Preview

Infamous 2 Preview (PS3)

Infamous was easily one of our favourite PS3 games of 2009, mixing open world exploration with glorious lightning-based superpowers. The ability to follow a good or evil path made for some interesting decisions too, giving the monster-zapping and cable-grinding that extra edge.
 

Don't worry, this won't hurt a bit
When we heard that Sucker Punch had changed the main protagonist Cole McGrath for Infamous 2, we were a little worried that they'd go for a more badass main character - we found his happy-go-lucky personality endearing in the original game, and didn't like the idea of taking control of who would essentially be a totally different electrically-charged chappy. The new Cole is indeed a bit of a badass and a lot angrier, yet his character is still completely believable, and this transformation actually begins to make sense as you play.

As we began the preview build, exciting changes were already afoot. There's a lovely cinematic feel to the action this time around, and this is no more obvious than in the opening scenes. Ugly beasties surround Cole, and hammering the melee button sees him offing them one by one, with the camera panning in whichever direction he chooses to swing his mighty electric club. Every now and again, he'll pull off a charming finishing move which will have you smiling in gory delight.

The movement feels so fluid as he turns on the spot to thwack the baddie directly behind him, and you get the feeling that there's going to be plenty of opportunities for a little hack-n-slash throughout the game. As the last monster is finished off, we catch a glimpse of an suited man climbing into a limo and driving away. It's time to give chase, Infamous style.

As soon as this section begins, we feel the action become ever so familiar - this is definitely Infamous through and through, as Cole leaps onto the nearest electricity cable and begins to grind. That wonderful sense of speed and power is back, and as you watch the limo racing through the streets below, you'll secretly be hoping that the chase lasts long enough for you to get a nice bit of speed going. Nothing to do with the mission, of course - you just want to see how far you can travel by rooftop.

With the old setup comes some of the original issues too. Sometimes making a jump can be a little awkward, as Cole just won't want to land exactly where you meant for him to. Collision detection isn't always perfect either, but it's something we managed to live with the first time around, and we'll be damned if it spoils our second ride-along with Cole the bolt.
 
The cinematic meele action is superb
That's not to say you've seen it all before - Cole has plenty of new tricks at his disposal, including the ability to grind sideways along a building, and vertically up drain pipes and pillars. He's also got plenty of new electric moves, including a devastating electric tornado. In the final release, you'll be able to harness special ice powers too, and mixing the new types together should make for an interesting fireworks display.

Once we finally track down the limo and land on the roof, Cole is only given a brief moment to converse (aka threaten) the man before he's slammed straight in the face by a low-flying helicopter. Recovering quickly - as a true superhero should - it's time to run in the opposite direction post haste as the helicopter opens fire.

Halfway down the road, however, and it must suddenly occur to Cole that he has these mental superpowers, and can probably deal with one measly chopper. Turning to face the heli, you're told to press one of the d-pad directions to unleash a tornado. We'd guess that the d-pad will be used for assigning four different powers for quick access.

We'd also guess that the Tornado power will be staying in our chosen four for some time, as it causes utter destruction, as in this particular instance it brings down the helicopter in one fell swoop. It's awesome fun simply using it on the crowded street too, as it sweeps people up and launches them into the air. If we're given the option to be good and evil again, you can be sure that this move will push you to the latter side.

The new city - called New Marais - is looking very similar to the original, which is probably not a bad thing, given that we had so much fun exploring the first one. We're definitely looking forward to seeing what new powers Cole will develop, and how dumbass Zeke will feature in all of this.
 
Bringing down the house. Cole style...
Infamous 2 is shaping up to be exactly the sequel we had hoped for - i.e. more of the same, but with exciting new powers and a twisted new evil at large. We can't wait to get back into the mind of Cole and feel all powerful again. Infamous 2 is scheduled for a 2011 release on Playstation 3.

Most Anticipated Feature: Unlocking Cole's new powers and wreaking havoc on New Marais.

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