inFamous: Second Son

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It’s no secret among my gaming friends that inFamous: Second Son is my most anticipated next-gen title so I was thrilled to be able to attend a gamescom session hosted by the game’s director Nate Fox.

The session only lasted about twenty minutes and focused on how Sucker Punch is drawing on the DualShock 4′s new features to create an immersive and intuitive experience which defines how a next-gen title should play.

Nate began the session by discussing some of the questions Sucker Punch asked themselves when they began working on inFamous: Second Son for the PS4. These included: “What does a next-gen third-person game look like?” and “Where should it be based?”

Ultimately the team decided that Seattle would be the best location for the game since that’s where Sucker Punch has its headquarters, and inFamous: Second Son’s setting would therefore have the most authenticity if this city was included in the game. Nate said that the game’s world is far from a 1:1 recreation of the city due to gameplay considerations but Seattle residents will still recognise many elements from their hometown.

Nate revealed that players will have a lot of choices to make during inFamous: Second Son, and your decisions will not only affect the story but also which powers you acquire and how they evolve.

Following this brief introduction to the game, a Sucker Punch employee picked up a nearby DualShock 4 and began a playthrough of an early section from inFamous: Second Son. This was the first time I had seen the game running before my eyes and its visuals certainly have ‘next-gen’ written all over them! On a decent-sized HDTV (like the one used for our demonstration) the game’s graphics look remarkably close to CGI, with incredibly detailed textures adorning Delsin’s outfit and effects like shimmering puddles on the tarmac really showing off the raw power of the PS4.

In the demo Delsin passed through a conduit scanner which required the player to place his finger on the DualShock 4′s touchpad. After setting off the alarm and dispatching a few guards, the Sucker Punch employee giving the demonstration then skipped ahead to an area where Delsin could silently take down enemies by sneaking up behind them and use his smoke power to literally fry their brains. This was done by placing a thumb on either side of the touchpad to mimic Delsin squeezing his enemy’s head between his hands. Another example we saw was how Delsin could lift up an energy core and then hold it in place by the player sliding his finger up the left side of the touchpad and holding it in position.

After the session was complete I had the honour of meeting the game’s visual director, Horia Dociu, who told me that Delsin’s design was very much a collaboration between himself and Nate, and that it was too early to discuss the game’s target frame rate since the team are still fine-tuning many elements which could impact on it. He also revealed that there is a lot of back and forth communication between the art and animation team and the gameplay designers as they try to achieve both eye-catching visuals and fluid gameplay.

inFamous: Second Son is currently scheduled for a first quarter 2014 release and will appear exclusively on PS4. Head over here for El33tonline’s previous coverage of this spectacular open-world action title, which includes Oliver’s preview from E3 2013.