Cole MacGrath is a bad-a$$: he climbs buildings faster than Ezio Auditore, sports a haircut that’ll never go out of style, and can take out enemies in a variety of ways with his electric super powers (can you say electricity grenades?).  On top of that, he also has two super-power laden ladies fighting for his attention all throughout his second entry on PS3.  Sucker Punch keeps things moving forward with Infamous 2, all the while following in the footsteps of the original and not straying too far from the path... which could’ve proved beneficial had they done so.


Cole is immediately thrown into battle at the very start of Infamous 2, with a colossal-sized enemy simply known as “The Beast.”  This not-so-subtle introduction with one of the game’s main antagonists sets the story for the entire game as it’s up to Cole to become powerful enough to quell the problem.  As the game progresses, you’re constantly being reminded of how close The Beast is to New Marais, as it makes it’s way down the East Coast.  This creates a greater sense of progression that makes you want to keep playing the game as you anticipate the arrival of The Beast and the epic boss battle that would follow.  


As mentioned earlier, two ladies who also have been blessed with super-hero powers, accompany Cole throughout his romp in New Marais.  You soon find out that Kuo and Nix each have an agenda of their own, and the decisions Cole makes by choosing one side or the other plays into the “good” and “evil” options that affect the outcome of missions, power-ups, and the story.  In order to see the entire game and experience all of Cole’s devastating electric power-ups, you will have to play the game twice.


The gameplay hasn’t changed much from the first title and it seems as though it’s merely more of the same.  The game is mission based and there are still just as much building climbing, filling enemies full of electricity, and grinding atop power-lines as there was in the first game. The addition of Cole’s new weapon, the Amp, changes up combat just enough to provide a much-needed new experience in close-quarters battles.  However, combat seems to be a little unbalanced at times: jumping into a group of enemies almost always ends in death. This promotes the method of using stealth to take them down one by one but the problem is that stealth really isn’t incorporated into the gameplay.  It’s not uncommon to be blasting enemies until your health is low then retreating, healing, and then going back for more.  This occurs all to often and really hinders what could’ve been a much more enjoyable combat experience.   More powerful enemies also seem to have attacks that aren’t very easy to evade and the best route to killing them is trapping them behind a structure in the game that they can’t shoot around and then filling them full of electricity.


While the combat has its shortcomings, there’s one area of Infamous 2 that really outshines the rest: the sense of scale and exploration provided by the in-game environment.  New Marais is a beautiful combination of different areas that include swamp-filled backwoods areas, industrial areas littered with machinery, and downtown areas full of skyscrapers and bright lights.  It’s truly a joy to jump from rooftop to rooftop and explore the entirety of New Marais; there were times in which all I did was explore the city with no real goals or missions other than to enjoy the elaborate environments and beautiful architecture.    


Game-play issues aside, the game still provides an enjoyable experience.  It’s also good to note that the story, while introduced and incorporated ever so gracefully, really isn’t a primary focus of the game and its obvious.  The more time I spent playing the game the more I realized I had no interest in the plot and I had to constantly remind myself to pay attention just to make sense of what was going on.  Sucker Punch just barely missed the mark on this one:  if exploring open worlds and constantly whipping enemies by means of electricity is your thing then this game is for you, but for a more compelling story and balanced combat then look elsewhere.