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inFAMOUS 2 Hands On Preview

A sequel that seems to have improved in every way from an already great game.

When inFamous was released in 2009, it took the gaming world by storm. It was a super-hero inspired game that used open world mechanics along with a deep story and strong morale choices to catch the eyes of many gamers. inFamous was met with critical acclaim, and now the team at Sucker Punch seeks out to top the first game in each and every way with inFamous 2. From my hands on with the game, I feel that it truly lives up to that expectation.

inFamous 2 begins with Cole encountering the Beast that was alluded to in the ending of the first game. After being defeated, Cole fleas Empire City to New Marais, the new location for inFamous 2. Here, Cole seeks out new powers and abilities that will help him in his battle against the Beast. The game definitely looks to step up the presentation of this story with new cutscenes that go along with the comic style scenes that were in the first game. The cutscenes are very well done, and definitely help develop the characters' emotions and set the tone for the game.

As far as the gameplay is concerned, everything that you loved about the original inFamous is back and better. Cole comes powered with many, if not all of the abilities that he had at the end of the first game and only expands upon those. Not only are his abilities expanded upon, but the ones he had are refined and feel a lot better than they did in the original inFamous. For example the standard lightning bolts can be fired normally or rapid fire (on the good side), almost machine gun-like, which makes that power a lot more fun to use, as you will probably use it most of the game. Also Cole's melee skills have been added to with a new weapon known as the Amp. The Amp give a bit more flash to his melee, which has also been refined to work more like melee combat in games like Batman: Arkham Asylum, where you can go seamlessly from attacking one enemy to another. It's not as smooth as it could be, but definitely an improvement from the first game. Cole also has a slew of new abilities at his disposal. Aside from the fire and ice abilities that will be available in the retail version of the game, he has a few new abilities like one that gives him the power to lift up cars and hurl them at enemies. Another really cool and flashy move is the Ionic Vortex, where Cole creates an electrified tornado that tears through enemies. It's a very satisfying move, and way more efficient than the electrical storm move in the first game.

Aside from combat, the platforming in the game is refined and works a lot smoother. Climbing buildings is no longer as awkward as it used to be, and Cole's thrusters actually boost you into the air a bit, giving you more control. Grinding on electrical wires is still as fun as it was in the first game, and is a welcome return. Other than that, it is generally the same as the first game. Players have the option to tackle story or side missions at will. There are also different side events that occur that will effect your morale, like attacking street performers, or stopping muggings. These missions are small yet fun, only adding to the many things that you can do in New Marais. The story and side missions work in the same fashion that they did before, however are a lot more cinematic and feel a bit more important as a whole.

I walked away pretty impressed after my time with the inFamous 2 demo. It clearly made improvements in the areas where it needed to, and should be a very good game for it. The thing is, the demo is only a taste of things to come, for there are tons of features and powers that were left to the retail version. I strongly recommend checking out the demo, which is available on the PSN Store right now. inFamous 2 releases on June 7, 2011, and it can't come soon enough.



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