Lucky you! Another Late to the Party review! Added to PSN Plus at the start of the month so it’s time to look into this for you lovely people. I finished Infamous 1 and although I preferred Prototype, I was looking forward to getting more into it. Unfortunately the sequels sudden change in voice actor killed it for me so is now a good time to jump into the franchises launch title for PS4? Lets see.
I don’t really need to explain the premise of this too much. Open world game with super powers/mutants running rampant. A few story quests per area and various side quests and items to collect along the way to level up your powers. If you’ve ever played any videogame from Ubisoft before you already know what to do.
So we’re not off to a good start with this. Fuck good/evil choices and everything that comes with them. Mass Effect proved that in an RPG it can work and adds longevity but in Infamous is always resulted in either Holy powers Of Evil powers. This tries to keep them all as one but becomes a mess. It’s a nice touch the logo turns as you become good/evil (and its reflected on your jacket to) but yeah, nobody wants to know from the start that they’re going to have to gamble on “the more interesting ending”.
Lets get to the good stuff first then. For a launch title this game is stunning. Colours and models are brilliant, granted there are a lot of tricks at work to gloss over some of the models (like bloom and lighting to hide late ps3/early PS4) still very nice to look at even now. Plenty of polish here and I found myself staring off into the vista’s on more than one occasion.
Controls are tight and essentially the same as the original Infamous series with a little more touch screen than expected. Not really brilliant use of it but remember this launch day stuff so I’m surprised they were as conservative as this.
The story depends largely on your choice of good or evil. Although regardless of this the highlight for me comes from the writing. The back and forth between the brothers of the main story is brilliant. Really good surprisingly, to the point where other side characters reactions and relations never really come close.
Now… All of this would have me singing to hills like other reviews of why it deserves so much praise. It’s great visually, the content is huge and the acting is top notch. So why am I not ending it here with a 10/10? The problem with Infamous Second Son is largely a problem with Infamous in general. The longer you play the more you realise how many tricks are there to give the player interaction. For example there’s an impressive spray tag mechanic where you find spots on the map and turn the controller to act as a spray can, using motion controls to spray the tag. After your fifth or so tag you start to realise your actual input in these mini-game esq distractions is minimal and spraying over/under on the template makes zero difference.
Bosses and some of the story moments are really stretched out just to prolong gameplay. Annoyingly so to be honest and when this occurs you start to find yourself questioning why your bothering at all? The more you play the more moments like the hidden agent missions and secret shards (because there are always shards) are just simply tedious rather than fun exploration and interaction.
Also I realise this a nit pick issue but Subtitles are not quite right. “Yeah this is Delsin, do your worst” is subtitled as “Yeah this is Delsin, do your best”. Not the best example I’ll grant you but there are lots of little odd changes to the dialogue. Most people probably won’t pick up on but if you do rely on subtitles to catch some lines of dialogue it can be jarring.
Balancing is another issue with this game. So to avoid spoilers (for a launch title?) there is a mission where you are forced to use your smoke powers even if you have say newer cooler powers by then (and chances are you do), oh and it introduces mobile turrets as if Delsin has never seen them before. Cool. Except (A) I was all powered up with 10 new super powered missles before hand and had nowt smoke lined up so I was reset back to nothing and (B) I’ve already dealt with plenty of mobile turrets before that point. A few story quests show how to stop activists and drug busts. Again this would be great but by then I’d already cleared half the world map of those.
The biggest problem Infamous Second Son has is itself. It’s clearly a bit bare bones in nature and stretched, fluffed and gimmicky enough to hide that. It’s full of hundreds of great little ideas that are absolutely brilliant but that’s it, their just little ideas that don’t add up to a great whole. Now that so much time has passed since it’s release it just doesn’t really feel like it holds up. Each open world area’s story mission introducing aspects after you’ve already figured it out by exploring. It’s an enjoyable story if you plough through it first and ignore the side quests but unfortunately that’s about it which in an open world game today just doesn’t really cut it.
Not quite Son. Not quite.