Advocating: inFAMOUS: Second Son

new-infamous-review-playstation

New Infamous by Sucker Pinch Publishers

new-infamous-review-playstation
New Infamous by Sucker Pinch Publishers

Following a wave of hype, speculation, and impressive tech demos, “inFAMOUS: Second Son” for the Playstation 4 has finally released. “Second Son” is the third game in Sucker Punch Productions’ “inFAMOUS” series following a natural disaster gave superpowers to a select few. In the first two games followed the recently empowered ‘Conduit’, or person with powers, Cole MacGrath as the player chose whether or not Cole followed a path of infamy or heroism.

“Second Son” occurs seven years after the previous game in the series, and follows Native-American rebel Delsin Rowe, as he comes to terms with his new powers allowing him to control and turn into smoke.

“Second Son” takes place in dystopian, squalid Seattle that highlights the fears of the U.S. now that the ‘Conduits’, who are labeled as ‘bio-terrorists’, are well-established. The Department of Unified Protection (DUP) uses dark and sometimes oppressive guard towers and armored patrol cars. These are key to establishing the game’s atmosphere, but they make the city feel more limited.

The graphics overall look great. Whether Delsin is blowing up an armored car or dashing across rooftops in the rain, it truly feels like the next generation of gaming.

The gameplay takes a step forward and back when compared to previous “inFAMOUS” titles. Delsin utilizes parkour to scale buildings and get around, but that portion of the game feels less smooth than the title preceding it. The step forward comes from Delsin’s power. What the game lacks in parkour and conventional movement, it makes up for in his smoke-based power. Often I would be inches away from grasping a pole or ledge and at the quick press of a button, the smoke would kick in. By the time the game ends, the ability became second nature and a great supplement to moving around Seattle.

The game also does a great job of making you feel as if you are a hero, or a villain, depending on your choices. The game gives you the option to bust drug deals, spray paint inspiring (or funny) murals, and heal bystanders injured in the crossfire of your battles. If you do this, as well as fight back and push the DUP out of Seattle’s districts, bystanders will pull out their camera phones as you walk by and cheer you on. But if you kill protesters and execute bystanders, the pedestrians will be much less friendly.

The game’s plot feels like it is rushed and the characters besides Delsin and his brother Reggie, are not fleshed out enough. The game attempts to make a commentary on our own post-9/11 world and the freedoms that have been encroached upon during the War on Terror. At the same time, this commentary comes at the cost of less character development.

Overall, despite a few hiccups and the game’s relatively short length (around 8-9 hours to complete the main storyline), the game is fun. It is a game where the scripted moments don’t quite compare to jumping off a building and firing smoke missiles at destructible environments. Hopefully this is a sign of what’s to come for game-play and graphics on the Playstation 4.

“inFAMOUS: Second Son” was released March 21 on Playstation 4.