Ever since Sucker Punch started showing "Infamous 2" to the press, people have been asking whether Cole will get more than electricity powers this time around. I've probably asked them three or four times in the last year. And the response was always the same: "Cole is an electrical hero." That's all members of the development team would say. When asked follow-up questions about power variety, they'd repeat that same line. Almost like they were avoiding something. Turns out they were. While Cole remains primarily an electrical super hero, he'll be getting a bit more variety in his power set in "Infamous 2"
Since Cole begins the sequel with all the powers he unlocked in the first game, the developers had to figure out a way to toss in some more variety. Enter Kuo and Nix, two of Cole's advisors who also happen to have super powers. Kuo has a variety of ice powers, while Nix comes packing oil powers (though demonic powers would probably be more descriptive).
Throughout the adventure, Kuo and Nix will suggest ways of handling different situations. Kuo will always represent the side of order and is, for all intents and purposes, your "good" character. Nix is technically "good" too, but she goes about it in a different way, preferring chaotic, destructive solutions. Playing in the style of one or the other will affect Cole's karma meter, letting him boost certain powers in his skill tree.
That base skill tree consists of just electricity-based powers, but there will be certain moments throughout "Infamous 2" when you can choose to borrow a power from either Kuo or Nix. Picking one will lock out the other, so it's important you make the right decision.
In a demo I was shown yesterday, a mission involving Kuo and Nix ended with the discovery of a blast core, which grants Cole an opportunity to get one of these alternate powers. In this case, the decision was between Demon Drain (an area-of-effect power which lets Cole drain the life from enemies standing around him) or Sheet of Ice (which gives some more oomph to your force push ability with a wall of frozen water).
The power you pick will obviously affect your play-style, but it'll also change the way Cole looks. Nix's powers will make Cole more pale and, well, evil looking. Kuo's powers will make him look more heroic. Similar to the first game, but the visual change will be even more dramatic this time around.
There will be a small handful of opportunities to snag new powers from the pair. The decision isn't all that far-reaching, beyond locking out the other power, but there will be a time in "Infamous 2" when you're forced to make a larger decision. This choice will actually dictate a large chunk of the end-game, which will play out very differently depending on your decision. When or where that decision is made, the developers aren't saying, but you'll probably know it when it happens.
It's good to know that Sucker Punch is open to the possibility of expanded Cole as a super hero while giving the player a bit more choice about how things play out. "Infamous 2" still has some work to do before its June 7 release date, but it's hard to imagine fans of the original will come away disappointed.