Originally scheduled to launch day one on the PlayStation 4, inFAMOUS: Second Son was delayed as the talented team at Sucker Punch felt more time was needed to deliver the experience they envisioned for the third title in the open world action-adventure franchise. Promising adrenaline-fueled gameplay, spectacular superpowers, and thrilling story,
inFAMOUS: Second Son has rightfully earned itself high expectations, so has Sucker Punch delivered on their promise and justified their four-month delay?
Delsin Rowe, the new protagonist to the inFAMOUS series, brings a fresh new feel to the franchise. Obsessed with tagging buildings with graffiti and acquiring powers to take on the D.U.P. (Department of Unified Protection), Delsin Rowe is all but your regular 24 year old. Growing up outside of Seattle, Delsin rescues a group of passengers trapped aboard a burning Conduit Transport leading him to meet a Conduit by the name of Hank. Able to absorb Hank’s power, Delsin acquires the smoke power allowing him to transform into smoke for a short period of time allowing for transport through air vents and gates. Traveling through air vents has never been so entertaining, and as I promise to not spoil anything in this review, I will say, it comes in quite handy, so be sure to look out for exhaust on top of buildings, smoking cars, and various other sources to keep your power well fueled.
Delsin also crosses paths with a character by the name of Abigail Walker, who goes by the name Fetch. Delsin acquires neon power from the purple-haired Conduit who, due to drugs, found herself in a rough situation. Neon is incredibly addicting to play around with and provides Delsin with extravagant abilities. While zooming in on enemies, you will witness blue markings on enemy’s legs and red markings on their head. As anyone aware with inFAMOUS knows, the choice between good and evil is the heart of the franchise, and neon fits in quite well. Playing on the good side seeking to become a hero? Shoot the enemy’s legs to subdue them. Looking to become a threat and use your power for evil? Aim for their head and execute them. In addition, Delsin is able to travel at fast speeds leaving a neon trail as he sprints to travel, or runs up building structures. I constantly found myself looking for signs to absorb the neon from, as never once did I want to be caught without a healthy supply.
Without powerful, boisterous powers, inFAMOUS is just not inFAMOUS and I am happy to confirm that gamers have nothing to worry about. I will keep the other two powers quiet for the sake of those looking to experience the adventure, but I will say, the third power you acquire is a treat, and certainly my favorite power of the game. Each power features a large range of upgrades, which are purchased through the collection of shards, laid throughout Seattle. Held by drones, you must track these drones and bring them down to acquire the shard. Collecting these not only advances the abilities of Delsin’s powers, but also opens up a variety of new abilities making the search well worth it. As stated, there are four diverse powers to be obtained throughout your adventure of inFAMOUS: Second Son and while I will not reveal two of them, let’s just say with one of them you can become temporarily invisible and with the other, believe me when I say, its pretty awesome! Each power has its own unique Karma Bomb, which in sake of not spoiling, is a large critical attack that can wipe out a plethora of enemies at once. Karma Bombs are earned by performing a wide range of either good or bad tasks allowing you to unleash the fury. There is so much I want to say, but buy the game and find out for yourself, you will thank me later!
inFAMOUS: Second Son excels in the realm of powers with four of the greatest powers to ever grace video games and mastering these powers will be required to succeed in the challenge that awaits you. In what I believe to be the most dynamic set of missions out of the three inFAMOUS titles, Sucker Punch has once again outdone themselves with gameplay. I found it hard to set my controller down for one minute as all I could think about was plowing through the D.U.P. forces and fighting my way to Brooke Augustine, Director of the D.U.P. Many twists and hard choices are presented, especially one that I am holding onto for dear life. By far inFAMOUS: Second Son delivers the best gameplay of any inFAMOUS title and I believe is the best current generation (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) title on the market.
The story in inFAMOUS: Second Son is what I believe to be the second (no pun intended) best in the franchise. Throughout the story, you will see the relationship between Delsin and Reggie (Delsin’s brother who’s a cop) unfold and you truly become engaged in the encounters they find themselves in. There are several comedic moments where characters are throwing jabs and remarks at one another which delivers a variety of fun and seriousness to their personalities. There are also a couple missions that are quite comical including one where you must search porta-potties for escaped Conduits, but Sucker Punch balanced it perfectly. I feel inFAMOUS 2 had the best story in the franchise with Second Son following behind. Second Son kept me engaged and intrigued from start to finish, but there were moments where I was hoping for more than there was and I personally found the ending to be slightly underwhelming, but enjoyable nevertheless.
Visually, inFAMOUS: Second Son is astonishing. No one is achieving what Sucker Punch has in the realm of particle effects. Out of the collection of games I have played throughout the years, inFAMOUS: Second Son destroys every video game title with its jaw-dropping particle effects. You may be questioning why this is such a big deal, but play Second Son and you will see why. Just one smoke dash by Delsin requires 11,000 particles each individually textured before reforming. It’s simply incredible! The lighting also stands out as one of the best lighting systems in all of video games. In fact, it took 32 render farm machines to compute all of the reflected/ambient lighting throughout the game. Now I know if you are reading this, you have likely seen gameplay footage somewhere on the internet, but I am here to tell you the game looks ten times better in person. Watching a video on YouTube with all of their compression techniques provides no justice to the graphical masterpiece inFAMOUS Second Son is and I know you all will agree shortly after starting the game for the very first time.
For the most part, inFAMOUS: Second Son runs buttery smooth, but there have been moments where the frame rate has noticeably dropped. I have noticed the drops often when there is a lot going on at once and while traveling using one of the powers in which I will not reveal. Thankfully Sucker Punch has managed to keep this to a bare minimum, but it is noticeable throughout the story.
The DUALSHOCK 4 has opened up a wide range of possibilities for developers and Sucker Punch has taken advantage of the technology the controller has to offer. Featuring a lightbar, touchpad, microphone, and overall better feel, the DUALSHOCK 4 is cleverly implemented throughout the game. There are circumstances where Delsin must scan his finger and as the player you swipe your finger on the touchpad to achieve the task. When being called on your cell phone, the ringer will play through your DUALSHOCK 4 speaker as well as when you are absorbing resources for your powers. You also press the touchpad to absorb resources for your powers feeling incredibly natural. There is another implementation that plays a heavy role and has its own category of side missions throughout Seattle that I find to be extremely intuitive, but once again, I will save this for your discovery.
Overall, inFAMOUS: Second Son is nothing short of amazing. Delivering spectacular gameplay, astonishing visuals, exhilarating powers, and loveable characters, Sucker Punch has outdone themselves once again, this time on the PlayStation 4. inFAMOUS: Second Son is without a doubt a must buy for any PlayStation 4 owner and for those on the fence, now is the time, as I promise you, once you are in control of Delsin Rowe, there is no going back.
Final Score: 9.0/10