If you’re anything like me, you like a good open-world game. You also like a good narrative with a solid story that has not only our protagonists, but antagonists evolving as the story progresses. Now, there are a lot of sandbox games out there. Some do a wonderful job at building up and telling a good story, while other’s don’t. That’s not to say that games with a bad, or cheesy story are going to be poorly developed games. In fact, games like Just Cause 2 come to mind when I think of a cheesy, open world shooter.
While games like this do well and in their own right have some great entertainment to offer, it’s not the place that every game should end up. Games like the inFamous series have done quite well at providing not only a great gaming experience, but a wonderful and in-depth comic book-style story the caliber of which we don’t typically see. In this case, it looks like Sucker Punch games is at it again, as they’re trying to add a new protagonist the the third game and hopefully marry it with the successful storytelling from the first two games.
"As a PS4 exclusive, Sucker Punch isn’t going to have to worry about scaling back any of the game’s functions to meet the requirements of aged hardware, like the PS3."
inFamous: Second Son isn’t too far away, at this point in it’s development is coming to a close. With a few months left in the development cycle, so there’s a whole lot of polishing left to be done with the game, but at this point is very close to being finished. The current release date for inFamous: Second Son is scheduled for March 21st 2014, so that’s something to look forward to as winter (for some at least,) begins to round itself off.
The big change for this franchise is main character from the first two games, Cole McGrath is long gone. In fact, after Cole uses the RFI device to destroy a powerful Conduit, not unlike himself, named John White; the world becomes pretty peaceful for awhile. In fact, we don’t get to meet our new protagonist until seven years after the events in the second inFamous. Our new character, named Delsin Rowe. who is being voiced by the always welcome and talented, Troy Baker; discovers his powers while trying to help some unfortunate folks involved in an accident. Now, our character certainly is no choir boy, but he’s not going to let people die.
inFamous: Second Son may be the first, true next generation open world game we’ve got that’s coming to us. As a PS4 exclusive, Sucker Punch isn’t going to have to worry about scaling back any of the game’s functions to meet the requirements of aged hardware, like the PS3. This is going to hopefully give this new game a bit of a leg-up. The inFamous franchise has already quite a bit going for it, and hopefully they can continue the gruff charm that the first two games have. Sucker Punch is definitely willing to change their lead characters around for this game as well, as the first and second games in the series had two, very different Cole’s. There was a quick and seemingly random decision to redesign a character that plenty of folks seemed to like as it is. In this cause, while it worked out just fine, it’s still a big risk to just start changing your main character. In this case, Second Son is a bit more setup for this change.
"Sucker Punch is doing a pretty good job about keeping Delsin’s true abilities under wraps too. We did find out earlier this year that his powers have something to do with his ability to either, take, borrow or mimic other Conduit’s powers."
Sucker Punch is doing a pretty good job about keeping Delsin’s true abilities under wraps too. We did find out earlier this year that his powers have something to do with his ability to either, take, borrow or mimic other Conduit’s powers. From what we’ve seen thus far, he can create and manipulate smoke and it also looks like from a couple of shots in the trailer that he can teleport short distances very quickly. The ability to use other Conduit’s powers though really opens this game up and expands on a focus which was in the previous two titles.
If you have played either, or both of the first two games in this franchise, chances are you remember that Cole had a selection of powers to choose from and to buff as the player saw fit. The big difference in inFamous was that your decisions decided what major tree of powers you could choose from. Being “good” would lock you out of powers that would only be available to someone who decided to follow the path of “evil.” It was a great idea, however at times this made the game feel somewhat restrictive.
The games certainly put a lot of stock into the decisions made by each individual player. The problem that some had was that if you made the wrong choice, or wanted to maybe change their alignment, then players may have found themselves being punished for these choices by losing abilities that’d previously spent points to unlock. This was what seemed to be the one, glaring flaw that gamers perceived it to have. While the game is based off of the choices you’ve made, making a choice that didn’t follow your history of decisions on whether or not to save your girlfriend, or the city would punish you for having a chance of heart, or simply misinterpreting the choices you have at hand.
"It would be a nice touch, if given the decision, players could pick and choose what to take and what to upgrade, based on what individual powers they liked or even the choices they make in the game."
The ability to have the potential to choose whose powers you take, and use may take care of these annoying setbacks from the original game, and free the player up to play it the way they want too, instead of being hemmed in from the very beginning by the first couple of choices you’ve made, while you’re still ultimately getting the hang of the game. This also is going to expand the options for players. It doesn’t sound like we’re going to be shoehorned into using nothing but lightning or static-electrical based attacks, which is wonderful and adds to the open-ended aspect of Second Son.
The one thing we really haven’t seen so far is how many powers are going to be in the game, or if we’ll have the ability to pick and choose what powers will combine together as the player help to shape Delvin’s abilities. It would be a nice touch, if given the decision, players could pick and choose what to take and what to upgrade, based on what individual powers they liked or even the choices they make in the game. This would put a little bit of the character’s progression at stake, without feeling like you made a mistake and need to go all the way back or start over to get the solution and satisfaction you’re looking for out of Second Son.
Yes indeed, Sucker Punch has got a good thing going here. While they are up for making quite a few changes to this franchise as it stands, it doesn’t look like they’ll be pulling the rug out from under gamers completely. From what we’ve seen so far, Second Son certainly looks and feels like an inFamous title. It’s giving players control over their powers and even their environments to a degree. The inFamous series has a lot going for it and it may just be the first, true next generation, open world title to hit our shelves in the beginning of 2014. For now though, the best we can do is wait and see.