Is the inFAMOUS franchise finished?

Stop right here. This is going to be a spoiler-rich feature. Do not move past this paragraph if you have not beaten inFAMOUS 2, or perhaps more importantly, you do not want to know what happens in the end of inFAMOUS 2. If you have not played inFAMOUS 2, but don’t care about the ending, but still for some reason want to read about inFAMOUS 2, then by all means continue, but I am not sure that you exist. Why are you reading about a game you don’t care about?

Anyway, now that we’ve filtered out all the non-cool people who haven’t finished inFAMOUS 2, we can move on.

Is the inFAMOUS franchise over?

The ending of inFAMOUS 2, no matter which moral direction you took, ended pretty succinctly and with a strong sense of finality. If you played good, you sacrificed yourself in favor of humanity. Good choice by the way. If you went the the evil path, then you killed everyone that was important to you, along with pretty much everyone who was not lucky enough to have the conduit gene. I don’t know why you went that way, but to each their own, even if it was cold blooded murder. Or, maybe you’re like me and you just like trophies.

In any case, inFAMOUS 2 had two drastically different endings. One implies no continuation at all, and the other implies an entirely different type of game where Cole is an extra super-duper human going on a mass murdering rampage across the United States.

The conclusion of the original inFAMOUS ended in such a way that Cole’s ultimate motivations were the same, regardless of what journey you went on to get there. The BEAST was going to come whether you were a paragon or renegade, and you were going to face him in inFAMOUS 2 regardless. Here, at the end of inFAMOUS 2, I have no idea where the next game could go. Are there going to be two entirely different games on the same disc? Is the evil ending considered the only true ending? Will inFAMOUS 3 follow the good ending of inFAMOUS 2, and inFAMOUS 4 follow the evil ending? Will alternate dimensions come into play? Will there be two Coles hopping between universes?! Will there even be an inFAMOUS 3!?

In a world of games built to fuel unending franchises, it’s nice to be in this place of confusion after finishing the game. Games rarely end conclusively, and it’s usually for the profitability of the franchise. It’s the reason Master Chief went into cryo-sleep at the end of Halo 3 instead of really dying, and why Daxter, faced with the option of becoming human again at the end of Jak 3, opted instead for a pair of pants. With inFAMOUS 2, it seems like developer Sucker Punch decided it had told the story it wanted to tell, and ended it at the right spot. I admire the developer for it, and consider it a brave act of defiance in the face of standard game development practice.

Of course, that being said, inFAMOUS from the beginning, was always supposed to be as much a comic book as it is a video game, and as we have learned hundreds of times over, in the world of comic books, protagonists never stay dead. InFAMOUS is a world where time travel exists, so it’s hard to believe that Cole is truly dead. If there is a third game in the series, I don’t think any of us would be surprised to find Cole alive pulsing with electric energy.

It doesn’t, however, change the fact that inFAMOUS 2 ended in two very different places. We’re not talking Mass Effect choices here where character relationships, mortality and subplots played out in different ways in Mass Effect 2 depending on your choices. We’re talking two completely different world outcomes where the population of the world is critically scaled back, or everyone is either a superhero or dead.

If inFAMOUS 3 is announced, I’ll happily lean back in my chair, cross my arms and say, “Okay Sucker Punch. Let’s see how you pull this off.” If it announces an entirely new project, I’ll be equally excited to play something new, and eternally admire its insistence on not buying into the seemingly required trilogy of large scale franchises. It’s your move Sucker Punch, and I can’t wait to see it.


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Author: Kyle Hilliard View all posts by

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