inFAMOUS: Second Son Review

April 7, 2014

A popular IP on the PS3, inFAMOUS fans were understandably excited when Second Son was announced for the PS4. However, with a new protagonist at the centre of the game, can inFAMOUS: Second Son impress and deliver a true next-gen experience on the PS4? Read on to find out!

Game: inFamous Second Son
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Reviewed on:

inFAMOUS Second Son box 

STORY

inFAMOUS: Second Son focuses on a brand new protagonist, Delsin Rowe. He’s a bit of a rebel, but for the most part our “hero” has been living a normal life until everything gets turned upside down. I won’t spoil the entire story for you, but as can be expected he gains some rather interesting powers. They’re not without consequences though as Delsin soons finds out. Working with his cop brother, Delsin goes on a hunt to find more people like him and take down one particular person who has hurt those he holds dear. I was very curious to see how the story would be handled with a new protagonist, and on the whole I found the Second Son’s story to be quite refreshing. Installing a new protagonist has breathed life into a story that was getting a tad stale. Delsin is a likeable leading man, both quirky and cheeky. It will be interesting to see where Sucker Punch take him next.

GRAPHICS

It goes without saying that inFAMOUS: Second Son’s visuals will have plenty of attention placed on them, and rightly so. I’ve played quite a few games on the PS4, and I have to say that so far Sucker Punch’s effort is by far the best looking game on the console. Actually, any next-gen console, including the Xbox One.

infamous second son 1

The city of Seattle (where the game is set) look gorgeous, especially when you’re hovering or standing on one of the many rooftops, gazing upon the sunset or the impressive looking rain. The lighting is arguably the most pleasing visual aspect, bordering on the ridiculously realistic at times. Delsin himself is impressive too, created with plenty of detail and animated beautifully. Whether it’s cutscene or gameplay, the game looks amazing, running without any major hitch at all. Well, during my time with it anyway.

SOUND

I’ve got to say, the audio in inFamous: Second Son surprised me, especially the voice acting. I found myself getting a little more attached to the story due to exactly that. It was great to hear the relationship between Delsin and his brother evolve throughout the game, it sounded both natural and genuine. Troy Baker has voiced quite a few characters over the past year or so, but this is alongside the Joker in Arkham Origins is arguably his best work. It’s just what the series needed. Apart from that, the soundtrack is decent, mostly servicing the on-screen action pretty well.

infamous second son 2

GAMEPLAY

This might sound harsh, but next-gen consoles are there to give developers tools to do things that weren’t possible before. You know, evolve things a little. inFAMOUS: Second Son was a great opportunity to do just that for Sucker Punch, but sadly it doesn’t really stray too far from the formula of the first two games. The focus (just like the previous games) is on you doing a number of missions to complete the campaign. Along the way you acquire new powers that help you destroy the forces that stand in your way, but nothing that really reinvents the wheel. That’s not to say it isn’t fun though, because it damn well is. Lots of fun. The powers you receive are the game’s highlight by a long shot, making Seattle your playground of destruction. You can upgrade them as you progress too, something which just makes for a whole lot more destruction. Everyone who plays inFAMOUS: Second Son will have their own favourite power, and that’s the beauty of it all in a weird way. My favourite power, without ruining anything for you, was a brightly coloured one. Fast, and brightly coloured.

Destruction aside, there are times where the game demands a more strategic approach, asking you to change between powers in order to defeat the bosses. There is also a “super move” attached to each power, initiated by pressing the down button on the directional pad. Each one is super cool, and devastating attack too. Even though are multiple attacks and powers, there is only so much you can do before things become a tad repetitive. Running around the city and hovering around is of course fun and nice to look at, but I do think Sucker Punch could’ve utilised the power of the PS4 a bit more.

infamous second son 3

LONGEVITY

It took me around 12 hours to complete inFAMOUS: Second Son. I didn’t do all the side missions or extras, so that’s more indicative of an average playthrough. Sucker Punch have paced the story quite well and there is a quite lot to do in the game, it jsut depends on how drawn into the experience you get. Just like previous titles in the series, you can decide whether to take on the Hero or Villain approach, and (as mentioned) there are quite a few side missions to take on if you want to 100% it all.

VERDICT

inFAMOUS: Second Son doesn’t take the PS4 by storm, but does just enough to warrant a “next-gen” title label (mainly thanks to the visuals). It’s just a slight shame Sucker Punch didn’t evolve the gameplay formula a little to keep things fresh and new. Would I like to see a fourth entry in the inFAMOUS series? Absolutely. Delsin is a great character with great the potential to take the series to the next level, kind of like Nathan Drake with Uncharted. Throw in a little evolution in terms of gameplay, and it could be something really special. That said, inFAMOUS: Second Son is far from bad. It’s a fun, great looking playground of destruction, one well worth picking up if you have a PS4.

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