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It has been a while since I’ve posted to this blog, but I have been crazy busy with websites and scriptwriting. Crazy busy.

But today I want to write about something that is really pissing me off.

InFamous, the PS3 exclusive third person superhero sandbox game, was one of the highlight titles on the PS3. It genuinely felt like a comic book setting and hero with some great gameplay, cutscenes and a suitably gonzo storyline.

Fast forward a bit and Sucker Punch announce inFamous 2. In a surprise twist, they reveal that the main character has been completely redesigned. Part of the problem is that due to schedule clashes, Cole had to be recast. Now I am if the opinion that if the voice actor is changing – it is a great opportunity to reimagine the character. This is not the first computer/console game to do this, and even in the comic book world character appearance change is very common.

Unfortunately, the Internet being what it is, a vocal number of fans kicked up a fuss about how Cole looked like a backstreet boy/gay porn star/etc etc etc.

So, against better judgement, Sucker Punch have apparently redesigned the character to look more like the original.

I say against better judgement because if they had kept the New Cole, the furore would have died down and people would have focused on the game. Until now, more attention was on the game than the change in character. But now that the change has been reversed, fans are arguing over which was better. New or Old. Attention has moved away from the game and on to the character choice.

There are many who welcomed the new look, myself included, and feel that having Old Cole with a different voice is more jarring and tackier than completely overhauling the character. Others welcome the return, because it is comfortably familiar. However, now some of them want the original voice actor too.

Ultimately by listening to the “fans” – and I use that hesitantly because the complainers were not speaking for the fans IMO – Sucker Punch have mired themselves into a trivial debate that threatens to overshadow what looks to be an awesome new game.

If they had stuck to their guns, said “we made the change because of xyz” and asked fans to trust them – it would have had a much better outcome. Now they have made themselves look indecisive, and left a very negative taste in lot of people’s mouths.

Having recently played inFamous again, the original Cole was not a great design. The newer look was definitely better. I am disappointed when fan pressure is used this way, as it doesn’t improve the product, it just sows ill will.

Hopefully for those of us who are more open to change, a skin for the new Cole will be provided as DLC or unlockable. Or better yet, the core game changes back to using the New Cole and the Old Cole is a DLC/unlockable character.

Laters!

Conan

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