inFAMOUS: Second Son vs inFAMOUS 2 Screenshot Comparison: a Huge Leap from PS3 to PS4

inFAMOUS: Second Son is right around the corner, with less than two months to go before the release date on March 21st. The series is jumping a generation from PS3 to PS4, so it obviously looks quite a lot better than its predecessor inFAMOUS 2. But just how much better does it look? is inFAMOUS: Second Son the first real showcase of the generational leap between what’s now old generation and the new one?

The screenshots below, paired to showcase similar elements in both games, give more insight on the answer to that question (in Each pairing inFAMOUS 2 is above and Second Son is below).

inFamous2 (1) inFamousSecondSon (1)

First of all, let’s give a look to the new facial technology boasted by Sucker Punch Productions for inFamous: Second Son. Besides the fact that Cole was as expressive as a wooden log on painkillers on his own, it’s obvious that the improvement here is massive, not only in how “human” the expression looks, but also in the polygon count and the resolution of textures used to design the character.

inFamous2 (3) inFamousSecondSon (3)

This pair of panoramic shots let us spot quite a few differences. First of all the lighting engine in Second Son is much more advanced, making the environment feel a lot more “alive.” Secondly, there’s no comparison between the draw distance. in inFAMOUS: 2 it’s a lot shorter and the depth of field blur becomes very thick much nearer to hide the LOD on textures and polygons.

inFamous2 (4) inFamousSecondSon (4)

While the pair above may seem very different, it helps us gauge very effectively the texture resolution on architectural elements. In inFAMOUS 2 textures are very low in resolution, forcing the use of a rather rough normal map to add more detail. The new game showcases much higher resolution textures and normal maps, with a much more pleasant and realistic effect.

inFamousSecondSon (7) inFamous2 (7)

The same elements visible above are evident in this pair. Again, lighting is much sharper and more lively in Second Son. in addition to that there’s an extremely visible aliasing pretty much everywhere in inFamous 2, while in Second Son, the antialiasing feature does its duty very well to hide jaggies.

inFamous2 (9) inFamousSecondSon (9)

Here we can see more of the difference between the character design in the two games, but also the enormous discrepancy on how lighting affects characters. In Second Son light affects Delsin organically while keeping a dramatic effect. In inFAMOUS 2  the difference between lighted areas and shadows is much more evident and innatural, pointing to a much less advanced lighting engine.

inFamous2 (10) inFamousSecondSon (10)

The shots above give us a nice view on the difference between the particle engines of the two games. In Second Son even in a scene where the particles aren’t the main element, as they’re just a decoration for a flight move, there are many more displayed with additional smoke, resulting in a much richer and visually pleasant effect. The same can be said in the two pairings below.

inFamous2 (11) inFamousSecondSon (11)

inFamous2 (13) inFamousSecondSon (13)

In the two shots above we can also notice how much more expressive and natural Delsin looks while he fights, while Cole basically just used to open his mouth and frown.

inFamous2 (12) inFamousSecondSon (12)

The particle engine is also partly responsible of rendering explosions, and even here the difference is the same, and very visible. In inFAMOUS 2 explosions were already quite nice, but lacked in volume. In Second Son they’re much richer, thicker and more realistic.

Looking at the screenshots above it’s hard to say that the generational leap between the two games isn’t very visible. Less than three years have passed from the release of inFAMOUS 2, but Second Son definitely is on a completely different graphical level, and the difference between the 720p resolution on PS3 and 1080p on PS4 is just a tip of a very large iceberg.

Many say that the early titles of the new generation didn’t showcase the generational leap between PS3 and PS4 or Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and that’s at least partly a statement I can agree with. In that light inFamous: Secons Son is probably the first game that really makes us feel like we have landed fully into the 8th generation of console games, at long last.

Join the Discussion

  • Great article. I loved the improvements made from the first to second, and now the jump from the second to third is nothing short of amazing. The way the game looks more authentic is incredible; the use of the Dualshock 4 is going to be interesting.

    A reason why I haven’t picked up a PS4 (bar the lack of funds) is due to waiting for this beauty to come out. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to save up the money needed for a PS4 and this. Can’t wait.

  • delsin row

    thanks you so much for this article.once again,thank you man.i lover the franchise.i love second son and delsin.cant wait until 21 march

  • Bankai

    Wow, those screenshots are gorgeous. Second Son is definitely easy on the eyes and if Sucker Punch have improved the already phenomenal controls, then all that’s left is a compelling story. Man, March 21st can’t get here soon enough.

  • Arnold Stallone

    What is the most amazing on these screenshots, is how amazing graphics looked, on the ps3, with components from 2004-5, and designed maybe in 2002, with 2002 direct x9 and other libraries.

    I was surprised how good the city looked, specially on infamous 2, with hundreds of different buildings, each one with its set of colors, textures, etc.
    And all that, running on ~450 mb of ram. I call that a true miracle , development wise.

    And then, I see games like FIFA or pes, with a static public, one single texture for the grass, and 22 small sprites/characters running along the field, with a low level of details, on a simple scenery that doesn’t need lights, effects, particles, nothing, and it only runs at 720p.
    They could easily have made the ps3/x360 versions running at 1080p, with no effort, all these years.
    But then, with the ps4 and xbox one, they wouldn’t have the ‘hey, customers and fans, with the huge extra power on next gen consoles,we can now run our game at 1080p’.
    That’s why they kept making their games at 720p, last gen, so now they have the 1080p argument, to make people buy the ps4 or Xbox one version.well done, EA.well done…

    • Marvin Deonte’ McClain

      -_- Stop fooling yourself. Although I enjoyed Infamous 2, the graphics were pretty terrible lol It was still a damn fun game though. That is whats important.

      • Jessika S.

        Infamous 2 was a good looking game.

        • Marvin Deonte’ McClain

          It was a good looking game for the time. No doubt 🙂 But I had seen games that far exceeded the graphics of Infamous 2 years before it released lol. I love Infamous 2 though. I still play it occasionally. The graphics were a magnitude above the first Infamous game. They are still nothing to brag about though. I can’t believe I am getting down votes lol Wow. I said nothing bad about the game really.

          • Jessika S.


        • Marvin Deonte’ McClain

          I must admit though. The screenshots of Infamous 2 sure do make it look much more pretty than what it actually is while playing it. The game runs at only 30fps…it actually hurts the quality of the picture in actual gameplay. But like I said though…The game was a damn blast! 🙂 That is whats important here.

  • PhantomVash808

    If the jump from Infamous 2 to Second Son is this big imagine the jump Naughty Dog and Sony Santa Monica will have in their next titles as well.

    • Hammodi

      the jump from infamous to infamous 2 is way bigger from the jump from infamous 2 to second son.

  • Escopablobar

    The game looks gorgeous. I hope gameplay and narrative are equally impressive…and they should be. Sucker Punch has a proven track record. I really want them to innovate beyond part 2.

  • DrunkwitPowah

    I’m definitely going to plat this game. Bring it on!
    here’s a nice little gif of what we can expect in SS.

  • ThisMan

    Minor improvements confirmed. Don’t kid yourselves the graphical leap this generation will be the smallest yet between generations.

    • Sai


      • Talidan

        If you model, you know that the difference between 6000 and 60,000 is huge. That doesn’t show as much detail that could be put on that last one.

      • NeoTechni

        You used JPEG, you’re being disingenuous. The artifacting is covering up/destroying detail. The low resolution is also hurting it.

    • Trim Dose

      oh look a hater!!, smack him before reproduces !!

    • Say that 4 years from now.

  • Nice Ness

    It looks amazing but I don’t think its THAT big of a leap but its a very big improvement. Good on the devs

  • CCM

    Another example of why PS3 exclusives, built from the ground up on PS3 were superior to any 360 games last gen. InFamous SS looks incredible and yet not THAT much better than InFamous 2, which says a lot for the PS3.

  • RoadShow

    Okay, looking at these screenshots remind me that I need to go back and play some more infamous 2.

    • Rikus

      Me too, man

  • Jeremy

    Im not looking forward to this game. It seems like the point is to blow everything up. I’d rather just watch Iron Man 3

  • NeoTechni

    Cole > The douchenozzle.

  • Guest

    Looks like crap, but that’s $0N¥: FOR THE PAUPERS!

    • Rikus

      Dude, just create an account. We all know you are the Xbone troll. You make this comment on all the PS4 articles. No need to hide behind the guest profile. Come’on, you can do it!

      Also, it’s not our fault your mommy could only buy you one console and you chose the more expensive Xbone just to convince other people you are rich.

    • Leeboyopm

      Im from the future 2 years to be precise and your xbox one sold like shxt i mean absolutely shxt infact ive had an easier time selling shxt to xbots made from shxt, also the xbox one starts to show an error code c3(132da9o8 resolution not found on modern television sets please try again.

  • Alrightylol

    Woah can’t wait to see difference between”The Last of Us” and new Naughty Dog game.

  • Melanite Zaryus

    It’s not fair to judge Infamous 2 against Second Son because Infamous 2 came out well into the cycle of the PS3 once they had learn and optimized the PS3’s hardware a much more fair comparison would be Infamous 1 vs Second Son

    • Spencer

      Dude.. just no.. We aren’t gonna compare halo 1 to halo 4, just to make halo 4 look better, we’d compare reach to 4, or gta 4 to 5, not gta 3 to 5…the best comparison to make IS the one that is made in this article… The two consecutive games, and yes I:2 was made later in the console life cycle, which is why it’s optimized appearance is better to compare to the brand NEW PS4 hardware. To show the REAL significant improvements that this gen is gonna be capable of.. You sir,
      You are dumb.

  • Nicholas Perry

    Some textures in Second Son are still quite low res. And also, the only one of those Second son shots that isn’t a bull shot is this one

    Notice how much more aliasing there is compared to the rest of them. And having seen the game in real time this is more representative of how the game looks when playing it. Those other shots are just how good the game *Could* look if the PS4 had the power for that level of AA.

    this is inanely easy to see just by the size of the pixel edges(As well the IQ of the shot.) in every other shot compared to the size of how a pixel should look at 1080p native with the AA the game actually has. (Which is decent and an upgrade over the PS3 games for sure. But leaves a lot to be desired.)

  • Zachary Carter

    were these actual captures from a ps3? Im mostly certain that infamous 2 does not look that good.

  • bearmon2010

    Cool but I dont like the Second Son’s hat. It made him look ugly. Disappointment. His father has a good looking and natural.

  • kenny kaijage

    Im still gonna play Infamous 2 though. That game was the best PS3 game ever made. But until then I should start saving money for the PS4.