InFamous: Second Son has a lot of hype to live up to, it has long been regarded as one of this years hottest titles and even one of the most anticipated titles for Sony’s new PlayStation 4 console. Sucker Punch, the developers behind InFamous, have earned quite a solid reputation for the series, which has already proven its self to be popular and the last entries to the series on the PlayStation 3 were rather entertaining titles in their own right, unfortunately the same cannot be said about Second Son.
When I first got my hands on this game I was super excited to have more games to play on the PlayStation 4, I fired up the game and got right to it. First up is the story, which I actually found to be pretty good for a game of this type even if it does fall for many of the stereotype hero traits here and there. You play as a cool dude rebel Delsin, a lovable rouge / vandal who through an unfortunate turn of events, or fortunate dependant on how you look at it, gets turned into a power wielding super hero type. There is a continuing plot of brotherly love, respect for his heritage and some other guff, but it doesn’t take long before it starts to become the backing track to an otherwise repetitive gaming experience.
Graphics wise the game is right up there, the PlayStation 4 is an impressive machine at the best of times and visual effects, the city around you and the people who occupy it all look stunning throughout the game. There are even a few moment where you want to stop and say “oooooooooh that looks good”, easily one of the best looking games on the PlayStation 4 so far and a huge improvement since we last saw InFamous trotted out on our screens.
The gameplay mechanics are where this game falls down, don’t get me wrong, the core elements are solid enough and entertaining, but they’re overused to the point of extinction. You start with a couple of powers and gain more abilities as the game progresses. These range from being able to smoke dash through objects, glide through the air, jump super high and throw explosives, all of which allow you to dynamically scale the city and take on your enemies as you see fit.
The city looks great, your reason for being there is just and the controls and abilities make it fun to tear around bringing justice to the military presence that has taken control over the city. Unfortunately there appears to be nothing dynamic about what goes on in the city. The city is split into districts and you can run around as you see fit, take out the enemies and cameras in an area, spray a little spray tag here and there and you’ve pretty much covered every side quest the game has to offer. The main quest is pretty much the same too, with the once exciting and dynamic fights quickly falling into repetition as liberation of each district is pretty much an identical scenario. The main quest manages to lead you through a linear path despite the open-world nature of the game.
The real dynamic aspect of the game comes from how good or evil you are, help people and you’ll gain karma, lay waste to the city and you’ll lose karma. The impact of this is that you’ll learn new passive abilities if you’re good, more destructive abilities if you’re naughty, simple as that, since it has no impact on the missions or the story at all.
Repetitive enemies and quests are a dark spot on what is otherwise an entertaining action game, its writers just needed a kick in the butt to come up with something a little more imaginative in terms of plot and missions, because fundamentally all we have here is a last gen game rehashed with next-gen clothing. It can be a fun game, but I’d edge more towards renting it for a couple of days rather than paying the full retail price.
Thank you Sony for providing us with this sample.