inFAMOUS: Second Son
Using abilities is exhilarating and keeps the gameplay fresh throughout. The conduits story lines are engrossing and their struggle becomes Delsin's. Graphics are stunning. Little touches such as turning controller into spray paint can
No side missions that involve the residents of Seattle that would give context to their lives under the D.U.P.
Gameplay ( 9.5 )Graphics ( 9.5 )Sound Quality ( 9 )
- Total score
inFAMOUS: Second Son is an open world action game developed by Sucker Punch and takes place 7 years after the events of inFAMOUS 2. As a result of those events the world has turned against conduits and they’re being hunted by the Department of Unified Protection and dubbed Bio-terrorists. You play the role of Delsin Rowe, a mischievous youth on the Akomish reservation, who occasionally gets in trouble due to his graffiti but is always picked up by his brother, Reggie, the sheriff on the reservation. That’s usually the extent of his trouble but things change when a truck carrying conduit prisoners drives through the area and crashes releasing the prisoners and causing a fire in the area. Delsin and Reggie rush to go help any survivors but when one of the conduits touches Delsin he absorbs the conduit’s powers and memories, triggering an even greater fire in the area and causing him to pass out. When he wakes up he pursues the conduit for answers since he’s unable to control his newfound powers, and Reggie is frightened for him knowing he’ll be deemed a bio-terrorist just like the others. After a brief struggle with the conduit, Delsin is interrogated by Brooke Augustine, the director of D.U.P. and the one who finally brings down the escaped conduit, and wants to know what he told Delsin. Unconvinced that Delsin is telling her the full truth, Brooke decides to use her conduit powers to render Delsin unconscious and lodge cement spikes into other tribe members as torture before leaving. When Delsin wakes up a week later he learns that the other tribe members are slowly dying from the cement spikes lodged in their bodies and there’s nothing that can be done to save them, including Betty, their tribal leader. However Delsin knows that if he were to absorb Brooke’s powers he could remove the spikes himself, so he sets out to Seattle with Reggie to go after Brooke and bring down the D.U.P., if necessary, in order to save his tribe.
I was excited to start this game since this would be the first full inFAMOUS game for me so I was unfamiliar with the complete backstory, however since this takes place years after the last game and with new characters it wasn’t a prerequisite to have played those games. And so the start was very interesting not just in terms of the character being Native American, which I liked, but in the simple yet ingenious controls that turn your controller into a spray paint can where you turn it and shake it in order to paint a sign as Delsin. Yes, I’m easy to please at times however this is indicative of the approach taken in the game to attempt to make everything feel fresh and enjoyable. And Delsin suddenly being brought into the world of the conduits mirrored my own as it went from having questions to pure enthusiasm about the newfound powers and what could be done. And after the attack by Brooke Augustine, the subsequent scene was very powerful and made it very easy to feel invested in why Delsin and Reggie would take on the task of wanting to confront her to acquire her powers. Another way the game makes you feel invested is by giving you control over Delsin’s decisions at times with irreversible choices that either give you good karma or bad karma. This shapes Delsin as a conduit and different abilities open up to you based on your choices that fall into one of the two categories. This is incorporated into all parts of the gameplay as side missions and random encounters fall into either being a hero or villain when you reach the open world of Seattle.
You start off with smoke powers, which can be upgraded by collecting shards, and you unlock new abilities by draining power cores, which usually require a tough battle with D.U.P. forces first. Based on whether or not you choose to execute D.U.P. forces or kill injured citizens instead of healing them, you’ll have access to even more powers. In either case Delsin has a melee attack, ranged attack, and a heavy ranged attack with the latter two requiring you to drain smoke from various sources around the city. The powers you unlock are suited for your choice to be a hero or villain but there really is no gray area unless you plan on missing out on both unique skill lines. Initially I loved the smoke powers as you can pass through fences seamlessly or travel through vents allowing you to reach the top of buildings almost instantly, and it’s not that my love for the smoke powers vanished but the addition of other powers, which I’ll get to a little bit later. It’s incredibly fun to use Delsin’s powers, and he can climb any building or structure in the city or fall from any height without any damage or ill effect. And I wasn’t sure if Delsin or I was having more fun with his powers as his excitement in acquiring new powers was contagious and completely relatable. Until you do an orbital drop with the smoke powers you haven’t lived. It’s easy to get lost in these powers and just travel around exploring or fighting D.U.P. forces, and aside from Reggie reminding you of the ultimate objective or clearing out a section of the map of all D.U.P. forces there isn’t a deeper connection to the citizens in the well-constructed city. You’ll be having too much fun to notice this at first but when you start clearing out areas completely and see the citizens react to you as a hero, for example, the assumption is the D.U.P. is bad and not because this was ever shown towards the general public or because you interacted with the general public. On one hand the focus on Delsin’s quest in both the main missions and side activities keeps the story focused considering the urgency but then perhaps showing the D.U.P. terrorizing the general public would have given the everyday lives more of a context.
inFAMOUS: Second Son is an electrifying game that is nonstop fun from the beginning to the end, and is my favorite PS4 game to date. I had high hopes for my first full inFAMOUS game and it delivered and lived up to the hype. The 4 different set of powers that are ultimately acquired keep the gameplay fresh throughout as you can generally choose which power to use at least in the open world, and I was compelled to complete all side activities in every district just because it was that enjoyable and I couldn’t stop. Delsin was an interesting protagonist, however more so at the end and I wouldn’t mind his role reprised in a future installment if that’s the case. I highly recommend inFAMOUS: Second Son not just to get an early taste at the capabilities of the PS4 but a truly entertaining game that will keep you engrossed throughout.
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