As an industry fuelled by both fans and media constantly looking forwards to the future of the big games, it wasn’t long after finishing Infamous: Second Son, that many minds started to wonder what the future held for the Infamous series. Strong sales so far suggest that a sequel is highly likely, as Sony will want to strengthen the brand into a PS4 front-runner along with their critically acclaimed Uncharted series.
If the Infamous series is to continue though, it will need to evolve in order to remain a relevant IP. Second Son was a solid next-gen debut, but it could be argued that it was a remarkably safe entry. For a sequel, players will be expecting Sucker Punch to push the boat out and get creative, as (graphics aside) there was little to differentiate the latest game from the old ones. Sucker Punch has hit the ground running on the PS4 and proved that they have no problems getting some gorgeous visuals from the new hardware, but what else can we looked forward to in the fourth Infamous game?
Super Power Overload
With just three core powers for Infamous: Second Son, it’s fair to say that many gamers were expecting more from the series’ PS4 debut. Well, the answer could lie in a sequel if we see Delsin Rowe fulfilling his promise to visit Curdun Cay.
This often mentioned prison facility is where Second Son’s villain Brooke Augustine, kept all her rounded up Conduits -or Bio Terrorists as she’d call them. Curdun Cay is frequently mentioned in the audio logs scattered around Seattle and there is mention of Conduits having powers involving glass, wire and paper (see also the Paper Trail free DLC). With Delsin’s ability to absorb powers from any Prime Conduit he touches, you know he’s going to have a handshake for everyone he meets there. Curdun Cay would be a natural fit for involvement for a sequel, but a DLC expansion is another feasible venture.
Speaking of DLC expansions, how about Brooke Augustine’s back-story? Spoiler alert: When Delsin dives into her mind, we see how she also initially fled the DUP when she became a Conduit. She was on the run with a young girl who she ultimately turned in to save her own skin and prove that she could be trusted to bring in Conduits for the government. There could be an interesting narrative here with many comparisons with The Last of Us and that game’s own Left Behind single-player DLC -which also acted as a prequel to the main game. Fingers crossed Sony doesn’t charge £11.99 for a two-hour expansion though.
Delsin himself needs to evolve and not just with an expanded skill set, but in the way that he uses them. Essentially, the gameplay would flow much better if he were able to change between powers at will instead of having to find a source to drain. There’s a balance to be struck here though. For example, smoke vents or neon signs could only need to be drained to top up on ‘ammo’ for the ranged attacks. The melee/travel moves would be much more dynamic if you could change between them in the same combo via the shoulder buttons. Second Son was great fun when using the powers to run up walls or air-dash, but it was a shame it was always one or the other.
The Beast Returns
Something of a long shot, but are we set to see the return of The Beast? Let’s face it; this Titan-sized monster from Infamous 2 was a bit more intimidating than a sadistic woman obsessed with shiving people with rocky shards and giving them concrete booties? Also, think back to the scene just after Delsin’s second meeting with Augustine when he’s dropped off in the Lantern District. We see him moving above the city in first-person and the jerking animation makes it look like he’s being carried rather than floating. Augustine also shouts, “No!” like something has taken him away from her. So, a lot of conjecture there with thoughts of the Beast’s revival, and um, it being a bit invisible. Hey, we’ve had time travel involved with the series before, so reality isn’t exactly a pre-requisite here.
So Long, Seattle
Second Son cruelly teased us with trees and beaches during the intro before moving us to the concrete cove of Seattle. Let’s have a location change next time and no, not New York. Perhaps making up a city would be for the best, perhaps allowing the game to have a few settings. Something more along the lines of the New Orleans-inspired New Marais in Infamous 2, where we had swamps surrounding the city.
Infamous: Second Son’s moral choices made it worth playing through the game through twice to experience the differing ways the action played. However, the story failed to really show the impact of your choices. Fetch has the horn for bad Delsin and Eugene is slightly less certifiable for good Delsin, but the world around Delsin feels largely the same for both playthroughs, despite the minor aesthetic trimmings of citizens cheering you or fearing you.
Better Side Missions
The side missions were effectively a list of collectibles, albeit ones handily marked on your map. Audio logs aside, there was no extra narrative to help build on the DUP occupation that had swept through Seattle in a few short weeks and the gap (or any connection) between Infamous 2 and Second Son is rarely mentioned. A few character-driven missions would have helped here and it was a surprise to see so few of these considering how Infamous 2 made a decent effort for them.
As ever readers, we’d love to hear what you thought about Infamous: Second Son. Where would you like the sequel to take Delsin Rowe? Or maybe you feel it’s time for another new lead star? And what powers do you want to see him sponge off the Curdun Cay crew?