While there is always a rush to get the launch lineup ready for a new console, developers at Sucker Punch have made it clear that the next chapter in the popular inFamous series will be released when it's ready. So instead of launching alongside the PlayStation 4 this year, inFamous Second Son will take its time and release in Q1 2014 instead, allowing for more polish and development time. We had a chance to see more of the game at this year's E3 and things are looking good.
Billy Harper, an animation director from SP, led the presentation session. The development on the game started two years, when the studio was wondering what to do with the world of inFamous next. They wanted to explore the universe further but allow for new locations and characters. Thus, a series first real city of Seattle was chosen as the backdrop for this title. Admittedly, Seattle in particular was a good opportunity to show off the new rendering technology and water effects in the game. Rain, fog, and reflection effects promise to look great.
We meet the new protagonist, Delsin Rowe, as the game takes place several years after the events with Cole MacGrath and the Beast from the first two titles. He is a 24 year old Native American, living in a world where the conduits have been labelled mutants and their powers causing fear in everyone else. Delsin's main power in the game is based on smoke, allowing him to glide and traverse through the landscape with ease. From what the game showed, it was just as freeing as previous inFamous titles.
Delsin is a rebel at heart, who doesn't want to play by military rule, who have put most of the population into lockdown as the hunt for conduits goes on. We learn about his relationship with his brother, who is on the side of the authorities and tries his best to keep Delsin out of trouble. Delsin also has a key ability to absorb power of other conduits, and makes it his goal to become as powerful as possible so that he may return home and protect his loved ones - we couldn't find out more about his background story.
The gameplay section that we saw at the show followed Delsin as he infiltrated a military stronghold. He floated off a high building right into enemy territory, behind the soldiers. Using smoke abilities, he floated right through a fence and took out a soldier, then quickly followed up and killed another. As an alarm is raised and enemies start pouring out, Delsin begins shooting out of his hand much in the same way that Cole did, and also producing more powerful but slower moving projectiles. We observe Delsin as he dispatched foes in immediate vicinity and made his way up through the ventilation by turning into smoke. On the rooftops, enemies from other roofs and in towers opened fire, so our hero brought down a few bridges and made his way across to face enemies at closer range. Utilizing chain attacks similar to those of Kratos, he dispatched more enemies but a few tougher foes began using their own abilities. It seems the military is willing to play by conduit rules in order to beat them, using jumping boosts similar to Cole's inFamous 2 ice jump.
After more general mayhem and distraction, which looked excellently animated and fun to experience, Delsin reached his target communications truck. He blew off specific covers and methodically destroyed the insides of the truck, before overloading its core causing a large explosion. It was all for naught, as enemy reinforcements still pourend in towards his location. Here we observed one of the most powerful attacks in the game, as Delsin flew high into the air, and after taking a pause and smirking, came flying back down causing a massive and devastating explosion. Not much was left of the enemy forces.
After the successful and perhaps surprising success of inFamous, Sucker Punch have created one of the most enjoyable franchises on PlayStation, and inFamous Second Son looks on track to continue this trend. Everything we've seen looks thrilling and fluidly animated, two very important aspects for an action title. We'll have to wait and see if Delsin's rebellious attitude work or become an annoyance to the players. The game will ship exclusively on PlayStation 4 in early 2014.