As a long time fan of the inFAMOUS series, I jumped at the opportunity to try out the latest installment. I have been itching to play inFAMOUS:Second Son since it was first announced at the PlayStation 4 reveal event in February 2013. Although the portion of the game that I played was brief, I think it has given me a good idea of what to expect on March 21st.
From the moment I picked up the controller to play, I was instantly blown away by how good the game looked. I had seen other previews online, but this was the first time I had actually seen the game running on a Playstation 4. The portion of the game that I played took place at night, so seeing the glow of the neon bar signs and their reflections in the puddles on the road was a beautiful sight. The use of bright colors against an otherwise dark environment, and the particle effects as Delsin drains the neon signs, really shows off the power of the PS4. The level of detail in the smallest of things was so refreshing to see. Even the flapping of the corner of Delsins denim jacket as he runs is impressive. The environment has enough destructibility to satisfy even the most meticulous of gamers. When I had first seen gameplay of the game, I thought that it would only be the bigger structures, such as guard towers, that would be destructible, but I was wrong. During combat segments, every time I missed an enemy with a shot from Delsin’s smoke ability, I found that I had accidentally destroyed something smaller such as a flower pot sitting outside a restaurant. I’m excited to play the full game to really test the level of detail Sucker Punch has included in this recreation of Seattle.
The combat feels like the same inFAMOUS formula but with a few tweaks to the control scheme. It took me a while to figure out how to do everything, but I had a lot of fun figuring it out. The combat has a fluidity to it that in other games may take an experienced player to pull off. I found it incredibly easy to combine abilities to go from fighting an enemy on the street, to fighting on top of a building,to using the smoke ability to phase through a vent and out through a chimney. One thing that I found confusing in a game with such high attention to detail is the fact that Delsin can’t swim. Instead of dying like Cole from the previous games, Delsin just sort of sits in the water like someone stuck in quicksand. A quick press of the touchpad and you’re back to shore, but it can severely affect any momentum you have built while chaining combos together or while traversing the environment. I feel like this is something that will definitely annoy me when playing the full game.
The big new thing in this game is the idea of multiple powers. Since the only powers that have been revealed so far are Smoke and Neon, the same thing applied to the demo. It was nice to see that there was a distinct difference between the way that these different powers controlled, but not too different that it gets confusing. Changing between these powers requires Delsin to drain a source of the power he wants to use, such as one of the neon bar signs, or the smoke rising from the engine of a car you just destroyed. These sources are scattered all over the city and didn’t feel scarce. Hopefully this means that switching between powers will be seamless and readily available throughout the game.
So far, inFAMOUS: Second Son is shaping up to be the best looking and most enjoyable PlayStation 4 game of the year. With incredible voice talent from veteran Troy Baker and beautiful graphics, Second Son will truly be the game to beat in 2014. For me, this is definitely a day-one purchase when the game releases on March 21st.