Making your own UGC is fun, but like in LittleBigPlanet (which a lot of the UGC elements seem to be lifted from), it’s easy to dick around, but harder to create something of value. Luckily, you can filter other players’ created missions – which appear on your map as green mission markers – so that only the newest or most highly rated (by either developer Sucker Punch or the community) show up. It’s also possible to turn them off entirely, which isn’t a bad idea if you just want to focus on progressing through the game without any confusing distractions.
Fortunately, the UGC is what it should be: an optional add-on that wasn’t made at the expense of the rest of the game. Even without it, InFamous 2 is fairly beefy, with 40 story missions and around 16-20 hours of gameplay, depending on whether you decide to pursue side missions or just charge straight through to the end. (An end which, we can’t help but notice, blatantly cribs story elements from Watchmen and X-Men.)
More importantly, InFamous 2 is simply a lot of fun; more so than in the first game, there’s a great feeling of freedom in being able to clamber up to high points, skate across the skyline, plummet to the ground unharmed and whale on monsters with a big metal cattle prod.
Crackdown 2? Yes. While some might be tempted to lump them together (probably because InFamous was seen as the PS3's answer to Crackdown), the differences are huge. Crackdown 2 is more of an expansion than an actual sequel, giving players the same city (albeit in ruined form) and adding annoying monsters. And while InFamous 2 also adds monsters, those monsters are more interesting, its city is new, and its story is more interesting than Crackdown 2’s razor-thin narrative. Arguably, Crackdown 2’s multiplayer is more fun than creating and sharing missions, but as a solo experience, InFamous 2 is much more enjoyable.
Prototype? Yes. While InFamous 2 – even at its most “evil” – still doesn’t have the anarchic, brutal sense of fun that Prototype does, it tells a more interesting story and arguably plays better than its two-year-old rival. It also has more to offer players, even if none of those things is disguising yourself as a soldier and calling in an airstrike on a military base before running up the side of the Empire State Building and then elbow-dropping into the crowd on the street below.
Just Cause 2? No. InFamous’s story is better and more complete than Just Cause 2’s (really, what isn’t?), but when it comes to the sheer fun of getting around its game world, swinging around with a grappling hook and stealing jetliners easily beats grinding on power lines. Also, using JC2’s grappling hook to creatively grief enemies is ridiculously entertaining, and it’s something that hasn’t really been attempted or equaled by any other sandbox game, InFamous 2 included.
A huge improvement over its flawed predecessor, InFamous 2 injects more variety, personality and explosive fun into the first game’s promising formula, while removing or fine-tuning its most irritating problems.
Jun 16, 2011
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