The First Hour: Infamous 2

I have to admit, I don’t finish a lot of games, but Infamous was one that I did, so I was psyched to, for once, start a sequel and be able to import something from the original! When you start up Infamous 2 you can import your Good Karma, your Bad Karma, or just start fresh. I went with Good Karma and it seems like rewards are based on trophies from the first game, rather than a save game file. This isn’t as bad as it sounds, since Infamous gave you a lot of trophies ‘organically.’ By the time I’d finished the game I had 50 or 60% of the trophies and had never chased any, if you know what I mean.

From the import I got a few little perks. A wad of experience to spend on skills, a passive ability that causes my attacks to do less damage to innocent people, and one other thing that obviously didn’t make an impression because I don’t recall what it was. 🙂

So the game starts with a quick overview of what happened in the first title. You, Zeke and a lady spy who is refreshingly not a huge-breasted babe in a leather bikini top, are on a ship getting ready to head to New Marais so you can pick up some new powers; powers you need to take on The Beast. (Of course Zeke insists New Marais is all about the 3 B’s: beer, boob and mechanical bulls.) You’re just about to shove off when the city is attacked! Oh noes! You rush off to fight this new opponent. I won’t spoil everything but by the end of the fight you’ve been drained (ie, lost most of your powers). So this is the big Reset button to start off the game. Time to level up Cole again!

The next section is a very linear transversal of a bunch of docks and small islanads, but it gives you a chance to start familiarizing yourself with the controls. Movement feels super twitchy to me; I almost wish I could tone down the sensitivity a bit. It’s great when running and fighting, but it makes it way too easy to accidentally run full-tilt into an innocent bystander. As I’m playing Cole as a hero, that feels wrong to me. I’m sure I’ll adjust, though.

It took me several attempts to get my grinding/flying/fighting chops back enough that I could pass through this first section. I don’t recall being able to speed up while grinding a wire in the first game, but you can here (by pushing the left stick forward) and you need to if you’re going to make some of the jumps in this section. I fell in the water quite a few times before making it through (since Cole’s powers are all electricity based, water means instant death to him).

I didn’t really mind, though, as replaying this section a few times gave my brain time to recall all the fun stuff you can do in Infamous. Pretty soon I was jumping while tossing electric grenades, grinding rails/wires and sucking the juice out of power consoles, just like old times. It was really fun.

And that’s as far as I got! I never made it to the open world section. So far it seems like a real sequel. Familiar but with some new options layered on (including a melee weapon). There’s still the comic-book cut scenes to set the tone, but there are also CGI cut scenes. That felt a little odd, since the cut-scene characters look so much more detailed than the in-game characters, but now I’m picking nits.

It’ll take me a few days to get used to the pace and the chaos of the game again, but I’m really looking forward to playing more Infamous 2

One hour rating: Buy if you enjoyed the first game. If you didn’t play the first game, get it for free via Welcome Back and play it first. If you didn’t like the first game, stay away from the sequel.

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