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What Goes Around Comes Around: More on the inFAMOUS 2 Karma System

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What Goes Around Comes Around: More on the inFAMOUS 2 Karma System

inFAMOUS 2

I think most of us at Sucker Punch have noticed the days starting to blur together a bit. So while I had a quiet moment here on Southwest Flight 651, I thought I’d put the time to good use and give you an update on our progress with I2 (inFAMOUS 2) … Ken’s post from last week got the ball rolling, let’s see if I can spill some more beans on the Karma system…

When we took a look at the Karma system in I1 (inFAMOUS, the first game) we wanted to keep the successful stuff, but also make improvements … As a top line, we knew we wanted to continue to offer players the choice and responsibility that comes along with having powers. This is one of the central themes of many archetype super-hero stories, as well as an interesting exploration of the relationship between power, responsibility and the test of character that powers bring. So, that had to stay.

But on the flip side, we got feedback from fans that some of the choices felt too mechanical, and they wanted their choices to have more meaning in the narrative and in the world. So, our challenge with I2 was to make these choices more real, more believable, and yet still keep them visible and clear to the players.

When we spent time thinking and designing the improved Karma system, we ultimately concluded that there was a way to make these choices both clearer and much more believable: to make your Karma decisions more about relationships and less about the specific choice at hand. So instead of a question that really didn’t relate to our primary gameplay (e.g. “should we take this food or give it away?”), in I2 we let the player decide who to ally with on a quest, or choose between Kuo’s surgical strike or Nix’s no-holds barred assault. You aren’t just choosing a mission, you’re choosing an ally and alienating another person. This was both clear for players, and more real.

Here are a couple videos which demonstrate what I’m talking about, but let me set them up a bit … At this point in the game, Kuo has been captured by the local Militia that’s taken over New Marais. We find out that Kuo is being held at a makeshift prison (a converted old mansion on the edge of town). Cole needs to mount a rescue, but the fortified target rules out a frontal assault.

Cole’s buddy Zeke proposes a rescue plan. He has seen a convoy of captured police officers being paraded through the city. He wants to bust up the convoy, free the officers, and then lead the police on an assault of the old mansion/militia stronghold. Turns out other cops are being kept there as prisoners, if Cole helps bust them free he’ll get Kuo out at the same time … of course that also means there’ll be more cops on the street (which is sometimes uncool for vigilantes). Cops love us, Kuo goes free, all is good! Okay, let’s have a look:

Nix’s idea? Well as you know from Ken’s piece, Nix is more of a chaotic personality. Her plan? Load up a streetcar with explosives and run it down the tracks at full speed towards the mansion. It’ll derail, crash through the front gate and explode in a huge fireball … Great diversion, and tons of collateral damage on the Militia, even if a few prisoners might become collateral damage. After the explosion, we team up and slog our way through the remaining resistance and get Kuo back. Nix, of course, has some super powers of her own, and they are particularly useful in combination with Cole’s arsenal. Just another bit part of the plan! Let’s take a quick look:

So in the case of these two choices, you end up rescuing Kuo along either path, but that won’t always be the case. Sometimes the implications of your choices will be clear (like above) and sometimes they will be murky. The choices you make will affect the world itself, the citizens’ reaction to you, and of course the ending of the game in an important way. What we hope is that you all find them entertaining, occasionally thought provoking, and lots of fun.

Before I go, I want to wrap up with a few more answers to questions we received after Ken’s post. #1. YES, a lot of content is backing up the Karma system, not just different cut scenes – in fact the example above is all gameplay, There are NO differences in the cut scenes. And saving Kuo is just the beginning— there are going to be a very sizable number of missions set up in choices like this, and plenty of unique content on either side. #2. YES, the game should be more balanced for those of you who want to play more “Neutral” or switch sides.

So there you go, I’m about to land and the flight attendants are eyeballing me. We’ll have more on the Karma system later this month on Spike’s GTTV which airs on Feb. 24th. Until then, choose your friends carefully!

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99 Comments

  • Charliesdad

    Looks great! Hope that mission is indicative of the size and scope of the bulks of them in the game. And still holding out hope that the karma choice that I was hoping for but that wasn’t a part of the first game will be in the new one…the chance to eliminate Zeke ;) sorry…that character really bugs me.

  • Charliesdad

    oops “Bulk” ..not “bulks”

  • wow, this is great. One of the major reasons I loved InFamous, the choices I had to make.

  • Holy crap I never even saw that power where you lift up cars and throw them at people, EVEN IF YOU’RE STANDING ON THE CAR!! Totally can’t wait for this one.

  • Looks promising!

  • I’m personally more excited for this than Uncharted 3. Release date please!

  • Everything Im seeing so far has me completely sold, although just knowing Infamous 2 was in production already had me sold, but this is more than I ever expected. The only thing I still have reservations for are the variety in things to do, and how much will these karmic(is that a word?) decisions truly affect the game and gameplay. Also, Nix seems like a serious badass, her powers look freakin awesome, especially being able to teleport… I doubt itll be in this game but adding in someone like that and allowing coop play would make this the best game ever made. Just sayin.

  • Dammit sucker punch when can I get my hands on this :D

  • eagandale4114

    Look promising…..
    Any chance of move support for this game? That would be epic. Just imagine punching with the move or using that vortex power. Do we have the ability to import saves Mass effect 2 style? All our hard work should have some effect.
    One last thing the trophy for getting 100% blast shards was NOT worth a bronze. If you guys include blast shards(of something similar) in this game make the trophy for 100% a gold.

  • HOLY TOLEDO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • any comment for the hero edition leaked on amazon?

  • It would also be nice if there were no “reach full positive or negative karma” trophies in this game. I would really like to make my own decisions without requiring another potential trophy playthrough.

  • HOLY FREAKING CRAP!!!! Sucker Punch is boss… looking absolutely A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

    Two thoughts:

    1. This is a darkhorse contender for GoTY

    2. There’s going to be collector’s edition, right??!!

  • Infamous was incredible, so I look forward to the sequel immensely; thanks for the hard work.

  • utopianacht

    wow… it’s looking good.. need a little of work on sound and music department but I know it’s early work

  • Blackmagic316

    When are we getting a Release Date….I mean come on Uncharted 3 has a release date already.

  • Whats that annoying bit sound we hear when someone gets killed?

  • Great update. Looks amazing and can’t wait to play the game. Thanks for the info.

    By the way, When are you guys gonna announce the “Hero Edition” so I can preorder it?

  • will the lightning be changing this time around? blue for good red/black for evil or will it just stay blue the whole time?

  • Airwalkinman17

    Oh wow. inFamous was the first open world game I really loved and felt had direction. Its like in other open world games there is no focus, no drive, no real reason to continue. you just get lost, but inFamous was my cup of tea. I loved it (even plat’d the thing!). I’m sold. These clips looked awesome. Gameplay, graphics, everything looked stellar. Just gimme a release date so that I can pay it off already. lol

  • The graphics are Aewsome! Good work!
    But i noticed that almost everytime you kill a enemy there is a little Blip on the background… it’s a little annoying tbh.
    Aside from that the game is Perfect.
    Day one Hero edition for me! XD

  • Will our saves(our decisions) from the first game be imported to infamous2?

  • Please give us a release date already! Geez!

  • One of the main things I got really excited about in the first Infamous was the difference in powers of good and evil. And while I liked it to some extent, it disappointed me that even when I was Hero rank I caused so much destruction unintentionally. I felt like the worst hero in world. So I really hope this gets fine tuned as well.

    I really would like some minor customization choices on Cole’s wardrobe, considering making karma choices make the character more personal and some customization on clothes would be cool.

  • I look forward to this

  • Seeing_Red_Again

    Getting the “Hero Edition” of inFamous 2 on day one

  • I just wish you guys would give us a release month :(

  • Looking great, as much as I love inFamous, I too felt that the weaker parts were hinged around the Karma systems finite choices and resulting outcomes. I also felt that the cutscenes with ingame characters were a bit stiff, especially when before and after the animation was so fantastic.

    Anyway, I’m very happy to see these issues being addressed in the new game. Can’t wait for a demo to hit :)

  • This game just keeps looking better and better. I just need you to confirm 1 thing….HERO EDITION. Pleeaaassseee tell me that its true cause I want Cole’s bag and the comic especially. Wouldn’t mind if you also confirmed the release date on gametrailers. thanks

  • Arcadian_Rebel

    Will there be co-op or online play in this second game?

  • twistedfloyd

    Yes, looks awesome. Need… Release… DATE!!!!! Can’t wait, great job Sucker Punch and Sony!

  • Also, does cole have unlimited power now, cause the blast shard bubbles at the top of the screen are gone.

  • If we have Platinum on the first game we should have the choice to load as evil or good cole from the start. It would keep the game inmotion from where we left are character and he personality.

  • ………………. Just give us a release date already. Is that too much to ask?

  • W-8oRd3rPaTr0l-J

    Yea please tell me there is splitscreen for this game. To the guy that said 100% of blast shards should be a gold.. are you crazy. DON”T even make that a trophy at all. I hate those stupid blast shards and the completely ruined the first game for me. A.) There was way too many B.)They were basically pointless C.) There was NO MAP I can’t tell you how many times I had to go around the stupid city for just 1 blast shard, that is ridiculous. I don’t know why all these developers keep putting stupid scavenger hunts in games. I don’t want to find intel, nor symbols, and I definitely don’t want to find blast shards. I wish there could be at least 1 developer who cared about their consumers and listened to them.

    There are so many greats games out right now. I loved the first Infamous, it was one of my fav. games, but in the second one blast shards = no buy for me.

  • wow, this game looks sexy…

  • Awesome little update on the Karma system, definitely seeing some major improvements made over the first title’s system.

  • I2 looks so good! An improvement it seems over infamous the original. ah and finally the “karma system” has been fixed. In infamous the choices were, you’re either good, or bad but in this one you can blur those lines and switch around to see the outcome of your choices. This game looks very promising so far, the characters look and feel real. Im glad cole is more 3D in this one. Just another game that will take a snatch at my wallet (not that I mind) It feels good being a PS3 owner right now haha

  • I want to play it. Infamous is one of the best single player games around.

    …But I guess I’m the only one that actually liked the game so much I didnt mind finding all the blast shards. For most of the game I didnt even know the radar was for them, I thought it was for places you could charge up at.

  • “#2. YES, the game should be more balanced for those of you who want to play more “Neutral” or switch sides.”

    Glad to hear it. Does it have any Neutral specific story threads? Or are we trying to keep everything on the same path for the most part?

  • Any box art for the game or a collector’s edition?

  • damn i want this game… release a collectors edition please!!!

  • inFAMOUS 1 was an awesome game, so I can only guess 2 will be even better. Especially after what the trailers have shown me, including the two above. Can’t wait to play it. And fantastic job Sucker Punch.

  • One request for i2: can you include a “Previously on inFamous…” intro to help bring us back into the story? I’m already a little foggy on the details from the previous game, so something like this would be a big help.

  • MilaNumber14

    *HAFFAHAFAFAAFHAHAHFHA* 8D

    My first reaction, OMG I CANT WAIT FOR IT !!!

    From watching the videos and reading the article, I already feel like I have tough decisions to make. Part 1’s choices were pure black and white. The only time I didn’t know what were the consequences when I had to either save Trish or the 6 doctors. So I’m glad they improved the karma system :)

    PLEASE TELLS US THE RELEASE DATE SO I COULD MARK IT ON MY CALENDER AND SAVE MONEY FROM NOW !!

  • looks amazing, but looks like no anti aliasing again…….. :(

  • Chance_Splinter

    inFamous is one of my favorite games of this gen, and possibly of all time – and this is going back to like, 1985. The more I see of inFamous 2, the better it looks, but I do have one piece of constructive criticism…

    The little “ping” you hear when Cole defeats an enemy? We don’t need that. It’ll just break immersion. I understand the purpose it serves, but there must be a less intrusive solution.

    Beyond that – please officially announce the CE so I can instantly put an order down on it.

  • mountain_duwe

    looks great but why is the video quality so poor?

  • My most anticipated game of the year.

  • radiantshadow92

    cannot wait!

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