inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

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inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby lopez » Thu Jan 15, 2015 10:12 am

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Story:

Delsin Rowe is your typical charismatic deviant. He spends most of his time tagging buildings in a Native American Reserve with his personal art (read: graffiti) and getting in trouble with his brother Reggie, who happens to be a police officer. One day while escaping from another one of Delsin's mischievous acts, he stumbles upon a shocking scene, an armored vehicle carrying "bioterrorists" crashes and the occupants escape. Witnessing this Delsin takes it upon himself to chase one of the fugitives into a derelict factory. By touching the fugitive Delsin is able to absorb his power of Smoke and peer into the fugitive's mind. Upon subduing the fugitive the proverbial "calvary" arrive to reclaim their prize, the only problem is that Brooke Augustine, the leader of the Department of Unified Protection (DUP) or "anti-bioterrorist" organization and a self-righteous conduit, suspects Delsin is hiding something. Brooke tries and fails to coerce Delsin into spilling his secret, so she resorts to harming all his friends, family and brethren in the Reserve. Brooke, the DUP and the captured convicts return to the DUP's headquarters in Seattle Washington. And so starts the journey of Delsin and Reggie to stop Brooke and save their Native American brethren.

The story is focused primarily on the tried & true tale of revenge and redemption. Delsin is mostly full of angst and pessimism, whereas Reggie revolves around a narrow-minded view of justice and order, to the point of being extremely prejudice to "bioterrorists", no matter their actions and feelings. The game utilizes the moral system from previous titles, but it doesn't feel like the two sides are really as dynamic as the older games. The "good" route feels more like a neutral path, whereas the "bad" route makes Delsin come off more like a petty jerk than a menacing threat like the "bad Cole" options in inFamous 1 & 2. Regardless of the route, Delsin and Reggie never really develop, actually all the characters are really flat across the board. Even the character interactions aren't as dynamic or conflicting as the relations in iF2.

The main story is fairly uneventful too. The typical plot twists are practically telegraphed to the player and each character's story is either severely underdeveloped and/or extremely bland. Abigail Walker does have a genuinely interesting story, but the developers never really flesh it out. There was a good foundation and backstory to her, but no meaningful exposition or development. I heard the "First Light" DLC is based around her, so I suppose her life was left vague on purpose in the main game.

Overall, the potential is there for a good comic book style action story, but the devs don't deliver on any of it.

Score: 6/10

Graphics:

This is probably one of the best examples of "new gen" graphics. The game is quite appealing and the CG cutscenes are some of the best I've seen.

CG cutscene

Everything is bright and full of rich colors and textures.

Gameplay

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Two of the unlockable powers (Neon and Video) are especially vibrant. Neon is actually a borderline epilespy trigger. I felt like I was on a LSD trip when I was using those powers for the first time at night.

Neon power in action

There were a few visual hiccups throughout the game, though it seemed more like glitchiness than anything. Sometimes when killing an enemy their dead body would either spontaneously ragdoll into the air and/or their body would be stuck from the waist down in the environment. These and other minor issues were few and far between and were only bothersome in missions where actions like interacting with bodies were required.

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Overall, a very beautiful game that sets the bar pretty high for future PS4 games.

Score: 9.5/10

Gameplay:

This is a 3rd person action platformer. This is largely the same system as the previous inFamous games, with some noticeable tweaks.

The main difference is that there are 4 new powers to unlock and mess around with. Each power is visually unique, though most the abilities function similarly between the types. They all have projectiles (grenade and missile types), melee moves, restraining moves and super screen-filling attacks, though there're subtle variations in each power's moves. For example, the smoke power focuses more on "stunning" enemies with, what else, smoke. The neon power focuses on mobility and restraining enemies. The concrete power is based around defense and the video power focuses on confusing the enemy. The subtle differences are enjoyable, but ultimately each power is pigeonholed into a specific role, like 1 primarily for fighting, 1 for platforming and one mainly for a boss fight. There's really only one power, Video, that contains a nice mix of attack skills, mobility and overall versatility. The other powers really could use more tweaking and balancing, especially the concrete power.

Another difference, especially from iF 2 is that Delsin can't freely change powers like Cole could. Part of it is because of intended story reasons, but it really does detract from the fun of being a conduit. Most of the game the player is locked out of older powers and forced to grind experience for a new and extremely underwhelming power. I'll avoid spoilers, but suffice it to say that every aspect of the game is affected by this control of usable powers.

The game plays out in the typical GTA setup, where the player is dropped into a large "sand-box" style city with free-rein to do whatever they want. The missions themselves are fairly enjoyable, but there really could be more diversity in what needs to be accomplished. I think almost all of the previous mission types return from the first two games. The new additions like fighting against helicopters and flying enemies are fun and add much needed variety.

There are also some unique Dualshock 4 specific controls and mini-games sprinkled throughout the game. The player is able to do things like graffiti buildings by manipulating the PS4 controller, absorb/refill powers by touching the sensor pad on the controller and investigate crime scenes with similar sensor pad manipulation. These controller-specific events are handled quite well and help break-up the monotony.

Overall, an enjoyable game that maintains the winning inFamous formula, instead of evolving it.

Score: 7.5/10

Sound:

The music seems like a mix of alternative/grunge, but it feels more like an ambient rock. The music is ok, but it's fairly lackluster. There is no strong presence in the music. The music doesn't set an moods and there doesn't seem to be an thematics behind the songs. Actually, all the tracks kinda blend together as the game progresses. It really just feels like auditory filler instead of just leaving the game with total silence.

The voice acting is mostly good with Troy Baker and Travis Willingham taking center stage. Travis in-particular nails his character. He really brings the character to life with his various changes in tone, quick wit and other small nuances that really give depth to his character. For everyone else it's mostly hit & miss. I love Laura Bailey as much as the next fan, but I felt like her performance was underwhelming, which is shocking for me since I enjoy almost all her roles. Her character is a bit on the edgy & depressed side, but there's just this overall lack of energy coming from Bailey's acting that really detracts from her character.

The sound effects are top-notch and really add flavor to the action and battles.

Overall, the music is a bit weak and underwhelming, but the voice-acting makes up for it.

Score: 7/10

Replayability:

At its core, the game is worth two playthroughs, one for each moral path. An average runthrough is about 10-15 hours, depending on collectibles and player skill.

I've played through all the inFamous games and I've gotta say this was my least favorite. There are few pros, but mostly there are cons. One the positive side, there are more powers to choose from and mess around with and the visuals are absolutely breathtaking. On the negative side, the story is weak, the characters are mostly flat, the music is bland and most of the abilities of each power feel like copies of each other.

Overall, I'd recommend a playthrough only for the sole reason of experiencing a true new gen game, in terms lf graphics. I'd still recommend the previous inFamous games, especially 2 or this. Outside of collecting trophies and getting a 100% in-game, there really is no reason give the game another playthrough. The moral choices didn't feel as significantly "good" or "bad" and/or "socially acceptable" vs. "deviant" as the previous games.

Score: 5/10

Final Score: 7/10
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby dood » Tue Jun 02, 2015 7:50 am

I love the inFamous games and in fact inFamous is my favorite series. But this game was a slight disappointment for me. I mean really what the fuck is with the throw away story? I expected something fresh and new but still in the same vein as inFamous 2 but instead we got this. Delsin is just kind of forgettable really. Not his powers or design or anything like that but just his personality. I like Reggie a lot as unfleshed out as he his. He really is the most likeable character in the game.

For all of my complaints and disappointments in the story I really did enjoy the gameplay. Not as much as inFamous 2's gameplay but I find this much more playable than inFamous 1. It's not perfect or revolutionary or anything but it's a lot of fun and for me gameplay counts more than anything else in videogames. But I do have a very big problem with this game that might not seem like a big deal to others but is to me, you can't skip the cut scenes. It may not seem that important but I do plan on playing this game again one day and I don't have time to sit around for five minutes watching something that I've seen already when it's so lackluster. I could do it with inFamous 1 or 2 because those games had good stories but this games story isn't really worth watching more than once which is a real shame because the graphics are fantastic.

But you know what? You can't always get what you want so all I can really do is hope that the next one surpasses the high standards that were set by inFamous 2.

P.S. Maybe Sucker Punch should just retcon inFamous 2's ending and bring Cole back for the next one. No one would be mad. I sure as fuck wouldn't be. Just putting it out there......
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby lopez » Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:58 pm

I felt like SP spent most of their time and resources making the game look beautiful, everything else be damned.

Honestly, I was half expecting and half hoping that this game would be based on the Dark Cole path from iF2, it just makes more sense and I'd argue fits into the existing mythos better.
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby dood » Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:06 pm

lopez wrote:I felt like SP spent most of their time and resources making the game look beautiful, everything else be damned.

Honestly, I was half expecting and half hoping that this game would be based on the Dark Cole path from iF2, it just makes more sense and I'd argue fits into the existing mythos better.



Yeah I'd say that's a fair assumption.

I wish that was what this game would've been. That could've been so amazing and I feel like it's a missed opportunity.
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby lopez » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:49 pm

Indeed, it feels like the whole game was a missed opportunity. If SP is creating a sequel, which seems auite likely, then they better work on the story and characters. I wouldn't mind 2 protagonists which the player can switch between, like GTA V.
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby dood » Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:21 pm

lopez wrote:Indeed, it feels like the whole game was a missed opportunity. If SP is creating a sequel, which seems auite likely, then they better work on the story and characters. I wouldn't mind 2 protagonists which the player can switch between, like GTA V.


I kind of hope that they don't do a sequel with Delsin. But I know the chances of that are slim.

I suppose they could take the switch powers option and change it into switch characters. That could work.
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby Ghostdominion6 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:38 am

Here I am, being the guy who really didn't like Infamous 2 all that much, and really liked Delsin :lol: Overall, I found Second Son to be lacking in stuff to do, but it felt more polished to me I guess. Oh, and I found that the Neon powers trumped the entire second game, but to each their own.
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby Porecomesis » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:58 am

Ghostdominion6 wrote:Oh, and I found that the Neon powers trumped the entire second game, but to each their own.

That's actually something else that plagues me. Not the Neon powers trumping everything, right, but the sets of powers. There's something awfully contractual about having to go after a set of power shards in rapid order after every time you get a new set of powers, in contrast to the first two games in which it was rather empowering to go to that one thing/object and gain a whole new toy to play with.

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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby Ghostdominion6 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:14 am

Porecomesis wrote:
Ghostdominion6 wrote:Oh, and I found that the Neon powers trumped the entire second game, but to each their own.

That's actually something else that plagues me. Not the Neon powers trumping everything, right, but the sets of powers. There's something awfully contractual about having to go after a set of power shards in rapid order after every time you get a new set of powers, in contrast to the first two games in which it was rather empowering to go to that one thing/object and gain a whole new toy to play with.

Neh, "2" just overall rubbed me the completely wrong way xD I was happier with the Neon powers than all the abilities in the second game, though I did like the Amp I guess :D
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby Porecomesis » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:17 am

Ghostdominion6 wrote:
Porecomesis wrote:
Ghostdominion6 wrote:Oh, and I found that the Neon powers trumped the entire second game, but to each their own.

That's actually something else that plagues me. Not the Neon powers trumping everything, right, but the sets of powers. There's something awfully contractual about having to go after a set of power shards in rapid order after every time you get a new set of powers, in contrast to the first two games in which it was rather empowering to go to that one thing/object and gain a whole new toy to play with.

Neh, "2" just overall rubbed me the completely wrong way xD I was happier with the Neon powers than all the abilities in the second game, though I did like the Amp I guess :D

I agree. There was something about 2 that felt lacking compared to the first game. The powers didn't really feel as special, I thought, and those conditions required to power them up felt like a bit too much busywork.

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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby lopez » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:38 pm

2 was good in that they experimented with the existing Lightning powers and made most moves feel unique, even though they were all electric-based.

In 2nd Son, all the powers felt too similar and almost redundant. Also the fact that each power had to be forcibly powered up from scratch was a terrible design choice. I can deal with losing the powers as a plot mechanic, but some types didn't even start out with viable attack moves until near the end of Delsin's charge raid... :|
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby Porecomesis » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:28 am

lopez wrote:2 was good in that they experimented with the existing Lightning powers and made most moves feel unique, even though they were all electric-based.

In 2nd Son, all the powers felt too similar and almost redundant. Also the fact that each power had to be forcibly powered up from scratch was a terrible design choice. I can deal with losing the powers as a plot mechanic, but some types didn't even start out with viable attack moves until near the end of Delsin's charge raid... :|

They all had the same general template so as to not completely alienate the player and also to make sure they don't lose their head when they have to switch powers on the fly because they're about to die and the new power source is right next to them. Still incredibly annoying, though. I'd rather just have one set of powers.

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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby Ghostdominion6 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:59 am

Porecomesis wrote:
lopez wrote:2 was good in that they experimented with the existing Lightning powers and made most moves feel unique, even though they were all electric-based.

In 2nd Son, all the powers felt too similar and almost redundant. Also the fact that each power had to be forcibly powered up from scratch was a terrible design choice. I can deal with losing the powers as a plot mechanic, but some types didn't even start out with viable attack moves until near the end of Delsin's charge raid... :|

They all had the same general template so as to not completely alienate the player and also to make sure they don't lose their head when they have to switch powers on the fly because they're about to die and the new power source is right next to them. Still incredibly annoying, though. I'd rather just have one set of powers.

I guess I'm just in the proud minority here. I found the different powers more fresh and more fun to use than basically anything in the second game. I didn't feel like it was terrible design in Second Son in the slightest either, but whatever :D
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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby Porecomesis » Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:08 am

Ghostdominion6 wrote:
Porecomesis wrote:
lopez wrote:2 was good in that they experimented with the existing Lightning powers and made most moves feel unique, even though they were all electric-based.

In 2nd Son, all the powers felt too similar and almost redundant. Also the fact that each power had to be forcibly powered up from scratch was a terrible design choice. I can deal with losing the powers as a plot mechanic, but some types didn't even start out with viable attack moves until near the end of Delsin's charge raid... :|

They all had the same general template so as to not completely alienate the player and also to make sure they don't lose their head when they have to switch powers on the fly because they're about to die and the new power source is right next to them. Still incredibly annoying, though. I'd rather just have one set of powers.

I guess I'm just in the proud minority here. I found the different powers more fresh and more fun to use than basically anything in the second game. I didn't feel like it was terrible design in Second Son in the slightest either, but whatever :D

Oh, they are fresh compared to 2. Problem is, they're not fresh compared to each other.

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Re: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)

Postby Ghostdominion6 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:47 am

Porecomesis wrote:
Ghostdominion6 wrote:
Porecomesis wrote:
lopez wrote:2 was good in that they experimented with the existing Lightning powers and made most moves feel unique, even though they were all electric-based.

In 2nd Son, all the powers felt too similar and almost redundant. Also the fact that each power had to be forcibly powered up from scratch was a terrible design choice. I can deal with losing the powers as a plot mechanic, but some types didn't even start out with viable attack moves until near the end of Delsin's charge raid... :|

They all had the same general template so as to not completely alienate the player and also to make sure they don't lose their head when they have to switch powers on the fly because they're about to die and the new power source is right next to them. Still incredibly annoying, though. I'd rather just have one set of powers.

I guess I'm just in the proud minority here. I found the different powers more fresh and more fun to use than basically anything in the second game. I didn't feel like it was terrible design in Second Son in the slightest either, but whatever :D

Oh, they are fresh compared to 2. Problem is, they're not fresh compared to each other.

Yeah, but they all felt fun to me I guess. Kinda like how most of the stages in F.E.A.R. can all be called very similar to each other... but I love the hell out of that game anyways xD

Only power I never really cared too much for was the, er, "spoilery" one, but you never really have to use it outside of one section anyways.
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