Just over four years ago, Sly Cooper creator Sucker Punch unleashed a new franchise for PlayStation 3 that focused on a messenger with electrical super powers. Fast forward to today, and Infamous and its sequel have only grown in popularity, though the fate of star Cole McGrath is unknown.
Now the next chapter in the series is almost here, just in time for the PlayStation 4 launch this holiday season. This time around, Sucker Punch shied away from Cole's tale to focus on someone new for Infamous: Second Son, a game that appears to take action to a whole other level.
The game focuses on Delsin Rowe, a man gifted with the ability of fire fusion. This power enables him to transform a tire chain into a fire whip, hitting enemies within range and damaging items in the environment. He can also hover using flames that shoot from his hands, as well as shoot projectiles that destroy anything they touch, bringing structures down with ease. For extra style points, he can also turn in the opposite direction and, with precision aiming, blast an enemy without looking.
On top of that, he possesses the power of transformation, as he turns himself into a pile of ash to get through smoke stacks, enabling him to go from the side of a building to the top within a second or two. Last but certainly not least, he performs a special fire bomb attack where he leaps several hundred feet into the air, only to come crashing down to Earth obliterating things within his destructive range. Think of it as a stylish Tomahawk missile.
Second Son’s events take place seven years after the encounter between the Beast and McGrath in Infamous 2, and features an all-new location – Seattle, Washington, in the near future. This time around, a new corporation threatens the populace in the form of the Department of Unified Protection, or D.U.P for short. They swear they're doing citizens a greater good, but it’s the exact opposite and Delsin knows this. To fight back, he uses every resource within his super-powered reach, along with help from his brother Reggie.
As you might expect, the battles start off easy at first as you contend with soldiers, but as the game progresses you face even tougher enemies, including bio-engineered super-freaks. Delsin will need to step up his game and evolve his powers if he hopes to stand a chance against these guys.
From the several minutes of gameplay we witnessed, there's plenty of next-gen destruction to go around. A skirmish surrounding a heavily staffed D.U.P. station was something to watch, with Delsin making his way around the outside, wiping out a couple of soldiers and then teleporting to a higher point to shoot enemies from a distance. The level of destruction looks cool thus far, as you can bring down platforms with a few well-timed shots – even some buildings don't stand a chance.
Furthermore, the gameplay has familiarity to it that veterans will enjoy. We had no problem aiming and shooting projectiles, then attacking enemies up close. Sadly, we didn't get to try out the fire-bombing ability, but chances are its use will be limited anyway, considering how much power it takes to execute.
Best of all, Second Son appears to take advantage of the PS4 hardware. The levels are much larger than in previous Infamous games – at least from what we've seen – and the battle doesn't slow down for a second, even as buildings crumble. Meanwhile, Delsin looks just as cool as Cole in the previous games, and is voiced by veteran actor Troy Baker, who gives him authority as he fights the vile D.U.P. forces.
There are still some unanswered questions with Infamous: Second Son, like how many missions you'll be able to tackle, what kind of optional downloadable content could be added in the future or if there will be a high moral factor in the game, as there was in Infamous 1 and 2. We've heard there will be some tough choices to make down the road, but we have yet to see that on display.
The answers will come soon enough, though. Sucker Punch has done a great job setting the stage for Infamous: Second Son, and it'll definitely make for a quality launch title when it arrives alongside the PlayStation 4 later this year.