InFamous: Second Son is dull.

Sometimes, it’s arduous. At almost all times, it’s underwhelming. The only innovation to be found is in its knack for being somehow less than the sum of its parts.

It’s also the best InFamous game.

Bald Man is gone. Instead we have Hat Man, who’s much more fun to be around. He yelps approvingly when you make him do something cool. He’s as much a tourist of Sucker Punch’s superhero Seattle as you are, and he’s loving every second. It’s difficult for such enthusiasm to not be infectious.

It gives you everything the best open-worlders give you, too. The orb collection gameplay loop of Crackdown, the aerobatic thrills of Assassin’s Creed, the world map with its districts and attached percentages denoting how many of the 'Things you have Done', yearning to be brought down to zero, the cutscenes to justify it all. Right components, all present.

And yet, though it now makes a much more valiant attempt to earn your attention than before, it’s still making the same mistake.

It’s dull.

Six out of ten.

Then, something wonderful happens. A cinematic with a girl. She shoots pink lasers from her arms. And all of a sudden, so can you. The power set completely changes after the first quarter of the game, from 'smoke' – dull, jumpy shooty smoke – to something called 'neon'.

You suck the very photons out of lit-up signs, and shoot them at people. And then you can RUN. Oh man, can you run. A couple of well spent upgrade points later bags an infinite dash that has you swooping over obstacles, running up skyscrapers, leaving a brilliant hot-pink trail in your wake. The chore of getting to activities becomes the thrill of aiming vaguely for a map marker and dive-bombing some gits in a fabulous fluorescent explosion of justice. Hundred-percenting an area no longer takes frustrated hours, but exhilarating minutes.

It utterly changes the game. Arduous no more. Underwhelming no more. Fun. Joy. In InFamous. The novelty alone is worth a punt.

It took about 6 hours to get Neon powers.

Seven out of ten.

Played for 6 hours. Then another 10.

7 / 10

  • Gorgeous next-gen showpiece.
  • Everything on offer done better elsewhere.
  • Series hasn’t learnt from past mistakes.
  • Takes too long to get to the good stuff.

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User Comments

Lalaland's Avatar

Lalaland

Finished it last night a very fun game but classic 7 or 8 out of ten stuff. I was surprised at how they handled some of the powers at the end as it seems clear to me they expect a lot of post final boss play but the way I play sort of mitigates against this. I don't want to go any further as it's spoilery stuff but it meant I felt as if I'd cheated myself somewhat by doing a 100% collect-a-thon before that final fight.

I liked the story but if anything the way I played meant that it wound up kind of stacatto in it's delivery as I'd do a main mission, see the follow up was in a controlled, clean that area out and 100% it for 15-20 minutes. It's hard to blame the game designers for this but given how the game ends I'd have expected them to try and push you to complete the story missions over the 'gotta-catch-em-all' mechanics.
Posted 15:54 on 24 March 2014
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612

I've just reached the neon powers so if it picks up from here I should be in for a treat as I've been rather enjoying it so far.
Posted 10:09 on 24 March 2014
Havel's Avatar

Havel

Solid review, 10 out of 10. I will wait for a price drop or till its free on PSN, good work Jim.
Posted 20:49 on 23 March 2014
KamSage's Avatar

KamSage

I pretty much agree with you completely, Jim.
Having played two games like this already, I was expecting more. It was fun whilst it lasted, but i'm not going to remember the game nearly at all. A shame considering how good it looks.
Still, I don't think i've had more fun being a pink power ranger.
Posted 16:13 on 23 March 2014
Woodfella's Avatar

Woodfella@ dav2612

It was. Really repetitive. Just swinging and jumping about and throwing guys of the empire state building and watching them bounce up again and tying them to lampposts and catapulting yourself for miles was fun though
Posted 18:14 on 22 March 2014
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Just couldn't get into Infamous - despite really wanting to. From the media I've seen, I was thinking it would be around a 7; decent enough, but nothing remarkable. Rather like MGS: GZ...

Saying that, I still need to play through Prototype 2 - should be able to pick up a cheap copy, now. (even though the final boss in the first game embodied EVERYTHING wrong with such concepts, IMHO)
Posted 12:29 on 22 March 2014
smackybumbum's Avatar

smackybumbum

just finished it. 7 eh? mmm.. the game was excellent. Reviewers are getting far too arsey.
Posted 11:38 on 22 March 2014
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman

Agreed Prototype 1 was a good bit of fun - but teh story wasn't too good. Infamous had a pretty decent story and I really liked the Graphic Novel aesthetic it presented - just could've been a bit more fun towards the start of the game - you really needed to build up yoyur abilities before you felt REALLY good about everything.
Posted 16:29 on 21 March 2014
Jesus_Phish's Avatar

Jesus_Phish

Prototype was a bit better for just having a laugh for an hour running around doing silly things.

But the story and the characters and the city where all completely dull.
Posted 16:16 on 21 March 2014
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612@ Karlius

Prototype is probably the nearest equivalent to Infamous. I'm not sure what one I preferred though. They both had aspects they did better and worse than the other. Never did play Prototype 2 though.
Posted 16:14 on 21 March 2014
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ dav2612

Good point. Never played the games look alright but not had the time. I always thought they looked a lot like prototype. Am I right in thinking that?
Posted 16:06 on 21 March 2014
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612@ Karlius

I don't think it is an issue with early adopting. Infamous was good but had the potential to be better. The sequel was more of the same and again, could have been better. And it looks like number 3 could be the same. I still expect to enjoy the game but the disappointment over missed opportunities might be a little higher this time.
Posted 15:48 on 21 March 2014
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Ultimately Infamous 4 will be the game people want 3 to be. Just the way things go when you early adopt.
Posted 15:42 on 21 March 2014
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ dav2612

I'm with you Dav - I hated Spider-man 2 - controls were sh!t - Ultimate Spider-man a few years later was a way better game - loads more fun to play!

I was pretty much expecting this to be what it is - while I've enjoyed the previous Infamous games they have always been a bit of a chore to get going.

In my opinion best open world (ish) super hero game is Batman Arkham City - with Lego Marvel a close second. Prototype 1 was a joy to play and traverse the city - even if the characters and story were a bit plop!

Still nothing to even start tempting me to next (current) gen yet. The prettier sequels with the same tired gameplay that we have had for the last 10 years needs to stop now and someone needs to start actually creating NEW games that will make next (current) gen worthwhile!
Posted 15:33 on 21 March 2014
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612

I seem to be in a possible minority of 1 here but I cannot fathom the high praise Spider-Man 2 gets. I found it a right chore at times.
Posted 10:58 on 21 March 2014

Game Stats

inFamous: Second Son
7
Out of 10
inFamous: Second Son
  • Gorgeous next-gen showpiece.
  • Everything on offer done better elsewhere.
  • Series hasn’t learnt from past mistakes.
  • Takes too long to get to the good stuff.
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 21/03/2014
Platform: PS4
Developer: Sucker Punch
Publisher: SCEE
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 293 8
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