Review – inFAMOUS: Second Son

By: Louis Edwards

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Cole McGrath may have perished but his legacy lives on. Sucker Punch Productions has brought the inFAMOUS series to the next generation of gaming. Is it a successful transition or would it have been better off dying with Cole?

Read our review to find out.

After the conclusion of inFAMOUS 2, Cole MacGrath made the ultimate sacrifice to save humanity from the Beast. Seven years after Cole’s death, the last remaining conduits have become the target of a newly formed government agency, the Department of Unified Protection (D.U.P), an oppressive organization tasked with apprehending these powerful conduits and labeling them as bioterrorists.

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Delsin Rowe, a rebellious 24 year old Seattle native who unexpectedly discovers his own superhuman powers, is faced with making difficult choices in a society where conduits are feared and ruthlessly hunted down. With the unique ability to control multiple powers that he draws out from other conduits, Delsin will develop his own set of distinct powers that grow over time.

Near Delsin’s Native American reservation of Salmon Bay, a group of conduits escape into Seattle after their transport vehicle crashes causing the D.U.P. to immediately lock down the city with emergency security measures. A witness to the accident, Delsin rushes in to help only to discover he is one of them. Resistant to authority and convinced his potential for greatness lies within his newfound abilities, Delsin becomes determined to take down the D.U.P and make a difference in the world.

The story for the game is not only well written, but is also fluid and has plot points that are decided by you, the gamer. There are several key points where you are faced with a karmic choice that will determine the karmic path you take. You can choose to be altruistic, and go the Good Karma route, or you can choose to be self-centered and only care about yourself, and go the Evil Karma route. These choices not only shape the story, but also shape your overall experience within the game’s world and how its inhabitants treat you. This is an aspect of the series that has always worked well and is just as great this time around.

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Character development has always been a strong point for the series and Sucker Punch stayed true to form and created likable, and entertaining characters, with a banter that is both fun and funny. The game does have a serious side, and a pretty evil leading lady, whose own story has made her who she is and has shaped her and forced her to be the person she thinks the world needs. While we may see her as evil, she sees herself as the savior of the world, even though she is as much a conduit as the ones she’s trying to track down and capture.

Delsin’s powers grow as he comes across several other major conduits. You’ll have to face off against them in a boss battle in order for them to share their powers with you, but once you have them, you’ll be glad they shared. Each power has a number of upgrades that make them more useful and more powerful. These are purchased by finding Blast Shards. Any fan of this series knows that blast shards are your friend and are littered generously around the environment. This time around the shards are attached to small unmanned roto-copters that can either be shot down or found lying around on top of buildings, signs, trees, or telephone poles.

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The city of Seattle is the backdrop for your journey and the city is separated into a bunch of smaller areas that you’ll need to assault. Each area has at least one mobile command center with an energy core that you’ll need to beat down in order to take control of the area. Once beat down, the core will release a handful of blast shards and will also unlock collectables and side missions on your city map. There are a few jamming towers that may need to be destroyed in order to clear up some areas, so keep an eye out for them as well.

The city really feels like a living, breathing city, with details and shop names that are true to the city of Seattle. Want to check out the Space Needle? Climb up to the top of it and check it out. While there, look to the South and Southeast to see Castle Crags and Mount Shasta. The detail for not only the city, but off in the distance as well, was incredibly sharp and spot on. The graphics for the game, and the attention to detail, make this one of the best looking games for the PS4 so far.

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Side missions are fun and add to the overall replayability of the game. You can choose to be evil and take out folks like sign twirlers, street musicians, and protesters, but if you are on a Good Karma run, you may want to wait and do those little bits of fun when you are going for full Evil Karma. Keep an eye out for folks lying around in need of help, as they can help you reach the level of karma you are after either by helping them or beating them down.

Side missions are spread out around the city and will have you trying to block out big brother by taking out all of their hidden cameras. There’s also hidden audio files waiting to be found and secret agents hiding in plain site that are in dire need of a beat down. One of our favorite things to do in the city is to break out our stencils and our spray paint and make the city prettier. A man, a plan, and an aerosol can. You’ll have to turn that dualshock sideways, give it a shake or two, and then use it to fill in the stencils to finish your masterpieces. Pretty cool idea that is well executed.

A man, a plan, and an aerosol can.

A man, a plan, and an aerosol can.

All done. You're welcome Seattle.

All done. You’re welcome Seattle.

Delsin’s powers are pretty impressive and him having four instead of just one like his predecessor Cole, gives him a depth that Cole was missing. Each power is fueled by a different source and switching between these powers is as easy as drawing fuel from the correlating source. The power system works, and works well, and is key to not only getting around the city, but also key in taking out your enemies. Where Cole had to rely on power lines to get quickly from point A to point B, Delsin can use a neon power to dash across the city, or a video power to fly around town.

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The game can be rushed through, rather quickly, only grabbing enough shards to power up Delsin to the point where he’s strong enough to take down the bosses, and one could easily finish this game in a short period of time. If one was to do that, they would be missing out on the core of this game which is the city of Seattle. This is a game that screams, “Stop and smell the roses.” If you rush through the game, you are leaving behind everything the developer has created for your enjoyment and viewing pleasure. The story is great, and is well worth a double playthrough, but the city is just as great as the story.

The sound track for the game is an eclectic mix that fits Seattle well and fits the game like a glove. Fast paced at times, when needed, then slowed down to fit the overall pace of the gameplay. This is a soundtrack that I’ll be loading up on my MP3 player and listening to on its own. Composer Marc Canham scored the game and did an excellent job.

If you own a PS4, you owe it to yourself to get this game.

10

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