inFAMOUS: Second Son Review
It’s no secret that the PlayStation 4 has been released and making a name for itself since November 15th of last year. When the next generation console dropped, people were running around like chickens with their heads cut off with the hopes of getting their hands on Sony’s latest console. Despite the torture, and searching that might have felt like being on a wild goose chase, fans rejoiced when they’re hands were upon such beauty. Gamers even braved harsh weather conditions in the past for the PlayStation 4, as well as jumped over obstacles and through hoops to get one. One thing that might have given the PlayStation 4 an edge were the launch titles, as well as the ones that were already being anticipated. Players have been held over with Killzone: Shadow Fall, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Don’t Starve, Outlast, Call of Duty: Ghosts, FIFA 14, as well as a few other titles.
While each title has given the PlayStation 4 that lil’ somethin’somethin’ that gamers can’t help but become addicted to, have these titles truly made the PlayStation 4 worth the buy? Possibly not, but one that might is inFAMOUS: Second Son – a strictly PlayStation 4 title. The inFAMOUS franchise has been making waves since 2009, collecting hordes of fans along the way. When the first two entries in the series released – inFAMOUS and inFAMOUS 2, the story followed a man name Cole who fell victim to an explosion – one that caused him to gain powers. With inFAMOUS 2 ending the way it did, Cole presumably dead, it seemed to make sense that Sucker Punch would concoct a brand new protagonist, giving players a different perspective to what inFAMOUS is all about.
The question, however, resides with whether or not inFAMOUS: Second Son not only lives to fans expectations – the anticipation of Sucker Punch’s latest endeavor near killing some, but makes the PlayStation 4 worth buying solely based off this title? Will players want to immediately rush out their doors and to the nearest retailer that carries the PlayStation 4 and inFAMOUS: Second Son? Read on, and you’ll see.
Out with the old, and in with the new – and by new, we mean brand new protagonist. Previously, the inFAMOUS series followed Cole MacGrath. Set seven years after the events that went down in inFAMOUS 2, inFAMOUS: Second Son takes on a whole new character, and his name is Delsin Rowe. Meet Delsin, an Akomish Native American who has a knack for causing, spray painting pictures to his heart’s content, and making his brother Reggie, the local Sherriff, arrest him on multiple occasions for vandalism. All is well in Delsin’s world, until a truck packed with three conduits rolls into town, and suddenly shakes his world in a manner he was not expecting.
On a typical day for Delsin – one where he’s seeking an alibi in order to avoid punishment for the mischief he’s caused, a military convoy carrying three conduits passes through Delsin’s Akomish tribe reservation. While two of the three conduits are able to escape, using the crash as an opportunity to make a run for it, one does not flee as quickly as the others. Hank, the conduit that didn’t flee as quickly as the others, gets pulled from the crash site by Delsin, who immediately absorbs his powers. Confused by what has happened to him, Delsin pursues Hank in an effort to collect answers to the questions that are suddenly brewing inside of him. Of course, Hank doesn’t bend to Delsin’s desires easily, and the two get in a bit of a tussle. While Delsin is trying to get answers from Hank, and Hank is attempting to leave the reservation both are met by Brooke Augustine, the leader of the DUP that happens to be exactly what she’s aiming to lock up: a “Bio-terrorist”.
Augustine, who has masterfully harnessed her concrete abilities, captures Hank once more and interrogates Delsin. From here, the story begins to split. Much like inFAMOUS and inFAMOUS 2, Second Son allows players to choose between being good by gaining good karma, or being evil and gain evil karma. As Augustine is questioning Delsin players can either make him lie to Augustine, or have her simply choose not to believe him. Regardless of the choice, Delsin is knocked unconscious by Augustine’s abilities and remains that way for a week.
When Delsin awakes, he seens that Augustine has tortured his tribe, and learns that everyone who was affected – even Betty who serves as a grandmotherly figure to Delsin, is dying due to Augustine’s neglect to remove her concrete from their bodies. Due to his loyalty to his tribe, Delsin decides to chase Augustine down to Seattle in order to confront her for what she’s done, and take her concrete abilities to reverse what she’s done to his tribe. Along the way, the plotline unfolds and secrets – as well as true intentions, that no one was aware of are revealed.
If there’s one word to describe the visuals within Second Son it’s impressive. While the other titles that have been ported to the PlayStation 4, and launched on it have had graphics that are more than appealing. It takes a special developer to take a title’s visuals to the next level, and Sucker Punch Productions is that kind of special. While it’s easy to say a title has great graphics and move on, gamers should take into account what goes into making the visuals so amazing. One of the high notes – through the many high notes that inFAMOUS: Second Son possesses in the way of graphics, is the lighting. Stop and smell the roses while playing Second Son, or rather stop and admire your settings. The water, for one, looks completely lifelike, as does the smoke within the game. One might have to slap themselves in order to snap back to reality – the lines between what’s real and what’s not, being blurred due to just how well done the visuals within inFAMOUS: Second Son are. The graphics alone, being one of the main enticers of Second Son before its release, will not let gamers down. In fact, one might have to pick up their slack jaw, likely being taken aback by how visually beautiful the title is.
With the PlayStation 4 came the DualShock 4’s new touchpad, and commending Sucker Punch Productions for using utilizing it within Second Son has to be done. While the title is an open world, allowing gamers to roam around as they please and knock out side missions along the way, adding in the touchpad feature – whether to free suspected conduits, to open doors, drain things for powers, lift certain items and much more, gives inFAMOUS: Second Son more of an interactive feel. In addition, it takes advantage of the controller as a whole, noises even coming through the speaker in the DualShock 4.
Another thing that was nice about Second Son was how easy it was to navigate from one thing to the next, descriptions on how to use certain abilities, where drain sources for abilities resided – each being color coded on the player’s navigation map, where shards were located, where to find missions, and even side missions. While Delsin gains more than a handful of different abilities – whether in one ability category or another, remembering or using said powers never seemed difficult with the small tutorials given, as well as reminders on how to do what with the Powers menu.
For the most part, gameplay for inFAMOUS: Second Son felt smooth, but there were times where it seemed like things were a bit touchy – like how precise at times spray painting was. Even still, there weren’t times where one finds themselves frustrated with how the game plays but more frustrated with the main antagonist – how a title like inFAMOUS: Second Son should be. There also didn’t seem to be much lag within the controls – minus when you were trying to shoot the flying devices that had shards in them. There are times where it might feel like gamers are shooting and shooting at said moving target, and unable to hit the device. In this instance, some players might want to up the sensitivity in order to hit their mark.
While story, graphics, and gameplay are usually the frontrunners of a game, sound does help put a title over the edge. In the case of inFAMOUS: Second Son, this is more than true. The title takes place in a big city – Seattle, Washington to be exact, and in order to make the setting believable Sucker Punch had to pull through on sound, and boy did they. It takes time and effort, as well as care, in order to add the ambiance of a big city in the proper way. Birds are chirping, cars can be heard coming to a slow or picking up speed, players can hear sirens off in the distance, and much more. While some companies might pass over these minor details when making a title – details that really do add to the game, inFAMOUS: Second Son does not lack in the sound department in the least.
If it wasn’t already obvious that I’m an advocate for inFAMOUS: Second Son, allow me to reiterate. Stop whatever you’re doing now, and go get this title. If you don’t have a PlayStation 4, you better get on it, because honestly this game is the first title that has truly jump started the next generation experience. The story is more than compelling, following an admirable mission while allowing one to get attached to the side characters within the title as well. Yeah, that’s right, even characters who only get a few minutes of screen time touch your heart –beware you might need tissues because inFAMOUS: Second Son gives you all the issues. Secondly, the graphics are truly ground breaking, causing one to take a moment to appreciate the world that Sucker Punch has created, and marvel at how brilliantly done the visuals within Second Son are. Last but not least, this game is addicting, has you on edge, not only has a good story but lots of action – appeasing gamers who are geared more toward story or those who just love to kick some booty, all while maintaining one common theme throughout: fun. That’s what inFAMOUS: Second Son is, sheer fun from beginning to end and this, as well as the other handful of reasons provided, should have gamers scrounging for the money needed to buy inFAMOUS: Second Son. Now go, go! No more wasting precious inFAMOUS: Second Son time!