The inFamous Path

vr 15 juli 2011 10:44:48

Many people who know me, know that I've always looked at games differently. When I was a writer for the now defunct I reviewed most games from three different angles; as a player, as a critic and as a designer. In the case of the latter I tried to see what the designers/creators wanted to achieve with their title. Did they succeed in their endeavour, would the player get it, or did they fail on certain points? Now, however, I'm looking for possibilities. What if's? What is next for the game-series?

The first game I'm trying to answer this question for, from my point of view, is inFamous 2. This was actually the game that cemented this lingering idea. Beware though, I don't want people to read any spoilers. You are hereby warned.

Good or bad, that is the question in inFamous and its sequel. Are you a goody two - shoes or do you laugh when you beat up people and take away their life-force? Are you the kind of person to go well out of their way to heal people who got hurt, or do you just ignore them and continue to pummel even more evil bad guys?

These are the only choices you make in the game, but ultimately they will lead to two completely different endings. Well, barely different endings in the case of the first inFamous.

But what is next for the two-parter?

Well, there are several paths for Sucker Punch to take, and although they themselves stated there are no current plans for a third game in the series, they wouldn’t say no if Sony asks them to create a third game. Sony holds, after all, the original IP. It all comes down to the creative part and probably which ending they will continue to build upon. Both show a kind of ultimatum and if you haven’t finished the game twice yet, I suggest you stop reading now.

Seriously, I don’t want to spoil anything for you. Stop reading.

The idea for this article came about when I first saw the Good ending. In it, Cole decides to finally use the Ray Field Inhibitor, knowing full well that it could kill himself, Kuo (who objects and even fights against you at first), Nix, John “The Beast“ White and thousands of others with the Conduit gene. It does end up killing him and a lot of people around the world, but his sacrifice has saved millions of the Plague.

This self-sacrificial ending makes him the Good hero, the man who saved humanity. Zeke, who is instantly cured, decides to bury him at sea, but at the end, we see a lightning bolt hit the boat. Of course, as per movie tradition, this could mean that he was brought back to life and may appear in the next game. It’s standard fare to do this with movies, so why bother to do anything different with a game?

Now, the Evil ending might pose a bit of a problem whenever they start on the third sequel. In that one, Cole joins John on his quest to usher in a new era for humanity by activating conduits causing possibly millions of deaths by not only the plague, but also as a catalyst for the activation of the gene. A fierce battle with Nix leads to John giving up and transferring his powers to Cole, making the former courier the strongest being on the planet who ultimately leads the new force of Conduits against the rest of the world.

Funny thing is, is that Cole seems destined to end up (or die) with Kuo either way. In both endings, Nix gets killed by either Cole himself, or by The Beast. Heck, in the Evil ending Cole even finishes of his longtime buddy Zeke, probably making this the non-canon ending.

What’s interesting though is that whatever ending you choose, the third game could become something else entirely. As I said, I saw the Good ending first, and this gave me an interesting idea for the third game, but I also had to watch the Evil ending to see if it could work. And what do you know, it actually can.

The third game could, no matter the choice, throw in a new hero. If Cole could come back from the dead, something the Good ending seems to hint to, maybe the other Conduits can too, given the right circumstances. Maybe they lost their memories because of the RFI, which didn’t really kill them, but merely shut them down. They become Tabula Rasa, clean slates, for the player to impose their own ideas and superpowers on. It’s kind of what the new X-Men game sounded like when it was announced. We have already seen that new powers are no problem for Sucker Punch, and I myself really like the ice-jump.

So what if you could, in the same vein as the current superhero MMO’s, create your own Conduit and then wreak havoc as an evil character (ultimately facing Cole) or work at his side when a bigger threat (John?) arrives?

The Evil ending could work in the same way, but then we’d have a ruined world and maybe two different sides. One side feels bad for what happened to humanity and want to pay their dues, the other only want to rule the world under Cole’s leadership, who has gained an even greater lust for power. Clashes between military powers and conduits could also work; all the while there are some Conduits aiding humanity in finding a different cure since the RFI is out of the picture. Maybe Kuo comes to her senses, as she did in the good ending, splitting off from Cole and his followers.

In both cases, you’d end up with two different sides, which could lead to a multiplayer portion in the inFamous series. I’m not stating they should, I play more singleplayer games than multiplayer for example, but I’m sure there are players who are dying to take each other on with their self-made Conduits.

Maybe, just maybe, Sucker Punch could create a (Free To Play?) Massive Multiplayer game set in the inFamous universe, although that would probably take too long to develop. Not to mention the fact that we are literally swamped in MMO’s these days.

But, dare I say it; a future PlayStation 4 release?

Games, Playstation