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InFamous 2 – hands-on with giant monsters and user-generated missions

Back during the Game Developers Conference in March, developer Sucker Punch revealed a secret it had been holding back for years: InFamous 2, while still retaining its open-world, story-driven structure, will introduce tools for users to create and share their own custom missions within the game world. It’s an interesting idea to shoehorn into a sandbox game, and during a press event in Seattle Monday night, we finally got a chance to test-drive the creation tools for ourselves – as well as to go head-to-head with some of the new enemies electrically charged hero Cole MacGrath will face in the sequel.

Some of those enemies will be on the huge side; the first mission we played pitted Cole against a massive, city-stomping boss called The Behemoth, which looked like a giant purple dust mite by way of Lost Planet. As the beast lumbered through the streets of New Marais, smashing buildings and slobbering noxious green goo everywhere, it quickly became apparent that there was only one way to stop it: aim for the glowing pink orb that appeared every time it opened its mouth.

Of course, it couldn’t just be that simple. While hanging back and pounding its weak point with Cole’s lightning bolts did some damage at first, that became a lot more difficult when it hordes of man-sized swamp monsters started swarming out of the ground to attack us. It didn’t take long for the fight to devolve into absolute chaos, as monsters popped up from everywhere and formerly hostile Militia goons focused their fire on the Behemoth. Every time we got clear enough to draw a bead on the giant monster ourselves, it roared, an act that sent every car and being in its path – Cole included – flying.

In spite of the mess, we were eventually able to extinguish the glowing orb in its mouth (Cole’s lightning rockets, returning from the first game, helped a lot). At that point, however, it dug its arms into the street and braced to attack, revealing two more glowing orbs on its elbows. And no sooner had we targeted those than it opened its jaw-like chest, grabbed Cole with a tentacle and started dragging him inward – something that revealed two more weak points, which we were free to blast as it pulled Cole in.

Once we’d blown out all its weak points (some more than once), the fiend disappeared in an explosion of green smoke – and it was time to move on to the next portion of the demo, a mission called Forced Conduits. Set in a previously unseen, industrial part of New Marais called the Gasworks, it introduced us to a shady-looking group of soldiers with ice powers, who seemed to be there specifically to interfere with Cole’s search for a Blast Core (an artifact Cole – or the soldiers – could use to unlock new powers).

They were a slippery bunch, too. As we searched for the Blast Core by smashing through semi-hidden, Militia-branded crates in a series of warehouses (always fun), they’d show up periodically to take potshots at Cole – and just when we’d drawn a bead on them, they’d take a flying leap out of range, leaving only a jagged hunk of ice where they’d just been standing.

Luckily, we faced them as Evil Cole, with some interesting new powers activated. The old sticky grenades, while great, were replaced by a sort of cluster bomb that scattered tiny explosives in a wide radius, making it hard for the ice soldiers to slip away. Cole’s normal rockets were replaced by bolo-like projectiles that were hard to sidestep, and whenever we tried to lift a car with telekinesis – one of Cole’s best new powers – he instead rocketed forward several dozen feet in a black cloud, which turned out to be useful as both an attack and a quick way of getting around. (It also came in handy when, at one point, the Militia sealed off a warehouse Cole was in and filled it with toxic gas, at which point we climbed up and rocketed out of a skylight.)

Our newfound sense of superiority didn’t last long, as it quickly turned out the ice soldiers were assisted with big, charging ice brutes, who could soak up a lot of punishment and would knock us down whenever we tried to go toe-to-toe with them. But they were nothing, we soon learned, next to the Ice Titan, a hulking monster who appeared at the end of the mission, after Cole had finally uncovered the crate containing the Blast Core.

 

The Titan made a pretty big entrance, and he looked intimidating – but he quickly turned out to be a pushover. As it turns out, throwing everything Cole had at the Titan’s arms made them fall off, at which point the Titan slumped helplessly – and a button prompt appeared in front of it. When we hit it, Cole leapt onto the monster’s face and jammed his amp into a fissure in the ice, at which point we were prompted to mash Square to pry a chunk loose. Its face revealed, the monster re-grew its arms and attacked again – at which point we just lobbed rockets at its face until it keeled over.



Above: Footage of the Forced Conduits mission and the Behemoth attack

Once the Ice Titan was finally out of commission, we were free to dive into InFamous 2’s content generator. However, before we were actually handed the reins (and had them carefully explained to us), we were invited to try out three short examples of what could be done within the mission creator.

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12 comments

  • MmmmCanadaDry - April 15, 2011 4:20 a.m.

    i wish sly 4 comes out for xbox too :/
  • Yeager1122 - April 14, 2011 1:40 a.m.

    Played most of the first infamous at a frienfs house hopefully he gets this one so i can play it to cause it sound awsome.
  • crumbdunky - April 13, 2011 10:03 p.m.

    As long as they match the surprisingly tight story from the first game then I see no issues whatsoever for the next entry in one of Sony's most underrated PS3 exclusive series. Adding the creation mode is a great idea and whether you like to make or just lay other people's will give it SOO much longevity and in a totally different way to the usual shoehorned MP which is, 9/10, dead in a couple of moths when people return to Halo, COD or the usual shooter anyways. Loved the first game when I didn't really expect to but the leap in looks and detail over that game to what we've seen of his is just incredible. SP must have learned a hell of a lot in the meantime about squeezing juice out of that PS3 cell architecture that it is't funny. People were surprised(though a lot can't have played the original imho)at the quality(ooks, gameplay and story)ND managed with Uncharted2 but that game wasn't anything like the jump n class(on the surface at least) that this looks to be. inFAMOUS was great fun with cool powers and a gripping story but it looked, at best, OK and at worst just functional so to get what they have out of PS3 for an open world game is pretty sweet and can't have been easy. Wlll be interested to see just who, and which Sony studios, they thank to see just exactly who was helping them out with I2 but whatevr happens I don't think any game has me mor certain of a day one purchase than this right now-and I don't think I'll have money for half the games I'm wanting over six platforms already without even considering the fact I'l probably have weakened and bought both a 3DS and a NGP(provided it's out this year in the UK)at some poimnt before 2012!! BTW-great preeview Mikel-you souned like you had a ball!
  • ChickenFillet5140 - April 13, 2011 9:59 p.m.

    This would be a definite day 1 purchase for me but it comes out the day before my fucking leaving cert!!! Oh woe is me. Looks absolutely incredible in my opinion.
  • Jaces - April 13, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    They really took it all up a notch, inFamous 2 is a day 1 for me. :)
  • blodden - April 13, 2011 3:31 p.m.

    I cannot wait for it now.
  • BladedFalcon - April 13, 2011 3:09 p.m.

    Excellent! A lot of these new features look and sound pretty awesome. I'm not likely to create much because as with LBP2 I just don't think I have the creativity and patience to create anything worth a damn. Still, I'll be looking forward to see what people come up with! :D Also, coming fresh from playing the first game... I'm really impressed at how well the new one looks in comparison. Specially the powers... Even the normal attack looks much more detailed than in the first one. And needless to say, the new enemies, specially the monsters and mutants, look pretty cool. So yeah, definitely looking forward to this... Only thing that concerns me is the story. The first one's didn't feel like much at first, but it slowly developed into something great. And I think this game has big shoes to fill in this aspect, I hope they follow on most of the loose ends of the first, while keeping the story interesting thorough.
  • reson8er - April 13, 2011 2:16 p.m.

    I'm in the Beta and really digging the creation tools. Didn't get enough time to play around as I d/l kinda late, but really looking to see what I can do with it. Infamous is so awesome :)
  • philipshaw - April 13, 2011 2:15 p.m.

    I can't wait for this, the main story missions sound really interesting so far
  • AntistasMetroid - April 13, 2011 1:37 p.m.

    (sarcasm) Prototype 2 will be better... nicely written wiki. kinda lookin forward to this if i find a cheap copy of the first game to beat first.
  • austincharlesbond - April 13, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    oooh I hope Sly 4 has user-created content :)
  • Evanesco - April 13, 2011 6:54 a.m.

    Wonder if Sucker Punch will eventually put more elements into the inFamous series, seems like they might go that route.

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