Why inFamous 2 Is So Damn Appealing
I loved inFamous and I'm sure I'll love the sequel. It also seems that everyone I know feels the same way.
So I asked myself, "why are these games so damn appealing to so many people?" Well, the open-world setting is definitely a big draw, as evidenced by the immense popularity of Grand Theft Auto. Plus, it helps that Sucker Punch is a fantastic developer and we're almost guaranteed a satisfying, stable adventure with tight control and impressive technical elements. But there's something else...
I actually think it's this unique combination of action-based mania and the exploration involved with a sprawling metropolis. At first, I thought Cole's speed was much too fast but after playing for a while, I realized that it was just right, and it didn't diminish my appreciation for my surroundings. Amazingly, I always wanted to fight and I always wanted to explore and look around. The pacing of one really doesn't match the pacing of the other, so perhaps it's this contrast that so many people enjoy. It can be difficult to get such pacing correct.
It's the pacing and the freedom; the freedom to approach enemies in a variety of different ways. You can do so in other free-roam games, too, but you can't very well launch yourself onto a rooftop in seconds in GTA. You can't zip from one rooftop to another. You can't go back and forth between the ground and the air on a whim. What other game lets you do this, and do it so unbelievably effectively for so long? And in such an environment? The combination is so totally addicting. It's just an atmosphere and style of gameplay and immersion that seems almost singular in my eyes, and this is why I think inFamous 2 will sell extremely well.
Of course, now that I said it, the game will tank. ...but it better not.
5/27/2011 Ben Dutka