In 2009, SP released their valiant leap into the seventh generation and their first PS3 title, Infamous.
Being a vast departure from SP’s previous titles, the game revolves around a bike messenger named Cole McGrath, who gains electrical powers after getting caught in a horrific explosion that completely obliterates his home of Empire City. When the city begins to plunge into madness, Cole takes it upon himself to use his powers for good and do something to make things right…somehow. The concept for the game originated when development for the third Sly game, Honor Among Thieves, was quickly approaching the finishing line. Wanting to take their studio into a more “brazen and loud” direction, they decided to make a deconstruction of sorts of the superhero genre. However, this iteration was initially not the Infamous we all eventually came to knew – in fact, it was an entirely different project altogether in terms of visuals and even its’ name. Originally, the game went under the title of True Hero, and was also less realistic in terms of art direction and leaned more towards the style of the Sly games. Ultimately, this iteration of the game was not able to make it into the beta stage…at least, that’s what I think. Aside from the concept art, there’s not a whole lot of things known about it. Getting back on track, like many other PlayStation franchises, the game had a large amount of influences that contributed to its’ development. Being a sandbox game, titles such as Grand Theft Auto and the tie-in video game for Spider-Man 2 (the GOOD one, mind you) helped to lay the basic groundwork, and even some comic book story lines (this being a superhero game and all) were fairly influential too, such as Batman: No Man’s Land, in which Gotham City is seperated from the rest of the globe in the aftermath of a devestasting earthquake. However, we still haven’t gotten to the real meat of the game; the Karma system. Essentially, it’s a sort of “choose your own path” sort of deal in which you can either use your powers for good or for evil. The decisions you make throughout your playthrough are also a major factor. In practice, it’s kind of similar to the spin-off Shadow the Hedgehog game – oh great, now I have to wash my mouth out with soap for reminding people that thing exists. When the game was released, it was met with overall positive reviews, with many praising its’ visuals, mechanics, structure and implementation of Cole’s powers, though reception towards the Karma system and the combat were a bit more mixed. As for sales, they were outstanding, with 175,900 copies being sold in just one week. In wake of the game’s success, SP found themselves with a whole new franchise on their hands, with a sequel being released in 2011, a stand-alone expansion for the sequel released during October of that same year, and a third game and second stand-alone expansion both released in 2014. There was even a feature film planned, though it’s pretty much fallen into the pit of various other video game movie “never gonna happens”.
Now with all of that out of the way, there’s just one little factor left to address…what is Sucker Punch’s future? The answer is…well, I don’t know. In fact, nobody really seems to know. Recently, there was a rumor going around that they were developing a PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game, but that job turned out to be Insomniac’s. But no matter what happens, whether it be a return to the Cooper Gang, another journey with the Conduits, or an entirely new IP altogether, we’ll be waiting for what comes next.
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