There are a lot of things you need to know about Sucker Punch's upcoming Playstation 3 action sequel InFamous 2, but none are as important as this: You can use your powers to hurl city-demolishing, lightning-spewing tornadoes at people.
The effect was so amazing the first time I saw it - the game's star Cole MacGrath took out a helicopter and several buildings with it - that I asked the developers to show it to me again and again, convinced it was really just an elaborate cut-scene. It wasn't.
InFamous 2 picks up where the first Playstation 3 game left off, following MacGrath's loss to "The Beast." This time around the game takes place in New Marais, a sort of re-imagined, crumbling New Orleans. MacGrath rolls into town to try and head off The Beast which is making its way down the coast taking out everything in its path. MacGrath is in town to try and find a scientist who he thinks can help him take the creature down.
The problem is that the town is run by the Militia, a group described by the developers as "the KKK meets Batman." This group of freak-hunting vigilantes are headed up by Bertrand.
The chunk of gameplay we saw opened with Bertrand riling up a crowd of folks in a New Marais courtyard, surrounded by the armed and hooded men of his movement.
Bertrand tells the gathered people about MacGrath, who is hanging out unnoticed in the crowd, and promises to hunt him down and kill him.
The meeting is broken up by a group of mutated freaks who attack the militia and MacGrath steps in to try and grab Bertrand. The leader manages to get to his car and the game turns into a chase mission.
The run through the city gave us a chance to check out just how deep and detailed this new setting looks. It is an open world with more interactivity than the original game and the ability to show more than 100 characters on screen at a time. The game also includes new gangs, destructible buildings and collapsible environments.
As before, you'll use parkour moves to get around the city, but this time around there's a lot more fluidity in how you transition from special move, to running, to climbing.
As I watched MacGrath surfed along powerlines, electricity arcing away from his feet, jumping off walls and hopping from one line to the next.
"This city is a fantastic jungle gum for Cole to get around in," Nate Fox, the game's director said. "The city has tons of big breakables which make you feel like a small flick of your wrist has tremendous consequences."
The game also has giant-sized enemies, giant enemies that don't just pop up in cleverly designed arenas, but, Fox promises, that can move through the world just like you.
The game we saw was only about seven percent complete. In fact it was such an early build that Fox insisted on showing us a pre-canned version of the play-through we saw so we could check out the game running at the optimized framerate they expect to hit.
Because the game is so early, there are still some things that the developers don't want to talk about like how they're going to deal with the choice and consequences of the first game.
Depending on how you played the original InFamous, the MacGrath you're left with at the end of the game can be very different.
"We believe we understand the answer to that question," Fox said. "But we're not going to answer it yet."
MacGrath does look and sound quite different than the original game. Both are deliberate. His appearance is still a work in progress, his voice is not.
Fox said that the voice actor they used for the first game got more and more gruff as the game progressed, something they didn't count on happening.
"It got to the point that we thought, 'This is not what we think of as Cole'," Fox said.
This time around they went with a different voice actor, one who they think is a better fit for the lead character's voice.
The end result of InFamous 2, Fox hopes, will be a game that is about MacGarth as a super hero.
"This game is about being a super hero and kicking ass," he said. "We did the origin story, this is the battle story."