Infamous Second Son Meta-Review
Infamous Second Son is the third superpowered devastation fest to grace the Sony ecosystem scene. The previous two games never quite approached ‘big hit’ status as each version of the game barely scraped together 2 million in sales each. Still, the game was always an interesting attempt to dive into the world of superpowers without attaching a Marvel or DC or other comic book hero to the box.
With this new open world entry, the question has and always will be, “Is Infamous a series that warrants ‘console-seller’ status or is it a modest success hit? While the Geekswagg crew isn’t on the PS4 train, we did want to dig into the unprecedented buzz that Second Son has offered for quite some time before its release. With the PS4 being the core gamer’s console of choice and Infamous Second Son clearly taking on Titanfall as the first big hit exclusives on these next gen consoles, it seems only prudent that we explore the hype surrounding Second Son just a tad.
So what was it that kept the first two games from really succeeding? While most of those that played the game didn’t dislike the experience that much, the elephant in the room has to be whether or not the game plus the story surrounding the game truly made you feel like it was a great superhero game. History has shown that a good superhero game can be tricky. Given that Infamous falls into the open world action adventure that would put it up against titles like Spiderman, The Incredible Hulk, Superman, and the Batman Arkham series. Cole and his elemental powers from the first two games gave you a sense of power but often times players felt a bit constrained by the mediocre parkour and the semi-interesting powers. Infamous Second Son looks to change all of that in a big and beautiful way.
First off, the game features an all new hero (or anti-hero depending on your mood). Named Delsin Rowe, you enter this world of superheroes (called Conduits) seven years after the events of Infamous 2. The government now hunts down these Conduits with an organization called Department of Unified Protection. Enter Delsin, a native American by the way, who is thrown into the whole Conduit vs. DUP struggle when a Conduit prisoner transfer crashes by his village. The DUP then track the escapees to the area of the village where all are interrogated by the main villain, Brooke Augustine, a Conduit with concrete powers and the leader of DUP. She then uses her powers to torture Delsin’s tribe after he is interrogated by her. Realizing the only way to save them is to take her powers, he flees to Seattle (where the DUP HQ is) in order to do just that.
With that story setup, this leaves a bit of new direction for the title since Delsin’s conduit ability is to absorb other conduit’s powers as his own. As a result, Infamous Second Son features new powers ( four in total) that Delsin must master rather than Cole’s elemental powers of electricity, fire, and ice. Discovered through the course of the games story, the predominant powers in use are Neon and Smoke which clearly show off the graphical power of the PS4 in a superpowered kind of way. Use and change up of these powers in various ways to both destroy, protect, and traverse Seattle are the primary focus of Second Son’s graphical glory.
Interestingly enough, Infamous Second Son could end up falling into the same category as Ryse: Son of Rome. While the game is gorgeous and fun, it is a bit short and simple. A showpiece on a system reaching for its first true next gen game…
Here’s what the rest of the gaming world is saying:
The influence of morality on gameplay is actually more impressive, and manages to shape the way you play in clever, organic ways. Different skills are unlocked depending on your playstyle, and you’re rewarded with positive karma for debilitating enemies instead of going on killing sprees. It’s done in a way that makes sense, and makes you think twice before having Delsin shoot a blast of neon light into a car for no reason… unless you’re playing as an evil character, in which case you’re rewarded for wanton murder. The differences in gameplay are actually fairly significant, and you might be compelled to complete the game a second time in order to see what the other side of the morality coin looks like. –
A beautiful game with a handful of interesting ideas that simply doesn’t give you enough to do with its tools. Second Son is a great example of the PS4’s power, and works as a decent stop-gap until bigger and better exclusives appear.
Gamesradar.com – 3.5 out of 5
“Second Son doesn’t just do shinier versions of the things previous Infamous games did. It multiplies and extrapolates on those things, letting them intertwine in really satisfying ways.” – Kotaku.com
Infamous: Second Son emphasizes the series’ strengths in its debut appearance on the PlayStation 4, easily trumping previous Infamous games while showcasing the power of Sony’s latest console. In the process, it drastically overhauls the series’ defining elements, stripping away the weaker parts and focusing on what works best. If you found previous Infamous games more frustrating than fun, Second Son’s gleefully destructive superheroics will win you over as a fan. – Joystiq.com 4.5 out of 5
“They could have called it ‘Infamous: We Made An Infamous Game’…the story is forgettable.” – Cheapy D of CAGcast.
“A likeable lead character and some beautiful visuals do their best to make up for an empty and frustrating world” – The Guardian
“For all its visual flair, Infamous: Second Son suffers from gameplay that feels tried and tested rather than anything new.” – Digital Spy