So the first big exclusive title to hit PS4 has finally arrived and it is one that many people have been waiting with baited breath for. Unfortunately Infamous Second Son doesn’t live up to the hype that has been placed on it for the past few months.
Infamous 1 and 2 were both very well received games on the PS3. The games had engaging gameplay, an interesting story and a group of characters that were easy to invest in. With Infamous Second Son most of these positives seem to have been overlooked for reasons I’m still wondering. Now don’t get me wrong the gameplay in Second Son is extremely fun, you are given a decent bulk of your powers early on and so because of this you are able to fly and blast your way around Seattle with ease and you don’t ever feel like you are being punished for not haven been given a decent assortment of super powers. The powers that our lead character Delsin Rowe has throughout the game are a fun and varied assortment that you gradually gain over the game, the varied powers help create some slight changes in how you tackle certain situations but after a while all slowly blend together until there is not really one better than the other. Unfortunately once you have had your fill of the gameplay (which I’ll reiterate is a lot of fun and definitely an improvement on the last two games) there isn’t much else I would say that stands out, especially with this being touted as a next generation experience.
Where Infamous Second Son begins to fall apart is primarily with its story and its characters. To highlight a specific moment that occurred for me 4 or 5 hours into the game was when I found myself doing one of the main story missions and I suddenly stopped and began to question what my purpose as Delsin Rowe was in Seattle, why was I chasing this supposed evil women why was I leaping over roof tops in search of another power and then it hit me, there was no real driving force for what I was doing, not one that I cared enough about anyway. This is what disappointed me the most about Second Son, the lack of purpose or the want/need to move forward in the game. With Infamous 1 and 2 you had tightly woven stories that kept me wanting to play, with Second Son there was a simple, poorly written, uninteresting story. Also to top off the distinct lack of story there is a distinct lack of characters development, most characters though look impressive visually bring absolutely no real substance to the game, even the lead character Delsin with the masterful voice work by Troy Baker (Bioshock Infinite, The Last of Us) wasn’t enough to make me have any real connection or intrigue in what will happen to him.
One of the last points I want to make about Second Son is the visuals and the setting in which you game within. Firstly Second Son is an impressive looking game, not jaw dropping but still the game has genuine moments of highlighting just what the PS4 is capable of and it excites me to see how much better it’s going to get. Why I feel that the visuals are perhaps not as stunning as I was hoping is because of the city of Seattle itself. No offense to people who live in or appreciate the look of Seattle but when considering it in the context of the game it is a very uninteresting city to play in. Filled with bland looking buildings that more or less all look the same I feel the decision to set Second Son in Seattle was a disservice to the game over all and perhaps if they had done what they did for the previous Infamous games we may have had a more interesting place to inhabit.
Overall I was disappointed with Infamous Second Son. Yes the gameplay is really fun and engaging but that’s pretty much it when Second Son is concerned. If you already have a PS4 I would say that this game is worth picking up if not just because it means you have something to play on your PS4 but I would not buy a PS4 just to play Infamous Second Son, it is not a game that will hold your attention for long.