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Review Infamous 2 (PS3): Keep super hero games like these coming. I love them!

genre: action, adventure, sandbox

In 2011 Sony gave PS3 owners two free games as part of a welcome back package after PSN was out of commission for a considerable time. For me this was a particular pleasant surprise as I don't use PSN other than to download demo's. There were five titles to choose from. I chose Little Big Planet and Infamous. Infamous was a game I skipped on. For some reason that type of game simply did not appeal to me. However after playing the game for a few hours I got hooked into the story and the gameplay. In fact I liked it so much it got me interested in the other super hero type sandbox game called Prototype. After finishing Infamous I played the Infamous 2 demo and it seemed bigger and better and even more fun so naturally I was going to play it when I got around to it.

And finally I did. I played Infamous 2 as much as possible in one week. As in the first I did all the side missions and engaged into random crimes in order to get most out of the experience. Infamous 2 has improved the gameplay elements significantly. Much tighter controls compared to the first one. And the visuals look more polished and colorful. But I must say that I was a bit let down by the story telling. Especially since the story of the first was quite epic. Not that the coming of the Beast is not epic although it did not feel like it at the end. My battles with a random Ice Titan lasted longer than the one with the Beast. On the other hand the characters in this sequel were more fleshed out and likable. It was actually nice to see that Zeke and Cole were good friends (brothers) again and that Zeke has atoned for his sins. Kuo and Nix were nice additions and never annoying like the Trish character from Infamous 1. While in most of the missions they represent either evil or good you can relate to the reasoning behind of why they desire to have certain events played out. I personally never felt an ounce of sympathy for Trish. No matter if you were good or evil she always treated you bad even when Cole went out his way to help her. In Infamous 2 it really gets to you if you don't choose a particular side because that would mean that you have to disappoint a friend. So in hindsight it is not that big of a deal that the story was a little less compelling as the first.

Infamous 2 is a lot easier than the first one. Now it could be because of being familiar and experienced with the first and of course much better controls that it seemed that way. Although I remember dying more often in Infamous than I did now on medium in this game. Most side missions are more constrained and less time consuming as they were in the first and therefore felt less tedious. Which also might give the impression the  game is easier. Overall though you really feel like a super hero especially when you gain powers that make it seem like you can fly. I only wished that you could do that in a super hero game besides Superman. But maybe technically that is difficult to accomplish. Overall Infamous 2 is just as fun as the first one and in some aspects more enjoyable. The static thrusters in combination with Ice Launch is something I never get tired off. Personally I liked the improved melee abilities as well since in close combat situations that is very useful. When upgraded it even recharges your energy if it is empty. Too bad though that it doesn't affect your health. There are more restrictions when it comes to energy like not being able to recharge when grinding but like in the first that requires you to be strategic about how you deal with your enemies.

Apart from being a little less epic Infamous 2 has a very effective ending on a good playthrough. It concludes events and leaves just room enough for a future sequel if that is in the cards. I say keep them coming (as long as Suckerpunch remains involved and it is up to the quality of their previous work).  

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