Infamous Second Son Review

For a lot of people, Infamous Second Son was the first must have exclusive for the Playstation 4. While it may not be the blockbuster title most people wanted it to be, Infamous SS is a welcome addition to the Playstation 4’s triple-A library. Although its story lacks the punch that the original Infamous’ brought to the table, Second Son is the most stylish entry to the series, as well as the most fun to play.

The most important and impressive part of SS is the mechanics of the gameplay. SS is sooooo freaking smooth! You are never slowed down by loading screens or framerate issues, and every movement is seamless. The game never stutters and the controls are so natural, that they become second nature. Once you get into it, you’ll never find yourself asking: “How do I do this?” or “What button was that for?”

Meet your new hero/anti-hero, Delsin Rowe

Meet your new hero/anti-hero, Delsin Rowe

Delsin’s character is brought out by his personality, but is solidified by his powers. His abilities aren’t generic light, dark, fire or water powers; Delsin starts off with smoke as his main tool. You may ask yourself how could smoke be useful in a fight, but the game quickly answers that in a way that makes sense. Delsin’s powers evolve and change throughout the game and by its end, you’ll have four different main elements to play around with. They are also different enough that they never feel like simple palette changes; they all have their uses. Smoke can be used to paralyze foes, neon is best for travelling around the city, and another can be used for stealth or to call in allies. You’ll definitely have a personal favorite power, just like me. Mine is neon because once you upgraded the running ability, my goodness did I feel like The Flash running endlessly through Seattle. Another change up in the powers will be seen whether you choose to be good or evil. If you wanna play the good guy, your powers change with you, usually giving you non lethal ways to subdue foes. If you play the bad side, you’ll have many ways to destroy and obliterate anything and anyone in your path. Just don’t expect to have more than one base power on at the same time though; you’ll have to switch between neon, smoke and the others instead of combining them.

infamous ss neon

And I thought Insomniac could get creative with their tools of destruction.

You’ll have plenty of time to try  out and enjoy your powers in the main ten to twelve hours it takes to beat the game. Then, you can start over and see the other side of the karma spectrum. The game also has plenty of side missions and activities you can try out during your time. You can choose to destroy all of the D.U.P checkpoints around Seattle to liberate the city, fight thugs or cops depending on your karma, spray paint walls using the motion controls of the Dualshock 4, collect blast shards, and more. Even though there is a lot to do, it does get quite repetitive doing the same thing over and over, especially through two playthroughs. You’ll eventually get tired of destroying the D.U.P satellites since your enemies aren’t very varied in skill or appearance. Every side objective gets tiring over time… besides collecting those blast shards. Holy Moses, is it fun collecting those shards. I don’t know why, but every time I was headed toward a mission, I’d always go out of my way to collect a near by shard… which lead me to another shard, then another. I can’t explain it, but that feeling you get when you hear the controller make that draining noise when you find a shard to upgrade your powers is so damn satisfying.

+Smooth and seamless gameplay

+ Encourages you to play the game twice

+Neon!

+Collecting Blast Shards

+That Dualshock 4

– Repetitive side missions

Gameplay: 9.75 out of 10

Lasting Appeal: 8 out of 10

Smooth, stylish and ambitious, Infamous Second Son screams its artistic vision in every part of the game. Unlike previous titles, Second Son takes place in a realistic city, Seattle. Empire City and New Marais were fictional cities used in Infamous 1 & 2, based upon realistic places (New York and New Orleans), but this is the first time Sucker Punch decided to create a world that actually exists in reality. Seattle landmarks and locations are present throughout every corner of the map. I’m not from Seattle, but it is easy to recognize the Space Needle and the Pacific Science Center featured in the game. It is crazy how much detail is used to portray the beautiful city of Seattle and after playing Infamous, chances are you’ll want to go visit the city yourself.

Sign my postcard? Yes, this is an image from the actual game.

Sign my postcard? Yes, this is an image from the actual game.

The city of Seattle isn’t the only thing that looks wondrous though. In fact, every single thing about Infamous Second Son is breathtaking to look at. Along with Killzone: Shadow Fall and Resogun, this game shows off the power of the graphical abilities of the Playstation 4. Everything from climbing a building to shooting a beam of neon out of your hand looks extremely detailed; to a level we’ve never seen before. Realistic facial animations, destructible and detailed environments, bright and inspiring lighting effects… I can’t stress enough how remarkable this game looks. Even though the level of visual effects are masterful, the audio manages to match it. Not only is the voice acting sublime, its special effects are marvelous. Shooting energy beams, destroying cars, gliding through the air, all sound as good as it looks. Not only can you see the particles from the trailing smoke behind you disappear, you can hear it fade away. The sound the Dualshock 4 makes when you drain neon, or when you shake your spray-can goes perfectly with the in-game sounds. The controller brings the audio closer to you than ever before, adding to the feeling of immersion.

+ The most stylish game I’ve ever played

+A gorgeous realization of Seattle

+Troy Baker does a great job voicing Delsin

+Good voice performances all around

+THAT DUALSHOCK 4

Visuals & Audio: 10 out of 10 

The game runs extremely smoothly, it pulls you into its world to either save it, or destroy it. That has always been the focal point of Infamous’ story-lines. If you played the first two Infamous games on the Playstation 3, you know that Infamous is known for its superpowers and the choices you make with those powers. You’ve always had two chooses in these games: Be a hero or become infamous. That sadly doesn’t change for Infamous Second Son. I was hoping that Sucker Punch would use less of the black and white approach when it came to choices, but I guess that’s what makes Infamous games what they are. Regardless, I accepted the binary choice system, until I realized that your choices don’t change much of the game or its story. No matter if you are trying to be good or evil, it doesn’t change the story or missions enough to give players that feeling of difference. Cutscenes will play out differently and dialog will change a bit, but ultimately, nothing changes besides aesthetical designs. After the drastic differences between the good and evil endings of Infamous 2, it felt like a step backwards for the series having choices having little effect on the story and characters.

Infamous-second-son-neon-run

The only way to travel.

Besides the choice system, Infamous games have always had a deeply woven, and almost mysterious story. It was more than just telling a story about a hero going from point A to point B to accomplish one task. The previous two Infamous games built the story of Cole, Zeke, Trish, Kuo, Nix, The Reapers, a swamp city, The First Sons, The Ray Sphere, The Beast, Kessler, Alden and many more characters and organizations. Second Son mainly tells one singular story of Delsin and his buddies against Augustine and the D.U.P. It makes sense that they would build a story that doesn’t require you to know about the last generation of Infamous games, but to have no connection between them is very disappointing for fans of the series. Don’t expect a big twist at the end of the game like Infamous 1 & 2 did, because it ain’t coming. By no means is Infamous Second Son’s story bad, it is just doesn’t match the quality of the stories you expect from a Infamous game.

+Good entry point for newcomers

– Binary decisions that have little impact on the story

-Does little to move the Infamous Franchise forward

Story & Presentation: 7.25 out of 10

For future Infamous games, I’m hoping that Sucker Punch makes the evil ending canon, as they did with the good ending of Infamous 2. Delsin’s character seemed to fit the evil story more realistically, as Cole’s character fit the good ending. I also hope they evolve the choice system, since the binary choices are getting a bit tripe. Regardless of the weak story, Infamous Second Son is a pure fun experience that any owner of the Playstation 4 should play. It is stylish and can supply a good amount of joy for players who enjoy smooth and gratifying gameplay.

+The evil ending

Overall: 8.75 out of 10

Try Infamous Second Son if you like:

Previous Infamous games

Superpowers

Stylish games such as Devil May Cry

Shorter Open World games 

Thanks for reading/listening!

Thanks for reading/listening!

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3 thoughts on “Infamous Second Son Review

  1. Pingback: CBN’s 2014 Review Round-up | Classic But New

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