Fans of inFamous were no doubt elated when they saw that Sucker Punch’s sandbox everyman-turned-super-hero franchise would return at the PS4 reveal conference and we saw some more of inFamous: Second Son at E3 this week.
inFamous really didn’t get enough attention if you ask this gamer, and while the two games and vampire spinoff Festival of Blood pulled down tight scores and good sales one can only hope that on the most popular upcoming console platform the series will get the attention it fully deserves.
Fans of Cole MacGrath are left out in the cold on this one but then maybe it was time for a change before things got stale. The new protagonist is Delsin Rowe who, in a change from the fictional cities of past games, is a resident of Seattle, Washington in a United States now putting its cities under martial law where conduits (people with powers produced by the Raysphere) are hunted down and captured by the government. Conduits are labeled bioterrorists and are used as an excuse for the government to peer into everyone’s lives with a vast network of cameras. When a bioterrorist is located the Department of United Protection or D.U.P. is scrambled to take care of them.
Delsin will discover, in a moment of altruism, that his power allows him to copy the powers of other conduits and this unique ability will make the young graffiti artist the perfect fit for tackling the challenges ahead. But with the government hunting him whether his actions remain heroic or follow down the path of corruption is up to you. From inFamous 1 to inFamous 2 we saw a marked improvement in how moral choices affected the game, going from plain obvious decisions to more murky waters with unforeseen consequences. We fully expect Sucker Punch to evolve their morality system further in Second Son.
If you are to be a newcomer to the series the staples of the gameplay have been a wide open cityscape that you unlock a hunk at a time. Cole did this by getting the power up and running using his electricity, there’s no telling what Delsin will have to do but we can speculate it might have something to do with dispersing the D.U.P. or getting the best of the rampant security measures. Traversal of the cityscape has historically been done with various powers that do everything from propel you through the air to raising ice platforms. Delsin already appears to have the thruster ability with his smoke powers; a very useful trick for getting around that one is. Expect plenty of parkour platforming and projectile powers that cause havoc and general destruction every which way but loose.
In the footage below we can see that the basic gameplay appears intact with a very agile Mr. Rowe dispensing with his enemies and plenty of destructible environmental set pieces along the way. In the first game Cole had little in the way of melee attacks and inFamous 2 brought us the amp tool which amped up your physical attacks. Second Son appears to have taken things further and we can even see Delsin using some kind of smoke whip. So far we have only gotten a glimpse of those smoke-fueled powers but you can bet a taste of the others will come trickling in as we near release time somewhere down the road in 2014. It’s just a shame we won’t be able to pick this up along with a PS4 on launch day.