The one good thing that comes from being a sequel is the new story avenues that get opened up. In Infamous, gamers got to play the origin story of Cole McGrath, a bike messenger who got electrical powers in an explosion that ruined his hometown of Empire City. So, what you won’t be doing in the Sucker Punch dev studio’s Infamous 2 is rehashing all that stuff. (Simply Electrifying: Hands On with Infamous 2)
Cole’s accepted who he is and knows what he can do. He also knows what happens if he tries to shirk his responsibilities. The Beast, the monstrous threat teased at the end of the first game, destroys Empire City and heads south on a path of destruction with Cole hot on his heels. The mission to try and take out the Beast brings Mr. McGrath into conflict with xenophobic villain Betrand. The game’s big bad guy sets out to kill anyone who’s been genetically altered like Cole in the new locale of New Marais.
It’s two such women who embody the good-vs-evil karma angle in Infamous 2. Where the first game had you making decisions around strangers, this one centers on relationship building with two super-powered ladies. Kuo’s a former NSA agent who gained cryokinetic powers while captured and tortured by one of New Marais’ criminal factions. Just like the ice powers, the Asian woman’s chilly and represents the order portion of the game’s narrative. Her counterpart is Nix, whose oil-based powers can smother enemies to death. A black woman with wild dreads, she’s designed like a wild child with any number of tattoos and piercings all over her body. Kuo got her powers after being tortured by New Marais’ Ice Gang and views herself as a freak, whereas Nix gained her abilities from a genetic cleansing attack by Bertrand that also killed her parents. Kuo’s background as an NSA agent has her wanting to stick to the rules of any engagement with bad guys, while Nix’s grief and anger is responsible for her eff-the-world, blow-stuff-up attitude.
At the start of certain missions, both ladies make a case for Cole to handle things in the way they want. The mission I got to watch was called “Storm the Fort” and involved Cole and the two ladies clearing out a seaside fort of Betrand’s armed thugs. This mission showed off how the order & chaos alignments would affect Cole’s abilities. When paired up with Kuo, he could electrocute enemies frozen by her blasts and when fighting alongside Nix, he could ignite her oily constructs into lethal waves of flame. In addition to this buddy mechanic, Cole could use a device in the game to transfer powers with one of the women, letting players burn or freeze enemies if they got sick of the protagonist’s electrical attacks.