An Open Letter to Sucker Punch - AshaMan3000 Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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An Open Letter to Sucker Punch

The other night I had the pleasure of completing what will end up being the first of probably several playthroughs of Infamous: Second Son.  The game was fantastic on many levels with a few minor detours into the realm of decent rather than great.  I've had a ton of fun with the series for all three installments and would like to address a few of my minor gripes in the light of the news the other day regarding the direction the series is heading along with talk of Sucker Punch becoming 'the Infamous studio', excluding potential work on new IPs or updates to older creations.

I'd like to start today with the things that worked for Infamous: Second Son (for future reference I'll just be saying 'Infamous').  Firstly, the world itself is a beauty to behold.

Whether it's the park scene above, the rain-drenched city streets full of reflected light and flickering shadows, or the impressive draw-distance seen from rooftops, this new installment of Infamous is just plain stunning.  The streets are crowded, the buildings are impeccably modeled, and the lighting and shadow effects are top-notch.

The powers and combat are another great aspect of the game and how well-integrated they all are gives me great hope for the future of the series.  Delsin's ability to absorb multiple powers may not carry over into other possible future leads, but imagine a Borderlands-style co-op experience with differing but relatable powers for your characters to play around with!

Delsin's ability to morph from power to power dependent on the situation at hand is probably Infamous's most appealing selling-point.  The multiple ways you can tackle a situation are impressive and while I generally just blasted away and then ran up and across buildings to heal only to rinse and repeat the process, those more inclined could really play around with combos present.  

While the city itself is beautiful and packed with characters, it ultimately felt a little lifeless.  I'm in the camp that preaches powers and combat over illusion/immersion, but why can't we have our cake and eat it too for the next installment?  

It's a pretty impressive scene, but one you'll see over and over during the course of the game.  The detail packed into this little checkpoint should be applied to every inch of the game in the inevitable sequel.  Stuff like this would elevate Sucker Punches work from the very good to the great with just a little work in one more department.

The story was a little on the weak side.  Not terrible by any means and some of the characters were rather interesting/memorable.  Just the exposition between them all was rather forced and the story clipped from scene to scene with little continuity.  A few more in-game phone calls between characters or even some involved side missions with them after their role in the main story plays out could have really added some meat to the story-telling aspects of the series.

I rather like Augustine as the lead villain this time around.  Without delving too far into the story, she's rather multifaceted and could have been a fantastic foil for Delsin.  Her abilities and integration into the gameplay were very well done and the fights against her were rather memorable.  The only issue I have with her (and Sucker Punch villains in general) is that her motivations, while eventually explained, aren't all that believable.  The audio logs helped, but I think more brief cutscenes (comic-style or CGI) would have really fleshed-out her character for the audience.

That's all I've got for now regarding Sucker Punch and Infamous: Second Son.  It's a damn fine game that reaches for greatness but just doesn't quite hit the mark.  It's certainly worth playing as I'm currently already burning through (literally) an evil run to gather the rest of the trophies, but with a little work the next title could elevate itself from 'worth playing' to an absolute 'must-play' game.

Thanks for reading everyone!

I'm not sure if TimSedai or Ashaman3000 is what's being displayed but as I'm both it doesn't really matter.

Great to be back and happy gaming!

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