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Latest 'inFamous' a solid effort

By Alex Sferrazza
On April 15, 2014


"inFamous: Second Son" is the first major exclusive to hit the Playstation 4 since launch. Much like "Killzone: Shadowfall" before it, the title is unlikely to win over many new fans, but for those who have enjoyed the series before, you'll find yourself right at home.
What exactly is "inFamous: Second Son?" It's an open world action title from the developers behind both its predecessors and the original "Sly Cooper" trilogy, Sucker Punch Productions. While it has its flaws, it's a fun title that looks absolutely stunning.
Troy Baker (aka that voice over in EVERY game these days) delivers a solid performance as new protagonist Deslin Rowe, the supporting cast isn't nearly as memorable. On the whole though, the title adopts a more realistic tone when compared to its predecessors and for the most part it works.
This brings us the game's morality system, which allows you to once again play as a hero or villain, depending on your actions. The problem is, choosing the villainous route in certain situations feels disconnected from the motivations of Deslin as he's presented to us. An example of player choice in games that simply doesn't work, "Second Son" seems to constantly be fighting between a set direction the designers were striving for while simultaneously accommodating players looking for something different. In the end it simply doesn't work.
The change of setting to Seattle, Washington is a fun change of pace from your typical open world locale. A gorgeous city that, despite growing stale and a bit repetitive after awhile, should nonetheless provide a thrill for players to navigate the city at blistering speeds (after the proper powers are obtained). It provides a fine backdrop for the rampant destruction you can cause as Deslin.

 

The visuals are one area where I have nothing but high praise to offer the team at Sucker Punch. "Second Son" takes full advantage of the PS4's upgrade in graphical power and whether your taking out a flurry of enemies or scurrying around the city, the game rarely takes a dip in performance.
The game is a bit on the short side (for an open world title), with the main missions taking about 10-11 hours to complete. Various side missions can significantly extend the length (and are often needed to upgrade your skill set) by a few hours. The problem is that they're all very repetitive and there's little incentive to return to them after finishing off the main story.
"inFamous: Second Son" is not at "bad" game by any measure of the word but it most certainly isn't the AAA mega-hit (a la "Uncharted 2" and "The Last of Us") that Sony and many Playstation fans had hoped for. Good but not great, it's fun while it lasts, but the overall experience is still underwhelming, repetitive and inconsistent. If you're a fan of the series or a starved PS4 owner looking for some action-heavy eye candy, it'll scratch the itch.

Rating: 8/10 


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