Infamous: Second Son dev video discusses next-gen advancements
How the new hardware will boost, AI, visuals and open-world freedoms
Sony has released a new Infamous: Second Son developer diary video in which the game's makers discusses the extensive benefits of next-generation hardware.
Sucker Punch Productions game director Nate Fox and co-founder/producer Brian Fleming speak at length about the new game's plot, gameplay mechanics and next-gen technical advancements.
The open world game is set in Seattle, although it doesn't offer a street-by-street depiction of the city. New protagonist Delsin Rowe is a 24-year-old Native American street artist who can control smoke. He's viewed as a bioterrorist by the DUP, a branch of government tasked with controlling those with superhuman abilities.
Rowe can unleash smoke projectiles, smoking fireballs and can execute a smoke-dash move. He can also confuse enemies using a smoke cloud. He replenishes smoke by absorbing it from chimneys and destroyed cars.
New inFAMOUS Second Son trailer: Which power is best?
Sure, when you play inFAMOUS Second Son you are going to “enjoy your power”… but which one are you going to enjoy the most?
Delsin absorbs the ability to control Smoke in his hometown, and then goes to Seattle to find more conduits and gain their powers, starting with Neon. These power sources have different strengths and weaknesses, requiring you to change up your tactics. This has led to an ongoing debate on the design team about which power is actually the best.
Darren Bridges(Power Designer): Okay, is this really a debate? Smoke is the clear winner. There’s nothing better than dashing in and choke-slamming some DUP stooge, then firing a Cinder Blast that destroys the tower his buddies are standing on.
Jaime Griesemer(Lead Designer): Sure, if you want to get your hands dirty, Smoke is great. But Neon is clean and streamlined. You’re basically firing lasers out of your hands, so you’re a natural sniper. With Neon, combat is all about precision from a distance. Each shot hits hard, especially if you are targeting the enemy’s weak points. Neon lets you dissect a squad of Dupes like a glowing purple surgeon.
Darren: Sniping is cool, but Smoke lets you travel through air vents and launch yourself out over the rooftops. It turns the entire city into your own personal playground. And smoke is everywhere — if you run out, you just damage a car and get some more. That’s like being able to punch a cow and make hamburgers fly out.
Jaime: Interesting metaphor… But who needs to go on a “vent hunt” when you can just run straight up a wall, instead?! Neon gets you where you want to go fast. And enemies aren’t going to be able to hit a streak of light. Plus, draining Neon looks cooler.
New inFamous Second Son trailer: Recreating Seattle in stunning detail on PS4
From the start, Seattle felt like the perfect locale for Second Son. Sucker Punch Productions is located just outside of Seattle and we saw this as an opportunity to recreate the feeling of our home town. We wanted to capture a level of detail we had never attempted before using the amazing speed, graphics processing power and high resolution output of the PlayStation 4. Not to mention, being from here, we just couldn’t build a fake city with a fake Space Needle… I mean “Galactic Tower” just doesn’t sound right to us.
Our goal was to create an urban playground for the player as they experience Delsin’s amazing superhuman powers so it was paramount that we capture the essence of the city. We wanted to give the player the feeling of walking down an alleyway and seeing the rain accumulate between the cobblestones and the reflections of the rain streaked brick buildings and neon market signs. Or the feeling of looking up at the sun as it breaks through the clouds, sending rays of light through enormous pine trees.
We challenged our team to create all the painstaking details of the atmosphere, architecture and weather of Seattle, an open world complete with traffic, Seattle denizens wearing real, 3D-scanned clothing, expansive vistas, and destructible environments that are interactive with your powers. It’s also running at true 1080p.
The city also tells a big part of our story. Seattle is under martial law, and the presence of an oppressive police state is visible on every street. We licensed real local businesses to lend a credible feeling of being in Seattle, so as you recognise these well-known sites being suffocated by the DUP’s tactical gear, you get the idea that this nightmarish scenario could actually happen. Icons like The Space Needle, the monorail and even local quirks like the “gum wall”, gives Second Son the feeling of a living, breathing city that needs Delsin to set it free.
We’re lucky to have one of the most talented and hard working environment, lighting and effects art teams in the industry who are pushing hard to ensure that everything is the definition of “next gen”. We’ve worked hard on making the environments in Second Son look beautiful and feel as realistic as possible while also supporting a compelling narrative. We’re all very excited to have players jump in and make their own adventures in our Seattle.
Hands-on with inFAMOUS Second Son on PS4 Find out how Sucker Punch’s super-powered open-world actioner plays
Delsin Rowe strolls down a shadowy length of docks with ample confidence. Caches of illegal drugs have been hidden among the houseboats moored there, which is a disagreeable notion to our super-powered, rough-around-the-edges hero.
But with eye-searing neon and seething smoke at his disposal, Delsin has little to fear from the drug peddlers peppering him with gunfire. Bullets ricochet off the flashing neon light around his head as he flinches — they’re more an annoyance than a danger. As he leaps into the air to greet his enemies, powers flaring to life, he can destroy them or subdue them. And that’s up to the player.
Choice has always played a vital role in the inFAMOUS series, and inFAMOUS Second Son is no exception. Amidst all the open-world action that developer Sucker Punch has set in its own Seattle, Delsin can enter combat as a careful hero or a ruthless force. These methods of play not only affect how each battle scene is approached, but how Delsin’s powers manifest themselves.
Smoke and neon, the two powers Sucker Punch has revealed so far, can cater to either play style. Players unconcerned with the lives of civilians can wreak havoc without fear, weaponising the environment to destroy enemy APCs, or plunging into the ground to unleash devastating shockwaves that don’t differentiate between enemy DUP agents and innocent bystanders.
But Second Son also empowers heroic players in this digital playground. Players can modify Delsin’s basic neon blast with a slow-motion aim that highlights an enemy’s leg, tangling them in glowing binds. Subdued, they’re no longer a threat to Delsin, but they needn’t lose their lives to his super-human barrage.
When Delsin gets in close to stunned enemies, small prompts on screen allow players to choose between executing and subduing their targets. With one button press, Delsin can vaporize an enemy soldier in a flash of glittering light, or leave him struggling on the ground with a battered ego.
Like past inFAMOUS games, these choices dramatically alter the way players perceive each scene. Crowded tunnels teeming with civilians may be a challenging test of patience and skill, or a gleeful shooting gallery. Regardless of a player’s preference, Delsin’s powers encourage both styles of play. Even traversal skills like the smoke-fuelled dash can be turned into a lethal attack or an exercise in restraint.
But the choices presented to Delsin don’t all erupt in the heat of combat. When he catches up with the hot-headed Conduit known as Fetch, Delsin can take her under his wing and redeem her, or encourage her violent tendencies and corrupt her. These choices not only alter the course of the narrative, but change the mission sets presented to players afterwards.
With so much power at his fingertips, Delsin can save a lot of lives in inFAMOUS Second Son… or he can leave a long trail of bodies. Ultimately, that choice is up to the player when Second Son launches for PS4 on 21st March.
Infamous and Infamous2, both of which I got free. The first was after the month-long shutdown of PS4 and the second was on PS Plus. I enjoyed them and played both twice, once as 'hero' and the second time as 'infamous'.
I will play this new version but will wait for it to be free on PS Plus or cheap to buy.