Last week Sucker Punch gave us our first look into the new and improved Karma system and this week they are staying on track and giving us even more details about how the decisions you make inFAMOUS 2 will affect the gameplay and the overall ending of the game. Sucker Punch tells us that they wanted to keep all the elements that worked well from the original inFAMOUS but at the same time make improvements to make it even more deep and meaningful. The core concept of Cole having all this power and having to decide what to do with it, to be a hero or a villain, still remains the center of it all.
With that said though, the team at Sucker Punch got a lot of feedback from the community that some of the choices in the first game felt too mechanical, gamers wanted to feel like their choices really meant something and that those decisions would ultimately have real consequences and affects on both the story and the world around them. From there, Sucker Punch’s goal with inFAMOUS 2 was to figure out how to make these choices feel more real and organic but at the same time making sure they remained clear and identifiable by the player.
In the end, Sucker Punch came to the conclusion that they could improve the meaningfulness of the choices in inFAMOUS 2 by making Karma decisions more about relationships and less about the choices at hand. Essentially, they decided that they wanted the player to consciously decide what position they are taking in a particular instance, make it less about “will I take this food or give it away” and more about I’m going to align myself with these people and these philosophies. The very act of choosing to go with Nix’s reckless methods of attack vice Kuo’s more focused approach is a very clear decision by the player of how they will choose to play the game. It is more importantly though a clear rejection of the methods and approach of the other group and that might be the most important distinction of all.
To demonstrate the two sides, Sucker Punch has released to videos that demonstrate just how this new system is going to work. In the first video, 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. So what is Cole to do, well he has two options.
On the one side, Cole’s best bud Zeke proposes a plan for the rescue. 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! Seems simple enough let’s check out how that could go.
On the other hand though, Nix’s has an idea too about how to handle the situation. 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. Let’s check out how this approach might work out.
So as you see, in either case you end rescuing Kuo but the approaches are very different and so are the consequences. But inFAMOUS 2 is taking this concept even farther, because this won’t always be the case. Not every choice in inFAMOUS 2 will be so cut and dry, sometimes the consequences of your action won’t be immediately clear and they player will start to notice that their choices are changing the very world itself, how people react to you and as you are all probably aware, the game’s final ending.
Well that’s it folks, decisions, decisions. Before they closed this one out though, Sucker Punch did give some insight into a few questions they got after last week’s info. First, there is a lot of content that supports the Karma system, not just different cutscenes. The second note was the fact that for all you gamers that like to dilly dally, the game will be more balanced to cater to those of you that like to take a more neutral approach to gameplay jumping back and forth between good and evil approaches.
Alright folks that’s it, what do you think about inFAMOUS 2’s all new and improved Karma system. Personally, I like it and hope that it helps folks like me get more excited about the game because I wasn’t sold on the last one the way a lot of folks were.