inFAMOUS was nearly a cartoony Animal Crossing-style game

It's hard to believe now, but Sony's hardcore superhero action game inFamous was originally going to be a cartoon game inspired by Nintendo's gentle Animal Crossing series.

The bizarre revelation was made by Chris Zimmerman, co-founder of inFamous developer Sucker Punch, in an interview with Gamespot. "The original idea for Infamous, believe it or not, was that it was kind of Animal Crossing, but you were a super hero," he explained.

The game would have had similar social features, with a little town populated by characters the player would help out, earning more items to decorate the town. "All kinds of crazy stuff like that," Zimmerman continued. "We worked on that for about a year in that direction. So much more stylized, much more cartoony than what you end up seeing. We worked hard to see if we could make that work."

Given that Sucker Punch was then best known for the gorgeous cartoon Sly Cooper platformers, it's not as unlikely as it sounds but, of course, it wasn't to be. "It really wasn't coming together," Zimmerman concludes with masterful understatement. The game was reimagined as a more realistic and adult anti-hero yarn, with the good versus evil moral dilemmas that have made the series so popular.

The InFamous series continues next week with the launch of PlayStation 4 exclusive Second Son. Animal Crossing, meanwhile, has also gone from strength to strength. The recently released 3DS game New Leaf is a delight. And even Sly Cooper comes out of this with a happy ending: he's getting his own Hollywood animated movie.

Published: 14/03/2014

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