InFamous Second Son is Sucker Punch’s 3rd installation in the InFamous series and their first game release on the newly released PlayStation 4 console. In this iteration, players will take control of Delsin Rowe, a small town delinquent who is known more for his graffiti art than his physical abilities, but after a run in with an escaped Bio-Terrorist, Delsin finds himself with mysterious new powers and many difficult decisions to make.

graffiti

Delsin doing what he loves to do, tagging billboards.

The story of InFamous Second Son is both very simple and very complex at the same time. In the beginning of the game, a truck transporting captured ‘Bio-Terrorists’, or Conduits as they like to be called, crashes in Delsin’s home town. While trying to help one of the escapees, Delsin becomes infused with the man’s powers. After regaining his faculties, the man escapes into the town and causes a massive fire which attracts the attention of the townsfolk and the Department of Unified Protection, or D.U.P. After a scuffle in the burning building, both men find themselves face to face with the head of the D.U.P., and fellow Conduit, Brooke Augustine.

At this point, Augustine encases the escaped convict, who we now know is Hank Daughtry, in concrete and begins to interrogate Delsin in the same way. At this point, Delsin must make his first decision, sell out the people of his tribe, the Akomish, or turn himself in. This decision sets the stage for the rest of the game and starts you on a path that will either help redeem all Conduits or condemn them. After this decision is made, Augustine takes it upon herself to inflict damage on most members of the town, and when Delsin comes to, he finds out that he can only help heal these people by obtaining Augustine’s powers. Now Delsin must make his way to Seattle and take down the D.U.P and steal expose Augustine for the brutal person she really is.

Each decision and action that is made in InFamous Second Son has an effect on how the people of Seattle view Delsin and the Conduit community as a whole. So while Delsin may not be the perfect representative, he is the face of every Conduit. If you choose to be evil, then the city will turn on you and your relationships with the other conduits you meet will reflect your actions and decisions. If you choose to be good, the game will play completely differently, and your interactions will reflect your noble decisions. Basically, InFamous Second Son offers you two completely different story experiences in one game, so it is in your best interest to play the game through twice to get the full experience.

Gameplay is one place where InFamous Second Son really made a marked improvement over its predecessors. In previous iterations of InFamous, Cole could only control electricity. In Second Son, Delsin has the ability to absorb powers from any Active Conduit, like Hank or Augustine, so you are not locked into one power throughout the entire game. Having multiple power choices makes it easier to assess a potential fight then load up with the power you think will do the job best. My personal favorite was Neon. It allowed me to slow the fight down and hit shots with pinpoint accuracy.

New powers also mean new ways of traversing the city. Each power offers a different method of getting through Seattle’s tall buildings and small alleys. Smoke allows you to disappear into air vents and pop up on top of buildings; Neon lets you run at blazing speed up the side of buildings; and the Video power lets you use satellite dishes as spring boards. Each power offers unique abilities in both combat and movement that make fighting and traveling as easy as you want it to be.

Flying with Video power.

Flying with Video power.

It is also noteworthy that your Karmic decisions do determine what skills you can obtain. Evil karma will yield skills that are more focused on power regeneration and destruction, and Good karma will focus on self-healing and subduing enemies.

The main goal of InFamous Second Son is to liberate each section of Seattle that is under D.U.P. control. This is done by reducing the D.U.P. presence through side missions like eliminating secret agents, destroying D.U.P tracker drones, finding D.U.P informant audio logs, and destroying D.U.P mobile command centers. Upon completion, these missions will yield good or evil karma points, based on your current path, and a reduction in D.U.P control percentage. Once the percentage is below 30%, the district showdown mission is unlocked. The district showdown will pit you against loads of D.U.P troops and heavy artillery, but if you manage to complete the mission, that district will no longer be under D.U.P control. Freeing districts is essential to success in the game. While these missions can become a bit repetitive, the fun factor never diminishes.

Sucker Punch also added in a new Karmic Streak attack super attack for each new power that Delsin can absorb. The Karmic Streak attacks are super powerful and can quickly turn the tide of any fight in the game. More often than not, a well-placed Karmic Streak attack can neutralize every enemy in an area. In my time with the game, I made sure to have a Karmic Streak ready for big situations, like district showdown missions or taking out D.U.P command centers. Some people may see Karmic Streaks as over powered, but using the attack is not a guaranteed win. You have to time and place the attack properly to maximize its effectiveness.

karmic streak

The Neon Karmic Streak attack.

Second Son also implemented a fast travel system based on unlocked districts, but the gameplay was so fun and engaging that I almost never used it. It is extremely fun to traverse the open sandbox of Seattle, and there are always small dynamic events that you can attend to while you are making your way to the next objective. It’s always a great sign when a game is so fun that you don’t want to move through it quickly.

Aside from a few tight areas that can cause some odd moments with the camera angles, InFamous Second Son is an extremely polished and fun gameplay experience. Once you start playing it, it is hard to put down.

Second Son’s gameplay would be nothing without the setting to bring all of Delsin’s actions alive. Sucker Punch did an amazing job bringing the city of Seattle to life in the game. The buildings, streets, and storefronts all offer ways to escape, engage, or empower you during fights, and the people in the city give you an idea of how your Karmic decisions are affecting the population as a whole. Evil karma will lead to people yell mean things to you, run in terror from you, and even cause people to get in physical altercations with you, while good karma leads to the entire city falling in love with you. Seattle is a completely different place depending on which decisions you make.

seattle

The beautiful Seattle skyline.

During battle, you will always be able to find areas of cover or places to escape to if you get low on health, and there will always be a source of power nearby if you happen to run low. These parts of the environment aren’t there by happenstance; they are there because the developers made sure that the player always has a fighting chance, no matter where an encounter occurs. Sucker Punch also made sure that traversing the environment wasn’t an arduous task. As mentioned previously, there are fast travel locations once districts are unlocked, but even without fast travel, traveling across Seattle is quick and easy. Each power affords you with a unique way to travel that is facilitated by the buildings, air vents, and satellite dishes that are spread across the city. You don’t have to travel on foot for long periods of time like in the previous InFamous games, which makes the game feel much more action oriented and faster paced.

The thread that ties the entire InFamous Second Son experience together is the incredible graphics. Second Son shows how incredible games can look on next generation consoles, and aside from making everything look pretty, the graphics bring a sense of realism to a digital world. The facial movements and features are expertly crafted, which makes every conversation feel much more realistic and important. Interaction between the characters is fluid and the best part is that there is almost no graphical lag. Many people look at graphics as a nice side note, but in a game like InFamous Second Son, the graphics help with complete immersion into the game world.

One of the most impressive graphical features in the game is the particle physics. Each power has a special type of particle effect that really grabs your attention. These particle effects give Second Son a “wow factor” that many games on the next generation consoles lack at the moment. Running with your neon power at night time is just like looking at a laser light show, and the digital blocking effects that come along with the video power give it an extra sense of realism that everyone with digital cable can identify with.

neon_run

Running with the Neon Power and all of the pretty particles that come with it.

It’s the small details that give InFamous Second Son the extra bit of awesome that really pulls gamers into the world. While graphics may not be the most important part of a game, it is definitely an aspect that can lift a game from being very good to great.

Overall, InFamous Second Son is a perfect example of what can be done with next gen technology, and it has raised expectations for all of the games that will come out after it. If you have been waiting for a definitive next generation experience before buying a PS4 or an Xbox One, the wait is over.

InFamous Second Son Review
InFamous Second Son is an incredible gaming experience. If you have been waiting for a reason to buy a PlayStation 4, wait no longer.
Story8.5
Gameplay9.3
Environment9.5
Graphics10
The Good
  • Incredible Graphics
  • Fun and Addicting Gameplay
  • Immersive Environment
The Bad
  • Bad Camera Angles at Times
9.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (7 Votes)
8.4

About The Author

Nick C
COO/Podcast Host

I’m Nick, a proud nerd and gamer. I rock my Star Wars tattoos like I’m a real Jedi, and I hope I will be making games first and playing them second in the future!