Nate Fox, InFamous Second Son's producer, has revealed that when he wrote InFamous 2's endings he had intended for the evil option – in which protagonist Cole McGrath assumed the Beast's power – to become series canon.
However, Sucker Punch was surprised when the majority of people choose to heroically sacrifice Cole instead.
Speaking to Polygon, Fox said that leaving Cole behind was "kind of a sad thing, but also great." The studio has previously revealed that 80 per cent of InFamous 2 player opted for the good ending according to Trophy data.
"We looked at the trophy data from and in that game we gave players a choice if they wanted to heroically sacrifice Cole and kill him, or selfishly keep him alive at the expense of humanity. I'd been thinking that the next game would be one where he'd stayed alive. And when I wrote the endings, that's the one that had the coolest set up for another game.
"But the vast majority of the people went for the sacrifice. We thought, well, in a game that has this strong connection to choice and consequence, that we'd honor that as a franchise. I'm glad we did it because … origin stories are the best part of superhero fiction."
Game designer Jaime Griesemer said that the decision to change the protagonist from Cole to newcomer Delsin meant that those who pick up Second Son on PS4 but haven't played the original games won't be missing out on too much.
"Maybe it had been suggested before but there was definitely a pre-production meeting where I said, 'I don't want to step on anybody's toes, but what if it's not Cole?' We were at the point in the project where we could just do whatever [we wanted]. As we thought about it and talked to Sony, it made more and more sense. It's going to be new hardware, a new platform and we're going to have a new audience. This is going to be a different group of gamers than have played InFamous 2."
Fox added that, "We want to make sure that it doesn't feel like [PlayStation 4 owners] are tuning in for the final season of some show that's been running for 15 years. We needed a new entry point, and Delsin was the first step for that."
The first InFamous was set in Empire City, a New York inspired metropolis, while the second game took place in the New Orleans-styled city of New Marais. InFamous Second Son however, takes place in Seattle, where Sucker Punch is based.
"You can see it when you walk around the streets of both the real city and our city in that they share [the same] identity," Fox explained. "And because it feels real, when you add in superhuman powers, you believe that they're real as well. And that's the thing — powers are why you're playing the game, not to take a trip to Seattle.
"We chose to set the game in Seattle because, well, we live here," said Fox. "I look at the Space Needle everyday. And when going to the PlayStation 4, we knew we would have the power to make a city that felt totally real."
Griesemer added that Sucker Punch's in-game Seattle is an "abstraction" of the real thing, but more grounded than the fictional cities of Empire City and New Marais. "We can do a lot more nuanced portrait of the city in " he said. "Since Seattle is not laid out well for gameplay, we're more going for the vibe … the mood of Seattle."
As for Delsin himself, Fox coments "Native Americans are part of the population here, so … why not choose this guy to be the hero? He comes from a smaller town outside of Seattle and he becomes part of this classic adventure story. It's, you know, the call to adventure. I'd be lying if I said this wasn't a 'hero's journey' story."
InFamous Second Son is due for release in early 2014 on PS4.
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