( Note: I already posted this as a forum discussion but since no one responded, I figured, "Ah, what the hell? I'll post it as a blog.")
inFamous hit the stands just a couple of months back, but that hasn't stopped me from pondering endlessly about what a second entry into the superhero franchise could entail. While it will probably be at least two years (maybe even longer if Sucker Punch decides to revisit the Sly Cooper series) before a follow-up gets released, I have a few ideas about where a sequel could go, and what needs fixing.
inFamous is a gorgeous game, but that doesn't excuse the fact that the frame rate is all over the place. Things pop in and out, people appear and disappear out of nowhere, and most players, at some point in the game, have slipped through a particular crack in the game's Universe and fallen down into nowhere. Also, am I the only one who noticed that the all-powerful Ray Sphere (with its jagged lines and stuttering motion as it turned) looked like something out of a PS1 game? These aren't glaring problems that destroy the experience, however, and they could easily be fixed in a matter of weeks. Personally, I think the game could have used more development time, and it would be a crime if this wasn't fixed the second time around.
Seriously, this has been going on since the first Sly Cooper back on the ps2. While the pre-rendered, graphic-novel scenes are awesome, everything else is...well, underwhelming, to say the least. Watching Zeke wave his arm robotically or Cole's jaw flap open and shut like a dog door are things that nobody wants to see. It really hinders the story and takes the player out of the game. Sucker Punch should take a cue from their friends over at Naughty Dog and shell out the bucks for actors willing to do motion capture.
Beyond Good & Evil
inFamous was a game built around the construct of choice. Yet despite the fact that this was one of the game's central pulls, choice actually plays a fairly de-balled role in the overall scheme of things. Other than slightly changing a few scenes and making Cole look like a zombie, there were few differences between the Light and the Dark. Even though Cole's powers were altered (Good Powers favor precision while Evil tends to destroy everything), I never really got the feeling that my choices had an overall effect on the story. And, really, it doesn't have to. But the choices should have had more consequences than they did. Take the “Ray Sphere” choice that occurred near the end of the game; now that was a great moment. The fallout would either redeem or damn Cole, and could drastically alter his his power levels. We need more choices like that. Give us the option to kill a supporting character if we want to, or maybe even give us the choice to sink one of the three Islands that make up Empire City. Also, it would be unbearably awesome if Sucker Punch went the KOTOR II route and offered up Karma-specific allies. Wouldn't it be cool if Light-side players became head of the Police Force while Dark-side players became, oh I dunno, supreme being of the Reaper Gang?
Like a Boss
There were only three bosses in inFamous and well, they were kind of...yeah. Didn't work for me. They were all pretty cliché, and they all pretty much relied on the tried-and-true method of “shoot them and they shall die”-type gameplay. There was never any sort of trick or strategy required. All I had to do was just zap them. A sequel would require much more intimidating foes and more variety.
By far the most exhilarating level in inFamous was the scene where Cole had to climb Alden's Tower. It was the most platform-heavy segment in the game, and it was probably among the game's best. But the problem with Cole having the ability to survive nearly any fall takes away a lot of the thrill of platforming. Maybe Cole could board an airship or shimmy over a giant pit of snakes and spikes and stuff. And something that would make the collective fanboys all jizz in their pants would be the inclusion of a Shadow of the Colossus
-esque battle that has Cole scaling a large, moving enemy; with the beastly piece of hardware that is the PS3, they could really let their imaginations run wild.
F*** My Thoughts!
Seriously, do you even care about this list? Why are you listening to me? I'm from Mississippi! No one cares what we think! Sound off in the comment section below and tell Sucker Punch what YOU want in the inevitable inFamous sequel. You know you want to.