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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: 'inFAMOUS: Second Son' - A Beautiful Rerun

inFAMOUS: Second Son is gorgeous. There's no argument to be had there. Easily one of the best looking games on the Playstation 4 (and across the next gen platforms in general), it's easy to get lost in the beauty of this Seattle city. Bright, vivid powers expand and glow across the scenery, with all the attention to detail one could ever ask for.

Which is a good thing for Sucker Punch Productions, because it takes the attention away from the story. One of the more dull and lifeless productions I've played in a while. It's not that inFAMOUS: Second Son isn't fun, mind you. It's just that it's terribly written characters and recycled plot devices feel outdated. Lifeless almost.

It's a sad thing really, considering again how beautiful the game truly is.

To catch you up on the story, let's begin with the plot. You play as Delsin Rowe, your typical Seattle hipster who just happens to also be a Conduit. His power? To be able to absorb the superpowers of other Conduits. He also possesses the ability to wear a beanie on the back half of his skull without it ever falling off.

Like the previous inFAMOUS games, you'll have to fight your way through enemies in an attempt to save the world, all the while playing good or evil in a feeble attempt at morality. It's so much like the first two games that you'll find yourself extremely comfortable with the whole package relatively quickly.

The random, somewhat clunky movement has returned. You'll jump over obstacles and glide into objects that you never really intended to. This same issue plagued past titles as well and I was seriously hoping they would be solved this time around. Nothing makes you feel less powerful than poor camera angles and shotty mechanics.

Powers are as fun as always, though a slight nuisance as you can't use them at the same time. Without spoiling anything, you have to absorb specific materials if you want to use the associated power. It would have been nice to have a power wheel of sorts. Soaring through the air launching every type of power you have with the slightest of ease would have made inFAMOUS: Second Son one of the most fun superhero games to date.

Yet in typical inFAMOUS fashion, the easiest things are far too difficult.

When compared to the story however, the aforementioned issues are top tier. The problem with the story is that nothing happens. At least nothing worth mentioning. From the beginning to the end you are on a mission to stop bio-terrorism. The main baddy - again, don't want to spoil anything - has a specific power you need and Delsin will stop at nothing to obtain it.

Oh, and at one point there are angels and demons that spawn from giant hd screens, exploding when killed as if created from millions of pixels themselves. It's all very odd.

As for the karma system, even that's as simple as it gets. Choose 'Good' actions or 'Bad' ones and the game acts accordingly. Most of the time however, if you choose the Light side, you'll end up saving everyone anyway. My advice? Be bad whenever possible. It makes the world more interactive as well. If you're constantly trying to have good karma, the activity on street level is pointless. Sure you can save a civilian every now and then, but it's rare. If you choose to be bad, you can blow up cars, smash civies in the face, and play god at every opportunity.

Being bad makes inFAMOUS: Second Son a lot more interesting.

Would I recommend buying this game? Yes and no. If you're a fan of the previous franchise entries and have had no real qualms with them, inFAMOUS: Second Son will be a blast (pun absolutely intended). Despite my gripes, it's still a very fun game to play, and certainly the best PS4-exclusive title now available.  However, if you didn't like them, I would recommend staying away. It's the same game with better graphics and a different main character.

Scores are out of 100 and are meant to be taken seriously. This review is based off a complete playthrough. I was good for a while, then went bad. Very bad. 

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