The launch Playstation 4 wasn’t too interesting, and the only title developed by one of Sony’s powerhouse studios exclusively for the platform since Killzone Shadowfall has just hit the shelves. I have been looking forward for this release for so long, and seeing all the behind the scenes and gameplay videos released, I was really hyped to get my hands on it. The first two titles in the series were a fantastic example of the open world super hero genre, and they were among the best exclusives for the Playstation 3. So one can obviously say that yes, I was extremely excited when I finally got my hands on a copy of the game.
Audio and Video
The best attribute of the game is the stunning looks, definitely. The environments are rendered fantastically well in surreal detail. The city really looks and feels alive. The dynamic lighting is akin to nothing I have seen in my career, and the textures are unbelievably detailed. The game is fantastically smooth and there are very little, or no loading screens. The destruction and interactions with objects in the environments are amazingly well rendered, and really feels real in a way that everything reacts to the surroundings as they should. The sound aspect is very well made too, and pushes the boundaries of the console. Every single object has a unique profile that reacts differently depending what happens and with what in comes in contact with. The soundtrack is great and the voice overs are also well made. The overall sound is crisp and pristine with a very sharp detail.
Here is the important stuff, Second Son is almost identical in every single aspect to Infamous 2, when it comes to game-play and mechanics. The only evident changes there are is the control scheme, and the multiple powers. Unlike its predecessors, the main character has the ability of absorbing new powers from Conduits, and each power’s energy can be replenished by absorbing different sources laid out in the city. This is perhaps my biggest annoyance, because all the different powers have different special moves or attributes, and the only way to switch between one and the other is to absorb energy from something similar to your attributes. For example if I have neon powers, but want to switch to smoke powers, I have to find a source of smoke; meaning that during heavy combat I am stuck with the same power I went in with. Multiple powers also mean that you have multiple upgrades; which means you need more shards to properly upgrade your powers. The mechanics are good, but it’s nothing new. The character felt too light, just like the previous titles, which means that there was no weight to the characters movement and no momentum either. Combat and melees was not as good as I expected it to be, but still not as bad. At no point in the game did I feel really powerful, which kind of sucked, as in the previous titles once you completed the game and started side missions you felt really powerful in a cool way. As you progressed through the game and unlocked powers and abilities, I didn’t really see much difference in the way enemies reacted. I needed the same amount of head-shots or hits with basic powers and with fully upgraded powers against normal enemies. A.I. is really impressive in combat, but it is really annoying how enemies manage to hit you with 100% accuracy from Kilometers away, even though they would be out of range from your hits. Boss fights also felt a bit boring and way too repetitive, especially the final boss fight, which really made the game anti-climactic.
I don’t want to sound too bitchy about the game or too negative, because I enjoyed most of the game, and it really does look ridiculously good. I would think that first timers in the Infamous series will have a better time than the fans of the franchise, because it is too much of the same. I can best describe Second Son as being next-gen in its visual and audio aspects but really last gen in the core game-play, bringing nothing new to the table.