Join us as we recount the very best moments from Sucker Punch's franchise.
If inFAMOUS began life sporting comic book cutscenes, Second Son blew the doors off with motion capture performances that were, at the time, some of the best available on the PlayStation 4 — and indeed anywhere.
At the heart of the story was Troy Baker’s Delsin Rowe, an unruly punk who spent his life growing up under the shadow of his lawful big brother, Reggie (played here by Travis Willingham). Much of Second Son sees the siblings squabble over Delsin’s superhuman abilities, with Reggie firmly believing they should be kept out of sight lest our protagonist be hunted as just another Bioterrorist.
But just as the bickering pair become brothers in arms to battle Augustine and her D.U.P. army, one fateful encounter with Augustine and her concrete abilities result in Delsin and Reggie dangling above the ocean.
Weighed down by the gravel ensnaring his feet, Reggie rejects Delsin’s pleas, reveals how proud he is, and lets go of his brother’s flailing hand to plunge to his death. On paper, it’s a heart-wrenching scene, but the stunning performances and visuals help craft one of the franchise’s finest moments.
Circling back to where it all began seven years ago, inFAMOUS’ jet-black story reached its crescendo when Cole MacGrath — Hero or inFAMOUS — confronted the game’s key villain in Ground Zero. Enraged by the recent death of his girlfriend Trish (more on that one later), the duo’s clash made for a grandstand finale, but when the player eventually topples Kessler, the big bad reveals a devastating secret.
Ramping up inFAMOUS’ sci-fi elements, Kessler implants his memories in Cole’s fractured mind, revealing him to be a warped version of our electrifying hero from the not-so-distant future.
Upholding the franchise’s strong streak of DLC, inFAMOUS: First Light burst out the gate in 2014, welcoming players back to Seattle with a twist. With Delsin’s story all but wrapped up for the time being, Sucker Punch’s neon-drenched expansion turned the spotlight onto Abigail "Fetch" Walker, exploring her tortured past under the D.U.P. and how she became the troubled rebel we are introduced to in Second Son.
Putting aside the neon races and arena challenges, First Light deserves recognition for its ability to competently flesh out the story of Fetch herself, who is arguably a more compelling lead when compared to Delsin. Besides, lighting up the Emerald City — admittedly a small portion of Second Son’s open world — is as fun as it as beautiful, even if the prequel story only stretches for four-to-five hours.
Continuing to spotlight inFAMOUS’ strong DLC offerings, our next tip of the hat goes to Festival of Blood, the vampire-themed spinoff released shortly after inFAMOUS 2 five years ago. Kicking the iconic morality system to the curb, Festival of Blood opened with Zeke recounting the events that transpired on Pyre Night.
Thrusting New Marais into darkness, our hero Cole MacGrath is abruptly transformed into a bloodsucker upon crossing paths with the all-powerful Bloody Mary. If Cole was imbued with intoxicating abilities in Empire City, our hero’s descent into vampirism opens up a whole host of new gameplay mechanics, chief among them being vampire sight to locate the blood-sucking fiends before transformation.
All in all, for a standalone and gleefully dark spinoff, inFAMOUS: Festival of Blood is a fantastic example of what DLC can be, opening up a bloody good time for fans of Sucker Punch’s superhero series.
Seven years. Seven years to the day since Empire City was brought to its knees by a bio-electrical device known as the Ray Sphere, and the life of one Cole MacGrath was unceremoniously upended.
Given Empire City was modelled after the Big Apple — no stranger to cataclysmic events in fiction — the opening of inFAMOUS could have so easily slipped into cliché. But Sucker Punch’s franchise-starter thrust players into a bleak, apocalyptic world of bioterrorists and city-wide quarantines with ease. Much of that came down to the comic book-styled cut scenes, as the glum narrator chronicled Empire City’s descent into anarchy before Cole MacGrath, standing tall against the thugs that now rule the streets, prepares to reclaim his city from the clutches of evil. As far as video game openings go, inFAMOUS is something special.
Switching gears from opening to conclusion, one moment that still resonates from the first inFAMOUS game is its grand finale. Not only it does act as the culmination of your own personal Karma choices, but the scene in question tasks players with choosing between the unthinkable and the unspeakable.
Nevertheless, whichever moral path you find yourself on, Trish dies at the hands of Kessler, who uses her death as a catalyst in Cole’s inevitable confrontation with the Beast — an entity that appeared in an alternate timeline that chased Kessler and eventually killed his family.
But mind-bending timelines aside, the emotional, ahem, sucker punch of inFAMOUS’ ending is made all the more palpable in that, no matter how you shaped your own story, all the powers in Empire City wouldn’t have saved Trish.
Nagging at her worst and unflinchingly loyal at her best, for all of her ability to divide fans — quite literally — whether Trish dies proclaiming her love for Cole or delivering a scathing message to the tune of “God gave you these powers, and you squandered them” is one of the very best moments in the series.
It was a prophesy long foretold; the day the Beast would form in Empire City and portend doom for Conduits near and far. That’s the moment inFAMOUS 2 gets underway, chronicling Cole’s plight to harness the Ray Field Inhibitor in order to effectively destroy the Beast — but there’s a catch.
In doing so, Cole’s actions would create a rippling effect across the planet, wiping out every Conduit in the process. It’s here that inFAMOUS’ core Karma system flourishes, as players toe the moral line between good and evil — right and wrong? — and essentially tee up two endings.
Depending on which path you choose, Cole will either fire up the Inhibitor and destroy John White (the Beast) or, conversely, White opts to relinquish his powers, allowing Cole to become the Beast and spread ‘the plague’ across the four corners of the globe.
Martyr or tyrant? Messiah or devil? Good or evil? That choice is ultimately left to you, setting the stage for a grand finale to the core inFAMOUS franchise.