These days, open world video games granting players superhuman abilities are a dime a dozen. But where the inFAMOUS series originally distinguished itself was in giving players not only power and freedom in terms of gameplay, but a chance to choose the moral line they would walk as well. Would superpowers make you into a hero, or a villain?
That question is alive and well in inFamous: Second Son, and is stepping from the world of fiction into the real-world backdrop of Seattle, Washington (with a few changes). Thanks to a pair of brand new gameplay videos that have cropped up online, players can get another look at how the player’s decision to help or hurt will change the world around them, and their relationships with some key characters.
To date, the developers at Sucker Punch have spoken at great length about their intention of keeping the moral consequences of the series a fundamental part of the game, and some cinematic cut-scenes have shown how the story will be shaped by players. Even more recently, the team decided to spotlight the ‘Ruthless’ approach, challenging the notion that ‘Heroic’ is the better option.
Now, YouTube user ‘hojjoshMC’ has gotten their hands on an early copy of the game (merely another of the many leaked details ahead of the game’s release March 21), and offered up a look at two different approaches. Let’s start with the Heroic approach, as new hero Delsin Rowe turns the power of neon against a group of Seattle drug-dealers with the help of his pink-haired ally, Fetch:
Nobody will be surprised to see a modern video game reward players (both in terms of story and gameplay) for ‘heroic’ behavior, but what about those who choose to turn to the dark side, embracing their powers for the violence and power they grant them? To get a better sense, check out the following ‘Ruthless’ playthrough as Delsin unleashes his anger upon not only those who seek to imprison and control Conduits like himself, but anyone who gets in the way:
The immediate differences in the gameplay are clear, but the developers claim that morality in Second Son “changes almost everything” from powers, his appearance, how he’s perceived by the public, and how his own personal story will shape – and be shaped – by other supporting characters. Those kinds of promises aren’t too rare these days, but director Nate Fox explained to IGN that it’s very much the backbone of the game’s story:
“You really have not played the entire game unless you’ve played it at least twice… You can start the game as a bad guy, most people do, they just want to get in and mess things up. And then they grow a conscience and want to be a hero. You can fli-flop whenever you feel like it… If you do flip-flop halfway through the game you’ll miss out on a lot of content. But that’s kind of the point, you know? We can’t give you a choice that has no sense of loss to it; that’s what makes it an interesting choice.
“If you choose to be a villain your attacks become more devastating and sloppy in their damage – you don’t care who you hurt. If you’re good, your attacks become much more precise. The mission content you do is more about healing the city and healing some of the characters you meet. If you’re a bad person, it’s kind of the other way around.”
Only the finished game will show how high Sucker Punch has set the bar, but those eagerly awaiting the PS4 exclusive have even more good news coming their way: Second Son will be available for purchase through PSN at midnight on March 21, 2014. That’s official, according to PlayStation Europe’s Chris Owen:
Will you be picking the game up come midnight on launch day, or waiting to see how this next-gen exclusive fares with critics first? If you do plan on playing through it, will you be inclined to follow the Heroic path, or the Ruthless? Or will it be a mix of the two? Sound off in the comments.
inFAMOUS: Second Son releases March 21, 2014 for the PS4.
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