inFAMOUS 2 E3 2010 Preview

QUICK TAKE: The team at Sucker Punch created an enjoyable game with the first inFAMOUS. Players played the origin story of Cole MacGrath, a bike messenger that gains and grows electricity-based superpowers after a massive explosion in Empire City. Now, with inFAMOUS 2, Sucker Punch is back in the lab and gave the press a behind-closed doors look at the 2011 game still in development. First, Cole has been redesigned and re-cast. Second, he begins the games with a large set of powers already developed.

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inFAMOUS 2 takes place in a city called New Marais, which is influenced heavily in style by New Orleans. Cole and his buddy from the first game, Zeke, have arrived as the city is being taken over by a group called "The Militia" and its leader, Bertrand. They don't take kindly to non-humans like Cole and the mutants rampaging around the city. Cole, unfortunately, is stuck between both of them.

The demo started off during an in-game cutscene (which will be used more in the sequel) depicting a Militia rally run by Bertrand, inciting the crowd to violence against freaks like Cole. Cole and Zeke have snuck into the audience and are laying low until mutants attack. Bertrand runs and Cole must fight mutants, militia, and give chase simultaneously. Jumping into combat with the mutants, the improvements made to the game's melee system are immediately apparent. Cole carries a melee weapon, which looks to be constructed from a piece of an electrical circuit, allowing him to strike with electrically charged attacks. The whole melee system is improved and seems very crisp.

Once the monsters are defeated, Cole takes to the rooftops to chase down Bertrand's car. New traversal abilities are shown including the ability to rapidly ascend buildings along vertical wires and slide horizontally along wires connected to walls. Overall, Cole has a lot more options for quickly traversing the city and the time spent actually climbing should be reduced. Cole also fights some Militia soldiers along the way, which showcases the game's new environment destructibility. Electricity will jump between objects and carry much more destructive power in the sequel. One well-placed bolt could take an entire balcony down, leading to chain reactions that destroy cars and transformers in the street.

Once Cole catches up to Bertrand, he is quickly assaulted by an attack helicopter, leading to a quick escape sequence running toward the camera. Cole is knocked down by some missiles, but quickly gets up and unleashes a brand new power: an electrical tornado. This attack unleashes hell as it speeds toward the helicopter, quickly dispatching it in a glorious explosion. While Cole will have new powers like this, you won't be throwing these out as needed. They will be limited in some respect.

With the helicopter out of the way, Bertrand is within reach until a giant 200 foot tall beast emerges from the smoke. It roars and we cut to the inFAMOUS 2 logo. While the game is still at least a year away, the changes look promising. The character changes are a bit jarring at first, but the new Cole works well. He's a bit more like Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series, cracking jokes and carrying himself with a little more lightheartedness.

The live demo had some framerate issues, but the team at Sucker Punch is shooting to achieve 60 frames-per-second by the PlayStation 3 exclusive's release in 2011. We were shown a frame-locked video of the same demo after the live playthrough and the difference was large. I hope that the engineers can hit the framerate goal because it really adds a level of polish to the already good looking game.

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