“Alright, I got this whole thing figured out. We hit the town, maybe swing by the space needle, always wanted to see it, then were back home in time to save some lives.” – Delsin
“You do realize when we hit the town, theirs a fair change the towns gonna…you know…hit back.” Reggie
After a long wait, and a week of early release streams, Infamous Second Son is now available for PS4 owners who have been anticipating the exclusive title since it was announced. The game is gorgeous, plays damn well, but doesn’t have the scale some may have been expecting.
Infamous Second Son puts you in the role of Delsin Rowe, a Akomish Native American who lives in Washington and spends his spare time tagging the one billboard in town with a cartoonish version of his brother. His older brother Reggie is the town cop, and naturally they clash on what the moral thing to do. In comes a military transport with a handful of Conduits (Now rebranded by the DUP as Bio-Terrorists), they crash and Delsin inadvertently catches his first power and discovers he’s a conduit. The game follows his journey as he tackles different morality choices and meets some new conduits along the way and takes some new powers.
The game allows players to take two paths like previous titles in the series, Hero or Infamous. These choices result in changes that mainly allow you to be either precise or reckless. While this next generation entry into the series comes with many new and fantastic upgrades for the new hardware, the morality system fails to truly create two unique experiences.
Much like the previous games the only thing that really changes from the two paths are how you upgrade your powers, mission choices, side missions, character design, and the games ending. While these are all great, and help sell the alternate morality choices, they still aren’t new or next gen.
During the press surrounding the release Nate Fox from Sucker Punch said that the game should be played twice in order to get the full story. Once as the Hero and once as Infamous. It seemed like he was indicating such a different experience between the two, but there isn’t. But I don’t mean to take anything away from the story that the game has.
It has a much stronger narrative than previous entries, the characters are better constructed, and the relationship with the two brothers is the strongest component in the game. But that great story doesn’t dramatically change between good and evil.
The PS4 controller is fantastic, I’ve played plenty of games with it and it always provides a smooth experience. Second Son takes that fluid controller and redeveloped the series controls with great effect. Using powers is easy and fluid.
Since your character is able to utilize multiple powers, one might think that the controls could get overly complicated. Instead, the powers aren’t packed into the controls to use all at once. In order to select a power, you gather it from the world.
You want to use Smoke? Grab it from a burning car or chimney.
Want to play with Neon? Take it from a sign. With each power the controls stay the same they just alter its effect.
For example, Dash is mapped to circle, If you’re using smoke you will dash with a puff of smoke, but with neon you will run at neon speed. This allows you to grab what you need for any occasion. It feels fantastic!
And of course, how can I not talk about a next-gen game without talking about how fine the game looks? Second Son looks good, really good.
From how detailed the particle effects are, lighting, textures, how the rain effects the landscape and even the look and animation of the characters. It looks gorgeous, and runs so smooth.
Infamous as a series hasn’t got the attention from audiences as it deserves. Its a great series over all. But Second Son offers everyone an entry into the series that plays better, looks better, and has a stronger narrative than previous entries. While it has it faults, none of those faults should prevent any owner of a PS4 to get themselves a copy. And it might even sway a few into getting a new console. At least until Phantom Pain comes out.
Infamous Second Son was developed by Sucker Punch and was published by Sony Computer Entertainment.