Infamous: Second Son Review – A Beautiful Experience
Infamous Second Son takes players on a journey of good or evil across Seattle to save the Akomish tribe. It is a great way to experience the Infamous series on the PlayStation 4, however it does feel far more wonky than past games in the series.
Developed: Sucker Punch
Published: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: PS4 [reviewed]
Released: March 21, 2014
Review Copy: No
You play as Delsin Rowe, an Akomish living on their reservation, who is the tribe’s troublemaker. He causes no small amount of trouble for the whole tribe and his brother, who tries his utmost to keep him in line. This is a tale of two brothers, who have absolutely different world views and their differences make this story worth wild. Delsin is the rogue, the outcast. He doesn’t care for anything and just keeps getting into trouble.
His brother, Reggie, is the responsible one. He’s the sheriff in their little community and is always trying to keep his brother in line. He is the one person in this insane story that tries to bring Delsin back to his senses, back to reality, however he doesn’t always succeed. It is up to the player to make the choice for Delsin.
One issue that long-time fans of the series may have are the irrelevant choices during the game. Fans of the series have wanted the player’s decision to carry more weight, but this title falls back on the idea that there is only a good path and a bad path – nothing in between. Both story lines are interesting, however the need to make a choice for good or evil quickly becomes irrelevant.
The story is focused on the two brothers and the other characters are just there to help it along. Every time you make a choice – Reggie is there, and he’s always trying to make Delsin see reason. They aren’t the only characters, and it is obvious that all of the characters were created with all the care in the world. They aren’t just believable – they all have their pasts and seem to be real people. I don’t want to spoil the story any more, so I’ll leave it at that.
Playing The Game
If you’re looking for the classic Infamous experience, then you might be disappointed by the latest entry in the series. The parkour mechanics feels fluid and allows you to keep moving from point to point to point, however the climbing mechanic that fans of the series remember fondly is gone. Climbing up the side of buildings isn’t satisfying at all. That’s okay – we got the powers to make up for it.
The powers in the game make this title shine. Starting off with the smoke powers, you learn to master them over several missions. However these tutorial missions are plain boring. They seem to just hinder you enjoyment of the new power that you’ve unlocked. At some point you unlock full control of a power and that’s where the fun begins.
Each and every power in the game is exciting and a lot of fun to use. What makes them more exciting is the way they change how you move across the map. The smoke power gives you a dash that lets you fly through the skies, while the neon power allows you to run without stopping at an insane speed – you can even run up walls. This game follows one key principle in open world game design – the game must be fun!
How It Looks & Sounds
The latest entry in the Infamous franchise is stunning to see. This game is full of color – from absorbing powers to executing your ultimate move – everything is a bright flash of color. It doesn’t matter what you do in this game – it will be beautiful. The particle effects are particularly impressive, especially, when you suck power from environmental sources. Second Son shows off the power of Sony’s latest console, the PlayStation 4, and this title will surely excite any fan of the console maker.
The sounds are equally amazing in Second Son, especially since the developer used the speaker in the Dualshock 4 to make the game even more immersive. Every action in the game is accompanied by a near-perfect sound design. This title is so amazing that you’ll want to put your best pair of headphones on to experience the whole game.
Second Son welcomes characters to the beautiful city of Seattle. The city is full of color and is certainly excites the eye, however it does feel a tad artificial. Let’s start off with the good news. The city is massive and incredibly varied. It is divided into two by a river going straight down the middle. You start off in the more toned down, residential areas and will be able to move on to the downtown area with a lot of high-rise buildings. On both sides of the river players will be able to experience the new restrictive nature of the current generation entry in the Infamous series.
I’ve previously said that the ability to climb up the side of buildings has changed in this installment and not in a good way. The climbing mechanics used to allow players to reach for the sky with ease. Now the same mechanics are awkward and climbing up a building is a chore. This is one of the very few knocks against this title and it is partially solved by using your powers as often as possible.
Infamous: Second Son takes players on a ride and it is an exciting ride. It is a great attempt to bring this classic PlayStation series into a new generation. Fans of the series will be familiar with a lot the mechanics and ideas from past games in the series. However this title advances the series in a big way with multiple interchangeable powers that offer gamers a chance to explore the world in new and exciting ways.
I enjoyed playing this game from beginning to end, and it’s worth playing, if you enjoyed the original Infamous and its sequel. This game has some problems. The biggest ones are the awkward climbing mechanics and irrelevant choices. Despite all that it is a great game. Four stars out of five!
4 out of 5