My review of inFamous 2 is up at thephoenix.com. This is one of those games that makes me question reality, because I haven't read one bad word about it, and I could barely stand to play it. Remember when I talked about how great Outland felt in my hands? inFamous 2 is the opposite. Nothing about this game feels right to me.
I don't like the way Cole McGrath moves, not on the ground or in the air. I don't appreciate the way he clings to objects automatically. I don't understand why the crosshair seems a touch off from where my shots end up. I resent not being able to lock the camera on to bigger enemies, who are able to fire devastating ordinance at me as I stumble into walls, looking for a safe place to hide but inexplicably grabbing a window ledge instead. Playing inFamous 2 feels like having a long, drawn-out argument with my controller.
I would estimate that my inFamous 2 experience broke down like this:
- 10% failing to run in a straight line
- 20% climbing something I didn't mean to climb
- 5% failing to to climb something I meant to climb
- 10% not damaging the enemy in my crosshairs
- 5% getting killed all of a sudden for no reason
- 10% doing unfun story missions
- 20% doing unfun side missions
- 20% looking for blast shards
The side missions are even worse, because I felt a junkie-like compulsion to keep completing them. I don't even mean the major side missions, which are often superior to the story missions and which earn you a nice chunk of XP. I mean the little events that pop up frequently as you traverse the map, which affect your karma meter. I foiled so many damn muggings, each one consisting of two immobile bad guys standing next to one immobile victim, all three waiting for me to show up before they started doing anything. Maybe I'd have had more fun if I'd been playing as Evil Cole, and taken random opportunities to murder buskers (really!).
Worst of all, by far, is the -- wait for it -- user-generated content. I've seen some people mention the inclusion of "UGC" as a way to extend the game's lifespan indefinitely, which they say as though it is something desirable. Of course every user-created mission that I played was terrible. That's to be expected. What surprised me was that, in the several days following the launch of inFamous 2, all of the UGC that you could play was provided by Sucker Punch themselves, presumably to set an example. And even that was terrible!
Not terrible in the way that the rest of the game is terrible -- terrible in all new ways. One of these missions had a bug that made it impossible to finish. I thought I had done something wrong, so I played it again, carefully, and the same thing happened. Then a third time. Then I wondered what the hell I was doing with my life. Not playing inFamous 2 anymore, that's for sure.