Developing one of the first big games for a new console must be a daunting task.
It’s all been quiet on the PS4 since its debut back in November with Thief the only notable title to hit Sony’s console this year. And it’s not just PS4 owners that have suffered.
The release slate for Xbox One has been equally lacklustre. But that all changed last week with the launch of Titanfall. Microsoft’s machine is now the only next-gen console to receive a blockbuster release this year.
Now it’s Sony’s turn to deliver with its own Q2 big-hitter Infamous: Second Son. That leaves an unenviable amount of pressure on the shoulders of game director Nate Fox.
“Oh it’s exciting. We’ve just been trying to make the best game we can since we started three years ago.”
Fox isn’t phased by the pressures of if Second Son will become a system seller for the PS4 or not.
“We hope it will. If you want to play Second Son then you will need a PS4. But then Sony has so many great studios and they’re all producing really fun experiences.”
Fox isn’t distracted by going up against Titanfall, either. In fact, he relishes the opportunity and says the hype surrounding the shooter is ultimately great for the industry.
“I would love it if we outdid Titanfall. But the fact that it’s such a cool game is great. Why does it have to be one or the other? It’s just great for players that there are so many fantastic games coming out.”
HE WHO DARES WINS
Although it’s billed as the big PS4 game of the quarter, Infamous: Second Son was not a title born out of the studio’s desire to go next-gen.
“We made InFamous 2 and then wanted to make InFamous 3. It just so happened there was a console change.
“We had to make a new engine, a new hero, new story. All of those things just happened in a chain of events. I don’t think it’s premeditated as that. It's just about making a great game.
“Second Son could be the biggest title on PS4. But I have no perspective on my own game at this point. I’m so familiar with it. I would love that. But it’ll be gamers that decide.”
"I would love it if we outdid Titanfall. But it’s great for players that there are so many fantastic games coming out."
Nate Fox, Sucker Punch Productions
Titles launched early in the cycle of a new console are often the subject of scrutiny from players, criticized for looking too similar to the previous generation. But Second Son has been in development for three years and Sucker Punch had access to the PS4 hardware the entire time.
To Fox, the idea of rushing out a sequel to capitalise on a new platform is alien.
“That’s not the way we operate. We only work on one game at a time and that’s really explicit so that the collective enthusiasm around it builds as we get close to milestones. You feel it in the studio. We all breathe that sigh of relief when we’re done.”
He added: “You can tell from the graphics in Second Son compared to InFamous II, we lapped ourselves. That’s not because we’re smarter. It’s because of the hardware that we’re able to do more.”
There’s no doubt that Fox is proud of what his studio has achieved with Second Son. Yet the director insists there’s plenty of room for expansion for the next InFamous entry.
“I like where we’re at but I know in the future it will only get better.”