InFamous 2 had a lot to live up to due to its predecessor’s high bar of quality, and its strategy guide had very similar standards to live up to. I raved and glowed over the inFamous strategy guide, and I expected the same results from the inFamous 2 strategy guide, even though they come from two different publishers. With the exception of a few annoyances, BradyGames’ strategy guide for inFamous 2 did not let me down.
The walkthrough is as straight forward as the game’s story missions, and while it’s next to impossible to get lost with the walkthrough’s assistance, it’s very possible to get frustrated with the occasional lack of direction. For example, the tesla missile missions are quite possibly the most frustrating missions in the story. The player is given very little direction as to where the tesla missile needs to be guided, and the guide offers almost nothing in addition. For the most part, this is fine, but a little map of where you’re supposed to end up with a screenshot of the final destination would have been really, really nice for some of the trickier tesla connections. And in other instances, when the guide does give tips on where to send your tesla missile, there are far easier routes to be found than those given, such as those in Fort Philippe.
My only other gripe with the story walkthrough is its spoilers. The inFamous 2 strategy guide is one of those guides that has every piece of the narration and action written down. If you look too far ahead, such as while flipping to the next section for help with side missions, you may accidentally stumble upon a major spoiler. That said, I’d rather a guide say too much than too little, so this isn’t detrimental, but it was still a bit annoying to me to see all of the cut scenes dictated out before me while I’m trying to find exactly where I need to go post-cut scene.
However, anyone who has played inFamous 2 knows that the story is not what takes up most of the time of the game; it’s collectible hunting and the side missions that eat up your time, and fortunately, this is where the strategy guide shines the most.
Most of the side missions are far more difficult and/or tedious than the story missions, and you can’t unlock a good number of them without performing a certain act first, whether it’s by completing a particular side mission or killing a specific person in a specific location. All side missions in the strategy guide are organized by the time of their appearance, so it’s fairly easy to find out which side mission you are missing without flipping through the entire section. Every side mission has its own map and clear set of screenshots, and side missions are never found on two pages outside of the fold. It was incredibly easy to quickly look down at the book and figure out instantly where I needed to go next. This was especially helpful for the Overcharge missions (see image on right).
Another section in the guide contains separate maps for the blast shards and dead drops, which I really only found useful for the dead drops. There are way too many blast shards for a map alone to really be useful, especially when trying to hunt down those elusive ten last shards. In that situation, it’s really best to do 60 side missions and acquire the blast shard sensor upgrade.
The most useful part of this section is the trophy guide. Many of the trophies are straight forward, but a number of them are a bit baffling, particularly the one that contains the secret to finding the last dead drop. For example, the Mountaineer trophy is awarded for climbing to the top of the three tallest buildings in New Marais. While one can simply climb to the tip top of every building and hope one of the climbs will sound the chime, it was nice to have them all neatly pointed out as well as provide tips for combining trophy attempts.
For bonuses, the inFamous 2 strategy guide includes a very hefty section on creating your own levels for the UGC–something that all of the UGC creators should have looked at before shelling out their drivel for the trophy. And of course, there is a back section just for fans consisting of gorgeous concept art and interviews with the game’s creators. In other words, this guide is not missing a thing.
BradyGames has knocked yet another strategy guide out of the park with their inFamous 2 strategy guide. Not even a tour guide could give you a better tour around New Marais.