Game review: InFamous: Second Son

second-son-key-art

The third Playstation 4 exclusive to hit the shelves, Infamous: Second Son, shows off what the next gen, current gen to be politically correct can do. But is showing off with flashy graphics all this game does?

Story: 

inFamous-Second-SonThe game starts off with a rebellious youth tagging a building; all is peaceful after the disappearance of the ‘Conduits’. The sacrifice Cole Macgrath made hasn’t been in vain. No longer do amped up super villains roam the street, no more hiding from the wrath of the paranormally empowered. Life is good, but the Conduits or Bio Terrorists have all but gone, they have been imprisoned. A convoy is headed to the prison encampment as it crashes and 3 inmates escape. Reggie Rowe investigates and Delsin tags along, until he touches a conduit which transfers his powers unto Delsin. Scared and confused, he searches for his brother who went after the Conduits, to serve his purpose as a police officer. Soon all hell breaks loose and you are cornered by the D.U.P. Department of Unified Protection. After your first moral choice, you wake up in a makeshift hospital and you start searching for a cure for your tribe, which has been afflicted by the concrete power of the Conduit leading the D.U.P.: Augustine.

Sound:

inFamousSecondSon-3This is where it gets interesting. The controller of the Playstation 4 has a built in speaker. When you infuse yourself with your catalyst, be it flame or something else, the speaker will sizzle and spark, in synch with the animation on  the screen, enhancing the sound coming out of your sound system. The phone calls you receive will ring out of this speaker too. It’s a nifty little feature, which startled me several times as the sound coming from your controller is something unprecedented. The voice acting is extremely well done, which adds to the levity or the gravity of a cut scene. The first fight with Augustine had me boiling with anger as the scene unfolded. The stories behind the conduits are often quite emotionally dreadful. Without spoiling too much, among the Conduits, there are no happy stories.

Graphics:

infamous_second_son_01This is the showcase of the next –current- generation consoles. The puddles glisten, the neon flickers. The fabric on Delsin flutters as you leap into the air. The fumes encase your arms and the flame particles are just magnificent. It looks pretty. Even the character models look amazing as you can tell the flaws in the characters skins, the moles on Reggie’s skin, to the marks on Delsin’s. When you talk on the phone, you can clearly read their lips and follow the conversation.  As you target and move around, you’ll use your left or right hand depending on the location of the target. When you’ve played the first two games in the series you’ll have seen the rather distinct use of comic book like graphics, this game follows that tradition and tells the story behind the conduits in this fashion.

Gameplay:

inFAMOUS_Second_Son-grafitti_01-640x360The game is –like its predecessors- a sandbox game. There’s a lot to do, there’s places to vandalize with spray paint in a banksy kind of manner. You’ll bust drug dealers and their stash, you’ll disrupt protest. You only had 1 –in the first game- power and 2 -combined in the second-, this game gives you more power and different ways to gear yourself up for combat. There’s flame, which will let you turn to ashes and speed forward, and up vents, firing off flame balls and a shotgun like blast. There’s neon, which will created a spectacle as you fire off laser volleys and send enemies flying as you stun them.  There’s video, which will let you turn invisible and lets you fire off swords the zoom into a target. And then there’s concrete. A power which lets you shoot rock pellets doing massive damage. Rejoice the moral choice is here again, this will let you pick which option you want. Want to be the heinous villain as you wreak havoc upon anything that moves or will you be the protector of the city, seeking to subdue, not kill? I never had a problem with the whole system, as it adds replay value. To be fair, the game is great, but it’s short, you’ll breeze through the campaign mode in about 10 hours, in which you won’t even be able to be fully good or evil. The game reminded me A LOT of Saints Row IV especially with the video power, the towers that loom overhead and the bright flashy lighting. Of course in this game you can’t ride cars, customize your attire to such an extent and you aren’t fighting aliens, you are fighting humans, well sort of, you are fighting conduit agents.

Infamous-Second-Son-Screenshot-10Not all powers are equally useful, I opted for the neon power most of the time as it’s a great crowd controller and you can boost your karma with the zoom blast. You won’t get all the possibilities the powers present, you’ll have to open up Core relays which will ‘teach’ you the ropes about your powers. Even at the ending boss battle you’ll be learning about your Conduit powers. Blast shards will let you buy upgrades for powers.

Conclusion:

A game which shows off the possibilities of the new console both in hardware as software. It’s a perfect blend of creativity and storytelling. It feels however short. The story captivates and gives you reason to keep playing, which sadly leads to the credits rolling in quickly.

xU3eswZArticle by: Bart Verbeke

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