Monday, March 24, 2014

Second Son starts off the PlayStation 4’s exclusive business with a bang. After taking a break and coming back to Infamous I do have to say that it is pure eye candy for a console. This adventure does not lack a pretty architecture to roam about. Each revisit to the city makes you appreciate what is there for you especially once you've laid the smack down on any opposing forces in your way. If I were to offer my critique it would be in the overall department of real-time lighting. I cannot decide if Suckerpunch’s creative direction with their lighting is due to ease their workload, budget constraints, or a genuine preference. Therefore I have no problem complimenting the special effects lighting, but in the same expression frown upon the environment’s lighting. The contrasts of silhouetted blacks stylistic flair wasn’t enough for me to say that the game looked better due to the choice.  When slowing down the action and just walking around there were some great visuals that’s were missed due to the lack of real time lighting.  The opportunities are also lost once you complete the story. A cloud less skyline of Seattle, Washington may be Suckerpunch’s dream, but not my own. No variable weather or even noticeable weather patterns for that region may strike Seattleites as unreal just the same as it should gamers. While I point this out I am not against Second Son’s visual completely. The presentation was pulled off well from the toys they decided to play with in the lighting department. The critiques only come from when you slow down and not play like you are a psychopath with special powers on the loose.

When it comes to controls just like the dual shock 4 controller I’ll say they fit damn near perfectly. The control you have over the main character Delvin, Dustin, no wait Delsin is spot on for the most part. A few times in “boss” battles I felt the system was gaming me and he was a little less responsive, but we all know bosses always cheat, right? From the first time you are given full reign of the character you feel very much in control. That natural flow to maneuvering like a superhero only increases as you traverse Second Son’s story. Control department has no issues in this game. Even the dual shocks use of the touchpad was welcomed, and the spray can aspect of this was enjoyable with the added sound effects of the DS4’s speaker function.

Special effect sounds were fantastic and completely work with the visuals, but the voice dialog to me seemed off at certain points in the game. Maybe because the tracks played from a constant position rather than actually implementing directional sound. So sometimes when talking to or shouting at characters the audio tracks played the same as they were recorded. With little acknowledgement of where characters were actually standing from each other in the world. A bit annoying but not game breaking, just immersion breaking at times.  

This is were I was conflicted, the story motivated me enough to progress to the end of the plot quickly. I however think this was motivation from progressing my characters powers, and the ease of collecting the items thought out the city to do so.  These factors make players push through the story at a pace that shortens the experience of Second Son’s plotline. From my evil play though I can pretty much determine I am not missing out on much from the “good” storyline. Some alterations of powers here and there, and some story attributes zigging instead of zagging. With that piece of analysis aside Infamous Second Son’s story was fun, to the point, and a pleasure to beat in a short time [on normal].

The replayability will come from trophy hunting and the expert setting not from revisiting the quick story cut scene segments.  However once completing the initial story flowing thru the cityscape has no replayability. The forces out to stop you are not enough to keep the action up once you rid the districts of the D.U.P. henchmen. You’ll be but a wildfire with nothing to set ablaze after you complete the campaign. I have yet to start the “5-hours” of added campaign with the added paper trail missions due to being forced to go to an external website, which by the way I fucking hate in video games. If Second Son offers a DLC with a completely new storyline I would buy it and revisit the game, but for now it will be just a redo of a the same gauntlet with harder difficulty, so original.  


Suckerpunch puts the Havoks engine to good use with this title. From the competition aspect between the two camps they put the pressure on Microsoft and their Crackdown project seeing that both use the same engine.  Fans of the Infamous series should be fairly satisfied with this entry it brings a quality that beats the expectation of skeptics. The implementation of the characters abilities was very well crafted, and without giving away spoilers they compliment each other very well. I’d give Infamous Second Son a Seven out of Ten points. 

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