Infamous: Second Son. Well, what a f**king roller coaster. It’s like a ‘playing hard to get’ boyfriend /girlfriend (For you gender equality nuts); at first (s)he’s ignoring you and you can’t stand it so you try everything to grab his/her attention until you get bored yourself. As soon as you stop, he/she is clamoring all over you and you love it, you slag! But, this all comes back to that roller coaster analogy, it goes up and down really fast until it comes to a grinding halt…… heh up and down like… well you know what I’m childishly referencing.
You know the premise of Infamous, you’re an average Joe turned super human with an arsenal of un-natural abilities. Of course, you don’t get all these straight away, which is half the fun of this game, ability discoveries. The other half is the story’s progression which revolves around our protagonists, Delsin Rowe, belief that the more abilities he has, the higher the chance of success against the games villain, Augustine.
Augustine, obviously, does you wrong and all the lead character wants is retribution for his people (He’s Native American), as well as the ability to save them by obtaining the power that Augustine possesses. So, as you’ve guessed, Delsin is special, and can absorb abilities from others like him. Not to spoil the story that’s all I’ll say there but to be honest you’re not missing much.
And, that’s half the problem with this game, the story. Damn, it’s predictable. I knew exactly what was going to happen from the beginning and you probably do too from my small description of its narrative. The problem lies with the execution of the story not the pieces. It has all the elements (love, betrayal, companionship etc.) for the formula but not the ability to construct it. This is probably due to the clichéd characters; an over protective older brother who sees your power as a disease but still wants to help, a nerdy teenager who was bullied in school and therefore lashes out with his new found powers etc. The only decent character is Delsin who annoyingly is also a cliché; a punk who causes mischief but has a heart of gold. At least he has a good sense of humour but, even that seems forced at times. It always feels forced with the others. F**king clowns.
Well, what’s the other half? It’s the meaningless side missions you’re forced to do. It’s built in to flesh the game out and create a GTA: San Andreas territory like feel but you have to do a fuck tonne more to gain control of them. It worked in GTA, all you had to do was fend off a few waves of goons which was fun but, in Infamous you have to do a variety of side missions like hammer through an enemy base full of NPC’s to destroy their communication source or chase an enemy agent who happens to always find a patrol of other enemies. They feel like a chore for very little reward. I avoided as much as I could. Did it affect the main game? Not in the slightest.
“What was good about this game?” I hear you say? None of it, it was shit! Only joking, the real fun in this game lies in its abilities. Traversing the city is a joy with the circle button. The power progression is paced perfectly. All the set buttons do similar things, but with different effects according to the type of ability. With each new ability comes new possibilities. The game forces you to utilize each ability and its advantages for sections at a time. It sounds obvious that a game would do that but, it works. What impressed me more is the way it forces you to mix them up later in the game for maximum effect. I personally never appreciated the smoke powers until the end because the game forced me to reuse them. The boss battles were old school but, that was great. Find a weak spot and attack it, simple. This by no means that they were un-imaginative or creative, they were, and they were really fun. The story missions themselves were also fun with brief lapses of brilliance but, generally nothing special.
Graphics wise this game looked great with it’s comic book style art and lots of variation of dark and bright colours. There were rare cases of frame drop but that was only with stupid amounts of explosions and general SHIT GOING DOWN. The architecture of the enemy bases and city was creative and, generally, very impressive. With the new generation of consoles we’re going to be spoilt visually so I’m not surprised this game looks great.
So, all in all this is a great game that deserves at least one play through just to experience the powers you obtain. It makes you feel awesome but not invincible which is a good thing, as you don’t want to be breezing through this without a sense of danger, otherwise it’d be pointless playing. At this point you can probably pick this up on the cheap as it’s about a year old. If you’ve got a bit of spare cash or a games rental service it’s definitely worth it. Go on! Go rocket people in the face.
I made Luke create a new rating medium-rare for this because that’s what it deserves. Close to rare but not red enough in the middle for my tastes.
Love from Hywel AKA Bear