Review

inFamous: Second Son

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inFamous: Second Son is the third main entry in Sucker Punch’s open-world series about unlikely heroes who acquire the use of natural elements that can be wielded as weapons. Besides having these ‘Conduits’ as its focus, the game’s narrative is entirely separate from inFamous and inFamous 2 so it can be enjoyed as a standalone experience.

What You Need to Know

inFamous: Second Son takes place in Seattle at a time when a handful of Conduits are running riot in the city after escaping from a truck transporting them to an army prison in Washington. The game’s protagonist, Delsin Rowe, soon comes into contact with one of these ‘bio-terrorists’ and absorbs his smoke power – setting into motion a chain of events that will ultimately find Delsin trying to cure his Native American community of a malady inflicted upon them by an evil Conduit named Brooke Augustine.

Despite being a Conduit herself, Augustine is the director of a government agency called the Department of Unified Protection (DUP) whose sole purpose is to hunt down and detain all bio-terrorists.

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What’s New?

inFamous: Second Son represents a very different kind of open-world experience for fans of the genre by making environment traversal and combat a lot more fluid and seamless than you’ve come to expect. Most of Delsin’s powers allow you to zip between the bottom and top of buildings in seconds, and some even allow you to cover vast distances at a breakneck pace.

One of the most thrilling moments in combat occur when you leap from a high perch and unleash a shockwave on your enemies as you punch the ground, and there are many other examples where you can use the environment to your advantage during enemy encounters.

A noteworthy new feature in inFamous: Second Son is being able to switch between all your acquired powers simply by finding a source of that element in your surroundings. This lends an extra layer of strategy to combat because you’ll need to identify where you can find a source of smoke or neon, for example, to ensure that you have enough (and the most effective) firepower to defeat whichever enemy type you’re facing.

What’s the Same?

The morality system, mission structure and side activities featured in inFamous: Second Son are very reminiscent of previous entries in the series. The game’s Karma system allows you to make moral choices during certain parts of the story, and these decisions affect the plot to a degree along with which power upgrades you have access to and the missions you can undertake.

The game’s story-based missions appear and play out in a linear manner, but you’re free to explore Seattle when you’re not embarking on these quests to discover side activities like tagging walls, busting drug dealers and taking out street musicians depending on whether you’re trying to raise your Good or Evil Karma level.

You’ll Enjoy inFamous: Second Son If You Liked…

… Batman: Arkham City. Swooping over a moonlit metropolis, beating up thugs and looking cool while dispensing justice – all these appealing elements are also present in inFamous: Second Son.

… The Amazing Spider-Man. This game’s plot, environment traversal and collectible scavenge hunts all share similarities with inFamous: Second Son.


inFamous: Second Son Screenshots


What I Liked

5.) The game is surprisingly humorous at times, especially when Delsin is peppering his older brother Reggie with wisecracks.

4.) The game’s control scheme is a perfect fit for the DualShock 4 and the extra precision of the controller’s analog sticks allows you to easily fine-tune your aim.

3.) Each Conduit Delsin absorbs a new power from has an intriguing backstory that’s told via eye-catching sequences drawn in the series’ trademark graphic novel style.

2.) inFamous: Second Son really harnesses the power of the PlayStation 4 to deliver some of the most action-packed combat sequences in videogame history. The fact that the game’s framerate remains fluid even during the most chaotic moments is a testament to Sucker Punch’s technical expertise.

1.) Gaining new powers is one of the highlights of the game, and shortly after absorbing a Conduit’s element you travel around Seattle seeking out core relays that give you new abilities linked to your newfound power to play around with.

Favourite Moment

inFamous: Second Son is the first triple-A PS4 exclusive I’ve played so the game’s incredible graphics brought a huge smile to my face as I explored its first outdoor location. Trailers and gameplay videos can only hint at how good this game looks so you’ll need to experience it for yourself to get a better idea of what we can expect from future PS4 titles created by Sony’s premier first-party studios.

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What I Didn’t Like

4.) Scaling buildings without the crutch of Delsin’s powers feels very cumbersome and outdated compared to how it’s handled in the Assassin’s Creed series.

3.) The game’s facial animation is generally good but there are times when a character’s words and expression are at odds with one another or something just looks a little off.

2.) The boss battles in inFamous: Second Son are some of its weakest moments as they tend to drag on for far too long and each boss’ attack pattern doesn’t have enough variety to keep things interesting.

1.) The tagging mini-game isn’t explained properly and you have to hold the DualShock 4 sideways before you can begin to spray your tag. I wasn’t sure where I had to spray to complete the tag and found that just spraying randomly worked if you did it for long enough.

Least Favourite Moment

After a few hours of playing inFamous: Second Son there came a point where I began to find combat repetitive and wished there was more enemy variety to keep things from feeling stale. There aren’t really any supernatural beings or monsters to fight this time around (unlike previous inFamous titles) so waging war against limited variants of gangsters and the DUP is bound to get boring after awhile.



What’s Extra?

inFamous: Second Son doesn’t feature any multiplayer modes and lacks the user-generated missions found in inFamous 2. That said, it will take you at least twenty hours to play through the game twice in order to view the plot from a Good and Evil Karma perspective, and to complete all its side activities that include clearing the DUP out of Seattle’s districts and unlocking the full list of upgrades for each of Delsin’s powers by collecting Blast Shards scattered throughout the city.

The Bottom Line

inFamous: Second Son boasts beautiful visuals, fluid controls and an engaging narrative, but its repetitive and at times frustrating combat detracts from an otherwise stellar gameplay experience.


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