Sucker Punch’s superhero/villain sandbox games inFAMOUS and inFAMOUS 2 felt like very different titles, despite being two chapters of the same over-arching story. Some of that had to do with the writing, which underwent some significant improvements between the first game and the second that really brought the franchise’s colorful characters to life, but the change of setting also made inFAMOUS 2 feel like something radically new.
While inFAMOUS was set in Empire City (which is unofficially twinned with the real-world location of New York City), inFAMOUS 2 saw Cole McGrath and his buddies flee south to New Marais, the in-game version of New Orleans. It would be difficult to find two cities more different from one another whilst staying within the confines of a US setting, and for the next game in the series, inFAMOUS: Second Son, Sucker Punch is starting over fresh in the city of Seattle.
All Games Beta has a new batch of screenshots and concept art showcasing inFAMOUS: Second Son‘s version of Seattle, which is being kept under the bootheel of the Department of Unified Protection and corralled into submission through fearmongering propaganda about “bioterrorists” like protagonist Delsin Rowe.
Seattle is known for its damp weather and there will be plenty of rain featured in-game, but since Delsin’s powers (that we’ve seen so far) rely on being able to draw smoke and neon from his surroundings, these elements are also apparent in shots of the city environment.
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inFAMOUS: Second Son will be the first game in the franchise to be set in a real city rather than a thinly-veiled analog. The decision behind the setting wasn’t arbitrary; as shown in a recent featurette for inFAMOUS: Second Son, Sucker Punch is based in Bellevue, WA, with a studio that offers a pretty nice view of the Seattle skyline.
The developers’ familiarity with the setting of the game is evidenced in these screenshots, which include some real-life locations and businesses that can be found in Seattle – Lincoln’s Toe Truck and the Elephant Super Car Wash being just a couple of them. It’s the kind of attention-to-detail that’s reminiscent of the Assassin’s Creed games, which painstakingly recreated famous buildings and landmarks of their various settings.
Seattle residents will probably have a blast playing through inFAMOUS: Second Son and comparing the game version of the city to the real one. For everyone else, this kind of passion for environment design can really pay off when it comes to making a city feel alive and lived-in.
inFAMOUS: Second Son launches March 21, 2014 exclusively on PlayStation 4.