Infamous 2

Common Sense Media says

Superhero sequel lets players choose to be good or evil.

Age(i)

2
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9
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This is an open-world action game that glorifies superhero-like violence, though with little in the way of blood and no gore. It’s designed to make players think about their actions and the way they want their character to behave and evolve. However, it does not attempt to push players toward acts of good over those of evil. Morality is optional.

Positive role models

The game’s hero is neither good nor bad by design. Instead, it’s up to players to determine whether to have him act like a hero or a villain. Side missions provide opportunity to perform altruistic acts, like obtaining medical supplies that will benefit civilians, or selfish and evil ones, such as killing activists protesting our character’s presence in the city. There are no significant negative consequences to acting evilly; it simply alters the narrative and the way non-player characters behave around the protagonist.

Ease of play

Basic controls are simple to master, but the game becomes more complex as players unlock new abilities. It’s also quite a bit more difficult than its predecessor; even veteran gamers can expect plenty of mission failures and restarts.

Violence

Players fight human and quasi-human enemies, primarily with electrical attacks that see victims writhing and grunting in pain, swathed in coils of energy. Blood occasionally sprays from defeated foes. Players have the option of targeting and attacking civilians throughout the game, and can leach away the life of helpless pedestrians, killing them.

Sex

A red light district features enormous neon signs depicting provocatively clad women in sexually suggestive poses. Night club signs advertise sex and “nude girls,” though there is no sex or nudity in the game.

Language

Dialogue is mostly free of profanity, though instances of words including “bitch” and “s--t” can be heard throughout the game.   

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The player’s character does not imbibe alcohol or takes drugs, but other characters can be seen drinking and, in at least one instance, reference narcotics.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Infamous 2 is a third-person action game with mature themes concerning morality, though its content remains tame enough to maintain a “Teen” rating. Blood, sexual innuendo, and profanity are present, but are of a quantity and quality fairly described as moderate. That said, players will contend with plenty of game scenarios in which they have the opportunity to hurt or kill civilians. The story doesn’t push players toward being good or evil, but instead leaves it up to each player to choose how he or she wants to act. Moral decisions impact the narrative and how non-player characters view the game’s hero. Players can customize missions that can be downloaded by other players, but there is no opportunity for online communication with strangers.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The follow-up to 2009’s popular PlayStation-exclusive superhero action game, INFAMOUS 2 puts players back in the shoes of the electric man, Cole MacGrath, a courier given energy-based super powers after a massive explosion. With his home, Empire City, destroyed by a creature known simply as “the beast,” Cole has made his way to the New Orleans-inspired town of New Marais, where he hopes to grow his abilities to be able to defeat the monster, which is tearing a path across the continental U.S. toward him. But first he must confront a town filled with “redneck” thugs who want him dead, as well as a civilian population that will either grow to adore him or fear and hate him based on his actions. As in the first game, players have the ability to do good or evil as they progress through the story, and their actions will affect both the narrative and the way people around Cole behave.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It’s not as fresh or inventive as the original, but Infamous 2’s open-world super hero action should still prove compelling for older teens and adults. His superpowers, which include everything from acrobatic climbing and the ability to telekinetically move objects to wielding lightning bolts and healing civilians with the power of electricity, are as much fun to use as they’ve ever been. And there is no shortage of things to do in New Marais. Just run around for a few seconds and a new holdup, kidnapping, user-generated mission, or morality-based side quest will pop up.

But while the action is still here, the storytelling has slipped. It was interesting to see how Cole reacted to his newfound abilities in the original game, but now he seems one-dimensional and a little bit power hungry. He needs more internal conflict to keep us interested in him as a character -- something developer Sucker Punch will need to work on if they want to maintain our attention in future games.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about morality in video games. Unlike films, television, and books, games sometimes allow players to choose whether the protagonist is good or evil. Do you think a player’s choices in these situations reflect his or her personality? Can players learn anything valuable from fantasizing the role of a villain?

  • Families can also discuss violence in Teen-rated games. Where do you draw the line on violence in media consumed by your teens?

Game details

Platforms:PlayStation 3
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Sony Computer Entertainment
Release date:June 7, 2011
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:T for Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Sexual Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence (PlayStation 3)

This review of Infamous 2 was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bydeaven81 June 17, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

(Spoilers) Outline of game content

This is a very deep gaming experience that is a must play game. I have played both the evil and good sides of the game all the way through (excluding side missions) and there is a lot parents need to know. Regardless of the path you take you still kill a lot of people and creatures. Although on one side it is for the good of others, and on the other side it is with selfish motives. (Spoiler alert) If you play the game good your character sacrifices himself for the good of man kind generally saving all of humanity, This good path has positive messages and influences, although violence is used for entertainment (all non graphic).on the other side of the games moral compass, there is a completely different tone and general theme. You are encouraged to kill civilians and cops, while not gory it does seem graphic and has a very emotional, aggressive effect on you that younger audiences should not experience. (More spoilers) In the end of the evil career your character makes the extremely selfish similar to that of magneto in xmen. That humans are an extinct race and that people with powers are the future. Although you don't play it your character sets out to destroy humanity and save those with powers, with the goal of killing billions of innocent people. At the end of the evil career your character does kill his best friend in an interactive way that you take part in. This game is amazingly deep and you do get very emotionally tied to the main characters which you can end up betraying. Depending how you play this can be a very positive experience or a very emotional dark experience however I do recommend that every one mature enough to experience this game does.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 1, 3, 6, and 10 year old Written bycodybear36 July 21, 2012
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

xx

i let my 10 year old play it when he was 9 and it wasn't appropriate. Now he's 10 and its great
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Educator and Parent Written bykatrinalorien July 4, 2011
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

SPOILER ALERT

*SPOILER ALERT* Infamous 2 is an extremely fun game! My husband played all the way through the first infamous, and then also infamous 2 and I watched him play the entire time. I don't remember any significant language, however it is possible that I missed it, I wasn't trying to seriously filter for a kid. To be honest, its a really good game, and has strong messages about morality, and treating friends well. If you play through as good, you have to avoid doing damage to civilians while also completing difficult missions. Each time you do damage to civilians you become "more evil". However it does equate evil to infamous, so I suppose that could be a problem. Also if you choose the evil route, in the end you slowly zap your friend to death.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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