Developer: Sucker Punch (2014)
Reviewed by V1
Set seven years after Infamous 2, Second Son sees brand new protagonist Delsin Rowe (nice surname fella!) take the reins from previous hero Cole McGrath. Gone are the electric powers from the original games, replaced by a much cooler moveset featuring multiple powers (you start with smoke but earn more three more powers throughout the game). The games location has also been changed to Seattle, whereas the previous games took place in Empire City & New Marais (fictional versions of NYC & New Orleans). Not sure why the series moved from a fictional world to the real world, but I’ll go along with it anways! Also it’s nice to have a game not set in NY, LA, London or Paris.
Due to the events of Infamous 2, the US Government deemed it necessary to take steps to capture the remaining conduits. They DUP (Dept. of United Protection) was established to do this very job. Seven years later most conduits have been captured & are incarcerated in Curden Cay. The DUP (run by super cunt Augustine) have turned the US into a militarised nanny state (so what’s new? lol). Basically, it’s X-Men without fuckin’ Storm to wreck everything!
Delsin gets dragged into this madness when a number of conduits escape a DUP convoy near his home (Delsin is a Native American & lives on a reservation). After a run in with Augustine leaves members of his tribe, including his Aunt Betty injured. Delsin decides to head to Seattle with his brother Reggie, master his powers, take out Augustine & save his people.
Wowzers this game looks good! It would be hard to pick fault in the presentation of the game, in fact it’s the kind of game you put on when you want to show off your lovely new PS4. It’s just gorgeous to be honest. Everything from the world itself, to the characters, the animation, the lighting (oh god the lighting), particle effects & just about every other graphical trick available is present & just jaw dropping. Once again, this game has some of the best lighting I’ve ever seen. While the game is great to look at, the audio has to get some love too. First & foremost I’ve got to take my hat off to Troy Baker. His performance as Delsin is second to none (or himself as Joel in the Last of Us), & the rest of the cast are very good too (Esp. Reggie played by Travis Willingham). As this game was motion captured by the actors themselves, the characters look incredible. Right up there with Naughty Dogs best work.
As a huge grunge rock fan I must pay tribute to the soundtrack & original score of Infamous: SS. Featuring a good mix of guitar rock, sombre piano pieces & a terrific cover version of Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box, this is the best soundtrack the series has had by a mile. It’s not able to compete with bigger franchises in gaming (Halo, Mass Effect, MGS), but it’s a memorable soundtrack nonetheless. I’m listening to it as I’m writing this review & it’s very enjoyable.
There are only a few negative things to note about presentation. First of all the streets are very empty. It’s not a game breaker (if it was, the Arkham games would be fucked!), but it’s definitely noticeable. There are some lip syncing problems & some major discrepancies between major & minor characters, which can be fairly jarring.
So we’ve established this game is a bit of a looker, but does it play as good as it looks? Yes, yes it does! Infamous was never about a great cinematic experience or a ground breaking narrative, it was always about the gameplay experience. Luckily enough this is by far the best playing game of the series…. Now featuring a fantastic cinematic story!!!
Infamous: Second Son is an open world 3rd person action game. Like most open world games you get to a pre-determined destination to begin story missions & progress through the meat of the game. In between missions there are also smaller side missions & objectives to complete. These missions range from destroying cameras, finding DUP agents, graffiti & destroying mobile command centres to free areas of DUP control. Most of these are pretty mindless to be honest, but everything is always fun due to the smoothness & accuracy of the controls.
If there’s one thing I don’t like about open world games, it’s driving around the city to get to your next objective. In Second Son it’s a pleasure to run around the city, running up buildings, jumping through vents, boosting & hovering around the rooftops. This probably my favourite part of the game & each power has its own feel & advantages to getting around the city.
Combat is also a lot of fun. You start off with very few moves, but finding blast shards throughout the city will enable you to level up & unlock a lot of moves. If you’re thorough & hunt down all shards in the city, you become so powerful that you’re virtually unstoppable. Normal fire attacks, rockets, ground pounds, invisibility & many other moves are available including a special attack for each power, which must be powered up before each use.
Like in previous games, there’s also a morality system. However this is not the Witcher or Mass Effect! Your choices aren’t overly important to the world as they only affect the main story. So it’s probably better to play through the game twice rather than jump between good & bad (you’ll be unable to fully level up by mixing choices).
Other than the inconsequential morality system there’s very little else to dislike in terms of gameplay. On a few occasions I found Delsin gravitating towards platforms instead of going where I wanted. You still can’t go in the water either. This made sense in Infamous 1 & 2 (electric powers) but it’s just lazy in Second Son (landing in water will cause the screen to turn black, when it comes back on you’re magically on land). The biggest fault for me is the length of the game & lack of variety in side missions. If you 100% complete the game it may take up to 15 hours, but the side missions take about 10 hours & consist of the same set of mission for each area of the map. It can get a bit boring, but it’s never bad, due to the quality of the gameplay itself.
• Incredible looking
• Plays perfectly
• Good performance from actors
• Best story of series.
• That lighting!
• Good Rock soundtrack.
• Great final boss.
• Short game.
• Lack of variety in side missions.
Overall: I absolutely love this game, it’s just a shame there’s not more of it. I liked it so much that I started a new game (for the evil playthrough) the moment I finished it & I NEVER replay games. Also worthy of note, this is the only game I’ve ever played so much I got the platinum medal (Walking Dead S1 doesn’t count). So to answer the questions I asked at the start of the review:
• Yes it’s a must have game.
• Yes it’s better than the first two games.
• No it’s not worth spending 400 quid for the game (no game is!)
8.5/10 (this would easily have gotten a 9.5 if there was more content)