inFAMOUS: Second Son Pictures Show that There Was No “Downgrade” Since E3 2013

on March 15, 2014 5:15 PM

inFAMOUS: Second Son is definitely under the spotlights due to its relevance as one of the first games that looks truly next-gen.

A previous comparison between the E3 trailer and leaked footage from the final build  aimed to showcase the artistic evolution of the game of the game sparked controversy as some took a chance to advocate the possibility of a downgrade of the title’s graphics.

Sucker Punch since responded that there was no downgrade, as the time of day has been changed to “match the mood of the narrative better,” but of course not everyone believed them. Today some new leaked footage matching the E3 trailer emerged, and we got a chance to compare another scene that again shows a change in time of day, this time from what seems to be dusk to evening, and the overall effect of lighting and shadows is definitely improved.

You can check out the pictures for yourself below, alongside an animated GIF of each pairing (click on it to start the animation). Unfortunately the pictures show the effect of compression, but we used exactly the same resolution for each video to ensure parity of conditions, and compression does not influence lighting much if at all.

inFAMOUS_E3_2013_01 inFAMOUS_March_2014_01

Animated GIF (click to animate)

inFAMOUS_E3_2013_March_2014_01

inFAMOUS_E3_2013_02 inFAMOUS_March_2014_02

Animated GIF (click to animate)

inFAMOUS_E3_2013_March_2014_02

This pretty much vindicates Sucker Punch’s standpoint, showing how much a different time of day can change the overall effect of a scene. Ultimately the time of day is an artistic choice made at the service of the narrative.

With the previous instance the change from noon to sunset (with the loss of some direct sunlight) made shadows softer and harder to see. In this case the passage from dusk to evening and the introduction of more direct artificial lighting had exactly the opposite effect, creating more dramatic shadows on the faces of the protagonists.

So there you have it. If the screenshots published lately weren’t enough to convince you, no downgrade happened. Sucker Punch simply made some changes to the scene to better serve the game’s narrative, and in a story-driven game like inFAMOUS: Second Son that should be expected and welcomed.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.