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Review: inFAMOUS: Second Son – The Next Gen Has Finally Arrived

by on March 20, 2014 9:00 AM 125

A reader recently asked me what game I considered to be truly “next gen.” I told them that no game that’s been released thus far held that title to me. Sure, there were launch titles for both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 that looked amazing but none of them jumped out and screamed NEXT GEN.

inFAMOUS: Second Son has been touted as THE definitive next gen game for some time now. I’m a big fan of the inFAMOUS series but I still wasn’t convinced that this latest entry could be as revolutionary as many claimed. The screenshots and videos were impressive but that still wasn’t enough for me.

Now that I’ve had my go with the game, I feel differently. While it isn’t the gaming messiah that some say it is, inFAMOUS: Second Son delivers a fantastic gaming experience that gives us our first glimpse of where things are headed in this new console generation.

inFAMOUS_Second_Son-Seattle_Leap_79

Since its inception, this series has dealt with the moral choices that one who has super powers must face. Do they use their abilities to aid others or for their own purposes? This central theme is also present in Second Son. Delsin Row, who replaces Cole McGrath as the lead protagonist, is also imbued with unique abilities that make him stand out from those around him. His journey has him making difficult decisions which impact not only his personal life but those around him.

Although I liked the inFAMOUS games, I never liked its star. Cole was too dry for my tastes. His good or evil personalities felt very forced and unnatural. Delsin is a different case. He always has a witty remark ready no matter what the situation and is definitely cut from the “loveable smart-ass” mold. The great thing is that if you go into either karmic extreme, Delsin still feels like the same person. The character is realized nicely and helped further my enjoyment of the game.

Delsin loves using the abilities he gains and this in turn made playing as him even more fun. The sense of joy I had while using my powers to destroy everything around me was exhilarating. The powers are almost all extremely flashy which made things appear even more chaotic. I’ve blown stuff up in games before but having the character yelling with glee as I did just added to the excitement.

inFAMOUS_Second_Son-Bright_Lights_86

The karma system of the previous games makes a return and it’s almost exactly the same. Your abilities change depending on which side you take. Good karma powers tend to be more precise while Bad karma abilities maximize destruction. Delsin uses the same core powers no matter which way you align but their effects are different and therefore lead to different playstyles. There’s no grey area here but I didn’t find that to be a problem. Playing strictly as either good or evil put things into the proper context for me and I played the game accordingly.

Previous games in the series favored a more cover-based approach to combat but this one has a decidedly more frantic and dynamic way of engaging in battles. Delsin can go behind things to protect himself but he doesn’t “go into cover” in the usual sense. Because of this, you’re forced to never stay in one place for more than a few seconds. Enemies are pretty relentless so you need to hit and run as much as possible. I was a bit disoriented by this, given how accustomed  I was to the last two games’ combat systems, but I quickly adapted to the faster pace of battles.

While on the subject of combat, I need to bring up the only real issue I had with the game: The enemies. In any other game I wouldn’t have been as bothered by how braindead they were. However, in a game that has so many areas that are a step forward, the dumb foes stood out like a sore thumb. Either they would all rush at me with no sense of coordination or wouldn’t even attack me even if I was close to them. I liked how some would get scared and surrender but that’s about as smart as they got. The boss battles were good though even if the patterns got a bit repetitive.

infamous_mid

Traversal got a very big overhaul due to the new powers. While you can still parkour your way around the city, the additional abilities make getting around much easier and make normal means of traveling inefficient. While the game gives players the ability to fast travel (after you liberate regions) I still found myself taking the scenic route because of how much fun it was to get around using my abilities.

This game is easily the most graphically impressive title I’ve ever seen. No hyperbole here my friends, this game is a feast for the eyes. What really does it for me is the lighting. The way that Seattle is lit during different times of the day and during different weather conditions was, quite frankly, mesmerizing. You know a game is doing something right in the visual department if it can make a drab and rainy day look awe inspiring. The lighting in this game is perfect.

I’ve seen games which featured impressively detailed characters before but SS makes them look like plastic dolls in comparison. Although characters were rendered with an exacting amount of detail, what really stood out to me where the subtle things. The way that a jacket would sway or the squinting of eyes; little touches that made the people feel alive. I liked how you could tell what a character was thinking just by looking at how their eyes moved. There were times when I forgot I was seeing video game characters, that’s how good they were rendered.

inFAMOUS_Second_Son-Delsin_Reggie-inside_359

Although it isn’t an exact replica, the game does a great job of creating a video game version of Seattle. I’ve never been to the city myself but after playing through the game, I feel as if I’ve actually been there. All of the city’s most popular landmarks are present but most importantly, the feel of the city is genuine. That last part is due in no small part to the Sucker Punch team being from Seattle.

Although this game has no multiplayer component, that doesn’t mean that you can quickly blast through it (pun intended). The city is huge and filled with many things to collect and side missions to complete. The fact that you have to play it twice to see both spectrum of powers and how different decisions change the story also adds to the playtime. Of course, what will really keep you playing for a good while is just traversing the city and seeing what sort of trouble you can get into.

To me, “next-gen” means seeing and experiencing things that weren’t possible in the last gen. This is the first game I’ve played that has convinced me that it could ONLY be fully realized with a current gen console. Tech babble aside, this a great and extremely fun game to play and replay. It isn’t 100% perfect but any gripes I had were overshadowed by how brilliantly designed the game as a whole was. inFAMOUS: Second Son is easily the best game I’ve played on the PlayStation 4 and the best example out there of how amazing the current gen can and will be.

rated rating-9.5
Review: inFAMOUS: Second Son – The Next Gen Has Finally Arrived
  • inFAMOUS: Second Son
  • PlayStation 4
  • Sucker Punch
  • Sony Computer Entertainment
  • March 21, 2014
  • $59.99
  • Review copy provided by the publisher.

Join the Discussion

  • Huseyin Unsal

    I got CE on order can’t wait to play good review Tony.

  • Jecht_Sin

    Is there any reason why the Dualshockers reviews don’t get included in Metacritic?

    • rudero

      Because they are influenced by the games and not money.

      • Trebla Remark

        More like biased

        • rudero

          It’s ok

        • JustGaming

          It’s getting 7s, 8s and 9s across the board (just google review roundup). People are going to like what they like, and if some people think it’s amazing, well, that’s their opinion and they are entitled to it. I played Titanfall and thought it was CoD with mechs, just like I thought it would be. Sure, the polish was there, but it’s essentially the same FPS people have been playing for years now. Does that mean I am going to go to sites and claim biased if it’s a 90+ review (just like it was scored on this very site)? Nope.

    • thebanditking

      I believe there is a review number cap that must be met before metacritic will take your scores. I don’t remember if its 100 reviews or more but pretty sure thats how it works.

      • Temjin001

        Metacritic also weights the entries by site prominence. IGN’s score will shift the balance much more significantly than smaller sites will.

        • Jecht_Sin

          Hmm.. I wouldn’t be so sure about it either.

          • Temjin001

            Oh, I know they do weight them. I’ve actually created a spreadsheet for Beyond Two Souls and calculated the true aggregate =) it’s actually higher than the score Metacritic has it at. I did this a few days after the game released.

            As for why DS isn’t part of Metacritic at all, as proposed by yourself
            Me don’t know =)

          • Jecht_Sin

            Wait!! Are you saying that the Beyond Two Souls metascore was actually lower than the average?! HA! I knew metacritic was biased!! :D

          • Temjin001

            yah, it’s a weighted average. Because several big sites weighed in low, like IGN’s, it moved the scale lower than say “Joe Bob’s Gaming” site’s equivalent score would have. It’s not by a whole lot but it does make a difference that goes into several full percentiles.

          • Jecht_Sin

            yeah, yeah. I understood. I was joking at the end.

      • Jecht_Sin

        But Dualshockers has 582 reviews already! Where is Beppe when I need him? :)

    • Masoud House

      Dude, we need to hire you as our representative and make them accept us. Greatly appreciate your positivity with our content!

      • Jecht_Sin

        Huh, thank you!! And you are..?

        • Tony Polanco

          LOL Dude! That’s Masoud House, our features editor! http://www.dualshockers.com/author/masoud/

          • Jecht_Sin

            Ooops! Sorry!! Sorry!! I thought I was trolled as usual!! I even checked the posting history. haha!

            Is the job offer still available? I’d love to work in the videogame industry! :)

      • Delsin Row

        count me in. your website is my favorite website in this industry. your content and news is number one for me ;)

      • Redinferno124

        I wouldn’t worry too much. There seems to be a huge disconnect between the reviews and actual word of mouth. Hell Polygon gave it a good review: 8.5, that means the game did something right.

    • Alkanida

      Everyone with PS4: Play the game, It’s beautiful & Fun.

      Next Gen really arrived, finally!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snyQPOn_L6A

      • shinitaru

        My copy is still in shipping :( Have fun guys, no spoilers please ;D

        • PCS4-Box U

          Same here and I’ll be waiting impatiently by the door! Funny story, I went to Target to pick up MGSV and they had Infamous out on shelves (this was Tues), so i calmed myself and asked the guy behind the counter to get it for me, which to my surprise, he did! So i start getting all giddy like a school girl of course but I maintain my compsure… He proceeeds to ring it up and then like, some sick, twisted, perversed madman who gets his giggles from torturing kittens he tells me, “Sorry, we cant sell this until Friday.”

          • Tony Polanco

            DENIED! Damn that’s brutal!

          • PCS4-Box U

            Was vicious btu I finaly got my copy yesterday and can’t put it down, i ended up playing for 11 hrs straight… Infamous is my new Second Son, my other one went unfed, unclothed and starved of attention yesterday, lol!!!

    • TehP0werOfTehCloudz

      Becuz Dualshockers t00 g00d for MetaCritic .
      anyways yea i stopped going to other websites after i knew about DualShockers
      #DualShockersForMetaCritic2020

    • Fusion_Pirate

      No matter the reason, it’s a shame. I trust DualShockers more than most of the sites in the Metacritic aggregate.

    • DemonFenton

      My problem is there are a few sites on Metacritic just rushes out the reviews instead of playing the actual game like this site (See the FF X review here). Yes I think Dualshockers should be on that site but Metacritic is lame for not allowing em there since there are much much worse sites on Metacritic.

    • http://dualshockers.com Joel Taveras

      If you would like, make your opinion known, CC @dualshockers on your tweet to them: https://twitter.com/metacritic. Let’s get #dualshockersonmetacritic trending!

    • http://dualshockers.com Joel Taveras

      If you would like, make your opinion known, CC @dualshockers on your tweet to them: https://twitter.com/metacritic. Let’s get #dualshockersonmetacritic trending!

      CC: @demonfenton:disqus @fusion_pirate:disqus @Jecht_Sin:disqus

      • shinitaru

        I’m not a big tweeter, but I do have an account. How do I do that?

        • http://dualshockers.com Joel Taveras

          I <3 you guys and thank you for the support.

          • shinitaru

            Great! but I still need to know how. Just @metacritic #dualshockersonmetacritic?

          • Tony Polanco

            Something along the lines of

            @metacritic You should include @DualShockers on your site. #dualshockersonmetacritic

          • shinitaru

            cool, will do. Thanks

      • Krakn3dfx

        I created a tweet if people want to retweet it instead of creating their own.

        https://twitter.com/Krakn3dfx/status/446708690712686592

        • Jecht_Sin

          Ok. I have done it! I use a different account for twitter, so it may count twice!

      • DemonFenton

        Don’t have social network but I did sent them an email to get you guys on there.

    • Turo Orvel

      Because these aren’t really reviews but marketing and advertising.

    • Deter Pinklage

      I wouldn’t base your game buying decisions entirely on Metacritic.

  • himdeel

    Fantastic!

  • lesrima88

    Wow time to get a ps4,nice review tony

  • Ryan Meitzler

    Looks like it’s finally time to bite the bullet and get that PS4… *sigh*

    • JustGaming

      Such a hard life eh? :p

      • Ryan Meitzler

        So many games, so little time… :)

    • Fusion_Pirate

      One of the best decisions you’ll ever make! :)

  • Cpt Ahab Spampurse

    The wife just rang, mines sat at home waiting for me, roll on 3pm!

  • Jhora Zakaryan

    Hurray!!! I scrolled down to the final score and was really really relieved that the score is so high… Can’t wait to download my preorder!!!!

    • Tony Polanco

      Can you please read the review too? I worked hard on that. lol

      • Jhora Zakaryan

        Of course I will! I just don’t want to be caught reading a video game review at the office :)

        • Tony Polanco

          Yeah, that wouldn’t be good lol

        • http://www.twitch.tv/MC_A_DOT A DOT ASANTE

          I’m doing this right now lol

  • Xtreme Derp

    Good review can’t wait to play it.

  • Duke

    Great review. Looking forward to picking up my CE tomorrow after work… The only problem is, the long wait that comes with Fridays is going to get longer with having to wait to pick this up.

  • Galen Nycroft

    Great review! Perfect game to break in a new PS4!

  • Temjin001

    Awesome. It’ll be one of the first titles I grab along side a PS4.
    I think it’s important too, to note that PS4′s standard of what the ‘next-gen’ is capable of is a full notch higher than the multi-platform-weakest-link standard when having to make concessions for the lesser powered Xbox One. Exclusive games like this can tap the full capacity of the PS4 and the PS4 alone. I expect Naughty Dog to reset the standard once again.

  • Bumblerox

    One day left!

  • Bankai

    I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I knew Second Son would score this high. Of course, this just makes me even more sad that I can’t afford a PS4.

    • PCS4-Box U

      OMG, dude that really sucks.

  • stealth20k

    mixed scores but looks quality

    • Temjin001

      I try not to let it bother me when I see how “out in left field” or abstract some people’s value system is with gaming these days. I swear a good many critics out there look for eloquent ways to express their assessment while patting themselves on their back for being so austere in gaming.

      Take Eurogamer’s review, for example. “As pretty and playable as it is, in no sense is inFamous: Second Son a post-Grand Theft Auto 5 open-world game. It’s just a tidier, shorter and shinier one.”

      Like who the heck was wanting and expecting Infamous to be a Grand Theft Auto style experience? It’s never tried to be like a GTA. How is that even relevant? By virtue of it being in an “open city” that makes it in direct competition for it? ha. That really doesn’t make logical sense when one starts applying that basis across other genres and game types.

      • Averix

        If it had turned out to be like GTA, I probably would have passed on the game.

        • Temjin001

          Ha, same. I know GTA’s are great and I understand their draw and all. I’m just not big on crime-based game play. It’s a theme that doesn’t really excite me. Sorta like NFS Most Wanted. There’s only so much entertainment I get from trying to “getaway” from cops. I’d rather just have Burnout Paradise over Most Wanted (which feels a lot like Burnout… but with cops and stuff)

      • Tony Polanco

        That’s the kind of stuff I actively try to avoid in my reviews. Unless it’s a blatant rip-off, I will not compare a game I’m reviewing to another. If I do then it’s because it’s a sequel. A game should be judged by its own merits.

        • Temjin001

          I like your down to earth reviewing style Tony.

          • Tony Polanco

            I’m glad to hear that man. That’s what I try to go for. I try to make my reviews as easy and entertaining to read as possible. Thanks! :D

      • Masoud House

        Yeah, there’s been a TON of GTA clones since the series began, and we don’t need anymore. I’m glad Saints Row started moving away from it, and I’m glad inFamous hasn’t gone that route. Imagine Cole or Delsin dropping their powers for stealing cars and mugging citizens. Meh.

  • Delsin Row

    nice tony. my man review this game too :D i think the score is fair . but to me , this game is worth the strong 10 :D

    • Tony Polanco

      You need to play it before determining that. Never a good idea to rate a game before you even try it. ;)

      • Delsin Row

        im a huge fan of inFAMOUS Franchise tony , based on what i saw , this is my rating. but i should say that my opinion is close to you in reviews

    • Averix

      You haven’t played it yet, how can you rate it?! It’s ratings like that which destroy user ratings credibility on sites like metacritic. But, I remember you wanting a rating from Dualshockers based on video footage… Play it tomorrow, then let us know what you think.

  • megablast16

    The reviews have been all over the place on this one. The lowest I’ve seen is 6/10 and the highest this one, the general consensus though is that it’s good, not great but with state of the art graphics. This is about what I expected and it’ll do for me this early in the generation.

    • TehP0werOfTehCloudz

      the highest i have seen is 10/10 from 2 critics
      Canadian online gamers and playstation universe

    • cusman

      Keep in mind the only people that reviewed it low were either Xbots or fans of Cole from inFAMOUS 2 that can’t accept that he did in fact die at the end of the 2nd game (good story line). Having played inFAMOUS 2, I also understand that the characters/story of inFAMOUS 2 is more epic and engaging, but this doesn’t detract me from how much I enjoyed Second Son on its smaller scale story.

      Second Son does have the best gameplay for two very simple reasons
      - Allows Aim & Shoot while moving
      - Not a cover shooter like the inFAMOUS games before it

  • RealityCheck2013

    9.5??? COOL:P

  • Pony Destroyer

    Still waiting for greatness

    • Michael Balchunas

      Nope just waiting for people like you to get a life and go live it.

    • Averix

      Thanks for that impressive and enlightening fanboy take on the review.

    • Jecht_Sin

      Your PS4 wasn’t delivered yet? I feel for you. :p

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Since you’ve been warned multiple times about your trolling, and you decided to ignore the warnings, I’m sure you don’t mind taking a long period of time off commenting.

      Have a nice day.

      • Guest Vote

        I wish you had an ‘ignore’ option that blocked posts from numpties!

      • PCS4-Box U

        Nice, you just orbital-dropped a ban hammer on his ass! :-)

    • s3ltzer

      Hahaha….you’re taunting Titanfall for XBone? Are you actually playing that game?

      - Plenty of graphics tears
      - Plenty of frame drops
      - Lack of weapon customization (camos, etc)
      - Lack of pilot customization (uniform, etc.)
      - Lack of titan customization (camos, etc.)
      - Repetitive gameplay (kill grunt/pilot, call in Titan, die, respawn, call in Titan)
      - Visually unimpressive (last gen graphics)
      - Lack of content

      This is your flagship game? Oh yea,,,,it’s 7-freakin’-92p….HAHA. Yea, next-gen…..

      At least PC players get a big bump in graphics…thankfully, I got my XBone TF for free. No way in hell that game is worth $60….$40 yes, like PvZ.

    • DemonFenton

      Too bad your missing out on greatness…

    • shinitaru

      cause one review brings down the curve. Fanboy reviews, what can you do bot

    • TehP0werOfTehCloudz
    • Kupo

      The game isn’t even out yet…

    • Wargreymon559 .

      792 so next gen xD.

    • PCS4-Box U

      Wellits got a 4.5 on Amazon while Titanfall is 3.5… and you know, thats from the consumers that actually play the games and not metacritic and currently has about 4x the user reviews as metacritic does.

    • You are flat out wrong

      $60 MP-only shooter with massive performance issues. What a blunder! Two weeks on and everyone’s forgotten about it too, Jonathan Rosa.

  • Michael Balchunas

    Theres a day 1 patch that adds 5 hours of gameplay to Infamous (19 more missions) that improves enemy density. I imagine that makes AI smarter?

    • Averix

      I wonder if that patch is live yet?

      • Delsin Row

        yes it does. the size of the patch is 266 mg.

        • shinitaru

          pretty small considering all that it does

        • Kingdom17

          So are those the “Paper Trail” missions? I can’t complete them because it says it needs to connect online, I’m assuming this is because that’s not online yet?

          • Delsin Row

            its online man. i download it and play this missions

    • Craig Sloan

      It improves the difficulty, amount of people on the streets and graphics as well. Yes the A.I has been improved. 5 free hours day one is awesome who thinks EA would have called that DLC?

      • s3ltzer

        No kidding. I was surprised that PvZ had a “free” DLC since it is published by EA.

  • s3ltzer

    Cool review….I got my digital copy pre-ordered!

  • Dave

    I like that “Dualshockers” is independent from “Metacrtitic”. To me it means that none of the coverage here is written to appeal to another company and their interests. That’s why “Dualshockers” means more to me then any aggregate site.

    • shinitaru

      Yeah but it would be nice if Dualshockers reviews were factored into the metascore

  • CRAYONSEED

    I really wish they would release the digital versions of these games at 12a Eastern, not Pacific.

  • CarlosR

    Great read, nicely done Tony! I can’t wait to get this game!!!!!

    • Tony Polanco

      You’re going to have a lot of fun, bro! :D

  • jacksjus

    Man these reviews are all over the place. I guess Infamous has always been an acquired taste. Not for everyone, but I am pulling for a lot of new fans to come on board.

    I never expected many 90′s, but the 60′s are nonsense, particularly if the previous Infamous games scored higher on said sites.

  • blaackstarr

    Good to hear that the main character is better than Cole. Cole was made when every game protagonist was a white dude with a shaved head and gravely voice. Thank god some devs are starting to get away from that trend..

    Shit, Watch_Dogs main character has that stupid gravely voice as well..Anyway, don’t know when I will pick up a PS4, not enough games for me yet, but this will be one of the first games I get when I grab a PS4.

    • Tony Polanco

      Yeah man. Delsin is Native American and actually has hair. I’m tired of the bald white dudes too. lol

    • PCS4-Box U

      Delsin is much more likeable than cole ever was,he has a very Spiderman sense of “great power comes great responsibility” thing going on, it’s very cool – complete with snappy 1 liners and all!

  • PhantomVash808

    Nice review Tony. I can’t wait to play this game.

  • Rene Nguyen

    Thank-you for the spoiler-free review. I had to skip a few because it had spoilers. I can’t wait to dig into this!

    • Tony Polanco

      Yeah man, thanks. I never spoil reviews. That’s a big NO-NO in my book. You can always read my stuff and not have to worry about that.

      • Rene Nguyen

        I respect that very much! I’m liking this site more and more.

        • Tony Polanco

          That’s awesome. Thanks for the support! We do this for you guys.

  • Redinferno124

    Great Review Tony like always. Next time, blur out the headline better. Guess that shit last night lol

    • Tony Polanco

      That wasn’t me lol

  • Gamist

    Hey Tony, would your rating change after the Day 1 patch?

    • Tony Polanco

      I played it patch 1.01.

  • Sea-HAWK fan

    Good review. Most people are expecting graphics that can not be done. It’s not just about graphics, but look, feel, etc.. Can’t wait to see the show though!!

  • mohsen of iran

    Where are you from?

  • mohsen of iran

    Where are you from

  • mohsen of iran

    helo?

  • mohsen of iran

    Hail

  • metalman5150

    Enjoying every second of Second Son!
    Great game!

  • cusman

    I enjoyed Second Son so much, that it convinced me to play past games in the series. I 100% Second Son, then 100% inFAMOUS 2, and now I am on inFAMOUS original.

    I can say now with confidence that the games in the series keep getting substantially better with Second Son being the best and inFAMOUS 2 already being a great game.

    inFAMOUS original is a pretty substandard game and hasn’t aged well either. This explains why when I originally tried the new IP, I was disappointed and never completed.

  • MrXiro

    Late to the party but I just started the game last night. Not loving it. There’s a certain “flow” that the game is missing when not using the powers. I’ll give it a weekend play through to really decide.

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