E3 Preview: inFAMOUS Second Son

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. With the possible exception of the Batman: Arkham series, inFAMOUS 1 & 2 are quite possibly some of the finest superhero games ever put on a gaming console. And with inFAMOUS Second Son on the PlayStation 4, it looks as if developer SuckerPunch is trying to achieve high honors once again.

It’s been seven long years since the events of inFAMOUS 2. People are scared, a lot of collateral damage has accrued, and many lives were lost  in the turmoil surrounding Cole McGrath and the conduits.

In response to the widespread fear the public held towards those with super powers, a new department has been created to help deal specifically with “special” people in an attempt to protect the common man. Called the Department of Unified Protection, the group ruthlessly hunts down these so-called “bioterrorists” and contain them through the use of surveillance and brute force.

The game centers around one of these supposed “bioterrorists”, one Delsin Rowe, a man whose personality manages to counter Cole McGrath in virtually every way possible.  He’s arrogant, proud, violent, and isn’t ashamed of his abilities, making him almost more of an antihero than the good version of Cole.

While learning about his powers and developing his abilities with them, Delsin finds himself the subject of the Department’s pursuit, using his abilities to move around the city as he avoids capture and tries to help the others like him who have developed special powers.

Like Cole, we see that Delsin has several different combat capabilites and special moves that he uses in conjunction with his abilities. Using his smoke ability, he can fire shots at enemies, jet himself through the sky, fight with impressive hand-to-hand combat moves, and even uses what looks to be a chain as a whip-like weapon.

While they weren’t willing to go into further detail about it at the moment, developers have said that the game will obey the same laws set up in the original inFAMOUS, meaning that Delsin will have to recharge his abilities in the same way that Cole had to seek out batteries and power sources to keep his electricity flowing. And while we’ve only seen his smoke abilities in action, it has been revealed that Delsin has the unique ability to absorb and store other people’s powers. What these powers are and how they will be represented in gameplay is yet unknown, but it’s an exciting prospect nonetheless.

The franchise’s iconic parkour and platforming appears to be making yet another return in Second Son as well, as we’ve seen Delsin scale walls and towers while traversing the hostile environment of Seattle. Developers have hinted that they also plan to use the controls in new ways, including the controller’s touch pad to help players mimick Delsin’s movements in an attempt to bring them further into the game itself. Boasting an open world set in a familiar environment to game creators, I imagine the game will retain the same feel and flow of old, putting several different missions to you as you play throughout the game.

inFAMOUS Second Son’s graphical presentation is an amazing sight to behold. Moving out of the depressed and bleak setting of inFAMOUS 1’s Empire City, Second Son takes place in Seattle, a choice made by developers in an attempt to bring the game to a place where they would both know the environment well and be able to showcase the city’s dynamic weather with the PlayStation 4’s graphical capabilities. Using these capabilities, the game is able to show amazing particle effects, dynamic lighting, weather effects, and smooth animations that lend a whole new level of realism to the gameplay footage seen in demos and in the trailers.

Although there’s still so much we don’t know about inFAMOUS Second Son, it’s clear that the game is setting up to be something special. With a new story, new abilities, and a new environment all being released on a brand new platform, I’d be hard-pressed to imagine a game that could better showcase the new-found power of the PlayStation 4 around the time of its release.

It’s still going to be some time before we finally have a chance to get our hands on the game itself, but to tide you over and whet your appetite for more superhero goodness, check out the new trailer for the game that debuted Monday at Sony’s E3 presser: