CATS 1 – Visual Analysis Task – inFamous 2 Box Art

Seen in this image is the protagonist of the video game inFamous 2, Cole McGrath. He’s seen distinctly showing his electrokinetic abilities in a very peculiar manner. In context, the game itself allows the player to choose between being inFamous (Evil) or a Hero (Good), displayed visually by a contrast in the colouration of the protagonists electricity. On the left hand side of the image Cole is wielding Red Electricity with a backdrop that looks desolate whilst on the right hand side he is holding Blue Electricity with a backdrop that correspondingly looks vibrant. The colouration is therefore dependent on morality and is fitting that the Evil natured players obtain lightning of a Red hue. Notably we contrast the colour red with things such as; danger, blood, the devil etc. From this we realise that the opposite of this would befit the Good natured players with the blue electricity, summarizing words such as; angelic, peaceful etc.

In terms of the image itself, displaying this duality of morality whilst maintaining the characters initial neutral appearance essentially summarises the beginning of the game itself, with the ability for the player to choose between good and evil. Artistically one would assume that the artist’s intent was to display the visual properties of “the line” between Good and Evil. This is done by having the protagonist wield both morality based colours whilst maintaining neutrality, it gives the viewer a broader view on what the game would entail and this supposed moral line. Additionally it does show how essentially easy it would be for anyone in society if they were given this superhuman ability to effectively become unsure of where this “line” is, by how easy it is for the player in game to navigate through this moral compass.

Also, looking at the potency of the lightning in each of his hands, the more predominantly Evil side looks to be far more potent than the more Good natured side. Personally i draw comparison from this with Star Wars, in more particular to Jedi and the Sith and what they stand for. You see, the Sith have more potency in their use of The Force because of a lack of restraint when using it, whereas the Jedi use their abilities sparingly to avoid harming those around them unintentionally. Even the protagonist of the prequel trilogy, the Jedi Anakin Skywalker did succumb to the human desire for power and later became the Sith Lord Darth Vader. The point from this that i’m trying to put across is that maybe from an artistic perspective that the image could be displaying also that more power an individual gains, the more humanity and selflessness they lose.

In society, video games and film in particular, we idolize characters with superhuman abilities because of this fascination of something greater than ourselves. And in regards to the image it contrasts to us that no matter the ability of this character or what feat he can accomplish, we garner the sense that he has the capacity to make the same mistakes we do, but with far greater consequences.

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