There’s little denying that 2013 was a marvellous year for videogames, a well deserved swan song for the sternly loyal long lived last generation of consoles – Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. 2013 was arguably one of gamings best years in recent memory. But who cares, old game is old – right? The moment Playstation 4 and Xbox One were released last year gamings most dedicated communities suddenly cast their expectant gaze forward. So then, to celebrate the beginning of 2014, and a hopefully yet another fantastic year for gaming we’ve decided to count down a top ten list of our most anticipated titles slated for release this year, join us at the top of our list where we crown Infamous: Second Son our most anticipated game of 2014.
There’s not one person out there in the whole world who doesn’t want a super power in some form – fact. Imagine right now the top of your genie lamp wishlist. Got it? Good, now think just how many of those wishes actually qualify as superpower, did you pick flight or maybe teleportation – neither of those? Well I bet the thought of an extravagant amount of money passed through your mind or something related to fitness – right Batman? The superficial charm of such abilities is obvious: power, and they look cool. Scratch away the surface though, and I think it’s evident the liberating nature of superpowers is their real draw. With them we believe we’d no fear of being open about our individuality thanks to their strength; they would give us the confidence to achieve more than what we’re capable of without them. Whether we crave the extraordinary abilities for the betterment of others, or to serve our own selfish desires, I feel that’s the most interesting question, and incidentally the conundrum that’s central to Suckerpunch’s inFamous series. Alongside the obvious cool powers.
The forthcoming third installment of the Playstation exclusive superhero series will once again let players live out that impossible fantasy, as they assume control of an everyman who is suddenly gifted/cursed with superpowered abilities, and faced with moral choices that’ll dictate whether they use their powers for good, or cruelly to benefit themselves. Previous series protagonist Cole McGrath began his superhero life seeing his ability to manipulate electricity as a curse. A responsibility too large for a small time bike courier, after an adjustment period he’d come to terms with his predicament, by either becoming either a glowing beacon for good, or a vicious smothering evil in his home of Empire City. Infamous: Second Son retires the electric man in favour of a new protagonist, Seattle graffiti artist Delson Rowe – voiced by the ever phenomenal Troy Baker.
Unlike his gravelly voiced reluctant predecessor, notorious layabout Delson is of a much more carefree disposition, seeing his sudden life changing acquirement of superpowers as an awesome toy to be played with. Set seven years after the second entry the world lives in fear of conduits – humans who’ve the ability to awaken powerful abilities hidden in their genes. Out of paranoia a new oppressive government organization, the DUP, is formed with the task of capturing conduits; caging them up before they become a threat. Delson isn’t much for authority, so when his powers awaken after saving a conduit in a overturned DUP transport, he takes it upon himself to fight back against his would-be captors – simultaneously apprehending dangerous conduits. His existence is a worrying prospect for his rivals on both sides of the law as Delson’s powers make him one of the most potentially deadly conduits on the planet – much like the X-men’s Rogue Delson can absorb other conduits powers, learning them seemingly forever.
Developer Suckerpunch has been relatively tight lipped regarding the range of abilities at Delson’s disposal, unveiling only two. The poster boy power is of course smoke. Smoke can be utilised for a varied number of applications including Delson turning his body to gas to travel through air vents, pass through fences, quickly jump between opponents and even fly straight into the sky before crashing to the ground with terrible force, and blistering heat. Fluity is the heart of the smoke moveset urging players to traverse the city quickly and slyly, conversely to the second power we’ve glimpsed – the truly unique neon set. Using energy stored in neon signs Delson unleashes much heavier attacks, the promised varied movesets add a welcome layer of diversity not present in the last two entries which focused on almost solely on electricity. What are the others sets? Speculation rages on.
Delson’s awakening and consequent discovery at the hands of the all seeing evil DUP, and confrontations with other conduits will undoubtedly change the city of Seattle forever. Like it’s forebearers though it’s the choices Delson will be forced to make that will truly alter the landscape dramatically. Will the citizens cheer his courage or fear him? Will his single minded selfish actions cement, even rationalise, the DUP’s paranoid stance on the conduits or will his selfless actions win over public proving Conduits are merely misunderstood. Moral choices and actions have always been integral to inFamous, but in a world where powers are despised the decisions have the potential to be more important than ever.
They’re scores of reasons that we’re anticipating inFamous: Second Son more than any other game in 2014 – regardless we know this will be a controversial choice. It’s ultimate existence as a wish fulfillment tool is perhaps the key reason we picked it. To effortlessly navigate a city, to help people, to have awesome super powers and to make choices that matter – these are things we may not be able to experience in everyday, but through interactive mediums like videogames we can. Look at all those videogames on the shelf next to you now, all of them are tools of wish fulfilment in some form, and no other game this year quite understands that like inFamous: Second Son.
Our list is over, phew. We’ll have a compiled list up shortly, until then this with your friends or, even just pop a link on some social networking. Speaking of which you can follow us on twitter @Gamerree. Like the article or agree with any of our assessments remember to hit like. Thanks for reading!