inFAMOUS: Second Son Review
inFAMOUS: Second Son review was done by guest writer, Steve M. His Twitter handle is @OmegaFluxx
Is This The First Big PS4 Title?
One thing that the PS4 has been lacking of late is a killer app. We may be at the beginning of the console’s life, but with the arrival of Titanfall on the Xbox One, Sony really needed Infamous to deliver and become the platform’s first must have exclusive. Following a big marketing push from the Japanese company, does it deliver?
Following on from the events of Infamous 2, we’re introduced to Delsin Rowe. A cocky, love him or hate him tagger, who finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when a military vehicle containing 3 Conduits (or Bio Terrorists) crashes near his home. There follows the discovery that Delsin is also a conduit, with the ability to absorb the powers of other conduits that he touches. We’re introduced to the hateful Brooke Augustine, another Conduit but one who has allied with the D.U.P, and puts Delsin and his tribe in a predicament which sees him and his sheriff brother Reggie embark on a trip to Seattle in search of Augustine.
It’s here where the game begins proper, and Suckerpunch’s take on Seattle is a thing to behold. Their use of lighting particularly. The reflections in the water, the use of shadow, everything that you can see is drawn beautifully, and it’s represented near flawlessly on Sony’s next generation console. The view from the Space Needle is breathtaking.
Delsin’s powers and parkour abilities also make the world lovely to move around in. You begin the game with Smoke, which enables you to move up buildings via the vents. Later, you’re granted with three additional powers (we’ve seen much of Neon, the other two I won’t spoil), and once you’ve had the chance to upgrade your character based on the game’s morality system, you soon find yourself sprinting up the sides of buildings and across the city uninterrupted.
Combat is extremely fun. They all offer a number of different attacks, including a melee attack, ranged shooting, heavy weapons, and it’s always a treat to set off an orbital drop. Each power gives you a set of abilities that are upgradeable through a skill tree. You spend shards to earn new abilities on each tree, which are one of the collectibles throughout the game.
The red versus blue morality system is as trivial as it always has been. It’s perhaps more fun to play as an evil character, but at the same time it makes little sense that Delsin would murder innocent civilians and police officers, and that his brother would be okay with that. Still, you’re presented with two separate paths to take, so the game warrants two separate playthroughs to get the most out of it.
The structure, however is a little repetitive. Once you arrive in Seattle, you quickly discover that you’ll need to absorb the powers of other conduits before you can confront Augustine. So you seek out the first, fight them, learn how to use the new power and then embark on an either red or blue mission with that character. Then on to the next conduit and ability. The other characters have no real involvement with you, other than in these missions, which feels like a missed opportunity. As fun as it is to completely turf the D.U.P. out of every sector, the side missions are all very similar. Graffiti this piece of wall, interrupt this drug bust, find this hidden thing, it feels like the other characters could have been used more with their own set of quests.
Which leads into my main gripe with this game, its length. It’s an excellent game, but it could be about 5 hours longer. For an open world game, we’re used to sandboxes that keep us amused for hours on end, and this one left me wanting more. Something that is perhaps remedied with a second play through, and you should really go through on Expert to get the best feeling out of it, but more content would have been extremely welcome. This may well arrive in the coming weeks as DLC, we will have to wait and see.
+ Second Son's Seattle is a thing of beauty
+ Healthy dose of powers Delsin acquires
+ Combat is great and offers tons of variation
- The morality system is pretty bland
- Repetition creeps its ugly head in from time to time
- Second Son is shorter than I would like
In a world where the First Person Shooter is king, a game like InFamous: Second Son is never going to sell as well as the Titans of video games. However, the game delivers on it’s hype in almost every way, and the PS4 finally has that killer app that it needed.
Again, you can follow Steve on his twitter: @OmegaFluxx