Sucker Punch has always been a company that liked using “new” hardware features, like controlling lightning storms using sixaxis in the original inFamous. Now, they have a new plan for inFamous: Second Son. Utilizing touchscreen controls so it doesn’t feel like a gimmick, at least according to their interview with Polygon.
inFamous has always been a series known for its sprawling metropolis that allows the player to experiment with powers and just wreck havoc. With the PS4, Sucker Punch feels they can create worlds that are bigger, more detailed, and more alive. According to Sucker Punch director, Nate Fox, “Because we live there, we can make it extremely real, it feels like a place that exists. With the PS4, we can bring in a lot of detail, and textures and lighting effects that you totally buy. On top of that, you add the super powers, and you believe more that it could happen.” The original inFamous was loosely modeled after New York City. inFamous 2 was modeled after New Orleans. And inFamous: Second Son is, according to Fox, “We’re calling it Seattle. It’s got the space needle in it! We made New Marais and it was certainly largely inspired by New Orleans. When we decided to put the new game in Seattle, we just wanted to call it like it is.”
Fox also clarified that it wasn’t a 1:1 replica of Seattle. “There is one thing that’s a bit different from our Seattle, the one that I call home — we didn’t lay out the streets to be an exact duplicate of Seattle. We laid out the streets and made the buildings to be a great game. We wanted to make sure that it was dense, with a lot of places to discover and explore, and ways to use your powers. We prioritize fun over a complete 1:1 recreation.”
When you’re making a game, you’re trying to make a lot of verbs
However, by far the most interesting addition to Second Son was the utilization of the touchscreen on the Dual Shock 4 controller for things like passing a security checkpoint or stealth kills. Some have felt this could slow down the combat or ruin its pacing. Fox disagreed, saying, “You have these big moves, bread and butter awesome gameplay things; that’s joystick and button territory. But when we wanted to do something a bit more subtle, something that’s a bit more personal, we go to the touchpad because there’s a fidelity of control. Frankly, it’s a good change of pace. It kind of resets you on the bigger things. That’s kind of how we draw the line on when we do the touchpad and when we go for huge effects.”
“When you’re making a game, you’re trying to make a lot of verbs; that’s the word we use. I can jump, I can blast — doing something small, like in the demo the other day, Delsin having his DNA scanned; we use the touchpad to recreate that verb of ‘finger scan’ that the player gets to experience, and bring themselves closer into being Delsin. It’s something we can’t do unless we have a new method for allowing you to be that verb.”
inFamous: Second Son is scheduled for release February 2014 for the Play Station 4.