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Guns don't kill people, Unicorns with bad vision do.

Conzul

Trainee
CRank: 5Score: 0

User Review : inFamous: Second Son

Ups
  • Graphics/Art Direction
  • Story/Presentation
  • Gratifying Gameplay
Downs
  • Repetitive World/Enemies
  • Small world
  • Infrequent morality branches

3 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

Rather than rehashing the plot and generalizing the experience, I will focus on the game's strongest pros and cons. Also, this is a technically-minded review. It and its number/score are not meant to persuade you to play it or not.

********

I have always loved the inFamous franchise. Next to the productions of NaughtyDog, it is the very best, I believe, that consoles have to offer. Its strengths include its moment-to-moment writing; its original characters and superhero constructs; and its addictive gameplay.

I'm pleased to announce that Second Son pleases in all the same areas. The graphics (GFX), while stylized, are eye-catching and endearing. The mixture of melee and mobility; of firing and dashing, are still mesmerizing. And the way the plot (no matter how simple or convoluted) does such a good job of making you care for (or hate) your character and the others he affects.

My father was in the US Navy, and was stationed in Seattle for a brief time. When he watched me play, I was privileged to a genuine stream of nostalgia that served to increase my appreciation of the world that Sucker Punch had built. While not an exact replica of the city, Second Son's Seattle is close enough in mood and theme that worries of authenticity fade away. While incredibly pretty, both in a real-world sense and a GFX presentation sense, the environment does fall a little short in a functional sense. As one nears the end of the game, it becomes painfully obvious that each district was designed to complement EXACTLY the powerset that you find therein.
For example, on the southern island, ground-proximate smoke vents become nearly extinct, necessitating the use of the neon power or something better suited to conquering the tallest buildings. It's not a game-breaker, but more of a sore thumb.

The enemies, on the other hand, don't care which powers you find, and thus staunchly stay the same. This, I believe, is Second Son's only glaring weakness.
inFamous games have always had a tasteful variety of enemies. Sometimes you would end up fighting different SPECIES of enemies, and within, different strengths of durability and arcana.
Alas, in Second Son, enemies all consist of bipedal, armored bullet sponges with only one or two tricks per. This is an especially sinful shortcoming, given that most of your D.U.P. enemies have access to the "concrete" power (no, you can't steal it from them), but never really do anything imaginative with it. At its core, it's a reskin of the ice-conduits from inFamous 2.

Oh well. At least the Ai is functional....
Come to think of it - the Ai in Second Son is quite exceptional, and this works to alleviate some of the monotony of enemy type.

By now you must be wondering why I gave the game the score I did, and yet seem to be only focusing on shortcomings. Well, therein lies your proof of the greatness of the achievement of Second Son. It's SO good in SO MANY ways, that when you come across a failing of the product it feels quite jarring. This game had massive hype to live up to, and given that it hasn't been torn to shreds (except by critics) is quite a marvel.
The graphics; acting; and especially facial and emotion capture are the stars of the show. You wanted next-gen, and this is it baby. All "cutscenes" are rendered in real time, and at great risk of bodily harm, I must inform you that they exceed even the pre-rendered effects from 2013's The Last Of Us.
Another stand out, surprisingly, is the presence of "Paper Trail" - an interactive exercise in crime solving. You do one mission in game, and this provides clues which you then sort through on the (real) internet in order to progress to the next mission. Also, there's a Paper Conduit. How cool is THAT?

Lastly, it is worth noting that the story is very different than in previous games. It's shorter and sharper, and less winding than you'd be used to. While the omnipresent witty dialogue and banter hasn't gone anywhere, the plot - and ultimately the ending - of Second Son, is potent and mature.

Score
10.0
Graphics
With realtime effects and draw distances that rival all other console games, even The Last of Us.
10.0
Sound
Sound effects are diverse and satisfying, and the soundtrack is usually engaging.
7.0
Gameplay
Monolithic enemies and repetitive environments prevent the gameplay loop from achieving greatness.
9.0
Fun Factor
inFamous to the core....if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
8.0
Online
While lacking multiplayer, the presence of the Paper Trail is the very definition of Next-Gen.
Overall
9.0
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BiggCMan1685d ago

In short, you love the story and presentation/graphics etc. And the gameplay is good but repetitive.

I am somewhat opposite as I thought the story was so boring that I was really yawning a lot. Now, this is not to say I didn't like the characters.

This is actually another opposite, I wanted to see so much more of this games story, more of the awesome characters, but everyone got such little time except for Delsin and Reggie.

You can argue that they are the main characters, but honestly I liked the supporting cast even more, just didn't see enough of them. Eugene is my favorite character by far, when he would turn in to his angel, it was the funniest thing I have ever seen.

I really liked Fetch as well, but alas you don't see much of either of them despite a nice group up at the end. The plot itself was so predictable and uninteresting, I felt like it was a Marvel movie.

I loved the gameplay a lot, though I agree it gets repetitive not due to the powers or enemies (maybe the enemies a little), but the rinse and repeat nature of clearing out districts which feel like a chore.

Overall I really like the game but it's no memorable masterpiece unfortunately. An 8/10 for me.

Conzul1685d ago

Good points; and I agree with most of them.
Yeah, I would have loved to see more of Fetch and Eugene. I think that story suffers, if anything, from its short length as compared to its actual plot or characters.

I've already come to think of Second Son as more of an inFamous Short Story than a full fledged sequel. I remember the first time I saw that the install size would be 24 gigs I was like "oooooh shhhhiii" 'cus you know either that's not very next gen or not very long.

Look at the bright side though, now SP has a brand new engine and a new mocap stage and stuff. Give it another 2-3 years and we may just get the full-fledged story we hanker for...

GenKen1667d ago

What did you like more - InFamous 2 or Second Son? InFamous 2 is one of my favorite games