The game follows Infamous 2‘s good ending, where protagonist Cole McGrath sacrifices himself and other conduits to save humanity. Seven years have passed since then, and the surviving conduits are demonized as “bioterrorists” by the American media and feared by average citizens. To deal with these bioterrorists, the government has set up the Department of Unified Protection, a fast-responding and oppressive organization which actively identifies and holds without trial conduits in dedicated containment facilities.
After a transport vehicle crashes near Seattle, the conduits inside it escape, and the city is placed on lockdown, transformed into what Game Informer describes as “something that resembles an enormous airport” with “elevated walkways equipped with searchlights and security cameras” to help the DUP capture the escaped bioterrorists. Checkpoints, scanners, and supernatural power-detective finger-print devices are set up throughout the city, slowing down everyday life.
“The DUP is the TSA,” producer Brian Fleming told Game Informer, citing the game’s parallels to real-world, post-9/11 America.
Delsin Rowe is Infamous: Second Son‘s new protagonist. He is a 24-year-old Native American street graffiti artist and rebel. When the conduit transport vehicle crashes near his hometown, he moves in to help those wounded, and realizes that he’s been a conduit all along.
His power? Empathic mimicry—similar to Peter Petrelli’s from Heroes. He has the ability to absorb the abilities of other conduits. When he runs to help those injured in the crash, he comes into contact with a conduit who can control smoke, which grants him his first power. But there are others to come.
A gameplay demo shown to Game Informer saw Delsin take out various forward-operating bases run by the DUP using smoke projectiles to destroy security cameras, and a smoke-dash to transport through an air duct at ground level to a building’s rooftop. There will be various ducts like these in Seattle for easy transportation, but like Cole before him, Delsin can still climb, as well.
From the roof, Delsin sends down fireballs to the walkways below, crumbling them to the ground. He then leaps off the building and descends in a manner similar to Cole’s thunder drop, scattering the DUP agents below.
Now in the base’s center, a DUP agent emerges from a van with a mini-gun and numerous agents surround Delsin. Casting them aside, he unleashes a smoke cloud to temporarily immobilize the agents, then takes out the mini-gun heavy with a barrage of smoke. With the other agents still coughing, Delsin now has enough time to take them out for good.
Most of the DUP agents battle in line with SWAT teams or military police, but some appear to utilize supernatural powers. But Sucker Punch wouldn’t say if that meant there are conduits who work within the DUP.
Like Cole, who needed to recharge his abilities with electricity-powered devices, Delsin needs help from the environment to replenish his smoke supply. Chimneys, vehicle wreckage, or even a DUP agent’s tear gas canister can help replenish his abilities.
To absorb smoke, players can use the PlayStation 4 touchpad by pressing down both thumbs, which causes the smoke to swirl and enter Delsin’s body.
The touchpad also has other uses. The fingerprint scanners used by DUP agents to identify conduits are also used to open the containment cells that hold them. Players can use the touchpad to free these conduits themselves.
Another use of the touchpad: Delsin pulls out a brightly lit control module with one hand, blasting at it with the other. To do this, players swipe up on the touch pad to throw it forward, and continuously tap the touchpad to fire at it.
Previous Infamous games offered good-versus-evil lines to follow. There will be tough decision-making in Second Son, but Sucker Punch didn’t offer any examples.
A possible example noted by Game Informer, however: during the demo, a DUP officer attempts to surrender to Delsin. The player can chose to let him live or die, which could mean some sort of karma system similar to previous games is in play.