The Totally Hipster Elements in inFamous: Second Son

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The Totally Hipster Elements in inFamous: Second Son

Second Son introduced what might be the first actual element in the ever-growing list of "elemental powers" in Neon. As Noble Gases go, it is one of the best.

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Technically with the neon/video/concrete/smoke powers it was a way to show how the basic elemental powers have mutated, Video is the Green Lantern powers except it uses static manipulation, so it is like Cole's electric powers but manifested to a different form. Concrete was the regular Earth power but seen as something used in an urban environment

I feel like each power set differentiated themselves the most in their movement ability. Once I got infinite run with Neon, it became my defacto power, and I barely ever used smoke again.

Honestly, while the different powers didn't change things up that much, they were at least more interesting to watch than the bog-standard "Fire, Ice, Lightning, etc" set.

Maybe the Conduits don't actually get a power based on an actual element, but rather subconsciously convert their power into a form that they have an affinity with (Eugene spent a lot of time with TVs and computers, Fetch lived on the street and probably spent a lot of time under neon signs, etc). That's already way more interesting than just ripping off X-Men some more.

Some of the attacking powers are indeed very similar, but saying they're close is totally different than saying they're the same.

Each R2 is the 'gun' but one is semi auto, another full auto, sniper, etc. Melee powers match up better or worse against certain bad guys because of swing speed variance and stunning ability (Trying to smoke whip a biggie is just going to get you killed). While the first two powers both have grenades as the special, video is invisibility (the key component to playing that power) and concrete is extra mobility. Even the traversal powers change how you run around the city - video prefers rooftops and open air, smoke is helped by close buildings, concrete is best when barreling down a street, while neon is pretty overpowered - the only place it doesn't excel at is falling off buildings in open areas. Certain powers are much better in certain missions, too. Neon is pretty vital for chasing down spies, as the time-slow helps pick off the target, and has an infinite-running upgrade.

This article makes me think tangential thoughts:

-How long until someone modifies the game to include "poo" as a power? Because I want to see those YouTube videos. And the PS4's now a standard (if stripped down) computer, so it has to be easier to mod than the PS3, right?

-What would Infamous' Captain Planet look like with these elements? And will we see something akin to that in that supposed Captain Planet movie upcoming?

-If Infamous is all "Hipster," does that mean the hoodies and vandalism are "ironic?"

"Oh yeah, I save the world...Ironically."

Holy crap, this may be the closest we ever get to an Aberrant video game!

Mcoffey:

Maybe the Conduits don't actually get a power based on an actual element, but rather subconsciously convert their power into a form that they have an affinity with (Eugene spent a lot of time with TVs and computers, Fetch lived on the street and probably spent a lot of time under neon signs, etc). That's already way more interesting than just ripping off X-Men some more.

Oddly enough, that's the impression I got from the ZP video, though Yahtzee went a different way with it.

Lightning worked so well as a power, not only because it's a classic "untamed element", but because the gameworld was designed in a way that accentuated it.

Everything in our society already runs on electricity, so renewable energy is all around you. Zapping anything metal would grant you a nice spectacle of arcing electricity (if you're an 80's child this is especially satisfying). Empire City and New Marais are surrounded by water, creating a believable open-world barrier as you would electrocute yourself otherwise. In Second Son, when you jump in the water you just float there immobilized like an idiot till you press the 'warp to shore' button.

As soon as lightning got taken out of this series, most if not all of the foundation that propped the gameworld of the previous games up fell apart. I was already afraid of this when I saw the very first footage of Second Son, but I trusted Sucker Punch to find a way around this. Which they obviously didn't.

Nothing is truly elementary if you can boil down to the elements that compose it. Water isn't an element, it's a combination of elements - two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen. Fire isn't even a thing, it's a process of oxidation wherein an oxidant (i.e. oxygen but not necessarily) and a fuel (which can be so many things) combine to release heat.

You know, I think there might already be a cartoon that sort of fits this kind of superpower: Darker than Black. Okay, it's an anime rather than a 'cartoon', but every 'Contractor' in that has one very specific ability, and one very specific price that has to be paid after using it (almost like a Freudian compulsion, like binge eating or laying out coins in a particular pattern)... It makes for some pretty interesting dynamics...

It's best to not think about these elemental powers too long, even the classic ones, or you start to notice things.

For example, the traditional "water" user usually has the ability to spray water around. But that really has little to do with the water itself - isn't that just telekinesis? Also they can usually use the water to heal people......when did water ever heal anyone?

Fire users sort of make sense - they can move heat around and the heat just causes things to catch on fire so it looks like they're moving fire. Cool. But then shouldn't fire users also have ice powers? It's just moving the heat out instead of moving it in after all. Shouldn't every time we see someone in a game cast an ice spell, simultaneously a cloud of steam should burst out? The heat had to go somewhere!

Lightning makes little sense. Even if you could charge up yourself to fire lightning out, electricity travels to the lowest potential difference, and that's not going to be someone 50 feet away even if they're holding a golf club. So are lightning users able to somehow change the potential difference of distant objects?

The light element is another one which often is used for healing. How does light heal anything either? How does blinding you with-ah fuck it.

Reminds me of those ppl that overdress to hide how mundane their personslity is.
These developers should have taken note of that 360 launch title by RARE, whos name eludes me. But you were a fairy that could transform into about 12 different elemental monsters with great variety. *sigh* i feel all depressed suddenly. Wierd

Reminds me of those ppl that overdress to hide how mundane their personslity is.
These developers should have taken note of that 360 launch title by RARE, whos name eludes me. But you were a fairy that could transform into about 12 different elemental monsters with great variety. *sigh* i feel all depressed suddenly. Wierd

Xsjadoblayde:
Reminds me of those ppl that overdress to hide how mundane their personslity is.
These developers should have taken note of that 360 launch title by RARE, whos name eludes me. But you were a fairy that could transform into about 12 different elemental monsters with great variety. *sigh* i feel all depressed suddenly. Wierd

Kameo: Elements of Power?

Johnny Novgorod:
Fire isn't even a thing, it's a process of oxidation wherein an oxidant (i.e. oxygen but not necessarily) and a fuel (which can be so many things) combine to release heat.

Technically, while the process would be oxidation, the visible fire would be a plasma (ionised gas). Not that I think the developers knew that. If we're going to have any actual elemental power I'd want Fluorine so I could just melt and burn everything in front of me.

Johnny Novgorod:
Nothing is truly elementary if you can boil down to the elements that compose it. Water isn't an element, it's a combination of elements - two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen. Fire isn't even a thing, it's a process of oxidation wherein an oxidant (i.e. oxygen but not necessarily) and a fuel (which can be so many things) combine to release heat.

To be fair, Yahtzee did mention that at the beginning of the article. Of all the 'elements' touched on by Sucker Punch so far, Neon is the only literal element. But the way we're using the term goes back to the kind of thinking the ancient Greeks had.

Thanatos2k:
It's best to not think about these elemental powers too long, even the classic ones, or you start to notice things.

Challenge accepted. Let's see how much bullshit I can think of...

Thanatos2k:
For example, the traditional "water" user usually has the ability to spray water around. But that really has little to do with the water itself - isn't that just telekinesis? Also they can usually use the water to heal people......when did water ever heal anyone?

Well, if you're going to go that way, then you may as well as say that all elemental powers area just different ways of applying telekinesis. What does the ability to move rocks have anything to do with earth beyond what's affected? As for the healing thing, well, water is symbolic of life. We're mostly water, after all. Yeah, that's definitely it. Absolutely.

Thanatos2k:
Fire users sort of make sense - they can move heat around and the heat just causes things to catch on fire so it looks like they're moving fire. Cool. But then shouldn't fire users also have ice powers? It's just moving the heat out instead of moving it in after all. Shouldn't every time we see someone in a game cast an ice spell, simultaneously a cloud of steam should burst out? The heat had to go somewhere!

More like moving energy itself. Perhaps pyrokinesis or whatever you want to call it is about concentrating energy in a certain spot rather than dispersing it from a certain spot? As for the steam thing, steam and ice are just two different forms of water, aren't they? Maybe it's moving all that water into a certain place, then sucking all the energy out of it.

[quote="Thanatos2k" post="6.847387.20905693"Lightning makes little sense. Even if you could charge up yourself to fire lightning out, electricity travels to the lowest potential difference, and that's not going to be someone 50 feet away even if they're holding a golf club. So are lightning users able to somehow change the potential difference of distant objects?[/quote]

Right, I have no bullshit defense for this one. You're right about lowest potential difference, and the current tends to want to go down to the ground. But actually, if electrokinesis was about changing the potential difference of certain specific objects, then that would make a lot more sense, as the target would act like an attractor to all that electricity. But then it should be getting sparked by other sources of electricity.

Thanatos2k:
The light element is another one which often is used for healing. How does light heal anything either? How does blinding you with-ah fuck it.

I give up. Light isn't physical, so beyond burning out all the cones and cylinders in your eyes it can't actually hurt you. Well, maybe burn you if it gets intense enough, but that's just because of the amount of energy and it starts getting into fire territory. The healing thing could also be symbolic - light breeds life - but whatever.

Even the classic elements don't really make any sense. Lightning is just energy, fire is the way heat is produced because X and Y got together and water is a compound of other elements. Maybe InFamous: Second Son was trying to portray the powers moving onto the next stage? Granted in terms of gameplay this doesn't change anything but the colour of the particles but still.

i cant see a delete option for this accidental double post, so here's an edit. Damn testy phone!

Actually, though I think it was intended as a joke, "kill someone with inert gas asphyxiation, as long as they've been sitting still for a while" doesn't sound half bad. It could make for a pretty good stealth kill method- quiet, visually inobtrustive, and leaving no overt signs of the cause of death.

Banzaiman:
More like moving energy itself. Perhaps pyrokinesis or whatever you want to call it is about concentrating energy in a certain spot rather than dispersing it from a certain spot? As for the steam thing, steam and ice are just two different forms of water, aren't they? Maybe it's moving all that water into a certain place, then sucking all the energy out of it.

Yes, but the energy (heat energy) you suck out has to go somewhere! Either dispersed to the general area (you'd see the heat distortion in the air), in steam, or nearby things should be catching on fire! I want to see a game where casting an ice spell causes a ring on the ground around the target to catch on fire.

Right, I have no bullshit defense for this one. You're right about lowest potential difference, and the current tends to want to go down to the ground. But actually, if electrokinesis was about changing the potential difference of certain specific objects, then that would make a lot more sense, as the target would act like an attractor to all that electricity. But then it should be getting sparked by other sources of electricity.

Let's not forget that lightning and the energy contained within it pretty much travel at the speed of light. There is no dodging it. There is no "throwing" electric energy and waiting for it to hit the target.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
.. but you can't get away from a sink, a toilet and a bath.

Hmm... sounds like a new plot device for Bioshock Infinite 2: Infinity Plus One.

"There's always a sink, a toilet, and a bath."

Johnny Novgorod:
Nothing is truly elementary if you can boil down to the elements that compose it. Water isn't an element, it's a combination of elements - two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen. Fire isn't even a thing, it's a process of oxidation wherein an oxidant (i.e. oxygen but not necessarily) and a fuel (which can be so many things) combine to release heat.

I'm pretty sure that Yahtzee commented on this in the article.

But anyway, the game itself doesn't even refer to them as "elemental" powers does it? That seems to be something that people are projecting onto it. There is the pre-scientific theory of the "elements" which seems applicable, they were usually seen as Earth, Air, Fire and Water, none of which are defined as elements in modern practice:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_element

Although, when talking about Earth, Wind and Fire, I suppose that Disco should be the fourth elemental power.

Banzaiman:

I give up. Light isn't physical...

Wait, since when was light not physical?

If you can prove this to physicists, you would definitely win the Nobel Prize for this discovery which goes against everything science has discovered about light and its physical properties.

Aardvaarkman:
Wait, since when was light not physical?

If you can prove this to physicists, you would definitely win the Nobel Prize for this discovery which goes against everything science has discovered about light and its physical properties.

When was the last time you got knocked on your ass by a ray of sunshine? If all it took was a bit of light to hit someone then a flashlight would be the go-to weapon of choice.

EDIT: Sorry, torch, if you're British.

Thanatos2k:
Yes, but the energy (heat energy) you suck out has to go somewhere! Either dispersed to the general area (you'd see the heat distortion in the air), in steam, or nearby things should be catching on fire! I want to see a game where casting an ice spell causes a ring on the ground around the target to catch on fire.

That would be pretty damn cool. I mean, completely pointless if you're casting an ice spell, but awesome visual effect if someone freezes within a ring of fire.

Let's not forget that lightning and the energy contained within it pretty much travel at the speed of light. There is no dodging it. There is no "throwing" electric energy and waiting for it to hit the target.

Yeah, I got nothing for that. Come to think of it, we really shouldn't be seeing a bunch of sparks coming off of Cole's arms unless there's a bunch of metal crap around, and even then it wouldn't linger for as long as it does. I long for the day where we get an electric hero who can insta-kill anything with a spear of electricity that can't be dodged. That man (or woman) is god. Or Zeus, which is just as cool. Or Jupiter, if you want to be cooler.

Wait, Yahtzee of all fucking people is complaining about something being contrarian just to appear cool?

There is not a black enough pot in the world....

Banzaiman:

When was the last time you got knocked on your ass by a ray of sunshine? If all it took was a bit of light to hit someone then a flashlight would be the go-to weapon of choice.

I'm not sure what your point is. When was the last time that you got knocked on your ass by somebody blowing on you? Does that make air somehow not physical?

In fact, spacecraft can be powered by "solar sails" - which operate by the mass of photons bombarding the sails.

Also, you can cut through thick steel with a laser, which is just highly concentrated light. Do you not think that powerful lasers would not make good weapons? In fact, there are actual real-world proposals for missile defense that involve shooting missiles out of the sky with lasers.

Thanatos2k:

Yes, but the energy (heat energy) you suck out has to go somewhere! Either dispersed to the general area (you'd see the heat distortion in the air), in steam, or nearby things should be catching on fire!

Yes, but if he's "charged up" (this could be the "power meter" thing), then maybe the guy is really hot, like thousands of degrees, and the energy dissipated by the attack simply causes him to return to room temperature (and thus have to recharge his heat power).

Thanatos2k:
I want to see a game where casting an ice spell causes a ring on the ground around the target to catch on fire.

Wouldn't the ring be around the caster, not the target?

Aardvaarkman:

Thanatos2k:

Yes, but the energy (heat energy) you suck out has to go somewhere! Either dispersed to the general area (you'd see the heat distortion in the air), in steam, or nearby things should be catching on fire!

Yes, but if he's "charged up" (this could be the "power meter" thing), then maybe the guy is really hot, like thousands of degrees, and the energy dissipated by the attack simply causes him to return to room temperature (and thus have to recharge his heat power).

Thanatos2k:
I want to see a game where casting an ice spell causes a ring on the ground around the target to catch on fire.

Wouldn't the ring be around the caster, not the target?

Well no, the target is the thing being cooled. The heat is not coming from the caster himself, but being extracted from the target, causing the icy effect.

Heat being injected would cause a firey effect, which is probably the only believable ability of the lot.

Thanatos2k:

Well no, the target is the thing being cooled. The heat is not coming from the caster himself, but being extracted from the target, causing the icy effect.

I'm not sure that's true (for a completely made-up thing) - couldn't the energy to create a stream of cold matter have come from the caster? The cold matter would absorb the heat of the target. A fire ring also assumes there's enough energy to be drained from the victim to cause such an effect.

Real-world example - if you throw a snowball at someone, it doesn't cause things in the vicinity of the target to heat up. If anything, they get colder and wetter due to the "splash effect" of the snowball.

Aardvaarkman:

Thanatos2k:

Well no, the target is the thing being cooled. The heat is not coming from the caster himself, but being extracted from the target, causing the icy effect.

I'm not sure that's true (for a completely made-up thing) - couldn't the energy to create a stream of cold matter have come from the caster? The cold matter would absorb the heat of the target. A fire ring also assumes there's enough energy to be drained from the victim to cause such an effect.

Real-world example - if you throw a snowball at someone, it doesn't cause things in the vicinity of the target to heat up. If anything, they get colder and wetter due to the "splash effect" of the snowball.

I think this is more in the nature of energy manipulation -at- the location, not the other way around. As in, you don't "throw" a snowball, you turn them into an icicle.

So really, it's telekinesis.

Like every power out there according to this thread.

Toadfish1:
Wait, Yahtzee of all fucking people is complaining about something being contrarian just to appear cool?

There is not a black enough pot in the world....

I don't see how this would be an example of the pot calling the kettle black.

step1999:

Toadfish1:
Wait, Yahtzee of all fucking people is complaining about something being contrarian just to appear cool?

There is not a black enough pot in the world....

I don't see how this would be an example of the pot calling the kettle black.

The guys entire schtick is that he hates whats normal and popular.

Speaking of elements, somewhat surprised this has been linked yet.
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0423.html

Ferisar:

Aardvaarkman:

Thanatos2k:

Well no, the target is the thing being cooled. The heat is not coming from the caster himself, but being extracted from the target, causing the icy effect.

I'm not sure that's true (for a completely made-up thing) - couldn't the energy to create a stream of cold matter have come from the caster? The cold matter would absorb the heat of the target. A fire ring also assumes there's enough energy to be drained from the victim to cause such an effect.

Real-world example - if you throw a snowball at someone, it doesn't cause things in the vicinity of the target to heat up. If anything, they get colder and wetter due to the "splash effect" of the snowball.

I think this is more in the nature of energy manipulation -at- the location, not the other way around. As in, you don't "throw" a snowball, you turn them into an icicle.

So really, it's telekinesis.

Like every power out there according to this thread.

Its more like a reverse pyrokinesis, instead of raising temp it lowers it. But yeah pretty much what you said.

OT: It seems to me that this is more a criticism of the recycling of last weeks mechanics only the particle effects have changed. Granted I like the Infamous games, but it seems like they've stagnated more or less as far as mechanics go, and the change-up of elements seems like a copout. All in all, I liked the vampire standalone because those powers were different and that change made me think the series had more to offer. Then Second Son came out and I felt it was a step backwards, much like I disliked GTA IV for dumping a lot of the ancillary mechanics like car customization and a few other tidbits from San Andreas that made that game one of the better in the series.
I agree with the analysis and wish they would have tried to make a game that was spiritually succeeding the first two but didn't recycle powers with different FX. Lazy development in my opinion and a real detriment to the series' progress.
Basically I feel there was a lot more they could have done with Second Son but they disappointed me heavily.

Smoke was the 'Heavy' (Grenades, Shotguns, Explody missiles), Neon was the 'Sniper', and Video was a hit-and-run roguey type thing. Sure they all had the basic 'pew-pew' blast, and the big nuke thing, but there's as much variation as any class based shooting thing.

Too much overthinking on the elements just exposes the general comic book tropes. Its like why Cyclops doesn't go flying backwards everytime he fires his eye-beams, Storm doesn't destroy the worlds weather patterns, or Gambit being able to make energy out of nothing.

People still use the term hipster? I thought that has lost all meaning years ago when it kind of descended into weird self-parody and blanket use.

Zachary Amaranth:
This article makes me think tangential thoughts:

-How long until someone modifies the game to include "poo" as a power? Because I want to see those YouTube videos. And the PS4's now a standard (if stripped down) computer, so it has to be easier to mod than the PS3, right?

Sadly the PS4 is still a closed platform, like all consoles and you can't really mod it without cracking the thing and possibly getting the ire of sony. Which is kind of why people use the term 'shit PCs' to describe them :P

If this one of PC the "Poo Power" mod complete with sphincter destroying action would have been created on launch week. As would powers based on anime schoolgirls.

Toadfish1:

step1999:

Toadfish1:
Wait, Yahtzee of all fucking people is complaining about something being contrarian just to appear cool?

There is not a black enough pot in the world....

I don't see how this would be an example of the pot calling the kettle black.

The guys entire schtick is that he hates whats normal and popular.

Maybe I'm wrong, but to me it just comes across as his opinion. And he doesn't always dislike popular things (see SH2, Valve, Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite)

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