Thursday, May 22, 2014

Infamous Second Son [PS4 Review]

Normally I would wait to do a review until I've completely finished a game, but I think I can safely review this one without doing so... in fact I should probably stop doing that so that I can actually get game reviews written in a somewhat timely fashion.

Not normally the reaction I'd have if my hands were smoking.
I'll also modify this review a bit. I'm going to put the games overall score at the top, and a breakdown at the bottom. 
4.5 out of 5 stars

Here is the overall score.

Not a perfect score, but a very high one. One I'm confident will stand up through the review. 

Let me preface this whole review, starting now, with a bit of information. I just recently finished the first Infamous game. Less than a month ago I finished the first game. Mainly because I really wanted to play the sequel, but refused to do so until I actually completed the first one. Hooray for my free games from that little snaffu that PSN suffered awhile back. For a free game, Infamous was really good.
Seattle. I've only been there twice. Does it really look like that?

So there's that little story. I had already pre-ordered Second Son before I even pushed a button in Infamous. I could have canceled the order if Infamous was no good... but it was good.

Now onto Second Son, afterall that's what this review is covering.

The story really has some strong potential here. I'm only played as a Hero, done none of the Villian route, so I can't comment on how that will change things. But there is a some nice moral conflict. It's a touch binary like Mass Effect titles are. Kill or Subdue, evil or good. It does not look at the really complex levels of morality. I do not think the story will suffer terribly from this binary morality, but this is something that developers could try working on. The world is not black and white, morality systems do not need to be black and white. Honestly, if I was to ding the game this would be one of the two dings I'd give it.
Look at me go! Woooo!

The second ding is the parkour. It's not as free flowing as it was in the first game. Since Seattle is a real city, my assumption is that they tried hard to replicate it. This means less easy free climbing and the like. Of course they make up for this with Vent Dashing and becoming an ash cloud that sips around. Imaginative, yes. But I really got used to the parkour from Infamous. 

That's about it.

The controls are not completely different, but feel better in Second Son. They seem to have cleaned up some of the sloppiness. Now I do not know if this will continue as I play, since in original Infamous, the controls started easy but became progressively more bloated.

Now, lets talk graphics. This is, and I completely agree, the first game that truly shows off what this generation of consoles is going to be able to do. I've already pre-ordered Dragon Age III, and if it shows as much of a graphical jump from Dragon Age II as Infamous Second Son does over Infamous, ordering the PS3 copy of Dragon Age III is just going to look... well, 8-bit. The graphics are that good.
Click this image for a better version. Click it now!
The sound is also very good. Through out the game, your character, Delsin, makes remarks and observations. He reacts how, I honesly think, most people would if this happened to them. His quips and comments make him very real. The SFX are good, the crackling and popping of the smoke and fire, the sucking whoosh from the controller, all very well done. I can't say anything about the music because I honestly don't remember it. So, the music is easily forgettable. Another ding, a hidden one, and one that I don't think really detracts from the game experience.

So after the next image, the awesome image that shows a signature move, the Comet Drop, I'll put up the final scores.
Boom! There it is!
Game Play: Fast, fun, simple game play. Not too challenging on normal, not that I would expect it to be. Big city, big vistas, tall buildings. What more could you want? A slightly stronger parkour feel, and the serious hope that my controls do not bloat over time.
4 out of 5 stars
Graphics: I've already gushed about these. They are amazing. I find myself wanting to google street view some of these places to see how closely they match up to real world Seattle. I like it much better than being stuck in a fictional city. Besides, I got to climb to the top of the Space Needle. (I've looked at some Space Needle images online, and yes, I can identify buildings from the game. Wow.)
5 out of 5 stars.
Story: This one I can only base on what I've played so far. It seems good. It has real morality choices, even if in the game morality is treated in a binary fashion. It has a comic book feel to it, but it feels like much more. This is the way a super-hero story of the modern age should feel. So, it might well be the best super-hero game ever. So far.
4 out of 5 stars

Music / Sound: Sound FX are good. Music is forgettable. Kind of a wash. Some games just excel at music, and some don't. I was expecting grunge music, but maybe that's just me being all stereotypical about Seattle. If so, I'm sorry. 
3 out of 5 stars

My final statement. I would whole heartily recommend this game. I can't wait to finish it the first time so I can back and play as a total jack-ass, er, I mean villain.

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