Review: inFamous: Second Son (PS4)
Say hi to Delsin Rowe – your new protagonist in the inFamous series. He’s a teen with some serious growing up issues who directs that attitude to his older cop brother and wears a trendy beanie with chains around his neck – kinda a skater boy from the 90’s. He’s a swell guy anyone could lov… What? That’s not appealing to you? Then it’s a good thing the game he stares in is.
If there’s one thing you can give Delsin it’s that he’s got oodles of personality. Where it comes to the forth is in the form of his new-found powers. Playing with fire (or smoke) is fun! Delsin chugs it from his palms at the rate of a semi-automatic, the resulting balls of smoke slamming into hapless enemies, sending them flying. Aiming is simple and smooth, just like third-person shooting should be when viewed in 60FPS. While Delsin has an issue using cover he makes up for it with — you guessed it — more powers!
Delsin can dematerialise and slip past physical barriers as a whiff of smoke, re-appearing behind surprised enemies before slamming them to the ground with a flaming whip. Not only that, our cocksure hero glides through the air by using his powers as makeshift jet engines, aiming a concentrated burst of flame towards the ground to propel himself skyward. It looks amazing and comes off feeling even better. But this is not Delsin’s only trick. Throughout his journey he will meet up with other conduits like himself. Once you track them down and beat them at their own game you acquire their powers. The first additional power you require will be Neon.
By pressing in the Dualshock 4’s touch pad when in range of a likely source – a buzzing shop sign for example – a sexy animation of strobing fuel snakes its way through Delsin’s body. This imbues him with a new purple aura as he transforms into a powerful new conduit. You can still fire mini bits of energy by spamming R2, but more impressive is Delsin’s new wall-running ability. Hold down the circle button and witness Delsin melting into a gaudy blur of ultra speed, capable of running pretty much anywhere. Pressing the Dualshock 4’s Touch Pad near smoke will revert his powers back to Smoke and Visa Versa. There are other unique powers, but I’ll leave that for you to discover it. Let’s just say that the developers stretched really far to come up with these unique concepts.
As with previous titles in the series you’re still on the lookout for shards. Some can be found hidden on top of buildings or lying in some alley, but generally speaking you now have to literally hunt your shards. They appear in the form of flying robotic drones of sorts. Fire it down from the sky and go claim your shard. Collect enough shards and Delsin can upgrade one of his many powers. It’s here where inFamous: Second Son really sets itself apart from Cole’s journey as the powers are extremely powerful, really suiting Delsin’s cocky attitude. Everything is also extremely beautiful on the PS4.
It’s been a long wait, we finally have a game that has been created from the ground up to take advantage of the PS4’s graphical powers. Standing at the top of some tower in Seattle with the sun setting on the city reminds you that you’re now in 2014. The lighting effects are unequaled. If it’s smoke, neon or any other form of light it naturally falls on wet tar road or glass surfaces. It’s truly a piece of art. Thankfully it’s not just a pretty face as the city is indulged with side mission options, should you need a break from all the frantic action.
When you find that you have some free time you might want to bring out the artist in you by taking part in side missions? Bust up a Mobile Command Unit, destroy security cameras, play secret agent missions, search for audio logs or bring out the artist in you. inFamous: Second Son takes a unique feature from the PS4 by making you a graffiti artist. Here you tilt your Dualshock 4 on it’s side, like you’re holding a can of spray-paint, and press away on the R2 button. The lightbar will track your movements, hence you literally move the controller to spray the wall with either Good or Evil art. The Good or Evil system is still in place as it’s been in the past and brings with it a massive replay incentive as the story towards the end will have you rethinking your own mental state.
With plans to launch more DLC and their elusive paper trail content, which you can join here, there is much life left in Second Son once you’ve played the main mission.