inFamous: Second Son: no visual downgrade since E3 reveal, claims Sucker Punch

By Dave Cook
14 March 2014 08:37 GMT

inFamous: Second Son footage and screens have been leaking all over the place thanks to the PS4’s share button, and it’s leading people to believe that the game’s visuals have been downgraded since its reveal at E3 last year. Sucker Punch Tech Art Lead Jason Connell has stepped forward to say this isn’t the case.

It follows the leaking of inFamous: Second Son’s first 20 minutes, and over 200 shared gameplay screens.

Over on the inFamous: Second Son Facebook, Connell said to one accuser, “Definitely no visual downgrade of graphics since then! We put that particular area in sunset instead of sunny time of day so that it matches the mood of narrative better.”

If anything, the game has received more visual trickery since E3. According to Connell, even the clouds reflect Seattle’s light when darkness falls. “This is what we call ‘light pollution,'” he explained. “During the night time, in large cities… you will see the clouds turn an average light color from the city below. Especially in cities like Seattle…where we have extremely low cloud decks. I tried to put that into the games night time.

He added, “When we moved to HDR and Physical Based Lighting… one of the benefits is having the world rendering look and feel like a cameras exposure. So, we just have to make sure that things look good in all time of days…but the system supports it fully.”

Connell also touched on the game’s physics-based lighting mechanics, and went on, “The lighting team spent a lot of time researching how bright it is outside during different times of day. We call this physical based lighting. This was done heavily in the pre production part of the project.

“The most challenging part of moving to physical based lighting was establishing all of the rules of which an artist has to go by… and THEN figuring out how to break them artistically to get the exact look you want.”

He added that lighting effects throughout inFamous: Second Son are randomised to a point so they don’t look the same all the time, and are spread acros eight distinct times of day. There’s also no difference in these effects between gameplay and cut-scenes, all running in Sucker Punch’s proprietary engine.

inFamous: Second Son hits PS4 on March 21. Stay tuned for my impressions soon.

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