Somewhere in the middle you have the Amp, a bespoke melee weapon (it's a motorcycle fork) built to do something like harness Cole's latent electrical abilities - I can't remember exactly how the game attempts to describe it. It's designed almost entirely to add some swanky melee finishers that make the camera do some nice dramatic whooshes, but also to provide Cole with a more effective combat solution at short range. It's simple, but it works.
All would be exceptional if inFamous 2 were simply powers and parkour, but unfortunately the action game sandwiched in between does not fare nearly as well. Combat is a fairly dry affair, having you splash regular cannon fodder in streams of electric bolts as you retain your conservative energy supplies for bigger, badder enemies. On occasions the game takes off the training wheels and lets Cole cut loose through his foes with unlimited energy. Here, for a moment, the action feels unrestrained and free. But this is the exception rather than the norm.
Bosses also hit a particularly sour note. It takes all of 20 seconds to realise that you can stomp every major enemy in the game by simply throwing grenades at their face over and over again - hardly the kind of thrilling, apocalyptic battles the game primed us for. One mutant nasty, menacingly titled The Devourer, can basically be knocked dead in less time than it takes the game to render the multi-storey behemoth.
Much of the plot plays into the tales of Nix and Kuo, literal manifestations of Good and Evil in a battle for Cole's soul/Trophies. The game still encourages you down one particular karmic route at the start of the game, and while it often presents the illusion of choice - whether you opt to listen to Nix's bad advice, or Kuo's good intentions - it still makes absolutely no sense to deviate from your alignment after committing to a particular path.
Regardless of whether you choose to do things like saving civilians (for good experience points) or killing civilians (for evil experience points), Cole's mission is to unearth eight magic trinkets hidden around New Marais, which both imbue our hero with new powers and charge up the RFI, a metallic MacGuffin that will conveniently handle the narrative predicaments posed by The Beast. It is as entirely perfunctory as it sounds, and the terrible characterisation (especially that of Nix, who acts like a demented psychopath) manages to undo any of the potentially interesting developments before they have a chance to blossom.