Author Topic: [Video Game] inFAMOUS: Second Son (PS4)  (Read 1493 times)


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[Video Game] inFAMOUS: Second Son (PS4)
« on: November 03, 2014, 08:07:42 PM »
I admit that I wasn't too keen on the original inFAMOUS for PS3, but it's sequel was fantastic. inFAMOUS 2 stands as one of my all time favorite games. You can read my reviews of those games here.

inFAMOUS: Second Son picks up 7 years after the events of inFAMOUS 2, using the "good" ending as the jumping off point for the story. You now play as Delsin Rowe, a rebellious Native American young man with a brother who just happens to be a Sheriff. Minding your own business one day, an armored transport truck crashes on the highway nearby your tribe's long house, and all hell breaks loose. Apparently, that armored truck was carrying three "bio-terrorists", or "conduits".

Conduits are people who possess a latent gene that allows them to attain, for lack of a better term, super powers. Since the events of inFAMOUS 2, a government agency known as the Department of Unified Protection (hereafter referred to as DUP) has been established to wrangle up any and all remaining conduits and lock them away forever.

When Delsin has a run-in with one of the escaped conduits and "absorbs" his powers. From then on you control Delsin as he and his brother uncover the truth behind DUP and the lies about the true nature of conduits, and take the fight straight to DUP's headquarters based in Seattle.

Story: 6/10
It's a good story, but lacks the emotional weight of the previous two games. The whole urgency is that the leader of DUP (Augustine) has fatally injured members of your tribe as part of an interrogation process when searching for the escaped conduits, and you need to find her and "steal" her powers to reverse the damage she's done. Yes, she's also a conduit, which makes her a hypocrite, a point that is brought up to her in the first meeting between her and Delsin which only angers her.

The problem with the urgency to save all of your friends is that you only meet one of them before venturing off to Seattle, and she doesn't seem to be in dire straights at any point so you never really get the feeling that anything is on the line.

inFAMOUS 1 and 2 dealt with a plague that was killing people, and throughout the games it seemed that no matter what you did, you could never get on top of the problem - you ALWAYS felt the weight of your actions, knowing that your journey wasn't about you, it was about saving humanity, and being a prime conduit with exponential power, you were one of very few people capable of making a difference.

The other problem I have with the story is that the moral choice system really seems tacked on here. It wasn't very strong in the first game... it was significantly better in the second, but was still a bit weird as far as how it related to the story.. but in Second Son, it really makes no sense. Delsin is in a rush to save his tribe, and overall seems like a good guy even if he is a bit of a trouble maker, and his brother is a cop... nothing about Delsin ever gives you the impression that he would be OK killing civilians or doing any of the terrible things you are sometimes given the opportunity to do. Cole McGrath, on the other hand, it was easy to believe that he could become an evil prick, because even as a good guy was still very brooding and "heavy". Delsin is very jokey, seems like a good natured and caring person. To play him as a super villain just doesn't feel right and it DEFINITELY doesn't mesh with the story.

With that stated, the game was clearly designed for you to play Delsin as a hero. It's obvious that Sucker Punch only included the moral choice and karma system because it's a staple of the series.

Graphics: 10/10
I have to be honest, this is only the second PS4 game I've played, the other being Need For Speed: Rivals (which is a big disappointment as far as graphics are concerned), so it might just be the step up from PS3 that makes it seem more impressive than it is... however, it's a beautiful game. The textures are flawless, the lighting is incredible, characters are very well designed and realistic looking, the special effects are gorgeous (as they should be for a game featuring super powers)... all in all, just an amazing looking game.

If I had to pick nits, I'd say that moving objects in cut scenes don't seem to move in a natural way. This is an issue with many many many games, and it's an easy one to understand - instead of using the game's physics, the objects (for example, a vehicle) are animated superficially which means that it's not actually interacting with the environment, it's just a 3D model moving through it. With the capabilities of video game engines these days, it's getting to the point where in-game graphics are starting to look better than cut scenes, and despite the cut scene textures and facial animations being absolutely stellar in this game, it's still an example of how something as simple as a vehicle moving in an unnatural way is way more noticeable BECAUSE of the graphical fidelity.

The physics are a welcome addition, as destroying DUP fortifications (ESPECIALLY their check points) is extremely satisfying, watching it all come crashing to the ground in hundreds of pieces. Though not everything can be destroyed, there is a good amount of interactivity with the environment. Most buildings windows will crack when hit with something, concrete will chip, walls will be scorched by your super power attacks, etc.

Sound: 10/10
If there's a flaw, I haven't found one. The voice acting is top notch. The music suits the game well. The sound effects are very well done. Sucker Punch have taken a page out of Rockstar's book and included crap loads of ambient sounds to make Seattle feel alive. Car horns chirping in the back ground as someone locks their doors, air planes flying overhead, the typical noise of a busy street... it all helps build the illusion of a living, breathing place.

Game play: 8/10
I would rate this higher, but the difficulty curve problems from the first game tend to appear here once in a while, and I've had far more frustrating moments thanks to an unfair sudden shift in the balance of difficulty than I think I should have experienced.

It's very easy to get pinned down with no escape, and even though each of your power-sets has some form of dash maneuver, it doesn't always save you. Sometimes there's just no way out of a situation but to die and respawn.

Thankfully, this is all wonderfully offset by what is probably the best checkpoint system i've yet seen in a game. The game almost seems to save your progress constantly, and even though certain objects may reset after your death, anything you've accomplished - defeating mini-boss enemies, collecting collectibles, or completing mission objectives - it's all saved. That really helps to alleviate the frustration and lends to a more trial-and-error approach to this game, and while that's nice, I'm not sure it really suits itself. I'd rather the game be less unfair yes less forgiving with checkpoints than have so many moments of total BS but super-forgiving check points. That said, respawn points have to be unlocked, and sometimes you can find yourself traveling a good distance to get back to the fight you were just in the middle of.

inFAMOUS 2 really nailed down transportation - Cole could traverse the city with extreme ease right from the beginning of the game, but by the end it was even better - and extremely fun.

Second Son... well, it just doesn't feel as refined. It's very easy to get stuck under the many awnings and overhangs when trying to scale a building. There are some powers unlocked later in the game that literally allow you to run up and down buildings at your will, but even then you can get stuck under an awning or something, and it can be difficult to turn around and find a route past it when you're in a hurry.

Even the simple act of free-climbing isn't as good as it was. Cole could scale any building with ease. Delsin seems to have a problem grabbing onto ledges or window sills even though they're well within reach. I tend to find myself hopping fruitlessly several times before he eventually connects to the ledge and continues to climb. Frustrating. It was so fluid and fun in inFAMOUS 2, it's pretty disappointing that it's somewhat broken here.

Overall, it's a great game. It's a ton of fun. Once you get the hang of your many powers and really figure out the best combinations to throw at the waves of enemies, it is extremely satisfying. The story doesn't carry the weight of the last two games, but the dialogue is entertaining and the characters are interesting enough to be engaging. For one of the first PS4 exclusives, it's a good one. As a fan of the inFAMOUS series, it fits in well, though the few shortcomings it does have may be fairly disappointing.


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Re: [Video Game] inFAMOUS: Second Son (PS4)
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 12:26:01 PM »
I played it for a while when my bro in law got it...and having no experience with the series I thought it was a pretty cool game. He was about midway through it if I remember correctly. If I end up picking up a used PS3 to use mainly as a Blu Ray player I'll probably get the first 2 to dick around with.
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Re: [Video Game] inFAMOUS: Second Son (PS4)
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2015, 12:18:51 PM »
I agree 100% with your review up until the last section of the game. Once they started breaking the game continuity just to progress the story, I tuned out. I'm done with it. It's rare that I do this, but I actually refuse to finish the game. The last boss battles are repetitive and pointless. The (assumed) final battle is what pushed me over the edge though. It's entirely too long and too cheap. Shots take slivers of health away from her. I had her to 1/3 health when a cheap hit killed me (those missiles are bullshit) and the checkpoint reset her to 3/4 health.

No thanks.

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