Review – Infamous: Second Son

Nobody_caresFor the unaware, Infamous: Second Son was one of the earliest announced exclusives for the PS4 when the console was first announced. Infamous has been a strong franchise for Sony, and with Second Son, it has secured its place among the “It’s pretty good for a launch title” roster.

Sucker Punch’s debut on the PS4 is a pretty damn strong one, and Second Son has easily become their most successful title to date. Interestingly enough, this title also boosted PS4 sales by roughly 100% for the month. Titanfall for the Xbox One was Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s exclusive, but I expected something with more replay value for the console’s real first “Next-Gen” title. It’s somewhat disappointing to see my PS4 reverting back to Roku-mode once I’m done with this game.

If you’ve ever played Infamous, you know that that it’s pretty much X-Men minus the tights. That being said, it revolves around a world where people who can control some sort of matter manipulation are referred to as Conduits. These mutants are considered highly dangerous and a menace to the general public. Pretty much, other than your close friends, everyone in the game hates you, or wants you dead. The fun part is your large arsenal of goodies. Tons of interesting skills make dispatching haters fun, fast, and highly addicting.

Story

inFAMOUS_Second_Son_Delsin BridgeIn Second Son you star as Delsin Rowe, a powerful pseudo-punk Conduit with the talent to absorb other conduit’s abilities and turn them into his own. He then uses these powers to save the lives of his Akomish (a fictional Native American tribe) friends back home. With the help of his brother and a few allies gained along the way, you fight through seemingly endless forces of the D.U.P., gangsters, other Conduits, and enemies sporting some pretty intense powers.

SPOILER ALERT – The next paragraph contains spoilers about what powers you’ll be getting.

The main story mode in Second Son is roughly around 16 hours of play on normal setting. About three hours in, you’ll be getting your second Conduit ability, Neon. Followed by video powers around eight hours in. Video is by far the most powerful of the three due to its summoning, mobility, and raw firepower, rendering the others useless outside of fights where you are forced to switch between the three (excluding concrete which is obtained after clearing the main story).

Sadly, for a game which revolves around moral choices, only five were available throughout the game. I would have liked to see this system implemented into side missions as well, seeing as how it’s imperative to character progression. Speaking of side missions, not much lies in variety. You’ll be re-playing the same exact scenario in a different part of the city with every single objective based mission. Spray painting is somewhat unique, but still doesn’t bring much essence to the title. That is what Second Son is missing, variety in mission objectives. The origami missions bring a new element of interaction outside the actual title, but still don’t add new elements.

Visuals

Infamous-Second-Son-Lift-Off_1382631509

The first real title optimized for the PS4 does not disappoint in this department. Frame rates did not drop for a moment throughout the entire playthrough, even when I tried to cause as much havoc as the game would allow for. Flying around the city is quite satisfying as panoramic views with extremely long viewing distance make you feel true flight for the first time on next-gen consoles.

Although the graphics are quite gorgeous, I can’t say the same about aesthetics. Much of the city seems to be quite copy-paste. Enemies don’t vary in clothing or facial expressions, and the civilian population is made up of maybe ten different character models. One feature which stood out to me significantly was the lighting. Abilities will trigger cascades of explosions which all create a unique light source, and shadows along with bright spots show the power of the PS4’s hardware along with the some great development.

Gameplay Mechanics

Infamous-Second-Son-6

This is another area in which Second Son was incredibly strong with. If you’ve played the first Infamous title, you’ll quickly adapt to all of Delson’s abilities without much of a struggle. As for players new to this series, it provides a great tutorial, simulating plenty of opportunities where switching powers is necessary.

Most fights outside of bosses will last anywhere from a couple minutes to just a few seconds. I found that by being evil, your destructive ability skyrockets. Speaking of which, having an ultimate ability which incinerates an entire city block doesn’t hurt either.

As mentioned previously, video powers outweigh the others by far in every aspect. Having a free execute from invisibility lets you take out difficult to hit targets without breaking a sweat. Angel wings let you fly throughout the city unhindered, while summoning minions to distract and destroy your foes. I wish more variety was available in ability upgrades other than just costs and damage.

Final Reaction

Would I have purchased Infamous: Second Son at full price knowing of its current content? Probably not. Would I recommend renting or borrowing it from a friend? Absolutely. Although action-adventure titles are infamous (haha, I made a joke) for being short in story, this is honestly just not long enough to warrant a $60 price tag. Still, games of this genre are fun, even if it doesn’t last long. You’ll enjoy every second until it’s over.

Grade: B

354850

About author

Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian
Adam "Kharakov" Kharatian 396 posts

Adam "kharakov" Kharat is part nerd, part geek, and full awesome. With deadly writing skills and the sleeping habits of a jackrabbit, late night gaming sessions are all but mandatory.