Last week, In the depths of trendy Shoreditch, lay a hidden away factory emblazoned with the imposing banners of the D.U.P (Department of Unified Protection) from inFamous: Second Son. Beyond the D.U.P security checkpoint stood dozens of PS4 demo units, surrounded by a multitude of decorations and set dressing based on the Seattle setting of the game. Playstation UK had kitted out the entire inside of the building with objects based on scenes from the game such as retro neon lighting, broken telephone boxes, walls plastered with graffiti and a dubious looking van which wouldn’t look right at home parked in a dark alley on the wrong side of the tracks.
Hosted as an exclusive preview event by Playstation, a selection of fans of the inFamous series and the upcoming sequel, Second Son were invited to the event through competitions run by IGN and GAME on social media channels. If you’ve dabbled in social media services like twitter, you’re likely well aware of all the retweet competitions available online, whether it be retweeting a post or sharing a page’s status on facebook. To be one of the lucky attendees for the preview night, GAME Digital asked people what would be their favourite super power and why. More effort than most competitions but the prize was worth it for those who were successful in getting selected to attend.
Amongst the mingling gamers and flashing lights, voice actor Troy Baker was also in attendance at the event to meet fans, take photos and sign the various treasures people had brought in from the characters he’s voiced over his career, such as Snow from Final Fantasy XIII, Joel from The Last of Us, and most recently, Delsin Rowe in inFamous: Second Son. We also came across the graffiti artist Jim Vision and his team from East London Graffiti Mural group, End of the Line, who were running the graffiti corner where you could make your own unique piece of vandalised D.U.P propaganda. End of the Line or EOTL are a contemporary creative collective making large scale mural production. As a London based group, you may have seen their art in Shoreditch and other areas, whether it’s Marvel, Metal Gear Solid or their Animal projects.
With all of the playable demo units running inFamous: Second Son, we were able to get our hands on it and have a go at playing as the new protagonist before the Q&A started and all focus shifted to the main stage area, featuring Nate Fox & Ken Schramm from developer Sucker Punch and Troy Baker, answering fan questions about the game from attendees at the event as well as from fans online via twitter. Those lucky enough to have their questions chosen were also awarded a special inFamous goody bag featuring several collectible items to commemorate the event
In the new game for PS4, you play as Delsin, a 24 year old graffiti artist, a do-gooder who after a string of weird events wakes up with superpowers and becoming a ‘conduit’, as such people are called in the inFamous series. The novelty of new-found powers doesn’t last long before Delsin finds himself evading the D.U.P, who aim to rid the city of any conduits that cross their path in the name of protecting the populace from what they see to be ‘bioterrorists’.
Among other features from previous games, moral choices return and play a part in how certain parts of the narrative play out. Fetch, another conduit that you meet early in the game quickly becomes a major part of the story as Delsin has to decide whether to try and teach Fetch how to use her powers for good, or to corrupt her and destroy anything that stands in your way. The path that you choose to take affects the route the story will follow, leading to multiple endings you can finish the game with. rather than sticking with elemental powers for the new game, Second Son’s Delsin can absorb powers from various sources around the city. In the build we were shown, he can absorb neon from lights to be able to zip up buildings as a flash of light, fire projectiles at enemies and conjure a neon sword. We also were able to use the power of smoke by absorbing it when near smoky grates and vents, allowing delsin to become a cloud of smoke, travel through vents and throw smoke/fire balls, among other uses.
Game director, Nate Fox mentions they try to make it as ‘disgustingly real as it can’ to real Seattle highlighting the game’s jaw-dropping visuals on hot spots like the gun wall – not the prettiest or sanitary for that matter but nostalgic and realistic is what they were doing for. To further incorporate the Seattle atmosphere, it also features music from Seattle grunge band Mudhoney adding to the whole alternative scene and feel of the game.
The event was lively throughout the night, with gamers happily playing the preview build of Second Son, while taking full advantage of the free drinks tokens available and deliberately broken vending machines. The sweets inside were a free for all, the staff would even restock it regularly so everyone can get their fill. Well, when you have four free drink tokens to consume, better line the stomach with some Hershey’s Reese’s or Doritos!
At the end of the night if you weren’t lucky enough to ask Sucker Punch or Troy Baker a question on live stream to get an exclusive goodie bag, you still left with a standard one including cute tote bag, bottle opener, collectable coin, badges and optional Destiny Beta key. There’s a good chance that a few of those will probably already be on eBay for those who weren’t able to attend the event and receive one in person.
One of the best game preview events I have attended lots of free swag and basically incentives to keep you at the event , happy and entertained, the hours literally flew by. Special thanks to Game Digital for my ticket, Sony and Playstation team for arranging such a great event in an empty warehouse transformed into a scene from the game with the help of EOTL. Sucker Punch, Troy Baker and the Staff were all friendly and more than happy to talk to us.