Review – Infamous Second Son – PS4

Infamous Second Son is a PS4 exclusive, developed by Sucker Punch Productions. It was one of the first next-gen games, but I’ve just gotten around to playing it. There were two previous Infamous titles available on the PS3 but I haven’t played them so I am very new to the series. Second Son is a 3rd person, open world, action-adventure game.

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The game takes place in a dystopian Seattle. Conduits (people with powers), or Bio-terrorists (as they are called by the scaremongering government), are persecuted by the public and authorities alike. The D.U.P exists to discover and detain conduits, removing them from society. We play as Delsin Rowe, a small town boy, looking to liberate his town from the hell that the D.U.P leader -Augustine – has unleashed upon them. Choose to either try to be peaceful or to unleash your own hell as you fight, not only for your home town, but the city itself.

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Once the tutorial missions are over, you end up with free reign in Seattle. The map is divided by districts, each controlled by the D.U.P. As you complete certain tasks, such as destroying security cameras, spray painting walls and destroying command centers, the percentage of control the D.U.P has will decrease. Eventually, once you have done enough damage, you will be able to completely drive them out, neighborhood by neighborhood. On top of this, you have your main story line missions, that not only move the story along but change the time of day, the weather, and in time you will learn new powers.

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As soon as I got to the main game I instantly felt the similarities to Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell (I assume it is also similar to Saints Row 4, but that is still in my backlog). I definitely wasn’t complaining about that since I had already enjoyed liberating Hell. I had heard people recommend these game to fans of the others before, but I had assumed that it was because both contain superpowers, I didn’t realise just how similar the game structure would be. I have to admit, I found the minigames in Gat Out Of Hell more fun than in Second Son. Having said that, the powers and controls are pretty different.

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For me, the combat was a huge learning curve. There is no cover option and instead it encourages a lot of movement. As someone that likes to either hide behind cover a lot in GTA, and someone that likes to charge right in with a Battle Axe in Skyrim, I found it tough to get used to the combat style. A couple of hours into the game and I was putting off the story missions in favour of clearing the city. I got stuck trying to defeat a command centre and felt like quitting the game. I went looking for advice on the internet and decided to give it another shot, but this time turned the game to Easy, and get further along in the story to get more powers first. It worked. Once I got the second set of powers I enjoyed the game so much more. So my advice to people is to find a healthy balance between clearing the districts and doing the story missions.

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Other than the combat, I found the controls to be really good. The parkour was really enjoyable and fluent. The one thing I would change would be to allow the ability to dangle from a ledge or building without having to jump off and catch it, as that was the only thing spoiling. The good/evil choices encourage a second playthrough, so even though it’s not the longest game in the world (it took me longer than I expected), you still get plenty of gameplay. The controller was used in creative ways which is refreshing, especially since now we are well into the next gen and I haven’t seen it utilised THAT much (having said that, I mostly play older games so I could be wrong about that).

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Sadly, I only thought the story was ok. It was fine but I wasn’t REALLY invested, and I think that is partly because I didn’t enjoy the character of Delsin. My playthrough was played as a good character and I would be interested to see whether he is more likable as an evil character, but at the same time, I don’t feel compelled to play through again. My favourite part of the story was actually in the final mission, I feel if they had brought some of that forward then I would have been more invested in the story earlier.

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The graphics were nice, more the scenery than the characters for me. There is a photo mode which is particularly impressive, you can move the camera, rotate it, zoom, apply filters etc. There are some beautiful moments when you are in the right lighting. There were two things that bothered me character wise. Sure they are nit picks but what do you know.. I’m a nit picker. First, it was raining in a cut-scene and the characters didn’t look wet. It took me out of the moment because they should have been soaking. The second thing is Delsin’s hat. He wears his hat throughout the entire game and it just annoys me so much. I wear hats all the time and the only way I can get them to stay in one place like that is to use hair pins. With all the jumping and climbing and fighting, it wouldn’t stay on his head like that. Again, I know it’s a nit-pick but damn, it really frustrated me. Other than that, there were a few bugs during gameplay but I am coming to find there always is. Nothing game-breaking so that’s the main thing.

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Overall, I was slightly disappointed by this game. I just didn’t find it that enjoyable. However, it did get better as the game went on. I am still going to finish clearing Seattle as I find collectables the most enjoyable part, but I will save my second playthrough for a later date. Perhaps I will play Infamous First Light first since I bought them in a bundle. Still, this is all part of my attempt to play different types of games, as well as catching up on older games and exclusives. I am pleased I played it and everyone should give it their own shot, especially since it can be picked up so cheap now-a-days. Just remember, if you start this game and feel the way I did, keep going. It gets better once you get more powers and get used to the combat!

Have you played? When did you play and what did you think? Tell me why you loved it.

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