Find out how inFamous 2 on PS3 is powering up in this exclusive interview with Sucker Punch's Ken Schramm.
Wary superhero Cole MacGrath is thrust into the limelight once more, as inFamous 2 moves to the cultural melting pot of New Marais. Blamed for the devastation of Empire City, Cole retreats to the USA's smouldering Deep South to realise his full potential and set the record straight.
Ken Schramm, communications director at developer Sucker Punch, tells eu.playstation.com how Cole's next high voltage adventure is taking shape on PlayStation 3.
What are the major differences between inFamous 2 and the original game?
You're playing as Cole MacGrath, the electric superhero of inFamous. If you think of inFamous as a coming of age story, then inFamous 2 is where he takes his powers further and becomes the superhero he always knew he could be.
At the beginning of the game you're fighting against Cole's nemesis the Beast. He basically kicks Cole's teeth in, so Cole has to retreat to New Marais to recover, recharge and beat this guy. Along the way he encounters a lot of things that are going on in New Marais. The city has its own life and a lot of stories.
What does the new city mean for the feel of the game?
So we begin in Empire City with this epic face-off against the Beast, and we quickly transport the action to New Marais. It's a city greatly inspired by New Orleans, and that means a vastly different look and atmosphere compared with Empire City.
We've everything from swamplands to a flooded area of town to run-down neighbourhoods. This means there's a wider range of things for Cole to climb on and jump off; it's not all concrete jungle, so to speak.
This creates a very interesting feel for the gameplay and there's also a great vibe – a heady mix of cultures. That extends to the soundtrack, with hip hop on there, bluesy tunes and everything in-between. You get a feel for all these different cultures mingling with the city. It's a really rich mix.
What can you tell us about Cole's powers?
inFamous 2 is about electrical superpowers, and Cole, as this supercharged being, can tap into any electrical point in the city. There are all new powers like Kinetic Pulse – the ability to pick up objects from a traffic cone to a car, which you can chuck at your enemies. Cole also develops lightning speed. Then we have old favourites like calling down a lightning storm which electrifies everything around.
Could you tell us more about the Karma system?
Morality plays a big part in inFamous 2. Every choice you make impacts on the world around you in some way. It affects your gameplay in a more complex manner compared with inFamous.
We've got two new characters to make you wrestle with your choices. Kuo is a National Security Agency operative working with Cole to take down the Beast, while Nix is a hedonistic native of New Marais who tries to get you to forget your conscience.
At many stages of the game you are presented with a fork in the road, so to speak, and in following one particular path, you must live with the consequences of your actions. It's never too late to turn back, though, and you do get the chance to seek some kind of redemption – or have a moral meltdown.
Visually the game is stunning. Was that a special focus?
We really wanted to pump everything we did in inFamous up to another level, and as we've got an even better understanding of PlayStation 3 now, ramping up the visual power has been easier. You'll notice it by the number of characters on-screen at any one time and the quantity of breakable objects. We think you'll love the way we've used motion capture to create animations for our stars, too.
What do you think are the parts of inFamous 2 that will make fans of the first game go "Wow!"?
Just wait until you see how the game kicks off! I'll leave it at that...
Keep an eye on eu.playstation.com and PlayStation.Blog at blog.eu.playstation.com for more details on inFamous 2 leading up to the game's launch later in 2011.