand upon the events from the first game. The series is written by William Harms, who happened to develop the story for inFamous.
Pixel-popping scale: 8.5 out of 10. This is a gorgeous-looking game with motion-captured cut scenes that meld into the main action with slightly animated and stylish sequential art moments that reinforce the story.
Multiplayer: Although playing with friends locally or online is always fun, Sucker Punch came up with a very slick way to extend the action.
The vault of UGC user-generated content allows players to build their own missions and share them with everyone who is part of the inFamous and PlayStation Network universe.
Create a mission with help from a template or by starting from scratch to build details that incorporate time of day, text dialogue, characters, squads of enemies, animations and object assortments. I can’t possibly describe this process well enough to do it justice. The options and potential are just staggering.
Once created, those missions can appear on everyone’s story maps and players receive experience points for completing them.
Examples that popped up as I played included Fight Night (watch a cage match until waves of monsters show up), Grumpy Cole (throw propane tanks at militia hovering on blocks in midair), Disco Fever (destroy a massive energy ball before it kills all of the dancing citizens) and Ravager Capture (use a sedative emitter to contain three charging creatures by luring them to the devices).
The growing UGC collection offers literally unlimited replay value in the game as long as innovative architects keep coming up with clever missions.
What’s it worth: InFamous 2 makes Starkiller from Star Wars: The Force Unleashed look like an Ewok playing Pong. The karma system combined with easy-to-conquer combat mechanics and power assortments deliver a stellar gaming experience. Add the open-ended user-generated content and Sucker Punch delivers a knockout for lovers of superpower-themed video games.