Potential to be one of the first great PS4 games
You don't say! But really, after seeing a hands-off demonstration from Sucker Punch, I'm convinced that inFamous: Second Son will be one of it not the PlayStation 4 launch-window title to get. Conveniently, the gameplay footage in this new video is very much in line with what was shown.
After following series mainstay Cole for so long, it's easy to be skeptical of the new protagonist, Delsin Rowe. He looks like the product of many a focus test. I can't really speak to what he'll be like in the full game, but I didn't have any real reason to dislike him in the brief demo. He's certainly got an attitude; here's hoping it won't become overbearing after a few hours in.
The demo had Delsin run up against the Department of United Protection, which served as appropriate fodder for his smoke-based attacks. I mean, if you're going to whip people in the face with a chain and shoot them in the head with rapid, fiery projectiles, it's probably for the best that they wear costumes that obscure their faces and generally make them look unsympathetic. Beyond short-range teleportation (think air dashes), one of the cooler applications of his powers was the ability to jump through a fan on the side of a building and instantly launch out of the rooftop's ventilation system. Very smooth.
This is only the first of multiple powers for Delsin, who can gain more from other conduits, though Sucker Punch was of course unwilling to go into specifics at this time. Based on what game designer Jaime Griesemer was telling me, these later abilities won't just be obvious repeats based on expected elements (earth, wind, water, etc.) and playstyles will vary from one to the next. He seemed really excited by the design possibilities and remarked that a lot has been learned since prior inFamous games.
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The rain-slick streets, dynamic weather, and shadows of Sucker Punch's virtual Seattle will be made possible thanks in part to the PlayStation 4's significant bump in power, according to the studio. For me, certain areas -- various textures around the city, in particular -- left something to be desired, but other elements like the character models and facial movement especially were more "next-gen." While Second Son wasn't consistently amazing-looking, aspects of it totally were.
Although I didn't get to see this in action, Griesemer also talked up Second Son's usage of the DualShock 4 touch pad. I know, I know -- there's always the concern for this stuff to get real gimmicky, real fast. Think back to the PS Vita! He said they wanted to incorporate it in some spots where players would normally hit a face button, for example, to pull something open. Here, you would use your finger to actually drag across the pad matching what was happening on-screen. It's a way to get us more engaged in the game, essentially. At least, that's the hope.
Another example would require you to put your finger on the pad while Delsin scanned his fingerprint in-game. I wondered if these touch features would work their way into proper combat, and it sounds like Sucker Punch has been experimenting with exactly that. I was told the team was not going overboard with the touch pad, so we'll see. Given how much of an upgrade the PS4 controller is in general, even if there are gimmicks aplenty in the console's launch-window software, I'm not too worried about it myself. The new gamepad really is that much of an improvement.
inFamous: Second Son may or may not be the game that convinces you to purchase a PlayStation 4, but if you're getting the system -- and it sounds like that's where many console players are leaning, at this point -- it should be a real solid addition to the early library when it drops next year.