The inFAMOUS series of games has never really taken off in the way that Sony would have liked. Partly that could be explained by the fact the Cole McGrath wasn’t really an interesting character to play. This time, with inFAMOUS: Second Son, we have a new character, Delsin Rowe, so will he help to kick start the series into next-gen?
We managed to see a new trailer and a 10 minute live demo of the game at the Sony booth at Gamescom, unfortunately neither this nor Killzone were playable. The demo looks to be near the start of the game and the first thing to notice is the graphics. Coming straight off the back of the trailer it was only when the character started moving that we were able to notice that the trailer had ended and the demo had begun. This game looks really good.
During the demo we saw very little of the plot but did see a lot of combat. With the DUP now all around Seattle, there seems to be little chance to avoid combat but there are plenty of ways to go about it. Of course you could just dive right in and use your melee attack with the chain that Delsin has around his wrist, but there’s a lot more variety to try. As Delsin has the ability to turn to ash, you can make your way through wire gates and even vents. This ability also lets you close down on enemies quickly and attack them before they’ve even noticed you’re there.
You can also try ranged attacks, of which there are both light and heavy versions. The light version will send what looks like a fireball at an enemy, though the heavy version will build up the power and deal much more damage. You can also collapse the towers and bridges that the enemy use to move about, letting the environment do the work for you. It’s here that your ability to move quickly comes into effect. If you find yourself in a tight spot on the ground, you can always just slip into a vent and find yourself on a roof, high up above the action. This technique of constantly shifting the battleground seems like a good way to dispatch enemies quickly.
To cover ground quickly you can also ‘fly’ with a mixture of your abilities to hover and teleport. Whilst it doesn’t look like the most effective way of moving about it’ll get the job done. It does raise the question though of how can Delsin hover? If his ability is to control, and turn himself into ash, how does this transfer into the ability to hover? We might be focusing on the wrong questions here though.
Towards the end of the demo we saw a large force of soldiers move in and a new ability appear. As well as his light and heavy ranged and melee attacks, Delsin can also deliver a special attack that lets him fly high into the air and then land with enormous impact, clearing a large group of enemies quickly. There didn’t seem to be a meter that had to be charged before you could use this so it’s unclear as to whether this is always available or whether you can only use it in certain circumstances.
Whilst the demo didn’t give us a lot of information about the game, the trailer did provide some. It showed a new conduit called ‘Fletch’. Delsin seems able to absorb new powers from other conduits, though again it’s unclear as to how much damage that will cause them. Sucker Punch have confirmed that there will be more conduits around the city that Delsin can meet but haven’t released any details as to the kind of powers we can expect.
The game does look fantastic and is a real showcase for what the PS4 is capable of. If the variety of powers matches up to what Sucker Punch have said, then the game should have enough variety to stop it from being a one-trick pony. The downside is that the variety of attacks that we saw in the demo didn’t really have much impact. If we can just blast our way through groups of soldiers then why wouldn’t we? The only way to test this will be when the game launches, though we do have some hopes for it. It may not launch inFAMOUS into the top tier of games, but it could well be the shot in the arm that the series badly needs.