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The New Abilities Of Cole MacGrath

by Dan Ryckert on Jun 23, 2010 at 05:30 AM

Many games build your protagonist's abilities over time, making you more and more powerful until you deal that final blow to the end boss. However, many of these games also strip you of those powers as soon as you start the sequel. It seems that no matter how many times she's used them, Samus always has to reacquire her Morph Ball and Ice Beam. Infamous 2 doesn't want to do that...Cole is a bonafide superhero by the end of the original game, and the sequel wants you to feel more *** than ever before.

Considering that Cole is an electricity-based superhero, the first game hit all the right notes - you could shoot lightning from your palms, throw lightning grenades, hover through the air via static electricity, grind on electrified train tracks and power lines, and even summon giant lightning storms. With all of those powers already in Cole's arsenal, where else is there to go?

New Melee Combat

While the first game did include melee attacks, many players found them too basic and stuck to Cole's electric powers. With Infamous 2, Sucker Punch is making melee far more useful, and (more importantly) more fun. Close-quarters skirmishes will be presented with a more dynamic camera that brings you closer to the action, and you'll have at least one new toy to play with. Your buddy Zeke acts as a sort of low-rent Q from the Bond films, supplying you with new equipment. One such invention is what Sucker Punch described to us as the "tuning fork" (not its final name). It extends Cole's natural electric current via the use of two parallel metal pipes. Getting hit in the skull with a metal pole is rough enough, but Infamous 2 makes it even more brutal thanks to your protagonist's power.

Enhanced Navigation

One of the many great things the first Infamous did was present an open world that was a blast to get around in, despite its lack of vehicles. Gliding through the air and zipping across power lines at inhuman speeds was a blast, making exploration something to look forward to instead of a chore. Infamous 2 takes that even further by allowing Cole to zip alongside buildings both horizontally and vertically. Let's say a highrise apartment building has a metal pipe that runs down its entire side. You can position yourself at the bottom and use an induction grind (placeholder term) to fly to the top without having to slowly climb to the roof. The same concept applies to buildings with metal siding. In addition to the new electricity-based travel options, Cole's parkour animations have been expanded upon and enhanced.

Ionic Vortex

Ok, so it's a tornado. However, it's also a lightning tornado, so we'll give a pass to its fancy name. This brutal ability can cause chaos to your surroundings, enemies, and anything else that is unfortunate enough to get in the way. It seems to be on par with the lightning storm's power from the first game, so we're expecting to see it appear late in the story. We got to see a glimpse of it in action as Cole summoned the ionic vortex to handily dispatch of a pesky attack helicopter.

Smaller Tweaks

While electric pipes and lightning tornadoes are pretty sweet, Sucker Punch is making several subtle tweaks to improve how you use your powers. One such example is the way you'll see the action while performing Cole's basic lightning strike. He used his right hand in the original, which took up a small portion of your view. This time around, he'll be blasting foes from the left, allowing for a larger view of the action. Proving that he's somewhat ambidextrous, he'll now be able to shoot the second part of a one-two lightning strike utilizing his right hand.

While these are the abilities we've seen so far, Sucker Punch still has plenty of tricks up their sleeves. Tearing through Empire City with the original Cole was a blast, and it's looking like Infamous 2 will give fans even more of what they loved.