InFAMOUS Second Son Game Review

inFAMOUS Second Son is another game where good vs. evil mechanic is made up, and the choices don’t matter!

I’m a big fan of the inFAMOUS series. inFAMOUS 1 created a great story, created a nice rogues gallery, and it successfully set up a sequel. inFAMOUS 2 adds to the overall story and brought about a nice conclusion to one of the character’s story arcs. Festival of Blood was a fun little side story that added more lore and also gave Cole new abilities. inFAMOUS Second Son introduces us to a new set of characters while managing to successfully continue the story from the first two games.

inFAMOUS Second Son is set seven years after the events of the second game. During that time, the U.S. government established a group called the Department of Unified Protection (D.U.P.) to hunt down and imprison Conduits. The government turned everyone against Conduits by labeling them as Bio-Terrorists.

Story

Delsin Rowe is a delinquent in a small Akomish reservation who is looking to leave his mark on society. He’s big into vandalism (as evident by the first thing you do, and continue to do throughout, the game) and has difficulty staying out of trouble.

One day, a D.U.P. vehicle containing three Conduits drives through his small reservation. One Conduit, Hank, breaks free of his bonds and gets loose. This causes the vehicle to crash, allowing two of the three Conduits to escape. The third one, Hank is left behind in the wreckage. Delsin pulls Hank out of the wreckage and soon finds out that he, himself, is also a Conduit. 

Delsin’s power is absorbing other Conduit’s powers. He’s basically a power sponge.

You chase Hank through the reservation, learning your new moves as you do, and then meet the leader of the D.U.P., Augustine. Augustine apprehends Hank and begins to question Delsin. Here you’re presented with your first option: lie about being a Conduit, or tell the truth. The difference this decision makes affects what story-related trophy you get.

Augustine attacks everyone in the reservation, including Delsin, torturing them with her concrete powers. Delsin passes out from pain. When he wakes up, he finds most people in the reservation have concrete protruding from their body.

Delsin vows to steal Augustine’s power so he can reverse the process and save everyone. He sets out for Seattle with his brother and he begins to destroy everything D.U.P. related. Delsin meets the other two Conduits from the D.U.P. vehicle, absorbs their power, and befriends them. The three work together to track down and defeat Augustine.

inFAMOUS Second Son battle scene

Good vs. Evil

Having played this game’s predecessors, as well as other games like it, I knew the choices wouldn’t amount to more than what the character looked like.

If you choose to be a good guy, Delsin wears white/blue. If you choose evil, he wears red/black. At the end of the day, the choices don’t change the story at all (aside from which ending you see).

Even the good/evil missions end up being mostly the same. Choices you make don’t even change the dialogue, maybe a few sentences tops. It’s like they made the game with one play-through style and said, “Oh crap, don’t these games normally have a choice system?” and went back and added the missing choice.

The one thing the choices do affect is the powers you can upgrade.

Gameplay

If you’ve played an inFAMOUS game before then you’ll be pretty familiar with the mechanics. Delsin clings to objects and building like Spider-Man, can blast through things, and hover as well. In fact, his first power set is the same ones that Cole had in the previous games (with the exception of a few moves, and the fact that it’s smoke).

I had a few issues when hovering/zooming through the city where I would cling to things that I did not want to cling to. I always forgot that the square button would release Delsin from whatever he was stuck to because that button doesn’t do anything else. So I would hit the circle button and end up dashing all over the place.

Another gripe I have is the use of the touchpad. You use it to drain powers and do various tasks, but it can be a pain to accomplish. Sometimes it wouldn’t work for me at all. Although to be fair, I was using PS4 Remote Play so that may have something to do with it.

inFAMOUS Second Son hover

The enemies are also a huge pain in this game. There are several different enemy types, all named after chess pieces. The pawns/knights are the easiest to dispatch. You can take these guys down in a few hits.

Everything else though, requires multiple strong attacks to take them down (not including the karmic attacks. Those end anything in one hit outside of a boss fight). So a pawn takes one rocket blast to defeat, but rooks, bishops, and super forms take so many more.

In addition to being difficult to beat, the enemies jump all over the place so it’s hard to even land a hit half the time.

inFAMOUS Second Son screenshot

Another gripe I have is the day/night mechanic. Half the time, the environment is so dark I couldn’t see anything. This is especially true for the dusk/night setting. The enemies are also a neutral color, so they blend in with the city, making it even harder to differentiate anything. Plus there are concrete structures everywhere so it all looks the same.

inFAMOUS Second Son graffiti

One of my favorite parts of the game is the graffiti mini-games. As mentioned above, Delsin likes to tag buildings. In Seattle, you can tag buildings, fences, and structures to build up you hero/evil meter and really stick it to the D.U.P. This is my favorite thing to do in the game. You hold the controller sideways, shake it like a spray can, and press a trigger button to paint. I honestly wish there was a game that focused only on this mechanic. There are other mini-games to help build your meter, but they’re not as fun.

I know I’ve been pretty hard on the gameplay, but it’s still a fun game to play. Delsin has some pretty unique powers that add a lot of variety to the game and are fun to use. I found myself dashing around the city, just for fun, instead of going on missions. It honestly plays just like its predecessors and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Achievement Guide

There are a few tricky achievements in this game, notably the Double Smoke Stack Attack and Make Fetch Proud. I suggest finding a drug bust icon for the Fetch achievement. The drug dealers all stand pretty close together and don’t move around that much. The Stack Attack achievement is a little more difficult.

You have to go through dash through 2 vents without touching the ground or the wall (it doesn’t mention that in the description) and then comet drop on an enemy. Practice makes perfect. No worries if you can’t find a good spot with 2 vents. You can use the same vent twice as long as you don’t the wall or ground.

inFAMOUS Second Son flying

inFAMOUS Second Son – Conclusion

My biggest complaint of this game; Delsin is not a likeable protagonist to me, until you reach the end of the game. Delsin is basically that one annoying kid that says he has all the powers when they pretend to be superheroes.

Delsin believes he is destined for great things and, even though he technically is, he flaunts superiority over authority. He’s a rebel without a cause, but even when he gets a cause he still comes off as childish. It isn’t until the end that he redeems himself in my eyes.

I don’t want to go into great details since it will spoil the game. In fact, all of the Conduits he meets go through character development of some kind. Some more than others depending on which path you take (i.e. good vs. evil).

That being said, the game definitely lives up to its predecessors and provides an enjoyable gameplay experience.

I give this game 4 graffiti mini-games out of 5.

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