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GDC Preview: inFamous 2

March 10, 2011 Written by Cameron Teague

2009 saw the PlayStation 3 get jolted with a heavy dose of Cole MacGrath and inFamous, which quickly became a fan favorite and one of the PS3′s biggest games. Developer Sucker Punch and Sony are ready to electrify audiences again this year with the highly anticipated release of inFamous 2. We recently got hands on with inFamous 2‘s new weapons and new modes and we came away very impressed.

InFamous 2 takes place right after the events of the first game with Cole escaping Empire City and fleeing to New Marais, a city with a very New Orleans look to it. Cole is joined again by his friend Zeke as he tries to learn new abilities and discover the truth behind the Ray Sphere, the First Sons, and most importantly himself. Along the way to self discovery, Cole must fend off the hordes of Militia and Corrupted while being a savior or villain in the eyes of the public. The city of New Marais lends a lot more color to the game this time around with the city and its environments feeling a lot more vibrant through our play time. The people of the city also give the game even more depth as they feel a lot more alive this time around, reacting much better to Cole and the good or bad he is doing.

Environments are not the only thing we noticed receiving a boost the second time around. Cole himself looks a lot sharper, his powers feel a bit more powerful and he now carries around a nice looking weapon that does a number on anyone he comes across. The combat also looks and feels a lot more stylish with great effects and more feeling behind every strike. Most of the powers that we had at our disposal in our time with the game were from the original game but were all made to look new. Perhaps the coolest power came after doing enough damage, when you got a send a very cool looking tornado out at enemies directly in front of you.

The newest addition to inFamous 2 and the biggest part of our playthrough was with the newly announced User Generated Missions. Taking a page from the book of LittleBigPlanet, developer Sucker Punch is giving out the keys of their ride to anyone who wants to take a drive. Players will now get to make their own levels inside inFamous 2 using the same tools that the developer did. From what we were shown, the process of making your own level is fairly complex but we are sure with time people will get the hang of it. Levels are made by setting up a power grid full of cause and effect lines of power. With this you can set enemy behavior, spawn points, and many different scenarios.

Though we didn’t get to try out the creation tools we did get to play four different user made levels which ranged from racing along power lines to trying to fend off waves of enemies a la a tower defense game. In fact in the game you are not limited to what type of mission you want to build, so if you are itching for a platforming section, then make it. These four that we played were a lot of fun and added a whole competitive aspect to the game as we raced to beat each others times and scores on the missions. Now if you don’t want to have to create a whole level for scratch, Sucker Punch has you covered with a remix mode. Here you can remix a level you like and change parts of it as you see fit. Each created mission can be rated by people who play the game and your goal should be to have a level played by as many people as possible. The great thing about the user generated levels in inFamous 2 is that you don’t have to go to a different part of the game to access them. Instead you can simply set a few filters by what kind of levels you want displayed and these will automatically populate across the world of New Marais.

InFamous 2 looks to be heading in the right direction for a sequel with tweaks across the board both visually and in terms of gameplay. The addition of user generated missions is icing on the top of an already delicious looking cake and it will be interesting to see just how far the community decides to run with it. With the beta coming soon we will get to see first hand just what type of levels people have up their sleeves and which ones make the cut, landing themselves on the retail version of the game when it ships June 7th for the PlayStation 3.

Check back with us for more coverage of inFamous 2 and look for our review near the release of the game this June.