inFAMOUS Second Son: All your questions answered

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inFAMOUS Second Son: All your questions answered

Everything you need to know about the forthcoming PS4 superhero epic

With the 21st March release of inFAMOUS Second Son on PS4 just a few weeks away, we recently reached out to you all via Twitter, Facebook and regional forums with a call for any questions you might have about the latest entry in the Sucker Punch’s open-world superhero series. And duly, you deluged us with queries, which Brian Fleming, studio co-founder and producer on Second Son, has kindly taken the time to answer. Read on for his responses and let us know if you have any additional questions in the comments below.
How did you come across the idea for Second Son? (‏@Crodogile)

Brian Fleming: Like a lot of things, it’s not a single point. It’s actually the reverse — you have a bunch of ideas that eventually coalesce and gel into what becomes Delsin Rowe.
The character himself was an offshoot of the decision to do Seattle. Once we picked Seattle, the idea of taking the roots of the area and having a kid who grew up on one of the Native American reservations here really was the genesis of Second Son.
On the flipside, one of the early decisions was that we were going to make a game where you have multiple power sets. That was an important decision to us, as we felt that a single power set — for inFAMOUS 2, in particular — got overly sophisticated and more difficult to actually play. It just made it a little bit too complex for some players.
So we wanted to simplify the controller layout. One way to do that was to have layered power sets, and that was a very specific, early design decision.
You take those two things and start working on them in parallel, and eventually they became Second Son.

Why didn’t Sucker Punch choose real cities as settings in previous games, but then chose to use a real city setting in Second Son? (‏@BlackViper7)

Brian Fleming: It’s not as big a change as you might suspect. Obviously Empire City was inspired by New York, and New Marais was inspired by New Orleans. With the jump to next-gen hardware, we wanted to take that same jump in realism.
It made a lot of sense to us, in this case, to do Seattle properly. For example, it’s pretty hard to imagine doing Seattle and doing a fictional Space Needle. Some kind of galactic tower just doesn’t make sense. Maybe we’re just being provincial because we live here, but it seemed like it had to be the real Space Needle. And if it was going to be the real Space Needle, it had to be the real Seattle.
It was exciting to be able to take on all the nuances and quirks of the city. The locals here will recognize all the little opportunities we had to find unusual local vendors — the car wash guy, or the donut shop, even the gum wall in the bowels of Pike Place Market — all these little things. It was an enjoyable task for us. It made doing this more fun, more real — it was just a good time.

How lively is the city? (Cringles88)

Brian Fleming: The population of the city is a big part of how you gauge your progress in Second Son. The team working on that aspect of the game is always trying to make things more detailed and add more volume.
We also want pedestrians to be intelligent. There’s a lot of combat in the game, and pedestrians do as pedestrians do in real life: run away! So when you’re in heavy combat, you shouldn’t expect to see lots of people wandering around. There’s a balance to strike between having the city feel lively, but also have pedestrians behaving realistically.

How destructible is the city? (T1000peX)

Brian Fleming: The most important stuff that you’ll be destroying is the infrastructure that the DUP is putting into the city. You’ve seen some of this in the demos we’ve done. This stuff was designed to break in the most spectacular way we could manage. It’s all simulated, multi-stage breakables — so if you blow up one corner of something, the whole thing topples over and smashes to the ground. That’s been a lot of fun to work on.

It rains a lot in Seattle. Is it the same in the game? (leonidass22000)

Brian Fleming: Yes, it does rain a lot in Seattle in real life, and it rains a lot — or looks like it recently rained — in Second Son. We’re not trying to do an accurate weather sim as much as make the game astoundingly gorgeous.
We’ve changed the weather throughout the game to make it beautiful, and make it our favorite time of day — whether that’s just after it’s rained at dusk, or when the sun is breaking through the clouds. The art director and the tech artists all work to try and define these beautiful scenes that just happen to take place in rainy Seattle.

Do I need to play inFAMOUS 1 and 2 to entirely understand the story? (‏@MHND95)

Brian Fleming: Second Son takes place seven years after the events of the first two games, so in a lot of ways there’s enough time separation that the game very much stands on its own. If you know a lot of detail about what happened in previous games that might add some richness for you, but from a plot standpoint, it’s absolutely not required.

Will we see characters from inFAMOUS 1 or 2 in Second Son? (Conor Linehan)

Brian Fleming: This isn’t an homage to the previous games. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be a couple of fun things in there for the fans — but it’s not what Second Son is about. It’s not about, say, Zeke being a front line character. This is Delsin’s story.

I’d like to know what Sucker Punch changed about their game to excite themselves for another entry. (‏@Golwar)

Brian Fleming: If you’re talking strictly as game makers, the most important change for us was changing the power set that the character has. Sure, we changed cities, we changed consoles, we changed a lot of things about how we produced cut scenes, but the most important change from a game-making perspective was the character — and the power sets that he has.

How many powers does Delsin Rowe have? (Frederik Strange Dybsø)

Brian Fleming: To avoid spoiling the game, we’ve really only talked about Smoke and Neon powers, and we’re keeping that stance until the game launches.
One of the things we haven’t talked about is how many powers are in each set, and how many upgrades are available. Without putting specific numbers on it, there’s a substantial number of individual powers in each set, and many — if not all of them — are upgradeable.

Do good and bad decisions affect the story a lot more than in previous titles? (@GTAVFAN13)

Brian Fleming: The most interesting thing about inFAMOUS Second Son is that you’ll be making decisions about the trajectories of some of the other characters, which is a different take on it. But ultimately, the most important changes aren’t narrative ones. There’ve been systems added to really foster different play styles, and that’s the thing that’s going to be the most enjoyable aspect of your second playthrough.

Will Delsin’s appearance change the more evil he gets, like Cole’s did? (Michael Kilfeather)

Brian Fleming: Yes, a lot of the things that players expect — like the changes in the character and the changes in the powers — are present. They all relate and feedback to the karma systems. So you’ll have vastly different visuals and powers depending on which way you’re playing.

Will inFAMOUS use the light bar function? (@MHND95)

Brian Fleming: We’re huge fans of DualShock 4. The touch pad, the light bar — we take advantage of all those things in various ways. Some of them are surprising, some of them simple. You drain power by touching the touch pad, for example.
But the biggest things that we’re excited about regarding DualShock 4 are the improvements made in the tension on the sticks, and the shape of the sticks themselves, all of which make for better control. Not just for inFAMOUS, but every PlayStation game is going to benefit from the smaller dead zones, the improved triggers — all of that closed the distance between the player and the game.

4015_inFAMOUS_Second_Son_Delsin Float
Will there be online multiplayer? (Bjarke Bjerregaard)

Brian Fleming: No, it’s a single-player experience, but of course you can share it with others using the fantastic Share button on DualShock 4.

Will there be online, user-created levels and if so, is it any different compared to the previous inFamous games? (Edres Mo)

Brian Fleming: UGC is not a part of this title. It was part of inFAMOUS 2, but not a part of Second Son.

Would you consider another “what if” scenario like Festival of Blood for a spin-off, possibly on Vita even? (@hayzink)

Brian Fleming: We’re really happy that Second Son went gold and we’re certainly doing a lot to prepare for launch. Once we get through the launch, I’m sure we’ll have something to chew on regarding DLC, but we’ve nothing to announce right now.

How long is the game? (Andreas Nørehave Vestergård)

Brian Fleming: We’ve already established the size and shape of the inFAMOUS experience, and Second Son is very much an inFAMOUS game. We understand what we’re trying to accomplish there in terms of scale. Certainly the world is dramatically more detailed than ever before, and our focus was on improving the quality of every interaction. What we’ve tried to do is take the inFAMOUS experience that you know and love and “next-gen” the entire thing on every level.

How big will the install be? (Michael Briggs)

Brian Fleming: 24 GB.

Will there still be things to do within the game world after the main story has finished? (@el_appyday)

Brian Fleming: The inFAMOUS games always have secondary content spread throughout the world. There’s a fairly large DUP presence inside the city that remains to be cleared out after you finish the main game. They’ll continue to launch incursions into the city after you’ve wrapped up the campaign, so they’ll be plenty to keep you going.
And then, of course, for a lot of players the first thing they’ll want to do is go back and play the other “karmic” direction. Between that mix of things, people should have plenty to do in the after-game and in their second playthrough.

What was the most technically challenging aspect of creating inFAMOUS Second Son? (Sean O’Coileáin)

Brian Fleming: Probably the design implementation and the boot-strapping of our new effects system. When we went into this project, we knew that we wanted to start from scratch on our visual effects. The VFX for a game like this are as important as any aspect of what we do, so we didn’t want to just take our old system and add a couple of features.
So the system was redesigned to entirely run in the graphics chip. There’s so much computational power there. And then we had to design an authoring system, and it ended up being dramatically more technical to author particle effects and special effects in our game than it had previously.
There was a really big technical jump required of the art team. They had to get comfortable with linear algebra and vector fields, and all kinds of crazy advanced mathematics. It’s really to their credit that they were able to train themselves and come to an understanding of all the math that goes into making the particle effects work. And the results are spectacular.

Do you plan to release a demo of the game before its release? (Isaac_Vlad)

Brian Fleming: Unfortunately, we don’t have plans to do a demo for this game.

Will the Seattle music scene feature in the game’s soundtrack? (JynXten)

Brian Fleming: Without getting into too many specifics, there are some local bands whose music you’ll hear. It’s not exactly the point of Second Son to be a Seattle music scene experience, but we certainly recognize that it’s a big part of what the city is about.
We used Dead Sara’s version of a Nirvana song for the trailers, a Mudhoney song in the TV commercial, and one of the famous venues here, The Crocodile, is in the game. We’re very much aware of and respect the Seattle music scene, so it had to make an appearance in the game.

Can I go out and trash the Subpop offices perhaps?

Brian Fleming:You might find Subpop in the game, yeah!

Are you using the new Wireless Stereo Headset 2.0 to show off the game’s audio?

Brian Fleming:We are indeed. The team behind the headset came to us and asked us do a special audio mix in the game that is balanced and designed to work great with the headset. Our audio guys sat down with them and got to work.


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  • “All” your questions answered? You mean no-one thought to ask the price of the download and Legacy editions? What a massive oversight on your part, community!

    • We should be able to confirm digital pricing in the next week or so.
      If anyone does have additional questions, I’ll do my best to get them answered.

  • Awesome, really interesting stuff there!

  • Really looking forward to getting this game was why I got ps4 :D.
    shame I had to pre order it on my us account as scee cant do pre orders on our store.

  • How long the game is isnt answered also, im reading 8-10 hours including collectibles etc. Thats awfully short for an open-world game and im expecting a bit more from a NextGen exclusive besides upgraded visuals.

  • I had 2 questions since last year, still not answered, so here:
    1. What about the collectibles? They were so tedious in the previous games, and just too many, not to mention your power relied on those, ewww. The number one reason why I didn’t get Infamous 2.
    2. What about the stuff you could do outside of main quests? It’s something expected in open world games, Black Flag somehow managed to negate the feeling of emptiness in a way, Infamous series not so much. What about Infamous SS?

  • Got to agree with @WizzNL
    The games length was totally dodged an has gone unanswered.
    We’ve already established the size and shape of the inFAMOUS experience, and Second Son is very much an inFAMOUS game. We understand what we’re trying to accomplish there in terms of scale. Certainly the world is dramatically more detailed than ever before, and our focus was on improving the quality of every interaction. What we’ve tried to do is take the inFAMOUS experience that you know and love and “next-gen” the entire thing on every level.
    That is NOT answering the question. Plus what was the length if apparently we’ve “already established the size and shape of the inFAMOUS experience”…???

  • Will all of Europe get another censored game or will it be as intended not censored?

  • Game length has been reported as ~10 hours for just the main story, not including side quests and collectibles guys. I don’t think i have to say where the fake “8 hours including everything” rumors are coming from, you’re smarter than that, right?
    As for the price, I’m also “confused” as to why it’s not confirmed yet. First party titles have been 59.99€ (for standard editions), that’s not gonna change now is it? Do not tell me it’s 69.99€ standard and 79.99€ for Legacy cause that is outrageous.

  • It’s a shame that so many of these blog comments on every article are filled with people complaining. In fact all but two of the comments here are people moaning… (yes I’m aware I’m moaning about people moaning).
    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this. Infamous is definitely one of my favorite IP’s.
    Loving that art work at the end.

  • Does anyone know if you can unlock all powers in one playthrough? You couldn’t in inFAMOUS 2, and I kinda loved that!

  • I just have one question.
    You mention you’ve done a special audio mix for use with the Wireless Stereo Headset 2.0, will that setting also be compatible with the PULSE Elite headset?

  • @Porcupeth00: Chris Zimmerman from Sucker Punch said 10-12 hours in his Destructoid interview i believe. And i dont have to tell you the average gamer usually finishes a little faster, so i think 8-10 hours might be close. In my opinion 10 hours for this genre is way too little so ill certainly wont buy it full-priced in that case.

  • Speaking as someone who platinumed both previous games; can we expect much in the way of hidden collectables? It used to be fun getting all those blast shards.
    Also, I know SS is more cinematic, but will the games comic book style roots still feature in any way?

  • @WizzNL The average gamer… Well, i’m not an average gamer. I usually take longer because i actually enjoy playing good games rather than rushing through them.
    Not to mention this is a game that “begs” for a second playthrough, at the very least.

  • You blog guys do realise this game is out next week don’t you? Not in the ‘next few’ weeks, and i would hope you know the price by now and not in the next week or so since its out in the week or so :-p

  • @Porcupeth00: Well im not talking about rushing through the game, i dont think that would put you even close to 10 hours.

  • Hey Brian. I met Nate Fox the other night. Tell him he’s a cool motherf*****.

  • You lot are idiots if you’re going to buy digital.
    Get a physical version, at least then you have extra physical items to slighty justify the price.

  • Idiots? Really? for having different preferences?
    I don’t like having to swap discs and also find the PS4’s BR drive noise quite annoying and distracting. I prefer to have digital.

  • “You drain power by touching the touch pad, for example.”
    Boy, I can’t wait to re-learn an apparently changed controller layout. Again.

  • @WizzNL
    You do know the 10-12 hour play-through is aimed at the overall length of time to complete the story right? That’s not including side missions, collectibles, ect.

  • Why didn’t they add Delsin’s shadow?

  • With digital, you get more used up HDD, a ridiculous price slapped on when it’s meant to be the successor to physical, and having to swap disks? Boo-hoo.
    People are getting way too lazy nowadays. Can’t do something simple that only takes 15 seconds of your precious time.

  • You should have a price in week or so ?, you do reaslise the game releases in a week or so

  • @MaxDiehard
    no you don’t, HDD used is exactly the same on PS4. Price is generally the same as retail.
    I see no advantages of getting a physical copy.

  • @Maxdiehard u seemto b taking this a little personal , why would u care what other people are buying ?

  • My advantages of having physical is that I have a nice box to display and I get extra physical items to own that add worth to what I paid.
    It’s better long term, because online services won’t be around forever. Those with digital games will eventually be unable to download them again.
    And as for file sizes, digital is generally much larger than the install file required for disks. Killzone digital is 50GB, whereas the install file for disk is 39GB. Might not seem much, but it all adds up.
    Mentioned above is the install size for inFamous, which is 24GB. That’s install only, not the size of the full digital game.

  • No, digital and physical size is the same. The disc installs everything on the HDD, and is then only used as “DRM” when you launch the game.
    Install file disk 39 gb initially but goes up in the end. It’s the same as digital.
    Infamous SS will be 24gb on both too, that much is obvious.
    Your disk won’t be aroudn forever; and long before the disk stops working, your PS4 will stop working. Longevity is irrelevant when both formats depend on working hardware that is gonna stop working sooner than we’d all like

  • I’d like you to say that to my original PS1, PS2, my Mega Drive and it’s cartridges. All of which work perfectly. Granted, modern systems don’t have the same longevity, but physical in my eyes stands to last a lot longer.
    Disks only stop working if they’re either damaged beforehand or are affected by heat and warping. All depends on how you treat it.
    I’ve always taken great care with my possessions and hardware, which is how i’ve managed to keep them running this long.

  • I hope that the will going to do a inFAMOUS game for the PSVITA (I know the will do it in future) – I allready pre-orderd the Limited Edition of inFAMOUS SECOND SON !!! – The inFAMOUS games , are one of my few best games that I LOVE !!!

  • That’s the problem; modern systems. My ps2 and mega drive still work too, and they were the only ones i ever had. I also was a lot more careless back then. I had to go through three PS3 though and 360s though, and i expect no different from this generation. I’m going to enjoy my games while it lasts and then move on because consoles simply aren’t what they used to be. They are fleeting, now.

  • I’m on my third PS3.
    My first was a 60Gb, fell to the common problem of disk-drive failure.
    Second is a 40GB with a custom 250GB HDD. Still works, but has an overheating problem thanks to the idiots who decided to reduce the amount of ventilation ports.
    Third is the 1st gen slim. Had it since October last year, not played it much since getting PS4. I’ll be looking to get the Alienware Steambox. At least those are upgradeable. Sony would be smart in making an upgradeable PlayStation.

  • @maxdiehard
    Killzone digital is 39 gb

  • FRAZZ2010 11 March, 2014 @ 4:22 pm
    You should have a price in week or so ?, you do reaslise the game releases in a week or so
    Hahahahahahaha nail bang on head mate, I got the same nonsensical answer off Jawad when I asked about the censored EU version of Stick of Truth a couple of weeks ago. Setting up an account on the US PS store really is the way to go, can’t believe it took me so many years to finally pursue it. South Park was just the first of many that I’ll be getting from Uncle Sam’s sides from now on.

  • Does the Digital-Download support the awesome Play-as-you-Download? If so, what’s the initial download size to start playing?

  • @Porcupeth00
    I went through 2 Megadrives, 2 PSX’s, 2 PS2’s and on my third PS3 now so always been the way for me

  • 1 thing I really need to know will there be a pre-load for the game ? and when ?

  • Though I should point out only my first PSX actually died. All the other consoles I either sold when upgrading to newer versions or in the case of my first PS2 the ex never returned it to me when we split up so I had to get the PS2 slim…..bitter creatures them women

  • i dont wanna wait anymore!

  • Some may think I’m weird but, can you drive cars in Second Son? :)


  • inFamous 1 was often cited prior to release as GTA with superpowers. One thing that was noted was not being able to drive cars, which was played out in the first inFamous and explained as Cole’s electrical powers + a car = insta-kaboom!
    I am guessing from the gameplay, car’s are again not drive-able (they arent necessary with Delsin’s powers), just curious if there is a little comic-relief explanation like above?

  • @chasloyal , yeah there pretty good at giving pointless answers like tha , i reckon the blog team need to learn how to use a calendar , just look at the 1st sentence of the post, With the 21st of march release of infamous second son on PS4 just a few weeks away, since when is 10 days classed as a few weeks ?

  • Hey, I have a question that I have been wandering about for a while now. The question is, How big will the free roam map be? It would be great for a reply! :D

  • So when will we be able to preorder on the PS4 store?
    Comon now get into gear Sony EU! :)

  • People, it’s already been confirmed that us EU peeps wont be able to digitally pre-order the game

  • Is cole’s legacy for the limited edition only or will those of us buy the standard game also get a chance to get cole’s legacy dlc?

  • I didn’t think I could be more hyped for Second Son. I was wrong!
    On another note, the US Playstation Store is having a massive sale at the minute – is there a chance that this will come to Europe/EMEA soon?

  • im so glad they didnt try to introduce multiplayer. every game developer seems to wanna try and do that and all it does is ruin the game
    god of war ascension anyone?

  • Simple question: can we customize the HUD or at least turn it off?

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