2013 was a magnificent year for gaming featuring such strong titles like The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. But looking ahead this year doesn’t look like its going to be letting up the pace with some great games like Thief, Titanfall, Driveclub, Watch Dogs, The Crew, Destiny and many more including the possibility of a new Uncharted dropping later in the year. But of the games that we know are definitely releasing this year, the one I’m most excited for is inFamous: Second Son by far.
The inFamous games were unique in that they gave the player a choice: do you want to be the hero or the villain? Each game featured a bar that would dictate your behaviour and the more good or bad you were, the more your powers were affected; this was most noticeable in inFamous 2 whereby if you were a hero you would receive ice powers and if you were bad you would receive fire powers. The original two Infamous games featured a protagonist named Cole McGrath who was just your average delivery guy until one of his packages turns out to be a bomb that levels the area of the city surrounding him and kills thousands of citizens. Cole later wakes up and discovers he can control the power of electricity and with the help of his friend Zeke harnesses its power to bring down a rising threat in the form of Kessler, the primary antagonist of the original inFamous. Later, Cole travels to a new city named New Maurais and faces off against a new foe named The Beast who threatens to destroy the entire city.
The newest addition to the inFamous franchise however, is a drastic change from its two predecessors focussing on an entirely new protagonist named Delsin Rowe, who comes across a bus crash and decides to help the victims but in doing so meets a conduit – a person with powers – which activates his own powers too and together with his brother – a cop – dedicates his time to bringing down the corrupt Department of Unified Protection as well as other, more hostile conduits. Unlike Cole, Delsin’s primary power is the ability to control smoke as opposed to electricity and with this brings lots of new game mechanics such as using air vents to get around quickly and being able to quickly shift between one position and another. However, Delsin also has the ability to absorb other conduits powers, thus giving players a much larger variety in how they play the game.
So why am I excited for inFamous: Second Son? I grew up playing various superhero games some excellent (Spiderman 2) to some…well (Superman 64 *cough cough*) but inFamous was the first superhero game I played that was actually unique. I mean yeah its cool that we can be Batman, Spiderman and Superman on a ton of games but this game brought us a new character with great powers that I’d never experienced before and the mechanics were great and everything felt incredibly fluid whether it was traversing the city by power lines or by hovering in the air, to the combat (that was even further improved in inFamous 2) the inFamous series is for me, the best superhero gaming franchise around.
Saying how much I enjoyed the original 2 inFamous games is all well and good but why am I excited for this one in particular? Well not only is it fresh for the franchise but it stands out as one of the few superhero games coming out for 2014. Not only that, but I’m very interested to see how Deslin plays. Particularly with regards to the difference between gameplay mechanics and story depending on whether you’re good or bad. While the original games felt somewhat limited in terms of differentiating the good cole and the evil cole I feel that having the upgraded hardware of the PS4 must have allowed Sucker Punch to widen the gap between hero and villain considerably in terms of how Deslin plays.
Furthermore, when inFamous: Second Son was announced I thought it was unique that Deslin had smoke abilities however, I was hoping they’d announce some more abilites further towards release and Sucker Punch delivered by giving Deslin the ability to absorb other powers which creates a huge amount of possibilities of where the storyline may go and what kind of gameplay mechanics and different powers will be included in the game.
Finally, inFamous is the first real reason to own a PS4. I mean sure we’ve had Killzone and Knack but neither of those games were all that people had hoped for and many have raised issues with the lack of titles available for the PS4 currently. However, I feel that when Titanfall and inFamous arrive then we’ll start to hit the stride of strong next gen titles which will only benefit everyone.
This latest entry of Sucker Punch’s hero franchise looks to improve upon everything its predecessors had to offer. Featuring strong additions to the gameplay mechanics, a hugely improved graphics engine and great voice acting from the likes of Troy Baker of The Last of Us fame, inFamous: Second Son looks to be not only a great new entry to the franchise but the kickstart to a great library of games coming to PS4.