Tuesday, January 5, 2016

It's a Grunge Thing

Even if there is a new main character at the center of the recent Infamous: Second Son, I nonetheless ended up liking the novel focus the developers had adopted. For, if Cole MacGrath, from the previous games, was Batman, then Delsin Rowe surely is Spiderman, and both of these concepts are fine with this writer. As well, the game does a lot to differentiate itself from its predecessors, with outstanding firey and neon-like visuals. And in which other game can the player shake the controller to spray-paint humorous stencils; perhaps only somewhat similar to Jet Set Radio and Marc Ecko's Getting Up.


In various arguments among individuals, there are euphemisms used to name a group's adversary. In science we find the so-called "evo-psychos," or evolutionary psychologists, and in religion we encounter "fundies," or creationists. And so, Infamous: Second Son, presents the struggle of supposed "bioterrorists," also known as conduits. The underlying themes allow for an excellent game, a continuation of the previous titles, and is a Sucker Punch game after all; these devs have an impressive track record. A militarized Seattle is now the city in which our hero roams, yet it must be said the fictional cities of the previous games were for some reason, more remarkable.

Being a next-gen game, the city depicted is very much alive, with various details; it reminds me of another new game, Gravity Rush 2, plus on the other hand, the upcoming plan to roll out Sony's VR technology, perhaps for enthralling games like these, allowing for the ultimate in game immersion.* In fact, as I mentioned elsewhere, a journey inward of evolutionary "fitness-faking narcissism," has previously been elegantly suggested by Geoffrey Miller, who states that in fact, advanced alien civilizations have not made contact since they might have developed VR worlds rather than space travel. If you've noticed this blog's logo, it is a holo-band, a fictitious VR device; as they say, may you live in interesting times.


The "famous" or "infamous" paths you can follow, are really a basic addition, like in previous entries, they just offer yet another simplified aspect; though it must be said, unless you count the clever twist at the ending of Infamous 2, these don't serve much purpose, as large part of the game is a constant fight against the policemen du-jour, the Department of Unified Protection, who are also conduits, and it provides insight about our life itself, in that why wouldn't everyone work together, if they are so similar. I get the impression the engine would have run well on the previous Gen, though there are certain details, namely the powers and weather effects, that look particularly stupendous.

As far as the main character, he seems influenced in style and clothing, by Seattle's own music scene, Grunge music, which was quite popular in the nineties; it is also the land of Starbucks, and coffee shops do indeed appear in the game plus a "hooverville" can be found. As mentioned above, the character is younger, and more of a thrill seeker, discovering his powers grants him a new life; he is feared by the populace, but also stronger indeed. Gameplay revolves around recharging our heroes' abilities with smoke; that is cars on fire or chimneys, neon signs, just to name a few, whereas in previous games, it was about electricity. The gameplay remains similar, though now the powers seem more flashy, in hindsight.


There is some degree of DLC, such as the day-one, called Paper Trail, but most importantly, the expansion First Light, featuring the story of neon-powered girl Fetch, which  seems like much fun. The controller also plays a part, vibrating, but also emitting sounds. It is certainly a winning formula, since the next Gen has been out for a while, yet few games make an impression like this one does. *After all, the original Infamous games had Move peripheral support.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Digital Horizons


Reluctantly crouched at the starting line, Engines pumping and thumping in time, The green light flashes, the flags go up, Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup. (updated)