Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Wayback Wednesday: Sucker Punch Productions!

In honor of Infamous: Second Son coming out last week, I'm going to take a look at the company that made it: Sucker Punch Productions!

It all started in 1997 in Bellevue, Washington, when Sucker Punch Productions was opened up, and for that year they helped make software with Microsoft. They wanted to make video games, but the fact that only one of the team had ever developed a video game made this a problem, so they split from Microsoft and became independent. By 1999, they had released their first ever game, Rocket: Robots On Wheels for the N64, which got an 82 on Gamerankings for it's fun puzzles, great physics engine, crisp textures and so many things to do. This is the game that kickstarted Sucker Punch's incredible run of games. And just to prove to Microsoft what they were missing out on, Sucker Punch signed a deal with Sony. Ouch.

2 years later, and SP had made their first ever PS2 game, Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, the first Sly Cooper game, which was well reviewed because of it's revolutionary cel-shaded graphics and impressive blend of platforming and stealth. SP decided to make Sly Cooper into a series, and come 2004, Sly 2: Band Of Thieves came out, and it changed many things, including playing as Sly's friends Bentley and Murray, and the goal of each level was to find the Clockwerk part in each world. Still, it stayed true to the series, and critics loved it.

The next year, Sucker Punch decided that they needed to move on to a new console and series, releasing the final Sucker Punch developed Sly Cooper game, Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves, on the PS2, and it was a hit, with a rating of 83 on Metacritic. It weirdly introduced 3D levels, so you could just pop on your "glasses" and see Sly beat people out of the TV and into your eyeballs. Not a good choice of words from me, but it was a nice extra. The Sly Cooper franchise is still going on, with a collection released and a new game, developed by Sanzaru Games, released last year, plus a movie will be coming out in 2016!

Anyways, for 4 years Sucker Punch developed the first inFamous, which was released in 2009 to much critical acclaim. You played as Cole McGrath, a normal guy who gets caught in a explosion and wakes up to find that he has electricity-based super powers, and he wants to use them to stop the anarchy in Empire City. It included the innovative Karma system, where your decision on whether to do the good or bad thing effects the way you play, what upgrades you can get, and how people react to you. Oh yeah, and it had damn cool superpowers.

It was so successful it spawned a sequel, inFamous 2 (Duh), which was also well recieved, as it had a lot of content, a deep, cutting story and great graphics, with some amazing set piece battles to boot and, of course, damn cool superpowers. And now we come to 2014, with inFamous: Second Son released. I'll let you be the judge of how good it is.

So, for creating two stalwart series for two Playstation consoles, we salute you, Sucker Punch!

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