inFAMOUS Second Son Review

inFAMOUS Second Son is the third inFAMOUS game in the series and the first on the PS4. As the first game on the new console, we are given a very different world than what we previously experienced. Seven years have passed since the events of the last game and conduits are now deemed bioterrorists and are locked up in Curtain Cay whether they’ve done anything wrong or not. For players, you are back playing as a superpowered person as you navigate a world where all the attention is on you. Like all inFAMOUS games there is a basic choice system which will slightly inform the story that you’re seeing.

Delsin Rowe

Delsin Rowe

Gameplay
Having played and loved the first two inFAMOUS games there is a sort of expectation of how the game will feel as you play. While it may take a previous user a while to get used to the control, like I did, very quickly it all feels natural. Rather than the slow process of gaining powers that we experienced in the previous two games, that is mostly replaced. In its place is the slow gain of new styles of power. In fact, over the course of the game you gain multiple powers that have different attack styles.

I have to mention the use of the touchpad in this game. It could have been very easy to make the use of the touchpad extremely gimmicky, but instead works well. It becomes second nature as you are constantly using it to drain your resources. Even better was its use to open doors or disable turrets. Just swipe in the direction indicated and Delsin yanks open whatever is he’s trying to get to.

All of that said, there is a tediousness to having to clear the city. Just like the previous games, Delsin has to go around and city and take out his enemy bases to clear the area. Unlike in previous games where there were only a few areas, we have two islands that are broken into relatively small areas. Within each area you’re expected to take out tracker domes and hidden games, find dead drops, stop secret agents, and tag the area with witty art. That doesn’t even mention the mobile DUP bases. This is repeated again and again until the city can be fully cleared. The plus side is you can then fast travel, not that I ever did because traveling with Delsin’s powers is fun on its own.

Delsin Rowe

Delsin Rowe

Characters
Delsin is a really great character to be. He enjoys what he is and really enjoys it. For that reason alone, I enjoy Delsin’s character. There was also some interesting stuff Delsin dealt with as he came to terms with being a conduit and what that meant for him and the people around him. There was something eerily scary about Delsin though, and that was his complete lack of empathy for pretty much anyone other than the people he cares about. To be honest, there aren’t many of those characters either. Betty, Reggie, Fetch, and Eugene. That’s it.

Let’s continue talking about them. Out secondary characters really come off as secondary as they are ushered in and out as the plot necessitates. We never get any real depth behind any of the characters except for Reggie. As a result these characters don’t feel nearly as strong as the secondary characters from the first two inFAMOUS games. Hopefully we will get to see more of Fetch and Eugene in DLC content. Fetch’s crazy sure was fun.

Story/Plot
Even weaker than the characters was the plot. The plot was almost story by numbers. Delsin goes about the city trying to gain powers and beat as many of the DUP as possible. Sure there were encounters with other conduits who the DUP were in pursuit of. The actual plot could have been much deeper and delved our characters deeper into the world. As Delsin explores more of Seattle, we aren’t treated to more complexity of the plot. Everything stays completely straight forward.

The story was simple and that was in fact a relief. The fact that everything Delsin did in the city was for the end goal of saving the injured people in his tribe was great. That is an admirable goal and makes for a compelling story. It really shows that Delsin is the kind of person who cares. However, this plot line with these goals work best if you are playing the good play through. The actions Delsin makes really gel with that mindset and the events then make far more sense. So at the end of the day, I do believe the story was good, but the plot brought it down.

Delsin Rowe

Delsin Rowe

Final Impressions
The story of inFAMOUS Second Son was mediocre. It wasn’t bad, but there was a lot to be desired. Often some of the most potentially interesting characters are sidelined rather than explored further. Many events happened within the plot not because that was the logical thing to do next. On the positive side, Delsin is a downright interesting character and his journey as he found out who he was ended up being entertaining. However, I think this was in large part because of how well the game felt. It’s easy to forgive a bit of a lackluster plot and subpar secondary characters when actually running through the city and fighting enemies just feels so good. That was what inFAMOUS Second Son did best. Yes, plot and story needed to be a lot stronger. It delivered a game that was damn fun to play that it was hard to put down. It also didn’t hurt that while you were flexing your powers the city you were running through looked positively gorgeous. This is a great start for the look of next gen.

What did you think of the game? Do you plan to play it?

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