Looking on the Bright Side


When Sucker Punch first made public their plans to redesign InFAMOUS’ leading man Cole McGarath for the upcoming sequel, I personally didn’t have a problem with the change. According to Sucker Punch the decision for the change was because of their desire to make Cole a more like able character and not a “gravelly voiced un-emotional guy” as correctly described by MAINEiac4434.

Unfortunately a lot of other gamers didn’t like Cole’s new look and expressed their discontent. It’s because of this that Sucker Punch apparently is rethinking the pretty boy Cole and is considering going back to the old, gritty Cole. When I first heard this news I was kind of upset that Sucker Punch would let the a few angry bellyachers sway them but as time passed it dawned on me…. this is actually a positive turn of events.

                                                                                             

The fact that Sucker Punch is willing to listen to their fans and capitulate is great news for gamers. How many big named gaming companies actually listen to the people that are basically keeping them in business? How long have fans’ demands for a Final Fantasy VII remake fallen on deaf ears? Granted recreating a 13 year old game is more complicated and time consuming than changing up a character model.  

 

Still it’s refreshing to see that gamers do have a voice in the industry and that someone is listening. As for Cole’s continuous changes,  I still prefer the new version over the bald,bland, boring Cole. I’ll be happy if Sucker Punch can come up with a combination of the two but I doubt that will satisfy everyone. Either way InFAMOUS 2 is still going to be a must have game of 2011.


Written by: Sakinah - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Sylvrfonic on July 25th, 2010

    I agree that in some cases it is good when devs capitulate to the wishes of fans. For instance when it comes to controlling how we access our games (eg. DRM, locked saves). But when it comes to design I don’t think that a developer should bend to the whims of its fan base. I would rather a developer have a strong design and faith enough in that design to carry it through to the finished product. If developers always did what fans wanted we would rarely see innovation.

    In the case of inFamous it appears that they changed the original Cole in response to some focus tested marketing jibber jabber. They tried to find the elements of a character design that would give Cole the broadest market appeal. It appears that they came up with a cross between Nolan North (Nathan Drake), Tony Hawk and Faith from Mirrors edge (the latter showing a real lack of creativity, Faith was also a tattooed messenger/free runner). I feel that that the these changes came about as a result of the lack of a strong character design/vision.

    If they had stopped with the new concept and said, “This is our design, here is our vision of what Cole is going to be.”, I would have lived with the focus tested Cole and been pretty happy with it. But, the fact that they changed back in response to fan outcry makes it seem that there is really no strong creative leadership.

    In the end, showing the character before the the finished design will only serve to hurt the characters broader acceptance. Now, no matter what they choose there will always be those who feel that their wishes and preferences were ignored because they were part of the conversation regarding Cole’s character design.

  2. #2 by Sakinah on July 25th, 2010 [ 26489 Points ]

    Good point Sylvrfonic.

  3. #3 by Paranoimia on July 25th, 2010 [ 1285 Points ]

    I’d have to disagree with everything Sylvrfonic says.

    It’s nothing to do with a lack of strong creative leadership – it’s simply giving the fans what they want. If you have a successful franchise, you don’t go changing the main character so drastically.

    A few cosmetic changes are okay, but in the case of Cole, everything changed significantly. He looked completely different, and he has a different voice. If the voice had changed and the appearance had been more or less the same, it probably would have been okay. If the voice had been the same and the appearance had changed, that may have been okay too. But there has to be some continuity.

    Changing both was akin to one of these cheap TV soap operas where they re-cast a character with a completely new actor, or a character that was previously a toddler suddenly becomes a teenager overnight while no-one else looks any older, and you’re just supposed to go along with it as if nothing’s changed.

    Lara Croft is a decent example of how to do change with iconic game characters. She’s changed her voice and her appearance many times over the years, but the voice is always similar, and the physical changes always subtle.

    You simply don’t/can’t/shouldn’t just make wholesale changes to a successful character without a very good reason, and/or a decent explanation (story-wise) as to WHY those changes have occurred.

  4. #4 by Jay on July 26th, 2010 [ 83111 Points ]

    I’m glad they changed him back. As Paranoimia said, its all about continuity. Imagine if Nate was changed in Uncharted 2. It wouldn’t be the same. It ruins the game.

    Given the events of the first InFamous, though, I’d say that he wouldn’t be nearly as emotionally distant in the sequel. He has more of a purpose now, and isn’t simply a a bike messenger anymore. Essentially, the first game can be seen as Cole just blooming into maturity and just coming to grips with what he’s capable of.

    My question is, will the sequel pick up where you left off, like if you ended the game as an evil or good person, will the game recognize that and start the story based off of the choices you made in the first one? I’d love to see more sequels do that.

  5. #5 by UbeRamza on July 26th, 2010 [ 915 Points ]

    Jay you said
    “My question is, will the sequel pick up where you left off, like if you ended the game as an evil or good person, will the game recognize that and start the story based off of the choices you made in the first one? I’d love to see more sequels do that.”
    That would be amazing if they started Infamous 2 where you moraly left off in the first game but I highly doubt it. Every game that I have played where you have a moral choice in the first game and they make a sequel, they always take the story in the direction that they want and start you off in the moral choice that best fits that story. I’m keeping my fingers crossed though, hopefully they prove me wrong.
    I also completely agree with wanting more sequels to do that. I would think that they would easily be able to do this in this generation of consoles. With so much space on BDs they should have plenty of space to put multiple story arcs on the same disc. It would definately be awesome.
    Now with the whole idea with Cole being changed, I actually accepted and really liked the new physical design of Cole but I thought they should have left his voice alone. I thought by changing both they were making to drastic of a change, it was just to much. So I completely agree with their decision to change him back, not only cause it was too drastic but because alot of people really didn’t accept it.
    I also understand why they changed him back. With the huge cost of game production these days and companies having to sell millions of copys just to make that money back, they didn’t want to risk alienating a large amount of the games fan base and potentially losing money over a redesigned character.
    So in the end I think the biggest mistake that Sucker Punch made was to have changed him at all. They should have left well enough alone.

  6. #6 by Jonaskin on July 26th, 2010

    I don’t mind the new voice so much, in fact I hope they keep it. It sounded similar enough to the gravelly voice from before that they could just explain away that all the gravel was considering he’d just been pwned by a mega explosion that he was at the centre of. All for changing back to the original (or very similar) character model though. As others have mentioned, continuity is key and the new redesign was too extreme.

  7. #7 by Jonaskin on July 26th, 2010

    Oh and the moral choice carrying over from what you ended the last game with is a good idea, but I finished the game twice as both good and evil (and still have the save files for both on my HD) so I’m not sure which one it would go with…


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