Eyes On With InFamous Second Son’s Smoky Combat

Still quiet on moral choices and powering up.

InFamous is, I think, one of PlayStation’s most under-appreciated franchises. The first one was a decent third person, super-powered action adventure but the second one really ironed out the wrinkles and did a great job of polishing up the original’s rough spots. InFamous Second Son looks like it’s done the same again, adding another layer of polished accomplishment to a great playing series of games.

I wasn’t allowed to play the PlayStation 4 title, due out in Q1 2014 but I got to watch a demonstration playthrough that showed off plenty of combat and the various types and uses of new protagonist Delsin Rowe’s smoke based powers. He’s got the ability to leech powers from other characters with abilities but they’re not saying much about that right now – other than that it’s obviously an important part of the game and it might play interesting role in the narrative – including the moral choices that you as a player have to make.

Those moral choices too, are something that Sucker Punch is remaining somewhat tight lipped about. I asked if there would still be a recognisable ‘good’ and ‘bad’ branching system to the power levelling but the best answer they could give me was that while the upgrading of powers was very important to the way InFamous plays, they weren’t willing to go into depth about how it worked and whether there were points of no return or the either/or system that has existed in previous games.

It is perhaps unfair to read too much into the tone of the responses I got. That said, there was a heavy emphasis on how the progression of powers might feed into the narrative and that sometimes there might be a certain amount of ambiguity in whether a choice is good or bad. It sounds like choices might not be so black and white this time around.

There was also a fairly vague response to the question of what drove the game’s enemy forces – the Department of United Protections (DUP) – to harness certain super powered troops. Were they purposely created to help fight the super powered population? There’s no definitive answer just yet but there’s certainly plenty of scope to play around with that kind of sinister side of these oppressive security forces.

The combat itself looks fantastic, although it was only Delsin’s standard smoke powers on show, the visual effects that go into those powers are quite spectacular. Wisps of smoke rise as your fiery projectiles streak towards enemies, Delsin sparks and sheds cinders as he whips his chains into them and hazy heat streaks from his hands as he glides and zips through air vents to find higher ground.

There’s obviously still a way to go with development and what I saw today was only one small slice – clearing out one security outpost to claim back a section of the city from the DUP – but it’s visually impressive and looks solid so far. Sucker Punch looks to be harnessing a good deal of the PS4’s power in those particle effects and the protagonist’s running, climbing and jumping all looked as responsive as his punching, shooting and whipping did.

So there’s a lot still to answer about the game but there’s still plenty of time to answer it. What they are willing to show off and talk about is shaping up to be another great step forward for the series and it sounds like there are some interesting grey areas in the progression of powers and moral decisions that I’ll look forward to finding out more about as we get closer to its release.

21 Comments

  1. Comment removed.

    • What?!!!! LOL
      So its not called Xbox One because its a multimedia system in ‘One’ then? It’s nothing to do with the fact they want ‘One’ system to control all multimedia in your lounge!
      One also sounds like Con if you say it fast enough, why don’t you add that to your conspiracy theories.

    • Proof if ever needed that it’s always beer o’clock somewhere in the world.

    • I laughed so hard reading this. I’m sat here now trying to figure out how XBox One works in other languages and dialects. Another humorous point raised here, is that Microsoft are obviously trying to control the world second-hand console market along with games! Microsoft really are going for world domination! The consoles that manage to get sold new will report back, maybe even suggesting new ways to get stolen?
      WOW the world of XBone boggles the mind…..

    • What are you doing? this is a comment section not a forum. If you want to spew this much text out, go to the forum!!!

    • Erm. Right. And back to the padded cell for you.

  2. Back in the real world… I had doubts about this but after seeing a better quality clip I’m slowly changing my mind. Hopefully they’ll be a demo once the PS4 is released.

  3. Hang on now I’ve read this fully its Incredibly racist.

    • And there’s really no room for that kind of thing here. Let alone on a totally unrelated post.

      • I’m still calling it the XBox Juan from now on though :)

      • Juan Sheet

      • Good call Tuffcub – I hate jumping on bandwagons but from now on I will only be calling it the Xbox Juan.
        When I say jumping on bandwagons, I don’t mean literally. I’m no dandy highwayman.

  4. I’m really not a huge inFamous fan. I liked the idea of the franchise but got bored towards the end of the first game and haven’t returned, yet. However, they really got my attention with Second Son! I really liked the E3 trailer. The facial animation did a good job at translating emotions.

  5. Ooo what did I miss?
    I loved the inFamous games (the second one in particular) and I cant wait for this. It’ll be interesting to see where they take the story after the end of inFamous2.

  6. The gameplay trailer (not the one obove) looks really impressive, some great effects on show. Hopefully they’ll add more gameplay elements to hold interest in this new one as I gave up on the first 2 quite quickly.

  7. No need to delete my post, I was just being sarcastic ;) At least I made few folks laugh though:)

  8. You didn’t even let me off with a warning and just banned me. Where is the freedom of speech? :)

  9. I really wish I’d been here earlier…….sounds like somebody’s been smokin’ something they shouldn’t :D

    And on topic, Second Son’s really looking like it’s gonna be a great wee game. One to watch definitely.

  10. Lovely article, fella. Also… my anticipation and interest has increased a huge amount during E3. It’s looking great!

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