The lights are on
Good and evil shouldn't be clear. To be conflicted, and
still make a choice, that's hard. And also very human. One of the most
compelling villains in superhero lore is Magneto. What has always made him so
interesting is the dichotomy that turns within him...he's a man capable of both
great evil and great good. Infamous: Second Son tries to tap into that
struggle, and though it doesn't capture the complexities between heroic and
villainous, it still manages to create one solid superhero yarn.
Son is the origins story of superhero or villain in the making Delsin Rowe.
Delsin is a brash dude who has an instinct for trouble. He finds it sure when a
bus carrying a handful of "conduits" crashes into his hometown.
Conduits are power-carriers that polite society turns its nose on and the
government hunts down. It doesn't take long for Delsin to absorb his own
powers, and for events to transpire that lead him and his brother Reggie to the
expansive and beautiful city of Seattle and the Department of Unified
Protection that occupy it.
most awing part of Second Son is the setting it takes place in. Seattle is a
playground full of life and color, breathing in accurate detail and showcasing
the power that the PS4 is capable of. Each region of Washington's largest city
are present. From Queen Anne to Belltown, it's all there. These real-life areas
work as zones Delsin must surmount and rid of DUP forces in order to progress further
in the game. The neighborhoods have a
number of side missions to complete before you can take down the final wave of
DUP officers in that area, a battle that will trigger at a particular location
after you complete 70% of the zone.
side missions themselves are fun the first few times you tackle them before
becoming trite. I could have used a little variation from neighborhood to
neighborhood, or would have liked to be given different ways to approach each
goal. Instead, I would go to the Lantern District, take care of the undercover
agent and destroy a hidden camera as well as finish off a few DUP. Then move on
to do the same things in Uptown. The exception, however, is the graffiti art
that's included in the mission tasks. Delsin must go to locations indicated on
the map and leave his mark via beautiful works of graffiti. These pieces are
each unique, and I loved seeing what Delsin would tattoo onto the city next. Despite
all the repetitiveness, it was still fun to clear out the zones, and explore
the districts. It's not a hard game to 100%, and if you're looking for an
open-world that isn't too overwhelming, Second Son is very sizeable.
placing a superhero fiction within a factual place, Second Son felt grounded,
but by no means did having an actualized city strap down the gameplay. Gaining
new powers is a great allure to any superhero fan, and Second Son doesn't
disappoint with its interesting and unique arsenal. Imagining new super powers
that fans of the genre haven't seen over-and-over again is no easy task. Sucker
Punch dug deep and came up big. Smoke, Neon and Video are the powers Delsin
gradually receives. Each one is absorbed through natural means in the
environment. Smoke is found through building vents and exploded cars while neon
is extracted from advertisement signs. To absorb the powers, you must use the
touchpad on the PS4 controller. The mechanic is great. It felt organic within
the control scheme, never coming off as gimmicky. It's exciting to see more
depth added to a controller that I've become so accustomed to. I also thought
the speaker was used to great effect with phone calls to Delsin ringing clear
in my hands.
game does borrow greatly from the Batman Arkham series with Delsin swooping
down on enemies hunting him from the Seattle rooftops before escaping back up
the city landscape. Second Son works like a third-person shooter as Delsin
shoots his powers through his hands, but his powers also come with a whole
wheelhouse of capabilities. Delsin's abilities allow him to zip through the
city at a wonderfully reckless speed, leaving almost no need for the fast travel that opens
up later. In addition, every new power he gains comes with a limit break-esque
strike. But there's a catch. You need to do ALL good or ALL evil deeds to be
able to use it. Let's say you're trying to stay on the good-guy side of the
spectrum, and you are currently using Delsin's neon skills. With the neon shot,
it's much easier to land one headshot, then takeout both of the DUP officer's
feet. And if you do use a headshot, even accidently, then that limit breaker
you've been trying to charge with your good deeds will go back down to zero.
one of the biggest disappointments of Second Son; it's lousy good-versus-evil
morality system. I would love to see this game use a morality scale that comes
in shades of grey. Where answers to questions don't only rely on yes or no
responses. Second Son rewards the gamer for solely siding with good or evil
through powerful abilities. It's a reward that comes off shallow. The Infamous
series would benefit from The Last of Us. In particular, one of the last scenes
with the doctors. In that situation, choice carried weight, while everything I
decided in Second Son felt inconsequential.
Son is a great PS4 exclusive that truly feels next-gen. Its stunning graphics
and style outweigh the trite missions and too-even, good-or-evil system. Those
latter features only feel like a hiccup to an overall engaging experience. If
you're a PS4 converter, Second Son is a game to look forward to.
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