INFAMOUS SECOND SON REVIEW

This game is a loose sequel to the first and second Infamous games, and although they do refer to the past protagonist “Cole MacGrath”, this game has a new character and a new city so playing the original games isn’t totally necessary (although Infamous 1 & 2 are really fun so you probably should play them anyways). The game was developed by Sucker Punch Productions in 2014, and was only produced for the PlayStation 4- no Xbox One version for this series unfortunately.

Infamous: Second son takes place in Seattle – which I am particularly happy about since I live just north of Washington in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the landscape is nearly identical. The graphics are pretty stellar so it’s almost eerie how much it looks like my home. The story focuses on a youth named Delsin Rowe in the year 2016 – seven years after the end of Infamous 2. In this dystopian version of Seattle, the city is being patrolled by military forces who are hunting “bio-terrorists”, also known as “Conduits”. These are people who can use different elements like smoke or electricity in order to gain powers. It’s a bit like X-men really when you think about it, a government hunting down mutants for fear of attack against the human race. After one of these military units attack Delson’s home, he goes after it’s leader – realizing on the way that he in fact possesses these powers everyone has been trained to become afraid of. He’s sort of a “punk kid” – I find him quite irritating actually, and totally embraces his new found power and goes after a woman named Augustine who led the attack.   His brother happens to be a police officer, and he helps him along the way as they attempt to take down the military, and also solve problems within the city.

Things You’ll Like

The combat system is similar to Infamous 1 & 2, the players can use different elements to fuel themselves, which they can shoot at enemies and use to travel at hyper speed and leap far distances. The games are also very unique as the player can choose to gain good or bad karma through different actions. So if you choose to be a good guy, it means helping civilians, tracking down drug dealers, and incapacitating guards instead of killing them. This leads to better healing abilities and defensive strengths plus it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, right? Now if you choose to go the bad guy route, it means killing innocents and guards, getting involved in illegal activities, and gaining intense and powerful attacks and offensive abilities. I think this game is actually easier if you choose the bad guy route since you get awesome attack abilities, but my moral compass usually makes me go the good guy direction, I just can’t help myself. I like that you can choose in these games, as it makes every experience different.

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The main character is, as I said, a bit of a punk, and likes to spray paint graffiti all over. These are actually missions you can complete to gain experience points, and I always enjoyed them. The artwork is amazing and the cartoons he paints are really quite funny and creative. You hold the controller side-ways for these parts and actually move it – almost like a Wii controller, to fill in the stencils as you watch your image come to life.

Things You Won’t Like

 In case I didn’t mention, Delsin is a PUNK. Now I don’t have a problem with angsty teens (I think I was one once – I had black hair and black nail polish and all black clothes in high school), but he is just so not likeable whatsoever. He is cocky and rude and just plain obnoxious, which is a major shift from the protagonist in the previous games. In all the cut scenes I just rolled my eyes and realized how much I couldn’t stand the character I was being forced to play as. He is certainly not boring, that’s a relief, as a boring main character is even worse (*cough, Assassin’s Creed III, cough), but goodness if he was real I don’t think he would have any friends… seriously.

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This game is quite hard, and all of the boss fights, in particular Augustine, are so stinking difficult. They can last a crazy long time, and you have to refill your smoke or electricity or whatever power you are using quite a lot since they expire pretty quickly. I remember the first time I played this game I think I gave up on one of the boss battles about half way through the game out of sheer frustration, and came back to it about a month later. I’m all for a challenging game, but at times this game just seems ridiculous. Perhaps this was just my perception, I just think the boss battles were far too long which makes them far too challenging.

Verdict

 This game has wicked graphics and scenery, but the main character is irritating beyond belief, and the boss battles are too long in length. The plot is pretty good, but I don’t think they stand a chance against the original Infamous games. This game definitely shows what the PS4 can do, but it’s just an okay game for me.

5.5/10