A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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