Developed by:Sucker Punch Productions Published by:Sony Genre(s):
  • Action Adventure
  • Platform:
  • Sony
  • Cost:$59.99 ESRB Rating:MATURE Players:1 Release date:March 21, 2014 Reviewed on:PS4

    InFamous Second Son

    The PlayStation 4 had a great start at launch when it came to its sales. It did, however, lack in the “must have” game department. Besides Killzone, there hasn’t been a 1st party triple A title to push the PS4.  This made Infamous Second Son one of the most anticipated titles of the year for Sony fans. The good news for those patient gamers – Sucker Punch took their time and it paid off greatly!

    Second Son takes place in 2016, seven years after the events of the previous game. Because of all the crazy that was Infamous 2, the Department of Unified Protection (D.U.P) is formed to track down and capture all conduits (beings with special powers). If you are new to the series, think of the X-men vs. any random government faction. Here you take control of Delsin Rowe, a graffiti artist living on the Akomish reservation in Washington. Delsin’s Brother Reggie is the sheriff on the reservation and usually has to arrest Delsin for tagging something in the area. After a crash near the reserve some conduits break loose from a military vehicle. Long story short, Delsin discovers he has the power to absorb other conduits powers and heads to Seattle to take down the head of the D.U.P.

    Second Son really shines in a lot of aspects, but like any other game isn’t perfect throughout. Let’s start with the good parts. First off combat feels great. In the beginning of the game there isn’t much to the combat system but as you progress it gets much more diverse. The first power Delsin gets is Smoke. It allows him to fling smoke shots at enemies – they look like fiery smoke balls – or launch more explosive-like projectiles taking out multiple structures in your path. Collecting Blast Shards in the environment will allow you to upgrade Smoke and other powers, unlocking new moves and abilities. Smoke Shot can be upgraded with Sulfur Headshots for example. This allows headshots to engulf enemies with sulfur, making them cough and gasp for air. Once this happens they are able to be subdued.

    There are a few types of powers you can unlock over the course of the game and all of them lead to different play styles. They all affect how you approach conflicts; everything from running in and blasting everyone indiscriminately to using precision shots to incapacitate foes without killing them. There are even ultimate moves that can be activated once you’ve filled a karma meter (more on that later). For instance, the Smoke’s ultimate move has Delsin flying high in the air before crashing back down with such force that it obliterates everything around him – sans most buildings and landmarks of course. As cool as Delsin’s powers are, he isn’t unstoppable. Keeping with the past titles, using your powers will burn through your reserves. In order to get them back you’ll need to drain them from a power source; sapping energy from a flashing sign will fill up you up with Neon while pulling smoke from a wrecked car will replenish Smoke. This keeps you always thinking about your resources and doesn’t let you just steam roll your way through hoards of enemies. This is especially true when the tougher enemies start showing up later in the campaign.

    As I touched on before the Karma system is back. There isn’t really much different about it. You pick your path (good or evil) and it changes what missions you can do, what powers you can use and some of the story. Some things affect your karma more than others; choosing the good or evil path in missions will affect your karma a lot more than choosing to subdue or kill an enemy. If you choose the good path like I did, an accidental kill is pretty unavoidable so this is definitely a good thing. On the flipside, getting multiple kills or doing good deeds will fill your Karma meter in order to be used in combat. Once filled, you’ll be able to use one of the ultimate moves like the one I mentioned above.

    The single most impressive thing about Second Son is the visuals. From the beginning cinematic to the end credits, I was in a state of “mind being blown”. I mean the character models, lighting effects, textures, particle effects – everything in Second Son looks awesome. It’s easily one of the best looking console games ever. Heck, it even rivals some high quality PC’s. Just standing on top of a building and looking at a smoke stack, you can tell Sucker Punch took their time creating the intricate details. The visuals featured here truly show the PS4’s power to run stunning looking games!

    Story wise Second Son could’ve used some help. The premise is good and can draw you in but the way it’s put together…it just doesn’t flow well enough. When you meet what’s supposed to be one of the main conduits in the game, it’s all mysterious. Like the developers are building suspense before a meaningful relationship is formed. At one point you think that there may be a love interest brewing. But then the game moves on to the next conduit. A few missions later and we’re left in the dark again as the story progresses. It’s like the supporting cast are just chapters within the campaign; bullet points on a list to move things along rather than real, developed characters. One thing that made the story seem better than it actually was were the visuals combined with the voice acting. Each cut scene looked great and the voice acting wasn’t far behind in quality. There is definitely quality work involved. The voice acting along with the facial capture is some of the best there is. Still, that might not win you over after playing through majority of the game (story wise at least).

    This title holds one of the largest free roaming maps I’ve seen. It’s not the size of let’s say GTAV but it’s definitely on a large scale. With a city this size the story alone wouldn’t cut it in terms of available activates. In the city there is a bunch of small side quest and other events that help you level up your karma and earn blast shards to level up you skills. Of all the side quests the most innovative one is tagging which uses the PS4’s motion control features. To shake the can of spray paint, for instance, you have to turn your controller on its side and shake. You spray by holding down R2 and aiming your controller where you want to move. There is no original tagging as all of it is done by following stencils on the screen. It’s very reminiscent of the UK- based graffiti artist Banksy’s work. Other activities include tracking down undercover D.U.P agents, finding and destroying hidden cameras and taking out control centers to run the D.U.P out of the area. There are some other things but nothing that really sticks out to me. Of course nothing outside of the main story is mandatory and you can still do all of it even after completing the narrative.

    One thing that really impressed me was the lack of glitches. With large scale games like this, that’s a rarity. You can find hundreds of glitches in other series just by observing the environment. Besides one situation where I got stuck in a wall while I was running around during dialog, I didn’t experience many issues. And even with the wall thing, at the end of the scene the next set of missions started so I was reloaded in a different place. All and all, I feel that Second son is a good game for the PS4. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel nor is it radically different from the previous titles. That said, you don’t need to have played the older games in the series to understand Second Son’s story. I feel that’s the best way to handle a game early in a new console life span. New to the series or not, I would definitely recommend this game to anyone with a PS4!



    Combat is fun and for the most part, I enjoyed everything featured here. That said, if you were looking for a dramatically different Infamous experience, this isn’t it.



    There isn’t a console game I can name that looks better than Infamous Second Son. The visuals rival that of PC titles.



    Voice acting is impressive!

    Replay Value:


    There is a lot of content and it can’t all be done in one play though. The multiple endings and different powers based on good or evil paths help here as well.

    Final Score:


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