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Infamous: Second Son E3 Impressions

/ Jun 20th, 2013 No Comments

inFAMOUS: Second Son

The Infamous games have been great comic book fantasies without venturing too far into the tights and capes. The characters felt like real people, despite being a tad exaggerated. The colorful palette and slick 2D animation cutscenes further enhanced the theme, but the open-world gameplay and RPG elements made it much more than another superhero story. With Infamous: Second Son, developer Sucker Punch is taking the familiar formula and making everything a little bit better, adding a coat of polish to an already great product. During the E3 demo, it became readily apparent that Second Son was much more than another iteration. Sucker Punch is taking note of the trends in the industry, as well as the accomplishments of their peers.

There is a strong feeling of teen angst and ambiguous identity, regardless of what age the main character is. Delsin fights his way through Seattle after it has been placed under martial law, with all conduits now being labeled as bio-terrorists. Rather than giving him a few good elements to mess around with, Sucker Punch has given Delsin the ability to siphon the powers of other conduits. Whether these powers will be gained after boss encounters, found throughout the city, or otherwise remains to be seen, but it is a welcome change of pace. It also relates back to the story, as the rebellious character might pick up more than just powers from the people he meets.

Second Son's protagonist, Delsin

Second Son’s protagonist, Delsin Rowe

Gameplay looks mostly unchanged, but not in a bad way. The previous Infamous titles were very good games, with some minor gripes about the magnetic quality to the climbing. Second Son employs some tweaks to the range of that magnetism, as well as some flashy dashes and teleports, making air traversal very fast and adding much more distance to the hovering. The smoke dash also allows Delsin to pass through gates, which could allow for some light puzzles built into the environment. Gameplay did not need much of an overhaul, but the changes made, however small they appear on paper, do make quite a difference.

The game not only looked beautiful, but much smoother than previous titles. The frame rate was incredibly stable for the amount of destruction and particle effects that were displayed. The lighting and reflections seemed superb, with great balance between bright sunlight and dark alleys. Small touches, like the small embers that freckle the clouds of smoke as Delsin teleports and dashes, and the glint in his eyes before a powerful attack adds more character and life, an aspect at which Sucker Punch is already very adept. The cutscenes are a huge improvement over the past Infamous titles.

A DUP checkpoint

A D.U.P. checkpoint

The increase in polygon counts and lighting effects give a more realistic appearance to the characters faces and expressions, and they move and emote much more with subtle looks. Animation has always been a bit on the jerky end of the spectrum, but this Infamous is more fluid. The move set and positions are almost identical to that of Cole, but The interactions between Delsin and his brother may be what makes the game shine, as the feeling of brotherhood and protection is evident in the small amount of footage we have seen.

The Infamous series has created some great character stories with good gameplay, but Second Son looks to surpass them all. The minor issues that kept previous titles from greatness look to be fixed, and if the story can deliver, there is not much keeping it from Game of the Year 2014. Infamous: Second Son is set for release in the first quarter of 2014.

  

Chance Asue

Chance Asue

Associate Editor & Multimedia Specialist at Gaming Illustrated
Chance Asue is a self-taught computer builder and hardware junkie. His favorite game franchises include Pokemon, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy. He is Gaming Illustrated's Multimedia Specialist and reviews the latest hardware tech.
Chance Asue

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