Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Released: March 21/22, 2014
In this third instalment of Infamous you play as Delsin Rowe, a trouble maker who seems to revel in terrorising his older brother Reggie- who is head of the local law enforcement. Delsin Rowe portrays a strong positive attitude, his witty comments and genuine enthusiasm after gaining his new ‘super powers’ makes Second Son a pleasure to play.
Rowe soon gets thrown into the deep end when he crosses paths with an escaped ‘Conduit’, or as the Department of Unified Protection (DUP) calls them “bio-terrorists”. The powers are passed on to Rowe by physical contact between him and this Conduit, so thankfully you gain access to your abilities fairly early on in the game. He rapidly goes on a mission to take down the DUP, who are clearly the main opposition. Rowe defends the conduits against the threat of the DUP, putting himself at risk.
The first power you gain is the ability to manipulate smoke, using air vents to reach the top of buildings within seconds, making it simple to get around the open world environment. There are four powers altogether which you gain from following the main storyline. My personal favourite being ‘Neon’, mainly due to the fact you can speedily dash around the open environment with ease.
The main story in SS is relatively short but I don’t see that being a problem as it still kept me interested throughout. SS has a favourable set of characters; you have the light amusement in the form of Delsin Rowe, his brother Reggie manages to balance out the humour. Twitch, the love interest and Brooke Augustine, the loathsome head of the DUP.
The side missions available in Second Son are interesting at first, yet they do start to become repetitive, you are required to complete the same variety of these missions multiple times. Completing each objective began to feel like I was doing so to simply clear an area, not because of any enjoyment factor. Admittedly you are not required to complete everything, although if you’re a completionist like me, you won’t be able to resist the temptation regardless of how tedious it may become.
Side missions include collecting shards, finding a hidden DUP agent and spray painting a wall similar to the activity at the beginning of the game. By far the most challenging included the taking down of DUP centres. This forces you to consider what you are doing and how best the infiltrate the DUP base, depending on the difficulty, it is easy to get swarmed by enemies in these DUP hotspots.
As far as combat is concerned SuckerPunch is pushing you to consider using different tactics. The four powers enable you to play around with different scenarios, swapping mid battle to gain the advantage from using an aerial smoke bomb to an up close neon uppercut. You can also move in with a stealth approach by using ‘Video’ to become invisible, allowing you to surprise your enemy or if you prefer you can just run in all guns blazing. The upgrades which you can buy for each of the powers depends on which moral route you decide to choose, the ‘evil’ path tends to be more lethal and let’s be honest – much more entertaining.
The general look of the game is beautiful, visually the game is absolute. The world around Rowe is incredibly detailed. The use of powers is dazzling as well as devastating; it’s almost mesmerising to watch the tiny ash particles flicker elegantly around as you use smoke. The visuals are captivating enough to keep your interest for several hours or more.
I admired the use of the touch pad; there are situations where you have to swipe across to complete actions such as opening doors or more accurately – breaking them. At first it did seem like the feature was just added as an afterthought. But eventually it felt natural and it was nice to see a game which is trying to utilise some of the Dualshock 4’s abilities.
Second Son is worth the time and the money; it’s enjoyable, polished to perfection and an improvement on its predecessors. The array of destructive powers available to you is enough to make up for the repetitive side missions while you cause devastation in Seattle. Second Son is what it set out to be, it’s a stunning piece of eye candy showcasing what the PS4 is capable of.