inFAMOUS: Second Son – Review

Infamous Second Son
Having owned the PlayStation 4 since launch, I’ve been clamouring for a top notch console exclusive to justify the purchase of a $400 Blu-ray Player. It’s been a long wait, almost 4 months, but it’s finally over. inFMAOUS: Second Son is the game every PlayStation 4 owner has been waiting for!

Infamous Second Son Box Art inFAMOUS: Second Son
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PlayStation 4
Released: 3/21/14
Verdict: Enjoy your power!
Score: 8/10

Seven years have passed since the events of inFAMOUS 2. Cole is dead. New Marais and Empire City are gone. Conduits are feared and hated. They’ve been reclassified as Bio-Terrorists, and the government has created a task force for the sole purpose of capturing and imprisoning these Bio-Terrorists. The D.U.P., or Department of Unified Protection, has been overseeing the Bio-Terrorists for 7 years at Curdon Cay. They’ve been doing such a great job that the government has decided to shut down the D.U.P. and shift the Bio-Terrorist division to the Military. On the day of the first transfer from Curdon Cay, three Bio-Terrorists escape and change the life of Delsin Rowe, and his brother Reggie, forever.
When we first meet Delsin, he’s just a small town punk. Getting into trouble, vandalizing local billboards, and just being rebellious. He isn’t very likeable, but you don’t hate him either. In the first 10 minutes of the game before you make your first karmic decision you learn enough about Delsin to know that he really could go either way toward the path of justice, or evil. He has a problem with authority, but will do anything to protect those he loves. . . and himself. After the opening you make your way to Seattle to find the head of the D.U.P. and well. . . spoilers.
Infamous Second Son Delsin
The city is pretty large, with plenty of side missions and random activities to keep you occupied. However, it doesn’t feel like the city is any larger than Empire City in the first inFAMOUS. And while there is a bit to do, it doesn’t seem like there are as many side missions in this outing of inFAMOUS. As is standard with inFAMOUS games, Seattle is broken up into two separate sections divided by impassible bridges and the like, to keep you in one section of the sandbox until the game deems it necessary to move on. Each half of the city is then subdivided into multiple districts, for a total of 12 across the entire city. These districts are each protected by the D.U.P. with cameras, patrols, and a mobile command center. Destroying a mobile command center reveals the location of all collectibles in the district and helps remove the D.U.P. presence within the city. After completing most of the side missions in a district, and gathering the collectibles, a District Showdown opens up wherein Delsin stakes his claim on the district and drives out the D.U.P. for good.
You could just go off and tackle the story missions, but you’ll be at a disadvantage. Without driving out the D.U.P. you can expect heavier resistance. Without gathering all the collectibles you won’t have the strongest powers. Without tagging all of the walls you won’t. . . um. . . be able to show off your artistic vision? Ok, so not all of the side missions are winners, but for the most part they’re entertaining enough to pass the time. Based on how you play, the side missions can get pretty repetitive mostly due to lack of variety – Chase a guy, spray paint a wall, follow and listen to an audio signal, and find and destroy a hidden camera. On top of that, none of the side missions offer any reward other than being required to open up the District Showdowns. And remember, 12 districts means 12 of each type of side mission. It adds up to a lot, but feels somewhat shallow in the long run. I feel like more time could have been spent making the extra things to do in inFamous: Second Son feel more meaningful, and more varied.
Infamous Second Son Smoke
In previous entries killing enemies, or performing stunts, granted the player EXP to be used to unlock new abilities. That’s not the case in inFAMOUS: Second Son. Blast Shards are the only form of currency needed to obtain new powers. Blow up a Mobile Command Center, gather the 4 shards it spits out, then hunt down the Tracker Drones in the district and grab the blast shards embedded within. Next thing you know you have an abundance of powers to unlock and plenty of shards to use. It’s a simple method, but takes the need to defeat enemies away from the player. To combat that Sucker Punch introduced karmic actions during combat to help the players gain Karma points and advance to the next Karma bracket. Want good Karma? Subdue the enemy. Want Bad Karma? KILL ‘EM ALL! The 5 brackets each open up more new powers to spend the blast shards on. I really enjoyed this system, it felt more natural and much easier to grasp than the EXP system used in inFAMOUS 2.
What helps inFAMOUS: Second Son stand above the previous two entries in the series is the variety of skills to use against the D.U.P. While the first two games didn’t exactly make you get by on some bare bones powers, the ability to at will switch out to one of 4 different feeling and looking powersets helps usher in a new era in the franchise. I honestly couldn’t go back to just using electricity for an entire game. Throw in the stunning effects and the power of the PlayStation 4 and you have one fantastic looking game. The lighting on the neon skills is stunning. The pixelaton on the video skills is just cool. And smoke! OMG SMOKE! My biggest gripe with the powers is that you don’t get any time to play with the last skill since you get it at the very end of the game. It would have been nice if Delsin picked it up just a mission or two in advance so I had more time to play with it, instead of being forced to use it during the last mission.
Infamous Second Son Neon
Of course everyone wants to know how good the game looks. That’s a simple question to answer: It’s GORGEOUS! Everything from street garbage, to the way the sunlight interacts with the trees looks fantastic. Again I can’t stress enough how cool neon powers look, but try them in the dark or at night. They’re even cooler! Facial animations are ridiculous, with realistic looking wrinkles and movement. You can actually see the emotion pouring out of the characters eyes and faces. Delsins’ jacket and vest also look awesome, and move incredibly realistically against his body. This game is beautiful, and the game to show your friends to prove that next gen is actually worth the price tag.
Overall, inFAMOUS: Second Son is a fantastic addition to the PlayStaion 4 library and the game every early adopter has been waiting for. The stunning effects and gorgeous scenery are top notch for anyone just looking to show off the hardware. The game plays spectacularly with the new DualShock4, even using the oft useless touchpad in interesting ways. The side missions are a little repetitive, but are fun enough to pass the time. The ability to swap out 4 different power sets at will, that all feel different, is just so cool! inFAMOUS: Second Son is the game we’ve been waiting for on the PlayStation 4.
Infamous Second Son - Beginning

is not a boss.

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