Review: Infamous: Second Son
Enjoying the Power
By Daniel Hickey
Infamous: Second Son is an absolute treat to play. Beginning in a small, northwestern US town, young rebel Delsin Rowe is introduced. He is an ordinary petty criminal who has some ideological differences with his protective older brother. He accidentally acquires his powers from a "conduit" (or "bioterrorist", depending on which side you are on) and treks to Seattle to track down the woman who can give him the power to save his family. Oh, by the way, this selfsame woman is the one who created the need to save his family, and she has an army of special soldiers standing in his way. I know I'm being vague. The story is one that is not worth spoiling, not even a little bit.
Most of your time will be spent in open world Seattle. Los Santos, it is not, but it is a sprawling world that, even with the quickest routes utilized, will take quite a bit of time to traverse end to end. Overall, it makes an excellent playground for you to smoke dash through. Speaking of smoke dashing, I was absolutely blown away by how easy it was to go where I wanted in this game. Climb a tall building, no problem. Hover across a patch of water, easy peasy. Clear a wide gap in a broken bridge, whatev. I found this to be my biggest asset when being attacked by hordes of enemies. While they are suprisingly adept at hitting a moving target, the enemies just can't keep up with you if you keep moving in this game. If you keep moving, you will eventually find cover, and it is there that you can plan your next attack.
I did enjoy the diversity of the powers given to Delsin in the game. You are given the ability to wield four different elements, recharging them at various points of the city. Each set of powers gave you different ways to travel, different stun mechanisms, and different super moves. You will find your favorite, but I like that Sucker Punch did not allow me to ignore the other powers entirely, making me temporarily revisit powers I had left behind, even once making me learn a whole new power in the middle of an important boss fight.
The dialogue is enjoyable, especially the banter between Delsin and his brother. It's a solid plot, and one that keeps you guessing right to the end. Beyond the main missions, there are some short side missions to complete. You end up repeating these different types of side missions in different areas, and it could be best described as a grind. Personally, I enjoyed the repetitiveness, as I felt familiar with what I had to do in each one, but some may not enjoy the grind of it so much. You have two different paths you can take through the campaign: Good and Evil. The good campaign felt like the "A" story to me. Playing as Evil Delsin honestly made me feel like a big jerk. It didn't come naturally to me at all. I don't fault Sucker Punch for this; I think playing as one who is evil is just an uncomfortable thing to do, but it adds another level of depth to the experience for sure.
The biggest downside to this game is the complete and total lack of any type of multiplayer or coop element. Earth to Sucker Punch and Sony: It's 2014. Xbox One's flagship title is exclusively a multiplayer experience. A GTA Online-style multiplayer experience would be a perfect addition. It would have at least been good to allow you to let a friend join to help with your campaign, Dead Rising 3 style. To have the game that, for now, defines what it means to own a PS4 not even include a social element to it is an unforgivable offense.
I'll end on a high note: I. Loved. This. Soundtrack. It is a very grungy, ethereal collection of music that really brings a very Seattle-y feel to the game. Dead Sara's cover of Nirvana's Heart-Shaped Box actually kept me through most of the end credits. A digital download of the soundtrack is given to you by Sony for purchasing the game, too, which I thought was a nice gesture. Overall, I enjoyed using my powers to blaze through baddies in open world Seattle. In fact, I had more fun playing this game than any other next-gen game I have played. Though it's a major bummer not having any interaction with friends, I would highly recommend this game to anyone with a Playstation 4.
Check out Daniel and all his antics on Twitter @danjapan7