inFAMOUS: Second Son’s Retail Version Shows Radical Differences Compared to E3 2013 Trailer

Earlier today the first 20 minutes of gameplay from the retail version of inFAMOUS: Second Son were leaked, and interestingly enough they include a scene that was shown during the E3 2013 trailer.

Even more interestingly, the new version of the scene looks very different, showcasing changes in lighting and time of day and even some redesigned environments, as you can see from the screenshots below (the version from E3 2013 is on top of each pair, while the retail version is under it).

Under each pairing you can also find an animated GIF to see the evolution of each scene better. Click on each picture to see them in their full size and to start the animation.

inFAMOUS_E32013_1 inFAMOUS_Now_1

 Animated GIF


inFAMOUS_E32013_2 inFAMOUS_Now_2

  Animated GIF


inFAMOUS_E32013_3 inFAMOUS_Now_3

  Animated GIF


inFAMOUS_E32013_4 inFAMOUS_Now_4

  Animated GIF


inFAMOUS_E32013_5 inFAMOUS_Now_5

  Animated GIF


inFAMOUS_E32013_6 inFAMOUS_Now_6

  Animated GIF


The scene below is especially interesting, as in the E3 2013 trailer it portrays Delsin mocking the DUP with his graffiti art. In the final version of the game he uses it to mock his brother Reggie, showcasing an actual change in content and a different take on the story itself.

inFAMOUS_E32013_7 inFAMOUS_Now_7

This kind of difference is not too surprising, given that several months have passed since the earlier trailer, and game development is normally very fluid, with assets that get reshuffled and remade, and effects that get switched over pursuing the artistic vision of the developer.

A possible reason for the change in lighting is that the original version’s stronger shadows due to the direct sunlight (it looks like noon-ish) effectively hid some of the feature of the characters, making the nuances of their expressions less visible, while the sunset lighting of the new version has more evenly distributed lights and shadow, allowing the expressions to stand out more. It’s very visible in the fifth pairing, where Delsin’s frustrated expression is almost completely overpowered by the shadows and he almost looks like he took a punch to both eyes.

Of course that’s just my personal speculation, so take it with a grain of salt.

Whether the new version looks better or worse is mostly a matter of taste, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s interesting to see how the game evolved over the past nine months.

One thing is for sure, I had quite a lot of hands-on time with the game just two days ago, and it looks absolutely stunning. You can expect my preview very soon.

Update: Since some will take every possible chance to flame (or to be overly defensive), I feel compelled to clarify something: Not once the article mentions a “downgrade” or an “upgrade,” and that’s because there isn’t ground to mention something like that. The article mentions differences, and there are indeed differences in lighting, time of day and environmental design. In addition to that at least a scene has been changed in its content. The comparison is not about quality and visual fidelity. It’s a simple before and after face-off to show how a game evolves in nine months of development.

“Difference” does not mean downgrade. It doesn’t mean upgrade. It means “difference.” That’s all there’s to it. The scene portrayed simply looks radically different. It doesn’t look necessarily worse or better. Just different.

Update 2: Sucker Punch firmly denied that any visual downgrade has been made since the E3 build.

Update 3: a further comparison from another scene shows the opposite change in lighting, demonstrating that effectively there hasn’t been any downgrade, just an artistic choice, as Sucker Punch mentioned.

Join the Discussion

  • MrZweistein

    If the purpose of this article was to get attention and many clicks, you did it quite right :)

  • Dan Smith

    People are being silly. Looking at the clothes, faces, hands any reasonable person can see there is a detail drop. PS4 can not achieve the gfx of a high end pc.

    • Sabih Ijaz

      Exactly. It costs $400, and it will perform like it.

  • Failz

    2014 lacks shadowing/Lighting and high Res textures. Big differences are in the faces.

    • You are flat out wrong


    • shinitaru

      This is Washington we’re talking about here, there is no sun.

  • billw

    Fanboys need to chill out, this is a clear cut downgrade. I am really looking forward to this game, but honestly the downgrade and the fact they went for a 30fps open world game will have its limitations.

    This is not the dramatic step up people want this to be. And lets face it, still looks simliar to PS3 games. Mario 3D World in 60fps and Killzone Shadowfall look better then this in 60fps (Killzone Multiplayer). Alot of this comes down to Frames Per second issues. But also the blotchy-ness of 30fps Games.

    Why do you think they went with shadowy effects that look cell-shady? Why do you think they went with ‘Neon’ powers? Because their easier to animate. Thats why.

    People, this will be a fun game most likely, but its not this dramatic, fist-pumping, visual step up alot of people have been trying to hype it as. Its a 30fps open world type thing. Still looks less generic compared to the last game….

    • You are flat out wrong

      You read the update?

      • Angie Fonseca

        That “update” is the devs. not wanting to piss of the rabid fanbois like yourself. They are lying to you so you won’t jump off a bridge. It is SOOO obvious.

        • You are flat out wrong

          That and the fact that fidelity-wise the screenshots are the same except for the change in time of day and the resultant effects of shadowing on textures. :)

    • Somebodyissilent

      To long didn’t read huh?

  • Tony TCOT

    SHUT UP!

  • ImonadrugcalledCharlieSheen

    Not exactly sure why someone would post such and obvious flame bait article and then be surprised when people start fighting about it, best way to avoid the fanboy war might be to not stir the you know what pot in the first place, just sayin.

  • Nicholas Perry

    Doesn’t look any worse really aside from the removal of some of the shadow maps. But that could be lighting specific too for the ToD and other things.

    Not seeing what the big deal.

  • Philip J. Fry

    I love the Mod for this article! More mods should be like you, maybe then we wouldn’t have so many keyboard warriors. Drop that ban hammer buddy.

  • Demetre HG

    Wow game looks horrible lmfao graphics are so disgusting

    • You are flat out wrong

      Looks better than Ryse, Demetre.

      See the update? “Definitely no visual downgrade of graphics since then! We put that particular area in sunset instead of sunny time of day so that it matches the mood of narrative better.” Whoops!

      • Nathan O

        Look at the screeshots dude and use your eyes and your head. There are drastic differences between E3 and March 2014

        • You are flat out wrong

          Keep up. That quote is from the update. There was no downgrade. :)

      • Angie Fonseca

        You’re delusional. And what difference does it make that it looks better then RYSE (you’re comment)? You have obviously shown your fanboi colours with that single comment. You need a new hobby pal.

        • You are flat out wrong

          No downgrade confirmed. :)

  • Ismail Lubis

    well who knows let see in March 21 , Okay ? so stop fighting like a little biatch

  • uashwinp

    Get a PC if you want best graphics….but wait console gamers don’t mind graphics right? Then, skip and don’t argue so much about it. It will be less no matter what to render 60 FPS at 1080p…

    And, please don’t start that infamous is PS4 exclusive. Then stop complaining and just play what you get in the name of exclusivity.

    • Somebodyissilent

      And why are you here?

  • Drakenkaizer

    any photographer would love the lighting conditions in the march one, and hate the light conditions of the e3 one.

  • Geordi Laforge

    LOL at the comments. Such denial.

    • Somebodyissilent

      Put your visor on Laforge, you clearly need it.

    • You are flat out wrong

      LOL at your comment. You’re so slow. “Downgrade” talk got discredited days ago.

      • Angie Fonseca

        Pal look at those screen shots. The “time of day” in the 2013 shots are far more graphically intensive for a GPU to render due to the varied shadowing and light cascades. IT IS A DOWNGRADE PEOPLE. DEAL WITH IT. Notice that in all the PS4 retail shots 90% of the shadows are gone. The simple truth is that the older shots looked better and were too much for the PS4 to handle. If they weren’t they would still be there. The whole “time of day” BS is just the dev. not wanting to admit that they had to scale back. I mean look at you guys… “go kill yourself”?!?!? It’s comment like that why the devs. feel they have to lie to you idiots.

        • You are flat out wrong

          You still trying this? There has been no downgrade. Deal with it. :)

          • Sabih Ijaz

            If you can’t see the massive downgrade in the screenshots, you need to get your eyes checked.

          • You are flat out wrong

            You mean the actual gameplay screenshots and not Youtube screencaps? After the update which destroyed your last desperate roll of the dice. There is no downgrade. Deal with it. :)

          • Sabih Ijaz

            Yeah, sorry. Apparently, in the final version, there was actually an upgrade! Awesome.

  • Matt Dickinson

    What we expected.

    What we got

  • Mohammed Bilal

    I thought gaming was all about content and story. Why is everyone crying about the so called modifications? Just enjoy the god damn game. Every console and every game has its pros and cons. Learn to live with it fan boys, Instead of all this bickering I want to see all the gamers protest against the so call Premium passes that the publishers are charging gamers. if buying the games at already high costs isn’t enough, they are robbing us with premium and stuff. WAKE UP Gamers before its too late. This is exactly what console manufacturers want us to do, fight over brainless topic : Sony fan boys hitting out on MS and vice versa.

    They are being MILKING the crap out of us for the so called premium passes.

    WAKE UP!

  • Xavier Grey

    PS4 has been able to handle all of the PC shaders that I have seen so far. I own both PC as well as PS4 and they look absolutely stunning, but there is no room for a graphics debates with this game. There are so many particle effects that it should compensate. Just as well, if you know what you are talking about, going from 60 fps that isn’t constant to a constant 30 fps increases the video fluidity. I like 30 fps and in fact prefer to cap it right there as to not make the fps count all wibbly wobbly timey wimey. I think if we really want to judge the graphics we should wait at least five years and see what game developers can do with both the hardware and software. I don’t expect an underdog like Sucker Punch to hit super amazing hyper-realism in the launch window, and in fact it’s wrong to. Look at what developers did for PS3. Crysis 3 looked amazing when I set my PS3 to run the native 1080p setting. Oh and Heavy Rain was damn good for a piece of hardware from 2006. Personally, I think that launch windows aren’t the shining days of a console. Though I’d have to admit that the retail version doesn’t look as good as the E3 trailer, compressed still images don’t do any video game justice. I personally think that the graphics are amazing on a 3rd person sandbox game with so many particles. It’s not as good as the E3 demonstration, but what game is? It’s still going to be amazing. As of right now, this shouldn’t be a PC vs. PS4 contest. It should be a taste of fun in the games we will hope are great visually about five years from now.

  • who ,what , when.

    Why are they ‘dev’ pulling this crap first watchdogs now this, lets hope this is all blown out of prepoution if not maybe thedivision will be next ,is this the true cost of pc hardware taking over the supposed ”next gen”

  • Xavier Grey

    Delsin’s retail reaction to people saying the word “downgrade”. It is the retail version released early to a few lucky dogs. Doesn’t this face just say, “WTF”?

    • Xavier Grey

      That might not be realtime, but that’s okay. the realtime shots are pretty amazing.

  • MasterChief3624

    Yes, the disparity in graphical excellence is indeed a bit jarring, but the game still looks amazing in these screenshots. Also, I feel like 80% of the graphical differences have to do with the art style changing direction. Originally it was clearly supposed to look realistic, but I think as development has had a lot of time to evolve, the art style is less realistic now, softer, and overall will likely complement the fun of the game with a style akin to something of a slightly quirkier style.

  • brian

    E3 really looks better…..$$$$$…..wonder why?

  • Jared Timothy Mullen

    to me, the first half of the images from E3 to March 2014 look downgraded but the second half of the images from E3 to March 2014 the graphics look upgraded.

  • matt

    Big nose dive the skin isn’t impressive no more and the E3 graphics look nextgen the current version looks just good.

  • UmWhat?!

    I hope that this game is good. I made the mistake of buying an Xbox One and a bunch of games, most of which were duds in the fun!
    . So I recently decided to buy a PS4! I have killzone shadowfall, outlast and reso gun, strider, flower, battlefield 4, and one more that I can’t seem to remember right now.
    All that to say that with my PS4 I finally don’t feel buyers remorse. I love that thing. I can play great games made by the best companies who loves making games for us gamers! I hope that Second Son is wicked awesome because that will just add to the already stellar launching platform that Sony has established with the PS4. Again, I own BOTH next gen systems. I upgraded to the Xbox One from a PS3 and was blown away by the graphic upgrade. The PS4 is SO different that when I first played Killzone shadowfall I thought I upgraded again!! Seeing is believing. On paper these two systems are relatively evenly matched. But on my 65″ Samsung LED tv the PS4s horsepower truly shines! And I mean bright. The only game that I even look at my xbox one for is titanfall haha!
    Geez….. I’m such a nerd………

  • MichaelJohnsen

    The video shown at E3 had a different time of day and color of the sky/lighting. And a video obviously has the luxury of color correction and contrast settings. Case closed.

  • Kemal Ergani

    The poster hasnt said anything like it’s better or worse. But the fact that everyone says it didnt become worse makes it seem like it really did.(Please dont hate me I haven’t said that its worse either.)

  • UmWhat?!

    Eh all need to remember that game videos are compressed and look much different (typically than what we see in the final result.) I was not prepared for how amazing Killzone Shadowfall looked! Not by a long shot! So I am fully confident that this game will be a jaw dropper for sure. The amount of detail that these developers are squeezing into these next gen games is simply astounding. With the PS4 VR headset just days away from being announced, I sense some seriously exciting gaming days on the horizon!

  • Kardes21

    It’ll be interesting to see it live on a television screen. The images from 2014 just don’t look as sharp. This may have been done on purpose as well. Also, at E3 2013, the game was running on a very powerful PC. Certain features that get implemented later may be eating up some resources that weren’t factored into the equation, meaning the developers HAD to cut back on certain ‘upscaling’ effects. Who knows? It still looks pretty damn awesome.

  • Thad Vanity

    Clear graphical downgrade. Only fan boys will disagree.

    On the upside though; “Delsin” (wtf kind of name is that) looks a lot less like a crack head now. Some of those older renders make him look like a full fledged junkie.

  • Bas Bouwman

    As i can certainly understand why people may be disappointed, consider that many developers, who are very enthusiastic, may have had some trouble along the way.

    This is sadly a new chapter in the “slightly overestimated” games.
    We all knew what happened to Killzone 2, Uncharted 3, Dark Soul 2 and Watch_dogs.
    Developers want to push their limits every day, but in the end, some effects or ideas are not possible on short term. As a system is capable of showing these assets in a tech demo, the machine (in this case the PS4, but also the Xbox One) itself isn’t capable of running everything on that quality “yet”

    I am confident in both consoles. They both have awesome experiences ahead.
    Just remember how Perfect Dark Zero looked compared to Gears Judgement.
    Add Uncharted Drake’s fortune and compare it The Last of US.

    At the time Uncharted was released nobody claimed it was a ugly looking game, everyone praised the graphics, but compared to The Last of US the game looks a bit dated.

    Many gamers these days “claim to have the right”. The right to get what they expected, the right to have the best of the best. Even is certain content has been removed out of balance, gamers feel like they are screwed over, this has to stop in my hones opinion.

    Developers are not purposely try to screw gamers over, but at the time they need to deliver some footage for a gameshow like E3, they show content of their game’s vision.
    As the game evolves, developers have to chose where they compromise the game.
    Because a game can’t only be judged by its cover, but mostly on content and gameplay, the visuals are the first to be cut down.

    So here is a shout-out to many gamers, I know graphics are important to many gamers, it helps the player to get immersed into a world, but lets be honest, almost a year ago The Last of Us blew us away, we were happy to be gamers. Now here is inFamous Second Son, which surpasses TLOU in graphics. The only thing it doesn’t do, is meet the expectations of some gamers. Let it go, enjoy the game and think about this: “its the first 6 months of this new generation. How excited it would it be see the PS4, and Xbox One evolve in the years to come?”

    Welcome to the next generation of gaming!

  • sdsadasssss


  • ant1248

    Yea missing shadows are ‘artistic touch’

    • shinitaru

      I like it that you trolls all seem to be fixated on this article. It keeps you all in one place and out of our hair in other, more relevant articles

    • You are flat out wrong

      I’ve watched the cutscene on my TV, the shadows are there.

      A lot of people in this comments section got embarrassed.

  • Jesse

    There are far too many comparisons and screenshots in general that simply aren’t reflective of actual in-game quality. It’s almost like the original batch and the Update 3 were just label-swapped if nothing else. I hope these sites aren’t using the PS4’s image capture function as it compresses the hell out of everything and really needs a firmware update.

    There are better examples of decent screen captures here-

    and here-

  • Matt

    …But it doesn’t look as good as the E3. it’s like they were worried that the PS4 wouldn’t be able to take the polished final version. After all the hype of it being an exclusive! Funny that people are subconsciously blaming the author for what they’re thinking themselves.

  • angelo dau

    the lighting is crap now, so boring flat

  • Rumpelstiltskin

    From what I can see some textures have been downscaled, probably to make it native 1080p, and it’s a new time of day. Not exactly a mindblowing downgrade.

    This game still looks amazing, especially during daytime.

  • Umut Veren

    mearch 2914 photos is better :)

  • Helldriver Phoenix

    Same type of thing that happened with G-Police and Killzone 2 waaaay back on Psone and Ps3. Anyone remember. Then it turned out the Psone & PS3 hardware was way less than hoped. Hopefully this is not the case with the ps4

  • Arrow2DaKnee

    dat lighting yo

  • Juha Talonen

    Well this is simple. Ps3 version vs. Ps4.

    Isn’t it?

    Best Regards,
    Juha “the Ps4 owner in real life” .T

  • Zac Hansen

    It looks to me that they chose to change the lighting because, although it kinda looked better, it also made it harder to see at times. There’s also this from the end of the article “there hasn’t been any downgrade, just an artistic choice, as Sucker Punch mentioned.”

  • maxinthefax

    I wish they’ve just left it alone now everything feels toned down

  • aa2br

    Downgrade generation lol

  • palasta .

    Fabulous Bullshit. Seriously. Looking for some actual gameplay footage on youtube, magnifying and comparing to E3 2013 screenshots the paused youtube-screen looks actually BETTER!


    Compare this with first screenshot


    • Sucka Free

      We are seriously still talking about this?

  • Bob Dole

    So clearly people still don’t realize most of the “preview” shots are pre rendered.

    Nubs these days.

  • niggar

    It’s funny how lighting, graphics and stuff like this are so important to Ps4 people. But when something like this comes up, they bitch and cry about how it’s not a big deal. Like the KZ fail… So get off the fence, is it a big deal or not? You seem to be the ones who decide these things. Karma.

  • The Hunter Protoss

    Yeah, you people can fool yourself, but it’s clearly a downgrade. Not that the final result is ugly, but you’ll probably are embarassed for mocking on Forza 5 downgrade and don’t want to admit that Sony lies too (which is strange come from you people, since Sony is the biggest liar between the companys. Killzone 2 someone?). You must to be used to that.

    • Sucka Free

      Are you really still going on about this crap? Get a life already!

  • The Hunter Protoss

    In some pictures it’s so clear that the actual models has less polys, worst textures, etc, when compared to the previous version. Of course, Sony fanboys in their bubble of denial, never will admit. They will never admit that the previous version, was running under powerfull PC’s. It’s just that Sony disguised better than MS. People NEED to learn that companies lie. A lot. It’s a war and they have to catch any advantage they can, even if mean to fool the consumer a little.

  • Thomas

    The 2013 versions looks better in all instances. This is a downgrade whether you like it or not.

    • Sucka Free

      Let it go already, the game was a success whether you like it or not…

      stale topic is stale

      • Thomas

        Who said I hadn’t let it go? I just said what I thought, do you have a problem with that?

        • Sucka Free

          “Who said I hadn’t let it go?”

          Maybe because you are still here going on about this after everyone else has long since moved on.

          • Thomas

            I couldn’t have moved on as I never saw this game until just before I commented. You’ve obviously not moved on as you’ve been scanning for comments on it though. In your face…

          • Sucka Free

            So sick of you fuckers today. I guess you didn’t notice the Recent Comments section to the right. I suppose you really thought I was sitting here waiting for some dipshit like you to post something…man, this is what happens when the gov. under-funds the education system.

          • Thomas

            As you said, it’s an old topic yet important enough for you to reply to my opinion. Move on little boy, your day ain’t ruined just because someone disagrees with you.

  • Randy Anderson

    Is it possible that having the entire game the way it looked at e3 is just too much for the system to handle. Just because it’s next gen doesn’t mean it’s ultimate gen. Or is it possible that it would simply take too long for the game to come out? I mean honestly the game looks great but I’d rather have a game with amazing graphics that doesn’t now that doesn’t lag as opposed to a game with insanely amazing graphics that lags like all hell in six months

  • SlobberJob

    This is weird

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      so weird

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