I’ve been trying to enjoy inFAMOUS 2 for a couple of hours but I really can’t shake the feeling that I shouldn’t be here. The game world is so uninteresting that I’m prepared to miss out on a good gameplay experience right now even though I’m just getting started. So many aspects of the game rub me the wrong way and I have to write some short impressions in an attempt to savour some sanity from this life-threatening situation of “playing a bad videogame“.
The gameplay has fun aspects but gets off to a really bad start with an hour of Uncharted-style button mashing QTE’s and auto-climbing “dynamic” gameplay where you just hold a direction and Cole slots effortlessly into every nook and cranny. Wherever you jump Cole will always spaz out in midair at the last second to make sure you land perfectly, and if you land on a rail you start auto-grinding for 10 seconds without even pressing anything. Shooting is also run-of-the-mill with a bad cover system and too many enemies – I’ve already done this a million times. One thing I like is the health system, your life is powered by electricity which means every electrical object can refill your health. This gives meaning to many objects that are normally useless in games like lights, phone boxes and street poles. Clicking down L3 shows all the electrical objects in the area and you hold L2 to absorb it. Feels good. The small downside is you die whenever you touch water.
The city feels wrong, something supposedly happened to cause explosions, debris, knocked-over bins, soldiers patrolling around and news reports about the country (America) being under attack; but I don’t get that feeling as I’m playing and I’m struggling to piece it all together after not playing the first game. Civilians casually chat about coffee and cars drive around honking like the traffic jam is the most important thing going on. The atmosphere is non-existent.
The good / evil aspect already feels broken. When cops start shooting at me what am I supposed to do? Jumping around taking bullets doesn’t make me a good person, it makes me dead. Cops even shoot you when you’re healing people, shattering the purpose of the situation into more incoherent pieces. I want to be evil because I hate everything in this game, was that the message the developers wanted to send?
“I’m not Human… Or Am I? Maybe… I think.”
The characters may as well be robots, I haven’t heard a single thought-provoking or funny line in 4 hours. Cole’s one attempt at a “joke” so far made me want to smash my TV, something about a woman dating her father. It’s not Resident Evil-style awkward, just plain empty and offensive. Cole is the least inspiring superhero I’ve ever seen, he begrudgingly jumps around killing enemies and throwing shit like he doesn’t want to be there. The NPC’s somehow care even less about their own existence than Cole as they just seem to serve as waypoints, teleporting onto rooftops around the city for the convenience of a mission. Sure, it’s an open-world game so it’s all about the gameplay right? Not when cutscenes are unskippable. In fact when you pause the game there’s a “Watch Movies” option staring you in the face so you can watch cutscenes while you watch cutscenes.
I can see I’ve still got a lot of powers and fun things to unlock, but the gameplay is based on exploration and manipulating objects which pretty much requires an engaging playground. inFAMOUS 2 has amazing graphics, fast movement, solid jumping and intuitive controls but still somehow fails to be interesting. Right now I’m having fun jumping around collecting orbs which is pretty much all I did in Crackdown as well.
Here’s a real superhero open-world game. The Hulk doesn’t need 100 different animations to climb a building – he just runs straight up.