The series of Infamous was well-established on the PlayStation 3 after the success of the first two games. In 2014, developer Sucker Punch Productions and publisher Sony Computer Entertainment teamed up and released Infamous: Second Son for the PlayStation 4 taking the series to the next level. Infamous: Second Son would also introduce a new protagonist in Delsin Rowe, a street punk Native American who looks out for his tribe. Would the next generation of Infamous be up for the challenge of continuing the series?
It’s been seven years since the heroic death of Cole MacGrath, well heroic if you had the good karma in Infamous 2, this is the ending that Infamous: Second Son assumes so let’s just go with that. It’s also the way I played Infamous 2 so it fits perfectly. No longer set in Empire City or New Marais, Infamous: Second Son takes place on the coast of Washington state.
We are introduced to Delsin Rowe, who doesn’t have too much going on for him in his life. For the most part, he runs the streets, but not in a drug-dealing gangbanger way, but as a graffiti artist who vandals properties and causes headaches for business owners throughout the town. He’s not well-liked by the local police force but has a brother named Reggie who is on the force that constantly is making sure that he stays out of trouble.
After the events of Infamous 2, the D.U.P. was established which is a government organization in charge of rounding up the rest of the conduits in America and placing them in secure facilities to make sure they don’t abuse their powers. Remember that conduits are like mutants who have received superpowers from a mysterious sphere in the first game. One day, a truck that is transporting conduits crashes and the three conduits try and escape. Delsin tries to intervene and stops one of them named Hank but in the process of trying to subdue him, the powers from Hank are given to Delsin who becomes a conduit much to the horror of him.
Delsin now has smoke powers that allow him to travel through vents in a smoke-like state, and attack or defend with smoke powers. The escape of the conduits brings the ultimate D.U.P. agent to the city, her name is Brooke Augustine. She is hell-bent on finding the escaped conduits and will do anything in her power to find information. She starts by torturing Delsin’s tribe members to see if they know anything. A conduit herself, she can create massive shards of rock that will grow. She inserts these shards into the bodies of the tribe as they slowly become paralyzed or even die weeks later.
Realizing that while he has pretty rad smoke powers, Delsin’s true powers are the ability to absorb other powers from conduits, think of Rogue from X-Men and you get the idea. Delsin and his brother Reggie come up with an idea to rescue the tribe from the shards that will kill most of them if not treated. Reggie is horrified that Delsin is a conduit as it’s part of his job to keep tabs on them or even arrest them but he goes along with the fact that the only way to help the tribe is to have Delsin come into contact with Augustine to absorb her powers and use them to treat the injured tribe members.
Delsin ends up finding the other two escaped conduits who have escaped to Seattle and tracks them down for help. He absorbs their powers, one can create a virtual-like reality and have digital weapons, while the other has neon powers. The first attack on Augustine goes terrible, and Reggie ends up drowning as she creates a concrete block around his feet and blasts him into the ocean. This only angers Delsin and he tracks Augustine back to her headquarters where it is revealed that Augustine faked the whole car crash and let the conduits free on purpose to smoke out other conduits to capture. In the second battle, Delsin can spare Augustine, expose her crimes, and dissolve the D.U.P. while freeing the conduits and healing the tribe if he has good karma. If you played the game as a dick and have bad karma, your ending will include Delsin killing Augustine and taking control of Seattle as he absorbs the powers of all conduits in the area. He gets banned from the tribe and decides to destroy all of the reservation.
It’s silly to say that graphics and environments have “improved” from the first two Infamous games, as this title was on the PS4 instead of the PS3, but it’s all very true. I was impressed by the city of Seattle but even more so in the way that Delsin can transverse the world. It was extremely smooth to travel through a vent in a puff of smoke and reach the top. It was quick, and easy to learn and I felt like the game’s pace was much faster than previous entries.
I didn’t have any issues with the story and enjoyed the back-and-forth nature between Delsin and Reggie in their brotherly relationship. The smoke powers were fun to use but even better was that you didn’t have to stick with them. With Delsin being able to absorb other powers, it was awesome to try out the other powers no matter how weird they were, and believe me, the video game powers were weird.
Augustine as a villain was believable and she is that “bitch” that we all know. That snooty, stuck up nose, the “Karen” if you will just with a ton of power. We all know a woman like that who values herself above all else and thinks her opinion is the best no matter how much power they actually have. It was nice to crush Augustine but I was tempted to kill her, but playing with the “good” karma I didn’t.
Just like the other Infamous games, you’ll slowly clear out section by section of the city eventually taking it over 100 percent. There’s just something about that task that soothes my OCD of completeness and I enjoyed many of the objects that you had to do to clear out the D.U.P. from the area. I loved doing the drug busts as they generally caused lots of chaos. With more battles comes more experience and you’ll be able to level up powers for Delsin just like the previous games.
Infamous: Second Son was a much smoother experience than the previous entries, it was a solid experience with new powers, a new character, and a new setting. Sucker Punch did a great job.
I heard some negative things about Infamous: Second Son when it was released but I don’t remember what the complaints were. It took me a few years to play it but I’m happy I did. I think it was my favorite in the series and I enjoyed all the powers that Delsin could use. I’d like to see future Infamous games have single-stories where they focus on one character just for one game to tell their story instead of the continuation of the character. Delsin’s story was refreshing and I hope they make other games in the series.
Infamous: Second Son will have you experimenting with new powers as you transverse through a new setting at a much faster pace than previous games. It’s rare that a series can change the main character and survive but I feel that Infamous: Second Son upgraded enough elements of the gameplay to entice players who loved Cole MacGrath enough to get them to play.
Infamous: Second Son scores an 8.7 out of 10.
Do you remember when Infamous: Second Son first came out? What did you think of Delsin and his brother Reggie? What was your favorite power to use? Did you choose the path of good karma or evil karma? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments.
If you’d like to own a copy of Infamous: Second Son, you can purchase a brand new copy of it for the PS4 for $18 on eBay.