Feature

Bridging The Gap: From Infamous 2 To Second Son

by Ben Reeves on May 10, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Infamous Second Son takes place seven years after the events of Infamous 2. A lot can happen in seven years, so here’s the abbreviated timeline that will prepare you for Sucker Punch’s next super-powered outing.

The first two Infamous games told the tale of what would happen if ordinary people suddenly gained supernatural powers – gifting them abilities that could level buildings. This prospect terrified the general population who were left feeling powerless against the whims of the fortunate few who gained supernatural abilities.

These powered-up individuals came to be known as Conduits, and series hero Cole McGrath was one of the most powerful conduits on the planet. However, it was up to players to chose whether or not Cole used his powers for the benefit of the larger commonwealth or only for himself.

This good/evil system actually helped shape the franchise’s future. Gamers didn’t know they were voting on the fate of they next Infamous game while playing Infamous 2, but that’s exactly what happened.

“When we got done with Infamous 2, we had given players this choice of whether or not they wanted to heroically sacrifice Cole or keep him alive at the expense of the human population,” says game director Nate Fox. “The game shipped and we started seeing trophy data, and 78 percent of players decided to sacrifice Cole and have him die. We wanted to honor their choice so moving forward we said ‘Let’s make a new hero.’”

Players overwhelmingly chose to play through Infamous 2’s good ending. During this now-canonical ending, Cole defeats a powerful, destruction-crazed Conduit known as the Beast and then sets off a genetic bomb called the Ray Field Inhibitor (RFI), which not only kills Cole but destroys all the Conduit genes around the world, thereby ridding the world of the Conduit “plague.”

While this ending seemed fairly conclusive, the RFI device wasn’t as thorough as players were initially led to believe. According to Sucker Punch, Conduits who were further away from the RFI’s blast radius weren’t completely “cured,” so there are still a number of less-powerful Conduits and Conduits who didn’t know they had powers scattered across the globe.

Even if the RFI wasn’t as far-reaching as it could have been, the events of the first two Infamous games definitely left their mark on the world. A culture of fear sprang up, and the general population felt fragile with the knowledge that a select few held the power of an entire army at their fingertips. Someone had to step up and make sure that these Conduits didn’t have the opportunity to use their powers for destructive purposes ever again.

“In Infamous 1 and 2, it hit the fan,” says Fox. “The human population got freaked out by all the deaths. As a result, this agency called the DUP – Department of Unified Protection – was born. What they do is go out and round up anyone with superpowers and they put them in detention centers for the own protection, but really they’re doing it to protect the common man.”

While those with superhuman powers have traditionally been called Conduits, the DUP rebranded them as Bioterrorists. Whenever there is a Bioterrorist outbreak, the DUP swarms into a city, locks it down, and sets up checkpoints on every block. Everyone who lives in that city has to come through and put their finger on a scanner and prove they don’t have special powers.

“They take a city and turn it into a giant airport,” explains Fox.

The story of Infamous Second Son picks up after seven years of DUP operation, when a new character named Delsin discovers that he has powers during a Conduit outbreak near Seattle. To learn more about Second Son’s protagonist and his story, check out our character profile on Delsin.

And be sure to check out our Second Son hub for more information on Sucker Punch’s upcoming PlayStation 4 title.