Tom's beef with PS3-exclusive open world superhero action-er inFamous was that main man Cole MacGrath only became the badass he was born to be towards the end of the game. "A slow start and some incredibly dull and repetitive missions mean the game's heroic potential is fulfilled far too late on," Tom said. It seems developer Sucker Punch agreed.
This time around the open world is the fictional city of New Marais, a place Sucker Punch is proud to admit is inspired by New Orleans. How to describe it? Well, there are lots of people walking about. Lots of verandas. Lots of pretty lights. And more than its fair share of nooks and crannies to explore.
New Marais isn't the concrete jungle favoured by so many contemporary open world creators - and that's exactly why it's great. Although our E3 hands-on is limited to moonlit city streets and building rooftops, Sucker Punch promises a wide variety of environments, many of which should catch the eye. The promise of swamp exploration, for example, is an intriguing one.
We applaud MacGrath's change in surroundings, but the parkour-loving protagonist's redesign gets a standing ovation. He's undergone the kind of makeover Trinny and Susannah would be proud of. His hair's grown out a bit. He's wearing a t-shirt. And he sounds different - not surprising, really, given he's got a new voice actor.
There's more to Cole 2.0 than his sleek new look, though. His superpowers have been given a shot in the arm, too. This time around, he'll begin the game all-singing and all dancing. The electricity-based superpowers he took so long to gain in the original are available from the off, and he's got a few new toys to boot. The powerful Ionic Vortex, which sees MacGrath let fly a twister that gathers up cars and enemies, is evidence of the potency of his new arsenal. But there's more.
MacGrath's now packing a melee weapon - what looks like a huge tuning fork - that's electrically charged, possibly by his mate Zeke. With it, he can batter enemies into oblivion, and even send then flying across New Marais' streets via Sucker Punch's fancy new cinematic slow motion camera control. The weapon lends combat a more visceral and in your face feel. MacGrath can sprint into a pack of enemies, slide, juggle with the tuning fork, and then smash them to kingdom come. Brutal.
Talking of enemies, MacGrath's taking it from two fronts this time. On one side he faces a rabid militia, led by the southern twanged Bertrand. The silver-haired showman has locked down New Marais and hates what he calls "freaks" - horrible beasties THAT CAME FROM THE SWAMP! and threaten anyone and anything they come into contact with. That, predictably, includes our good man MacGrath, who when he isn't knocking militia goons into the next sandbox game will be knocking lumps out of the snarling dribbling ones.