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E3 2010: Hands-on with InFamous 2

In case there’s still any lingering doubt, let’s clear something up right away: Yes, the tousle-haired, tattooed, teen-voiced superhero you may have seen in the InFamous 2 trailer is Cole McGrath. And no, the game isn’t a prequel. At a special closed-door E3 session, reps from Sucker Punch made it clear they knew the internet isn’t entirely happy with Cole’s redesign – or with his new, younger-sounding voice actor.

Cole’s new look, it turns out, is closer to how Sucker Punch envisioned him originally – not a gruff badass (as actor Jason Cottle portrayed him), but as a more relatable action hero. Oh, and the hair? According to Nate Fox, the game’s director, that’s a tech issue: when they were working on the first game, the developers simply didn’t have the necessary shading technology to render a convincing hairstyle, so they shaved his head. Finally, the new actor is better able to do motion-capture work – necessary for the way the in-game cutscenes are now being directed – so the changes are here to stay.

Cole’s transition from skinhead badass to skinny punk is the least of the changes you’ll see in InFamous 2, and so far all of them – judging by a quick hands-on run through the E3 demo – are for the better. While the game still retains InFamous’ unique look and art direction, it’s now set in a new city, the New Orleans-inspired New Marais. As it turns out, Cole meets The Beast (the monstrous villain hinted at in InFamous’ ending) right at the beginning of InFamous 2. It hasn’t yet been decided whether this confrontation will be playable or will happen in a cutscene, but however it’s presented, The Beast kicks Cole’s ass.

In a bid to become more powerful, Cole heads to New Marais, the city where the artifact that gave him his electrical powers, the Raysphere, was first designed. Once there, he encounters a whole new threat: the Militia, a group described as a cross between the KKK and Batman. Vigilantes dedicated to lynching anyone they don’t see as human (Cole, for example), the Militia have apparently overrun the city.

Their presence, however, is probably also a response to the hulking, blade-armed swamp mutants that interrupted the Militia’s anti-Cole hate rally at the start of the E3 demo, an attack that prompted Cole to fight them as the panicked crowd fled. These are just part of what we’re told will be a far more diverse roster of enemies than the first game boasted; luckily, Cole will have a bunch of new powers at his disposal to combat them (and he won’t lose his old ones in the game’s first 10 minutes, either).

Chief among Cole’s new arsenal is a sword-like weapon, designed by his best friend/sidekick Zeke (who also returns in what already seems like a less-grating form), which he carries around strapped to his back. Evolved from the idea of having Cole carry around a length of pipe to hit bad guys with, the weapon conducts electricity between two poles, and was used to acrobatically smack the mutants down, complete with a couple of dramatic slow-motion takedowns.

It’s certainly a far cry from the first game’s relatively clumsy hand-to-hand combat. Cole’s close-quarters takedowns can also have a destructive effect on his surroundings, something we discovered out later in the demo, when he sword-slammed a Militia goon into the floor of a destructible balcony, causing the whole structure to collapse underneath them.

That’s another cool thing about InFamous 2: Lots more destructible scenery. And in addition to being a lot more smashable, we’re also told that New Marais – like the city that inspired it – will be a much more diverse place to explore than the first game’s Empire City. It’ll also have new ways to get around in a hurry; while Cole still has the ability to rail-grind on powerlines, climb up buildings and float, he can now speed-shimmy across wall-mounted cables and rapidly boost himself up specially charged metal pipes.

24 comments

  • Wolverine08 - June 21, 2010 3:18 p.m.

    @chaoticdante Is that relevant to ANYTHING on this article at all? Save it for Facebook mate
  • DoucheMcGee - June 21, 2010 3:36 a.m.

    I don't mind the new look, the voice will take some getting used to, but it was only one game so it's not like they are changing an iconic character's voice. This game looks amazing; I can't wait to get it.
  • choaticdante - June 20, 2010 11:48 p.m.

    just use a keyboard it will allow you to imput cheats on almost any platform have yet to find a game it didnt work on
  • choaticdante - June 20, 2010 11:46 p.m.

    ive found out how 2 cheat on any game
  • killerrpgfan - June 20, 2010 1:57 a.m.

    I WANT IT!!!
  • JADENkOTOR - June 20, 2010 12:08 a.m.

    I like that Cole was originally supposed to be a little shit punk. His character in the first was a run of the mill baddie... not too interesting. I don't know why they didn't follow through with their original concept in the first place... oh they couldn't make hair. That is the most fucked up shit I've ever heard. You get a fucking lightsaber! Im in.
  • Zanthis - June 19, 2010 10:51 p.m.

    Well if I wasn't excited for Infamous 2, I am now.
  • Conman93 - June 19, 2010 11:18 a.m.

    Wow, the graphics are musch improved and this one looks much more epic than the first. Can't wait!!
  • Wolverine08 - June 19, 2010 11:01 a.m.

    Whoops my mistake, just read the rest and the comic cutscenes are in it after all. Goody good. Oh and Mike, you might want to recheck the spelling on 'reast of the demo..'
  • Wolverine08 - June 19, 2010 10:53 a.m.

    I was wrong. Looks like the new Cole isn't that bad, I think he'll fit well.I would like the comic cutscenes to come back, but if the graphics are better, then it wont really matter. Plus, the lack of hair technology explains why nearly all the citizens in Empire city wore hats or were bald, very very Sly. Also, will the tattoos on his arm play a role?
  • BlackElement17 - June 19, 2010 6:26 a.m.

    Oh... I always thought that he was bald because the lighting orb thing burned off his hair when it detonated.
  • Cyberninja - June 19, 2010 12:33 a.m.

    my guess is that to make a ending cannon they would have to stop you from bringing powers over to make it fair for people who picked the other story path so my guess is they will pull a bioshock or just outright say f**k it and say their is no canon to the story universe to please all fans.
  • spawny0908 - June 19, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    "reps from Sucker Punch made it clear they knew the internet isn’t entirely happy with Cole’s redesign – or with his new, younger-sounding voice actor." Which is where the saying like "if it ain't broke don't fix it" comes into play...
  • Rojoco - June 18, 2010 11:53 p.m.

    I enjoyed the first one quite a bit, it's the only game I've currently got a platinum trophy for. However I've since descovered Uncharted 2 which seems like almost everything inFAMOUS was trying to achieve done perfectly.
  • animeman - June 18, 2010 11:43 p.m.

    I acualy like the new look for Cole the voice is wierd and an unnecessary change but I dont think that it is that bad.
  • TheWebSwinger - June 18, 2010 11:15 p.m.

    Yes yes yes. Almost makes me regret buying the first game, since the second seems so much improved. For the record, though, I looooved the first game.
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 18, 2010 11:10 p.m.

    Sounds awesome. I really gotta buy a PS3 sometime soon...
  • ScruffMoney - June 18, 2010 10:50 p.m.

    can that please be one of the moral choices? whether or not you choose to save Zeke or have him painfully and graphically executed?
  • EnragedTortoise1 - June 18, 2010 10:48 p.m.

    I will buy this on day one as atonement for my save-file related sins ( I overwrote my Infamous 1 save file right before Kessler.. FUUUUUU) But anyways, I likey.
  • Evil_AppleJuice - June 18, 2010 10:30 p.m.

    @oufour You just might be Im excited for this game as i loved the first one, but as many are saying, not too excited for the revamp. Sure the last one had some problems, but its almost too cartoonish this time around. Yet to say whether or not ill keep checking up on this game.

Showing 1-20 of 24 comments

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