REVIEW – „With great power comes great responsibility” – this famous sentence once uttered by Stan Lee was deeply infused in the mind of every Spider-Man and superhero fans alike. The thing is, the last thing we will care about in the latest game from Sucker Punch is responsibility. Like its predecessors, inFamous: Second Son concentrates on one thing: having unlimited fun.
Make no mistake, for an open world game inFamous: Second Son has a pretty good story and its universe is pretty well designed. Delsin Rowe and every character as well are all believable and they fit well into this world of mayhem, and destruction, where the superheroes, who call themselves “conduits” (while the media and the government call them “bio terrorists”) are chased by the oppressive military organization, the DUP. By the time the narrative falters a little bit, you will care less and won’t notice it anyway, since you will be so much absorbed in this seamless superhero action adventure, where you will either chose the good sided actions, or (if you are like me…) you will rather choose the dark side. One can’t have unlimited power without choosing the dark side you know…
This new son has multiple talents
The story is set seven years after the cathartic events of inFamous 2. Cole Macgrath, the hero from the first two games is gone, and we have a new protagonist the young and careless Delsin Rowe. Delsin has only two goals in life: make the best graffiti arts possible in his little hometown, and annoy the shit out of his brother, Reggie, who works as a cop. The two brothers are both parts of the fictional Okomish tribe in the Pacific Northwest reservation.
This rather peaceful existence meets an abrupt end when a military truck transporting conduits crashes. Delsin makes contact with one of the escaping prisoners and he discovers to his horror that he somehow cloned the conduit’s ability while touching his arm. That’s a radical difference from Cole from the first two games: while Cole had just one superpower (using electricity), Delsin gains multiple powers from other conduits as the game progresses and he learns and levels up every one of those powers.
I got the powers
While we can choose to save some people, those powers are meant for only one thing: utter destruction. DUP agents, angry policemen, and various criminals are plenty in Seattle and we they are shoot and don’t even ask questions, so fast and furious combat is our main occupation in inFamous: Second Son. Thanks to our superpowers, navigating the city, flying, floating in the air, running the walls and roofs of skyscrapers while shooting and blasting our way everywhere is a seamless, extremely enjoyable experience.
The usual inFamous open world tasks are also here, but more focused: instead of shooting pigeons we have to find blast shards, which are extremely important for upgrading our powers. There are also side missions and task, and yes, we can kill street musicians again – Sucker Punch may have an agenda against those guys. Some boss battles also have a special little trick to find out, but basically, you will fly, shoot and kill during the whole game of inFamous: Second Son – and most probably have a hell of a lot of fun while doing so.
Each power in the game feels and looks different enough to have a sufficiently varied experience when switching between them. While smoke power shots are stronger, we can carefully aim with neon. Head-shooting DUP agents with neon never get old just as causing a massive area damage with the rocket ability of the smoke skill. Both powers can be upgraded in the well-designed skill tree thanks to the blast shards found. Even if combat is the main part of InFamous: Second Son, still there’s a considerable variety in the superhero powers and having always something new to learn and use is a big plus.
You won’t believe your eyes
If you have already played the previous inFamous games and also a bit of Prototype or other superhero games, you might want to give Second Son a miss. Well if video game graphics means anything to you (and yes, I know it does, don’t deny it) you would make a BIG mistake since Second Son is not only a joy to play, but also gorgeous, easily the best looking PlayStation 4 game so far, and I can’t remember any recent PC game looking that good either. (Ok, perhaps Crysis 3 on max level, but then again Crysis 3 was extremely boring.)
The whole city of Seattle comes alive on the PS4 and it’s so crisp and detailed that you would almost step on you HD television to take a stroll. Weather effects such as rain puddle are gorgeous, and every inch of Seattle is reproduced in such a loving care – well, it’s no wonder since the Sucker Punch team is working and living here.
But the best effects in inFamous are most certainly the neon powers. Draining the neon power from everywhere, or just “neon running” and shooting is so beautiful, that most people would probably prefer to use neon just because of that.
And let’s not forget the perfect facial animation either in the cut scenes, which could be a perfect showcase for the PS4’s graphical capabilities as well.
“With great…” ah screw that!
Some will perhaps miss the epic feeling of a superhero material like Christopher Nolan’s Batman series, (or even the Rocksteady games) which infamous: Second Son most certainly isn’t. It has a better story than the first two inFamous games, also more believable characters, but it’s still at its heart an inFamous game. Which is, in this case, a good thing.
+ Breathtaking visuals
+ Fun to use powers
+ Smart skill system
– Delsin isn’t an unForgettable hero
– Story becomes a little flat
– Gets a bit repetitive
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Genre: action, open world
Release date: Mars 14, 2014