Gamescom offered us our first look at the newest game from Sucker Punch, Infamous 2, its new lead character Cole - redesigned after negative fan feedback - and one of the lightning powered super/anti-hero's car-tossing superpowers.
We also got a look at the game's new setting, the New Orleans-like fictional bayou town known as New Marais. Sucker Punch founder Bruce Oberg said the new, swampy southern city is perfect for showcasing Cole's destructive powers. (Oberg said the game's setting was decided upon before hearing about a similar setting in Left 4 Dead 2. When Valve's zombie-slaying sequel was announced, Oberg relayed an "Oh, shit..." feeling from the team.) We were given a hands-off demo of the game, showing how Cole can rip apart the decaying plantation-style homes and shanty structures that enemy soldiers use to snipe from.
The setting of New Marais also has an effect on Cole's look. He sports a t-shirt and jeans, ditching his leather from the original Infamous to beat the heat. Cole also sports a new melee weapon in Infamous 2, the Amp, part of the developer's aim to "amp up" the power of the hand-to-hand combat.
Sucker Punch showed off a mix of that ranged and up-close combat, Cole juggling enemies into the air with the Amp, shocking them into submission from behind cover. The action looked more rapid fire, more fast paced to me, but Oberg said that the two Infamous game's were similar in speed.
After watching Cole burn through a few military-types in one of Infamous 2's more rural areas, we ventured closer to civilisation.
Sucker Punch showed off a mini-boss encounter with a beast known as the Ravager. It was a spawn of the Corrupted, a swamp-dwelling, burrowing creature that launched toxic green spores at Cole. The Ravager, an insect-like monstrosity, clambered about a city square while whinnying like some mutated, demonic horse.
As bystanders ran chaotically between Cole and the Ravager, the player running our demo fired electrified potshots at the thing, taking out a few pedestrians amid the action. To put the Ravager down, however, required using one of Cole's new skills, the Kinetic Pulse.
That's a fancier name for throwing large things at other things. If Cole were a Jedi, it would be a Force push. Cole used the Kinetic Pulse to pick up a couple of parked cars and launch them violently at the Ravager, eventually killing it.
When Cole will get the Kinetic Pulse during Infamous 2's campaign, we're not yet clear. But Cole will have to work to rebuild his electrical powers after having his "ass kicked" by The Beast. That will mean new morality choices that affect Cole's powers, the way New Marais behaves and reacts to Cole, and the way missions adapt to Cole's decisions.
Infamous 2 will be out in 2011 on the PlayStation 3.