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Infamous 2: The Evolution of the Militia

by Ben Reeves on Jun 21, 2010 at 09:40 AM

Creating enemies for a game isn’t as easy as just sketching out something that looks cool. Video game designers want their characters to have personality. Art teams sweat over every little accessory they design for a character, and create elaborate back-stories to inform their decisions. Sucker Punch game director Nate Fox gave us an exclusive behinds-the-scenes look at the creation of one of Infamous 2’s new enemy gangs: The Militia.

“The Militia is a group of redneck guys who, in their free time, like to get pretty drunk and do a lot of hunting. As a byproduct, they are into all this hunting gear. After the events of Infamous, where the Ray Sphere blows up, strange things start to happen along the Eastern Seaboard, and people start manifesting weird abilities. These Militia guys are all about human purity, and they get angry at the idea that people are changing. They don’t want their country overtaken by super humans. They don’t want their city taken from them.”

“They idolize military organization, even thought they are not themselves associated with the military. They try to dress in the fashion of their idols. They’re also hunters, so they have a lot of pouches and whatnot. They want to be faceless, so they have these executioner-style masks. In their mind, these guys are doing the dirty work that needs to be done to keep humanity on top.”

“The inspiration for these guys is that they are kind of a combination between the KKK and Batman. Now when I say KKK, I don’t mean that they are racists, but that they are a kind of secret group that does things that are illegal. Because they believe in these strict values, they are willing to throw legality out the window and do things that – by most people’s standards – are pretty horrible. So if you marry that with vigilantism – you know how Batman gears up and says, ‘screw it, I’m going to take back this city.’ That’s the Militia.”

“The guys with the compound bows have some of the coolest weapons, but they aren’t quite as useful as guns. There is a large part of me that says, ‘Man, I love those bows, but how are we going to get them to trump an AK47?’ I don’t really have an answer for that, but I know I love them, and they definitely project that hunter vibe.”

“We didn’t want them to look particularly military-like. There are a lot of games that feature military opponents or near-future military opponents, and the men that are in this Militia grew up in New Marais. They are a product of this town, and they are going to defend it with their lives. They’re going to fight to keep it the way that they think it should be, so they are kind of more everyday people. They don’t have any super powers. They are human purists.”

“Variety is the spice of like. Generally speaking, we like to try and get a bunch of different visual elements to all hang around a theme. In a lot of other video games, we feel like you see a lot of enemies that are under one camp, and there isn’t a lot of visual variety to them. Like if you ever watched GI Joe as a kid, remember how all of the Cobra guys all dressed the same? That’s not really ideal. These are people – they are individual people. They don’t all come out of a factory looking identical.”

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