During the PlayStation 4 reveal way back in February, I was giddy with excitement after seeing the trailer for Infamous: Second Son. Sure, it didn’t star Cole from the previous games and, sure, you have smoke powers now instead of electricity powers. But at the same time, I was certain the same team who made Infamous and Infamous 2 could rope me in again. I was curious, though. How will this tie into the previous games? The initial reveal gave very little information on this subject, but I remained optimistic nonetheless. Now, after more info was revealed in a Game Informer article last week, I’m not too sure.
There is the first trailer for Infamous: Second Son if anybody hasn’t already seen it. At the reveal, there was a little bit more info given than just the trailer. We learned that we will play as Delsin in the city of Seattle seven years after the events of Infamous 2. In the time since Infamous 2, the DUP (Department of Unified Protection) was formed to deal with people running around with powers. The whole formation of the DUP was the government’s response to the events of the first two Infamous games. Out of the two possible endings in Infamous 2, this all really seemed to me like it was going off of the canon established by the dark ending.
This gets very spoiler-filled from here on. You’ve been warned.
If you’re still reading, I’m assuming you know all about the story of Infamous 2, but here is a little recap just in case: Infamous 2 starts with you fighting a monster known as The Beast. After it becomes apparent there is no way you can defeat The Beast, you go across country to the city of New Marais. There is a scientist here who created a machine called the RFI, or Ray Field Inhibitor, that should kill The Beast. Upon meeting him, he tells you that you need to collect blast cores to make yourself stronger so you can power the RFI. All the while The Beast is coming for you and leaving a path of destruction in his wake. So, although many other things happen throughout, the game basically becomes about getting the cores so you can power the RFI before The Beast shows up. Meanwhile, there is also a mysterious plague infecting and killing countless people.
When we get closer to the end of the game, there are a few interesting twists that lead into the game’s final moral choice. The first twist being the truth of what The Beast is doing. You find out that while The Beast is destroying places and killing countless people, he is also doing some good. The same explosions that are killing normal people are curing conduits of the plague and activating their powers. So he is really destroying the plague and saving what few people he can.
The second twist happens when Cole initially tries to activate the RFI. It almost kills him as well as two other Conduits in his presence. This leads to the conclusion that the RFI won’t just kill The Beast but possibly all conduits and the plague as well. Now you’re left with a choice: Do you join The Beast to cure conduits of the plague, even though this will eventually wipe out all normal people? Or do you activate the RFI, which will presumably kill all conduits, but also stop the plague so normal humanity can carry on?
There is the dark ending if anybody wants to refresh memories or watch it for the first time. Basically, you have to fight your friends to get the RFI so that it can’t be activated. This all ends with you having to kill your best friend to get him to drop the RFI. After you destroy the RFI, The Beast proclaims he can’t continue and passes his power on to you. There is then a cutscene talking about how conduits are the next step in human evolution, showing a military aircraft trying to stop Cole. The formation of an organization like the DUP and the government being afraid of conduits would be the next logical step in this story, maybe just referencing how the government stopped Cole at some point. The Beast was nuked and survived so I have no idea what that would be. But instead of going that route, it was decided to go with the good ending.
The good ending plays out very differently. After fighting to buy time to charge the RFI, you activate it. This causes a huge explosion that could literally be seen from space. This presumably killed all conduits, even ones who hadn’t realized they had powers. The plague also disappeared, and although we don’t know how widespread it becomes, Cole becomes at least a local hero. The very end of the cutscene, though, does show lightning striking where Cole’s body was, so fans did have hope he survived. Here it is if you want to watch it.
In my mind, there is just so much wrong with Second Son taking place after this ending. Even a few things said in the Game Informer article don’t work with this being canon. Things such as “According to Sucker Punch, Conduits who were further away from the RFI’s blast radius weren’t completely “cured,” so there are still a number of less-powerful Conduits and Conduits who didn’t know they had powers scattered across the globe.” That comment on its own seems okay. Before you make a decision, the only person who really says the RFI will kill all conduits is Cole himself, who was almost guessing. But let’s really think about it.
So, Second Son takes place in Seattle, and Infamous 2 took place in New Marais, which is basically New Orleans. It is also stated that Delsin is at least part Native American. It stands to reason that when that RFI went off seven years ago, he would have been in the US somewhere. Also, if you skip in the good ending posted above to around 35 seconds, Zeke says that even depowered Conduits internationally died as well and the visual on the screen is of some tribal people. Now, this might just be the ugly American in me but I’m pretty sure those tribesmen were in Africa, which is farther away than Seattle. So how did Delsin dodge the RFI’s effects when it got to people in Africa? I don’t like this at all.
Now don’t get me wrong, I really do love the Infamous series and I will be buying Second Son regardless. Worse yet, by not speaking with my wallet, I know none of this matters. I just really want this game to work. I feel like Sucker Punch put itself in a corner and has some explaining to do. It is still months before the game comes out, and as skeptical as I am right now, I do really have faith that it will all work out.