by Stephen Janes (@stephenkjanes)
The main problem with new gaming hardware is generally the lack of titles that take advantage of the new system. The PlayStation 4 has sold tremendously well, despite having only a few exclusive titles available for it. With the arrival of Infamous Second Son, the PS4 finally has a blockbuster title worth boasting about. To summarize my experience with the game, it’s been a chore to put the game down long enough to write the review on it.
The first thing everybody will notice about this game is how it looks. It’s very easy to get lost in the scenery and just enjoy the sights, which is something that Sucker Punch should be applauded for. Aside from the background, protagonist Delsin Rowe is wonderfully animated and watching his powers at work is a thing of beauty. The particle effects and the way the smoke dances through the air as you absorb powers are impressively fun to watch. The landscape of Seattle, although I’ve never been, makes me feel as though I’m looking at stock footage of the city and even includes a fun mission where you need to climb up the Space Needle.
I’ve been waiting for a reason to push my PS4 to the limits and Infamous Second Son has given me a reason. A feature I really appreciate is the more approachable nature of Delsin Rowe in comparison to his spiritual father, Cole McGrath. Cole was pretty uneventful and boring in the original Infamous and showed a bit more character in the sequel. Delsin provides more angst and a smarter mouth, which makes him more lively and colorful than Cole ever was. I loved Cole’s voice acting (provided by Eric Ladin in Infamous 2) but Troy Baker does a phenomenal job as the troubled teen Delsin Rowe.
Infamous Second Son doesn’t offer too many surprises with the combat or how you control Delsin. You still have melee and your conduit powers, which take center stage during any encounter. Your karma choices open up new attacks and abilities based on your alignment and different powers are better suited against various opponents. Scaling buildings is much easier this time around as you can go through air vents and instantly warp to the top of a building by simply pressing the dash button. This new addition is great since climbing is still a little awkward, but more responsive than its predecessor.
The karma system has been reworked a bit, but overall remains pretty black and white. One alteration is how Sucker Punch handles the key story moments. Early in the game, you are presented with two choices; reveal yourself to be a conduit, or throw innocent people under the bus and possibly in harms way. Instead of just pressing a button and watching a cut scene, selecting an option provides a dramatic camera effect that can really make you second guess yourself. In addition to these moments, how you handle civilians and carry out certain missions will also affect your karma level. Overall there isn’t anything different here but it works.
Delsin is aided throughout the game by his brother, Reggie, and Fetch, a female conduit he meets during the main story. The dynamic between Delsin and Reggie doesn’t compare to what Cole and Zeke had in previous games, which causes the game to slow down a bit whenever the two share screen time. Fetch comes with an interesting story how she came to be but was not featured as prominently as I would have liked. Delsin’s supporting staff isn’t terribly interesting but they are passable.
I’m enjoying pretty much everything that you could imagine with Infamous Second Son. In traditional fashion, this game will require two times through to experience both good and evil karma storylines. The side missions are nearly identical to the previous games with a few tweaks and additions but even with so many assets carrying over, this still feels like a new game with plenty to offer. It took a lot of willpower to put the game down long enough to write this review and simply talking about it makes me eager to pick it up and get right back into Delsin’s adventure. Infamous Second Son is a great excuse to pick up a PlayStation 4 if you don’t have one already and is a must own for any PS4 user.
Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.
Follow Stephen on Twitter @stephenkjanes where he’ll probably complain about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer for some time.