It's been less than a month since Sony revealed the official E3 trailer for Sucker Punch's superhero sequel inFamous 2. While the trailer certainly gave players a lot to look forward to, it also left some fans out in the cold, not because of Cole's new ice powers; instead, due to the abrupt shift in Cole's design/voice work.
Despite the game's 2011 release schedule, Sony is keeping the E3 buzz rolling, this time providing us with close to 3 minutes of inFamous 2 gameplay footage.
While the video probably won't convince inFamous die-hards to love Cole's redesign, the video does reveal some exciting new features - including monstrous common enemies, new powers, as well as improved means of traveling around the sandbox environment of New Marais.
Possibly the most impressive reveal is how seamless inFamous 2 manages to jump from actual gameplay to cinematic cutscenes.
There's a lot to be excited about here. The new common enemy types are a vast improvement over the sort-of-powered felons of Empire City. Monstrous bayou creatures trump guys in hoodies any day of the week - not just in terms of the visual aesthetic but also gameplay possibilities as well as the overall direction of the game's dramatic story - giving the impression that Cole's world really is slipping out of control.
In addition, the inclusion of the new electric rails for vertical and horizontal travel is a major improvement - offering a sandbox environment unlike any other. Not only does the mechanic set inFamous, in terms of travel, apart from titles such as Assassin's Creed II and Grand Theft Auto, it also provides opportunity for better high-speed chase missions and faster movement, in general.
Similarly, the destructible environments definitely open the gameplay up a lot, offering multiple strategies for enemy take-downs - as well as contributing to the title's immersion. Cole's new Ionic Vortex power, which looks incredible, interacts with the environment in a realistic way, sucking up cars and other destructible items before, in this case, seamlessly moving into a dramatic cutscene.
While some players are still skeptical of Cole version 2.0, myself included, I have to admit that Eric Ladin, who is voicing the character in the sequel, does a decent job with the only line in the video, "Cut the crap, you're going to take me to Wolfe. Now!" Obviously I'm grabbing at straws a bit, but the delivery of the line definitely left me feeling as though Sucker Punch was putting the right amount of attitude into the middle-of-the-road Cole for players to exploit - allowing Cole to venture into the more evil or heroic extremes as a result of the gamer's actions - not a predetermined narrative.
More specifically, Cole, as he's presented here, would be believable no matter how the player chooses to interact with New Marais. Unlike a game like Red Dead Redemption where, despite the players choice to rob banks or kill innocent people, John Marston was always the nicest, most honorable, person imaginable in the game's cutscenes.
Given the changes to the core gameplay, Sucker Punch is definitely positioning inFamous 2 as one of the premier titles on the PlayStation 3 - it's hard to imagine the sequel failing to improve on the already strong sales of the original inFamous.
What do you think of the new inFamous 2 footage? What else are you hoping to see in the sequel?
inFamous 2 is scheduled for a 2011 release.