North American PlayStation 3 box art
|Developer(s)||Sucker Punch Productions|
|Publisher(s)||Sony Computer Entertainment|
Infamous 2 (stylized as inFAMOUS 2) is a 2011 action-adventure open world video game developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 3 video game console. Announced on June 4, 2010, it is the second entry in the Infamous series and a sequel to the 2009 video game Infamous. The game was released in North America on June 7, 2011, in Australia on June 9, 2011, in Europe on June 10, 2011 and in Japan on July 7, 2011.
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Infamous 2 is an action-adventure open world video game played from a third-person view. The player controls Cole and primarily interacts with the world of New Marais through Cole's electricity-based powers; these are used for movement, offense and defense in combat, and either for better or worse in dealing with the citizens of New Marais. In order for Cole to use his powers, he must have stored electrical power, represented by a node meter on the player's heads up display (HUD). The player can recharge Cole by draining electricity from powered sources or from living beings; recharging also restores Cole's health, though if the player stays out of battle long enough, Cole's health will regenerate over time. The game features many different possible powers, ranging from simple electric bolts that consume little of Cole's energy to large ice rockets that drain much of Cole's energy. The player can use such powers, giving the player options in certain situations. For example, the player may fire at a generator near foes to cause it to explode and cripple his opponents, then restrain them or fire at the body to kill the enemy.
Due to being vivified electricity, Cole is unable to use vehicles, take up weapons, or swim. Cole easily climbs buildings and other structures and can fall a great height without taking damage. Many powers are acquired over the course of the game; the player can use experience points, awarded for specific actions, stunts and missions, to increase powers' effectiveness or unlock new powers. The powers you can unlock depend on Cole's Karma. Starting in a neutral position, it ranges Hero on the Good side, to Infamous on the Evil side. Certain actions, such as stopping to help injured citizens or draining their health to restore Cole's, will affect the Karma level in either direction. Normal story missions may also alter the Karma level. During the game the player will encounter Karma Moments, when the action pauses and the player is told, through a monologue by Cole, of two actions that can be taken, always a good and bad option. There are also a number of paired Good/Evil side missions in the game; completing one will lock out the other mission but will reward the player with a large amount of Karma towards their selected Karma goal. Completion of these missions helps gain access to unique super powers based on the Karma level. The player is not locked into choosing either Karma path, and may opt to play towards one extreme and later switch to the other mid-game. Doing so will lock out any purchased power(s) in the original chosen Karma sector. In addition to altering Cole's appearance and certain aspects of the game's story, Karma also influences the behavior of the citizens of Empire City, they will compliment Cole if his Karma is Good, but will turn on Cole and throw rocks at him if he has Bad Karma.
New Marais is built on two islands, and the player must work through main story missions on the first island before being able to access the next one, though future missions may involve the first island. The player can undertake side missions to unlock medical stations where Cole will re-awaken should he die; many other side missions are also available.
Though Cole cannot travel in vehicles, he can grind along power cables and powered train rails, and hover for a short time. Scattered around the city are hundreds of 'Blast Shards' which Cole can collect to increase the amount of electricity he can store. There are also 'Dead Drop' satellite transmitters that help to reveal more of the back-story in the game. A mini-map on the player's HUD can be used to locate Blast Shards, Dead Drops and power sources.
Infamous 2 takes place in an alternate 2009, where people with super human abilities, called Conduits, exist—created by a device called the Ray Sphere. The Ray Sphere unlocks these abilities in rare humans who possess the Conduit gene by siphoning away the energy of regular humans, killing them. The first such event granted electric-based abilities to Cole MacGrath, but devastated his home of Empire City. The event is part of a scheme instigated by Kessler, revealed to be Cole from an alternate future where a creature known only as the Beast has ravaged the world. Kessler fled the Beast with his family and they died as a result, forcing Kessler to use his newest power to go back in time and better prepare the Cole of the present. Clandestine organizations attempt to create and use Conduits for their own purposes and see Cole as one of the most powerful, attempting to gain his aid or eliminate him
In the month following the events of Infamous, Cole (Eric Ladin) prepares to face the Beast, an entity of untold power whose coming was foretold by Kessler. Cole and his friend Zeke (Caleb Moody) meet with NSA agent Lucy Kuo (Dawn Olivieri) who tells them she can lead them to Dr. Sebastian Wolfe (Michael Ensign), a scientist who worked on the development of the Ray Sphere which granted Cole his powers, and who claims he can make Cole even stronger. As they are about to leave, they are confronted by the Beast. Cole fights the Beast but proves to be no match and is severely weakened as a result. Cole, Zeke and Kuo escape to New Marais (a fictional city based on New Orleans) to find Wolfe while the Beast pursues them, completely wiping out Empire City and destroying everything in its path.
In New Marais, they find the city under the control of wealthy industrialist Joseph Bertrand III (Graham McTavish) and his anti-conduit militia. Aware of Cole's arrival and abilities, Bertrand wages a propaganda campaign against him. Before Cole can meet Wolfe, his lab is destroyed, spreading Blast Shards across the city. Wolfe survives the explosion and explains to Cole that by finding and absorbing the power of the Blast Cores he can boost his powers to a point where he can activate the RFI (Ray Field Inhibitor) which would allow him to weaken the Beast. Wolfe is captured by the Militia and a rescue attempt fails, resulting in Wolfe's death and Kuo's capture. Cole and Zeke meet two new allies: Laroche, leader of an anti-militia resistance group, and Nix (Nika Futterman), a Conduit who dwells in the swamp. Together they locate Kuo trapped in a facility where she has been infused with ice-based abilities. Cole frees her but inadvertently unleashes an army of mercenaries also imbued with ice-powers.
Cole and his allies attack Bertrand's operations before eventually learning that Bertrand is himself a Conduit, able to transform into a building-sized monster (that Cole calls a "fifty foot maggot") and convert humans into monstrosities. In the past, he had used a Ray Sphere to gain abilities, believing himself destined for greatness. The activated Ray Sphere kills many but also grants Nix her abilities. Disgusted by the powers he receives and now believing Conduits to be evil, he attempts to incite a Conduit genocide using the power of the Conduit mercenaries he helped develop to instill fear in the populace. Meanwhile he uses his monsters to justify the protection of his militia to New Marais. Cole and his allies eventually coax Bertrand into again transforming, where he loses self-control. Cole is able to kill Bertrand, ending his plan.
During this time, the Beast is near New Marais and Zeke and Cole attempted to kill it by launching a nuke into the horizon which fails as The Beast piecing itself back together. While on recon Cole encounters John White (Phil LaMarr), an NSA agent who had seemingly died in a Ray Sphere explosion in Empire City. John reveals himself as the Beast. He shows Cole that a plague, created when the Ray Sphere was first activated in Empire City to empower Cole, has been spreading across the country. The plague is killing humans but Conduits are immune once their powers have been activated. John acts like a ray sphere, using his powers to find and empower potential Conduits, sparing them at the cost of countless human lives each time. Believing humanity is lost, John implores Cole to help him find and convert the Conduits so that some may survive. After finding all of the Blast Cores, Cole prepares to activate the RFI. However, he learns that the device will not just weaken the Beast but kill all Conduits, but it could also nullify the Ray Sphere radiation, ending the plague. The story diverges from this point dependent on whether the player chooses to activate the RFI, sacrificing Cole and thousands of Conduits but saving millions of humans, including Zeke who has contracted the plague, or work with the Beast to save the Conduits while the rest of humanity will perish.
If Cole chooses to save humanity, Kuo leaves to join the Beast. While Cole and Zeke attempt to fully charge the RFI, the Beast begins his attack. Laroche and many of his men die in the battle and Cole is forced to fight Kuo. Nix sacrifices her life to weaken the Beast and give Cole more time. Cole gets the RFI fully charged, but before he activates it, he engages the Beast one more time and triumphs over it. Kuo apologizes to Cole, admitting she joined the Beast out of fear of dying. Cole replies that he is scared too, but he is ready. Cole then activates the RFI, unleashing a wave of energy throughout the entire world. In the aftermath, the plague is wiped out and humanity is saved, but the Conduits, even non-activated ones carrying the Conduit gene, perish on the spot. Aware of Cole's actions, the people of New Marais revere him as "The Patron Saint of New Marais". Zeke takes Cole's body offshore in a boat to bid him farewell in private, positing that Conduits are no different than humans, as there was no one who had more humanity than Cole MacGrath. The scene ends with a lightning bolt striking the sea in the distance.
If Cole chooses to work with the Beast to save the Conduits, Nix refuses to work with them, steals the RFI and leaves. Kuo gives chase while Cole and the Beast rampage through New Marais in pursuit. Nix attempts to use the RFI to stop them, not wanting everyone to be Conduits and make her less special. Cole is forced to kill her. Zeke confronts Cole and is also killed. Cole then destroys the RFI. The Beast states that he can no longer continue, having grown weary of the killing. Cole is initially angry at having sacrificed so much in vain but the Beast grants Cole all of his power before allowing himself to die. In the aftermath, Cole and Kuo begin activating Conduits at the expense of humanity. The scene ends as Cole realizes that he was originally granted powers to defeat the Beast, yet he became the very thing he was originally sent to destroy.
Development and release
Gaming journals reported the likelihood of a sequel to Infamous due to a Twitter post made by actor David Sullivan reporting on auditioning for the role of Cole in the game's sequel. In April 2010 it was reported that Sony had purchased the domain name 'infamousthegame.com', increasing speculation that a sequel was in development. The game was unveiled when Game Informer released the cover for their July 2010 issue which features a preview of the game.
The design of the main character, Cole, initially underwent many changes, to the extent of making him look like a different character. However, after being "taken aback by the uproar of fan support for the original Cole," Sucker Punch combined elements of the original with the new design. Some of Cole's clothing was changed to suit the new setting of the game. Eric Ladin was also brought in to replace Jason Cottle as the voice of Cole because Sucker Punch felt that they needed someone who could perform Cole's physical reactions as well as his voice to improve the use of their new motion capture technology.
The cutscenes have been improved with motion capture technology to create a more cinematic experience. The stylized comic-like cut scenes from the first carried over into the sequel, though they were reserved for bigger moments in the game.
In addition to the cut scenes, the popular moral element that was introduced in the original also transferred over to the sequel, but with a higher emphasis on overall route of the game, whereas in the original the moral factor only influenced minor results in the game, but ultimately led to the same final boss, with a different epilogue. As seen, the moral element will influence Cole's shirt, pants, and power color, with the classic hero blue and villain red returning. It will also influence Cole's skin condition, with heroic choices clearing his complexion and removing the scar on his face almost completely, whereas villainous choices will exaggerate his facial scars and cover his skin with tattoos. The karma choices also appear to influence what extra power Cole will begin to develop.
Sucker Punch has worked to improve on the open world aspect of the gameplay. This includes expanding the players' effect on the city in general. In the sequel, phone booths, telephone poles and buildings, can be affected by the way Cole's powers are used. The city's populace will also react in a more realistic manner than in Infamous.
The melee combat in the game has been redesigned from the original, changing the experience to be more smooth and involving. Cole's powers have also been re-imagined to include the use of the ice- and fire- elements. Sucker Punch also insinuated that the players' ethical decisions in the first game may also affect the second, saying that they wouldn't want to "disappoint" fans who may have spent hours earning their reputation, but would also need to factor in if the player had not played the first game.
Sucker Punch was using around 30% of the cell processor by the end of Infamous, and that for Infamous 2, they were "creeping up over 50 and 60%, because [they] know how to put things on to the Cell processor."
On March 1, 2011 Sucker Punch announced a mission creation feature for Infamous 2 that had been in development since 2009. A limited beta for testing this feature was released in April, 2011 and details for signing up for the beta became available on the official Infamous website on March 13.
On October 2011, it announced that PlayStation Move support would cover the whole game, and is part of an update which will come out sometime after Infamous: Festival of Blood is released, along with a new cutscene creator tool for the UGC creator.
On February 18, 2011, a Hero Edition was announced for pre-order including a Cole MacGrath statue, a sportable sling pack modeled after Cole’s, the Infamous #1 mini comic from DC Comics, the Infamous 2 Red Soundtrack and a voucher code, which unlocks new content from the start of the game based on retailer. DLC includes the 24k Gold Amp, a Kessler skin, the Lightning Hook power, and the Electrocution Grenade power. Also, two skins are available, including a Kessler and the Infamous jacket from the previous installment. Another DLC pack has been released featuring a Reaper skin from the first game and three alternative models for the Amp including Sly Cooper's cane, a samurai sword and a caveman club.
The Hero Edition from Amazon came with all of the DLC except for the Stalker Grenades and the Sniper Blast powers and the three extra Subway Missions, which are now all available via the PlayStation Store.
Infamous: Festival of Blood
On August 16, 2011 at Gamescom in Germany, Infamous: Festival of Blood was announced as a downloadable title heading to the PlayStation Network. It will be a standalone game and does not require Infamous 2 to play. Vampires have swarmed New Marais, and revered superhero Cole MacGrath has been bitten. To save his soul – and the city – he has just one night to find and kill the head vampire. Showing a clear adult emphasis, the first trailer showed Cole as a vampire biting his victims as blood sprayed from the wound. As such, Festival of Blood was suspected to be rated Mature and 18 by ESRB and PEGI, respectively, although new trailers show ESRB T and PEGI 16 ratings like its predecessors. It has been confirmed that the game will "feature new missions, themed environment settings, plus new characters and enemies". Also, it has been stated that Festival of Blood will "explore the darker side of the Infamous universe". It was released on October 25, 2011 in North America and a day later in Europe.
Infamous 2 – along with Infamous and Infamous: Festival of Blood – was released on August 28, 2012 as part of the Infamous Collection under Sony's new line of PlayStation Collections for the PlayStation 3.
Infamous 2 was well received at IGN when it was reviewed by Colin Moriarty, who awarded the game a score of 9 out of 10. Moriarty praised the game's long play time, deep story and updated graphics, but criticized the camera during melee combat. 1UP reviewer Thierry Nguyen gave the title a score of B+, and stated "I just hope that Sucker Punch can take the combat/traversal/power mechanics of this game, and then apply the pacing, storytelling, and flow of the previous game, to then create an utterly fantastic open-world superhero action game."
Infamous 2 was not as well received at GameSpot, where they gave the title a 7.5 out of 10. The reviewer stated that "Small problems hold Infamous 2 back from greatness, but there's still a lot of electrifying fun to be had in Cole's latest adventure". The review from GamePro gave it a 3.5 stars out of 5, saying "camera issues in melee combat; confused navigation; less detailed than original; annoying combat."
GameTrailers gave Infamous 2 9.2 out of 10, and stated "Excels with a varied open world, bookended by monumental set-piece battles. The inclusion of user-generated content constitutes almost as a game unto itself, and while the morality system isn't one that calls for tough decision making, it pushes even further to provide two dramatically different gameplay experiences."
According to NPD Group, Infamous 2 sold 369,000 copies in North America during the game's first month on sale, nearly twice as much as the first game. In Japan, where the game sold 33,474 during its first week, sales of Infamous 2 were much better. The sequel also secured the number 2 spot in the region, a feat the first game failed to accomplish. While there have been no solid sales data from Europe, Infamous 2 managed to stay in the top 10 for a few weeks in several countries in the region.
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