Sucker Punch Productions decided to set inFAMOUS: Second Son in Seattle to exploit the fact that the studio is based in the historical North American city, giving them a chance to use their first hand knowledge of its rich architecture and feel to create a better and more lively environment for the game.
We also know that they used the city as a source of inspiration, but they purposely avoided creating a 1:1 copy of the city and its buildings, in order to design a darker gameplay-friendly version, perfectly suitable to act as the playground for a whimsical superhuman like Delsin Rowe.
In the first part of this comparison between inFAMOUS: Second Son‘s Seattle and the real city, we have shown you a few of these similarities and differences we’re going to show you more.
Instead of just using static pictures, we opted for Google Maps’ street view. It’ll take longer to load, so give it a bit of time, but it’ll allow you to see the buildings showcased from all sides and to explore a bit, maybe finding even more references that we didn’t spot.
Let’s start with a difference: for obvious reason the city of Seattle had to be redesigned in a smaller scale, and the bay has also been re-tailored to fit, as you can see from this panoramic view from the Space Needle. It’s definitely narrower and more secluded, but it creates a more scenic view.
The pier of the Seattle-Brementon Ferry Terminal has been curved a little bit (in the real world it’s straight), but the walkway is very recognizable, even if the colors have been inverted, which apparently something that has been done in quite a few elements of the game.
The Entrance to the Pacific Science center is also very recognizable. The circular shape of the plaza is identical, as is the central fountain (Sucker Punch just added a dinosaur’s skeleton which apparently is destructible). We can also see the crescent-shaped projecting roof and the marble spheres, even if the real world version is flat, while the game features a small set of steps leading up to the entrance proper.
See the building in the background with the sign that says “Hotel Le Morgoso?” An identical building exists in the real Seattle, even if it’s not a Hotel. It can be found in James Street, just off the famous Pioneer Place Park.
On the background of this picture we can see Pioneer Place Park itself. It’s very recognizable due to the popular wrought-iron Victorian pergola that dates back to 1909 and has been recently restored.
This is a small but equally recognizable reference from the historical Pioneer Square district. If you look in the background of the picture, on the right, you’ll notice a smokestack. That’s the unmistakable top of the old building of the Seattle Steam Corporation in Western Avenue.
This one was found absolutely by chance, just by exploring the city. The building on the left of the screenshot is basically identical to the one showcased here. a few elements have been slightly modified, as usual, but the differences are negligible.
The terminal of th Seattlecenter Monorail near the Space Needle is quite recognizable as well. Sucker Punch “decorated” it with a DUP roadblock, and they also changed the rather simple original neon sign. Interestingly enough they replaced it with a very slightly modified version of the actual logo of the monorail, that you can see below and is instead featured at the other end of the line in the real city.
This is Seattle’s “gum wall.” The wall (or to be more precise walls, as it’s on both sides, even if one is a bit cleaner) is a popular local landmark in Post Alley (that in the game is renamed Port Alley) on which people have been sticking chewed gum since 1993.
The tradition started when patrons of Unexpected Productions’ Seattle Theatresports (which is found at the entrance of the Alley) started sticking gum to the wall and attaching coins to it. Theater workers scraped it away twice, but then gave up on the task after officials of the nearby market named the gum wall a tourist attraction in 1999. It has also holds the dubious honor of being one of the top 5 germiest tourist attractions.
The “Seattle Fish Market” sign above is a homage to the iconic Pike Place Market Center. The real market actually has two ell known neon signs, and the one in the game is a mash-up of both. The font is exactly the same used in the “Public Market Center” sign (above), while a (much simpler) fish appears in the second sign (below) that can be found just down the street and that marks the actual fish-dedicated area of the market.
The screenshot above shows the taxi cabs that we’ll often encounter (and ruthlessly destroy) in the game. They have a very peculiar green and white checkered livery.
In the real world most cabs in Seattle are painted in the usual yellow or orange, but there is one company that sports a very similar green and white checkered paint: Green Cab Taxi Services in’t actually located in Seattle, but in the nearby Bellevue, and its cabs often make it across Lake Washington to inFAMOUS: Second Son’s city.
Unfortunately we could not could find the location portrayed in the screenshot above in the real Seattle, and we sure did try (as a matter of fact, if you know where it is let us know in the comments), but it includes an Easter egg that was too juicy not to feature. If you look at the building on the right, between Chiq and Maki Sushi, you’ll see a shop named Cooper & MacGrath.
If you can’t get the reference, I’m afraid I’ll have to confiscate your gamer card, as it’s an obvious homage to Sucker Punch’s previous protagonists, Sly Cooper and Cole MacGrath.
And with this we’ve come to the end of this second part to our tour of inFAMOUS: Second Son‘s Seattle. Soon we’ll be able to wreak havoc in the actual game, and harass its virtual citizens, but for now this will have to suffice.
Hopefully the game will live up to the massive expectations it created, but for now we can definitely say that it lives up to its city. If you still didn’t check it out, make sure to read the first part of this feature.