INFAMOUS: SECOND SON culminates into a sublime super-powered frenzy full of extreme moments. So lost had I become in the brilliant fray of combat and scenery that any moment of boredom brought on by the story in Sucker Punch’s new game was easily dismissed and replaced with utter joy. My first impressions positively mirrored my last impressions.
The main constant in INFAMOUS: SECOND SON is just how beautiful the game is. From the very beginning I noticed that the crafted world is absolutely stunning; Reflections in the water puddles along the beach and just the right amount of foliage comprised a beach scene that felt real and aesthetically pleasing. It’s not hard to stop Delsin in his tracks and take in the sights. There was a lighthouse in the distance about to warn ships from the oncoming night, the dusk Sun casts its golden glow on the quiet coastal town around me, and a mountain train disappearing into the lush forest. Wow, impressive craftsmanship that persists throughout. I came to find out that this wasn’t the only time I would be speechless by visual stimuli (especially in gameplay).
The story, or more specifically, how it was told, was the weakest part. However, I did enjoy it immensely which only goes to speak volumes about the graphics and gameplay. After the events of INFAMOUS 2’s “good” campaign with Cole McGrath, the world is in a state of fear from the now deemed bio-terrorists. “Conduits” is a word for sympathizers. With such harsh verbiage for these superhumans comes an appropriate response from the DUP (Department of Unified Protection) in a martial law scenario of Seattle. The antagonist who heads the DUP is the emotionally dead Brooke Augustine (Christine Dunford). Her character makes more sense with reflection in the long run. Augustine hurts people close to Delsin, and the story unfolds from there.
The introduction of each character was the literal characterization of the part played through the rest of the game. Delsin (Troy Baker) with his mischievous antics and controversial morals is partially influenced by his straight cut big brother Reggie (Travis Willingham). These two main players are very different people that still love one another despite one being the conservative first son and the other being the loose cannon second son. Wait, now the title makes sense! With a slew of characters met along the way to help influence Delsin on his journey of good or evil, it is this single relationship that defines the majority of the game. The story changed relatively little between the two polar arcs as the same sequences of events happen with subtle changes. In fact, one playthrough lets you pretty much guess how the next play through is going to go at each particular moment. Interestingly enough, the two stories do culminate to be different enough in gameplay, character interaction, and the last quarter of the game’s plot to warrant a second, much faster, playthrough.
As you progress in Deslin’s adventure, you unlock up to 4 superpowers. Each one, while similar almost to the point of being re-skinned iterations, is nothing short of a spectacular display much like the grand finale of a fireworks celebration. Each has a dash skill, a missile skill, a shooting skill, and a melee skill with subtle differences. As Delsin grows, the player can modify the skills slightly to fit his/her style, also depending which karmic side (good or evil) of the meter he/she lies. I noticed I primarily used one dominant power in my “good” playthrough and a different one in my “evil” playthrough, and I have to wonder if others also found the same set on the same playthrough. Perhaps it was my play style, though. Regardless, the powers are much like the crafted world, pleasurable to the eyes. Particles, particles everywhere! I found myself trying as hard as I could to build up my karmic streak just so I could devoid it in one spectacular display of badassery on my opponents around me, and each superpower had me accumulating said streak in a different strategy. Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the destruction of certain environment props when your powers collide with them.
INFAMOUS: SECOND SON brought me around 15-20 hours of single player bliss, which is rare in the ever shrinking budgets for anything but the multiplayer market. If you’re looking for a great single player game for your PS4 with a decent story, beautiful graphics, and fun gameplay, then look no further.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10