What Goes Around Comes Around: More on the inFAMOUS 2 Karma System

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What Goes Around Comes Around: More on the inFAMOUS 2 Karma System


I think most of us at Sucker Punch have noticed the days starting to blur together a bit. So while I had a quiet moment here on Southwest Flight 651, I thought I’d put the time to good use and give you an update on our progress with I2 (inFAMOUS 2) … Ken’s post from last week got the ball rolling, let’s see if I can spill some more beans on the Karma system…

When we took a look at the Karma system in I1 (inFAMOUS, the first game) we wanted to keep the successful stuff, but also make improvements … As a top line, we knew we wanted to continue to offer players the choice and responsibility that comes along with having powers. This is one of the central themes of many archetype super-hero stories, as well as an interesting exploration of the relationship between power, responsibility and the test of character that powers bring. So, that had to stay.

But on the flip side, we got feedback from fans that some of the choices felt too mechanical, and they wanted their choices to have more meaning in the narrative and in the world. So, our challenge with I2 was to make these choices more real, more believable, and yet still keep them visible and clear to the players.

When we spent time thinking and designing the improved Karma system, we ultimately concluded that there was a way to make these choices both clearer and much more believable: to make your Karma decisions more about relationships and less about the specific choice at hand. So instead of a question that really didn’t relate to our primary gameplay (e.g. “should we take this food or give it away?”), in I2 we let the player decide who to ally with on a quest, or choose between Kuo’s surgical strike or Nix’s no-holds barred assault. You aren’t just choosing a mission, you’re choosing an ally and alienating another person. This was both clear for players, and more real.

Here are a couple videos which demonstrate what I’m talking about, but let me set them up a bit … At this point in the game, Kuo has been captured by the local Militia that’s taken over New Marais. We find out that Kuo is being held at a makeshift prison (a converted old mansion on the edge of town). Cole needs to mount a rescue, but the fortified target rules out a frontal assault.

Cole’s buddy Zeke proposes a rescue plan. He has seen a convoy of captured police officers being paraded through the city. He wants to bust up the convoy, free the officers, and then lead the police on an assault of the old mansion/militia stronghold. Turns out other cops are being kept there as prisoners, if Cole helps bust them free he’ll get Kuo out at the same time … of course that also means there’ll be more cops on the street (which is sometimes uncool for vigilantes). Cops love us, Kuo goes free, all is good! Okay, let’s have a look:

Nix’s idea? Well as you know from Ken’s piece, Nix is more of a chaotic personality. Her plan? Load up a streetcar with explosives and run it down the tracks at full speed towards the mansion. It’ll derail, crash through the front gate and explode in a huge fireball … Great diversion, and tons of collateral damage on the Militia, even if a few prisoners might become collateral damage. After the explosion, we team up and slog our way through the remaining resistance and get Kuo back. Nix, of course, has some super powers of her own, and they are particularly useful in combination with Cole’s arsenal. Just another bit part of the plan! Let’s take a quick look:

So in the case of these two choices, you end up rescuing Kuo along either path, but that won’t always be the case. Sometimes the implications of your choices will be clear (like above) and sometimes they will be murky. The choices you make will affect the world itself, the citizens’ reaction to you, and of course the ending of the game in an important way. What we hope is that you all find them entertaining, occasionally thought provoking, and lots of fun.

Before I go, I want to wrap up with a few more answers to questions we received after Ken’s post. #1. YES, a lot of content is backing up the Karma system, not just different cut scenes – in fact the example above is all gameplay, There are NO differences in the cut scenes. And saving Kuo is just the beginning— there are going to be a very sizable number of missions set up in choices like this, and plenty of unique content on either side. #2. YES, the game should be more balanced for those of you who want to play more “Neutral” or switch sides.

So there you go, I’m about to land and the flight attendants are eyeballing me. We’ll have more on the Karma system later this month on Spike’s GTTV which airs on Feb. 24th. Until then, choose your friends carefully!

Comments are closed.


  • YES!! This looks super cool alredy!! The only things bothering me are that Zeke dosn’t look right, and i’m wored that this game will be rated M. But other than that SWEET!! But don’t forget about Sly 4, i’m relly looking foreword to that. The new karma system looks very detaled so far, but are you going to have more than two diffrent endings?

  • Once again, my hype for this game has skyrocketed.

  • im really liken the trickle of info on thais game, i killed the surprise of powers by over researching the game, still it was great. love the new new cole.

  • this game looks AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wow. Awesome trailers. I cannot wait for this game especially since I live close to New Orleans. =P

  • OMG!!! So amazing graphics! Looks so fun!

  • Is it just me, or are the titles for the videos swapped?

    This is looking incredibly awesome. The first inFamous was one of my favorite games for the PS3, and it looks like the sequel will continue the trend. Keep up the good work, Sucker Punch!

  • Can you guys tell us about the Hero edition too? Please?

  • am i the only one that noticed cole’s standard lighting attack is a ball of electricity instead of a stream of it?

  • Release date, that’s all i’m asking :)

  • This…



  • Cole looks like he is way more badass in this game, than in the first. Way better powers, better moves, and a new city. This is gonna be a great game!

  • My…..God…..!!!

  • Definitely pre-ordering this. Respect to Sucker Punch for making such an amazing game!

  • Cole’s electric powers somehow healed his smoke-scarred lungs.


  • AWESOME :D it would be cool if there had funny job andd activity on the game as well :D

  • I Love It But that little sound when you kill the enemies BUGS ME!!

  • The first inFamous is one of my favorite games on the PS3. While it had some problems, I had a big beef with the karma system, it looks like everything has been fixed. Then the gameplay… somehow you made it better. I don’t know how you did it but it looks even better!
    Can we expect this in 2011???

  • looks incredible

  • This looks great. Can’t wait. First day buy for me just like inFAMOUS 2. Maybe you guys can get us another MP beta for Uncharted.

  • wow sucker punch, kudos on the super swank graphics, i like that the karma system for I2 emulates mass effects way of taking on missions and choosing sides, thanks for making the first superhero for the PS3 so epic…cheers!

  • Day one purchase. I also predict I will be so sick on release day that I will have to call in sick to work. Whatever day that ends up being, I will be sick. cough, cough ;-)

  • On the forum on Suckerpunch’s official website,a play tester has confirmed that the bing is a placeholder sound, and will not be included into the final game, so all you bing haters (myself included) ca rest easy.

    This is my number one game for 2011, and that is saying something.

    Also, I believe that the electric balls Cole shoots are a new power, because there are multiple screens of Cole shooting his stream.

    Maybe the balls are a more powerful attack, similar to the lightning bolt except they use power.

  • Omg My wallet will definitely be butthurt this year.

  • I’m totally stoked for inFAMOUS 2 to release, perhaps in May or June? It looks like Sucker Punch has included a lot more destructible environmental objects. Also, did anyone else notice the chime noise in the Zeke Plan trailer when Cole took some one down?

  • It looks AWESOME!

  • So far from what ive seen this game looks too cool to believe.

    But there is one problem, the goddamn texture pops and the bad draw distance. The cars and the detail on buildings appear to show up out of no where in the videos. This was also there in inFAMOUS 1. That was the only thing which stopped this game from becoming my favorite.

    Your walking down a street and you see just one car. as you go forward, more and more cars appear out of nowhere.
    Please sucker punch fix this problem before release so i can rest easy :)

  • Dont Kuos moves remind you of sasha from the first game

  • Sorry Nix*

  • this is cool the game is looking great

  • Hey Sucker Punch!!

    In one of the earlier trailers “Ice” powers for Cole were basically thrown directly in your face only to disappear ever since then.

    So my question is, Is ice still in the game?!

  • Ahh good ol’ inFAMOUS gameplay, this game is looking terrific – I can’t wait to get my hands on it :D

  • Stupid question here, but will we be able to get in vehicles of any kind? Puh-leeeaasssee?

  • This is killing me. I want to play now, or at least a demo. I really like the comments posted by the fans and I agree with almost all of them. Can we please get a release date and can you guys please give us a response on the rumored “Hero editon”. That whould be really nice SuckPunch.

  • Really excited to play this, currently replaying infamous 1. Just two things i saw in the video have me worried. It looks like coles regular main attack is now balls of lightning? instead of bolts? personally i think the bolts are much cooler. And is he always left handed now? i really liked being able to switch hands and get a better angle on something. The whole aim view looks odd to me but im just very used to infamous 1 im sure ill love it either way

  • I hope it is not ligthting balls, as the main power, in the end version. Didn´t look so good. Hope it change it to what it was like in the first game.

  • But everything ealse was awesome

  • I was already pumped for I2 once I finished I1. The only two complaints I had for the original were the in-game cut scenes and the repetitive side missions. (Please no counter surveillance in this one!) This game looks to fix both of those problems and then add some things I didn’t see coming. Sucker Punch really looks like they know just how epic this game can be so I can’t wait to finally play it! P.S. Though I’m still buying regardless, it would be cool if the Uncharted 3 beta would come with this game like the Uncharted 2 beta coming with Infamous. Just a thought! CAN’T WAIT!

  • Oh yeah that little sound bit after a guy gets killed is a bit annoying so if that would get taken out it would be even better, thanks!

  • Is that lightning ball the new lightning bolt because it looks like a downgrade from the E3 presentation and it also looks weak.

  • I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty cool seeing the idea of the karma events being told through allied partners. It’s even cooler to see it since I had a similar idea myself. It was a bit different though. It was something like a wind user and an earth user coming into the party. Not only do the missions you go on them effect you, but you could do things in the game that would affect how they are perceived as well. Either way, I’m glad you guys decided to go this route.

    Although I feel like this question may not be honored with a response due to it being rather early regarding what information can and can’t be shared, but I have to wonder… can you ONLY do *negative* missions with Nix? So far she seems like a pretty cool character, but I think it would be cool to see her personality evolve as well.

    P.S: The graphics… just look amazing. It’s astounding to see how much you guys were able to improve on this type of game. I have never seen a sandbox with that much detail before.

  • @mountain_duwe did you forget to change it to 720p in the player?

  • Just so everyone knows, I came up with the idea of being able to pick up cars before Sucker Punch. True story.

  • Btw I really hope those “lightning balls” aren’t replacing the lightning bolt

  • The arcade sound that plays every time Cole kills an enemy sounds really annoying and out of place. The sound that played in inFamous 1 was way better. Please don’t put this sound in the final game, it doesn’t suit at all.

  • hey guys, i just wanted to know when the pre-order for the infamous 2 HERO EDITION comes out. i reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally want that sling bag and yeah, also if someone could tell me how to pre-order online on GAMESPOT.COM/.AU thanks

  • I sure did enjoy the first game. I played it all the way to the end and completed all game and side missions. I got all the shards and sure felt I got my money’s worth. As I watched the promo videos for I2, I noticed we have a different voice for Cole. That is a disappointment. I do recognize the new voice and it will take some time to get used to it. What happened to Cole Number 1? Did he not want to continue on, or wanted too much money to do so? And my only other gripe is they kept Zeke in the game. Zeke certainly caused alot of grief for Cole and really screwed him over a couple of times. He should have been given the deep six!!

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