Impossible, you may be thinking. How has it been a decade since inFamous first sent shocks throughout the PlayStation fandom? You may also be wondering when we might see the next game in this spunky, superhero franchise.
Though not to same degree as Uncharted, God of War, and some other Sony favourites, inFamous enjoys an enduring popularity. Released back on May 29th, 2009, it marked a sharp change of direction for developer Sucker Punch who had previously worked on the cartoony Sly Raccoon trilogy.
Swapping cartoon capers for something a little more edgy and mature, inFamous had you playing as the admittedly very generic looking Cole MacGrath – a bike courier who suddenly transforms into an electric bombshell.
In truth, there was actually a fair bit of overlap between inFamous and Sly, at least in terms of moving around large spaces and how you attached to the scenery. One major difference was a shift towards shooter-like combat mechanics, as well as the option to become a paragon of justice or an evil anti-hero.
As a gameplay system it wasn’t ground-breaking, presenting players with two contrasting ways of dealing with a handful of pivotal set pieces (handily marked in blue and red). Still, at the time having that agency and sense of control over Cole’s story felt fresh and meaningful. That same morality feature became a staple of the inFamous series.
Digging through the TSA archives, Al was mostly positive about the Sucker Punch superhero sandbox in our review. Scoring it a respectable 7/10, he wasn’t completely enamoured with it, stating that it was strictly one for Sony’s hardened fanbase. Needless to say, his review attracted a fair amount of discussion.
Zipping way ahead, the last we saw of the series was almost five years ago with inFamous: First Light. Originally billed as DLC for the superb Second Son, it morphed into something much bigger that warranted its own standalone release.
Before that, of course, there was inFamous 2 which saw a welcome change of setting as we swapped the muddy greys of Empire City for New Marais. We even saw Cole undergo a bit of a makeover, though Sucker Punch would ultimately cave to pressure from upset fans, reverting to his original design.
It’s tough to get a read on which game in the franchise is the most cherished. inFamous: Second Son had a far more likeable protagonist (starring Troy Baker in one of his best performances) and, next to games such as Driveclub and Killzone: Shadow Fall, it stood out as an technical showpiece for the generation. Blair was blown away by the superpowered sequel, scoring it a mighty 9/10.
It’s strange to think that inFamous is now a decade old, but what’s stranger is that, for almost half of that time, the franchise has been in hibernation. So, what are the chances of a sequel?
Unless Sucker Punch has a secret second division, we’re not going to see inFamous 3 from them any time soon. The Bellevue-based studio is knees deep in development of its biggest, most ambitious game to date: Ghost of Tsushima.
Of course, Sony has plenty of other talented studios in its stable though it’s hard to imagine one of them taking point on an inFamous sequel. Sony have instead focussed on newer properties like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Days Gone, while it’s safe to say that, even though God of War is a successor to the PS2 and PS3 greats, it was ground up reboot of the series. What might once have been considered a game has paid off massively for the company.
Overall, it’s hard to see where a hypothetical inFamous sequel would slot itself in Sony’s future lineup. PlayStation fans wanting that superhero fix would be better off pining for a sequel to Insomniac’s excellent Spider-Man in the coming years.
In the meantime, we hope that inFamous will one day spark again.