Sony’s ‘Second Son’ ravages your retinas

Michael Klein, Editor in Chief

Seattle is in chaos and a degenerate graffiti artist may be the city’s only chance or its certain doom. Sucker Punch polished up its “infamous” franchise for Sony’s first major release on its next-gen PS4.

Graphically, the game is mind-blowing. It has the speed of a “Grand Theft Auto” and your character has the superpowers of an “X-Men” character, while giving the experience of a rave on psychedelics. The detail is amazing, especially when it rains. It is striking. Anyone prone to seizures should steer clear.

The only problem with the presentation is that it lacks desired control. Even in alleys or on rooftops, your speed can easily cause you to lose a gang of enemies and while the abilities you brandish are visually spectacular, it becomes frustrating to not be able to fully capitalize on possible combat combos. Another shortcoming of “second son” is seen in how generic the environment feels after a few hours of gameplay. All that said, the game’s graphics grade very high and offer a glimpse at what the PS4 will be capable of in the future, which promises to be remarkable.

“Second Son” features a graffiti art mini game, another visual stunner, and one that employs the use of the new PS4 controller’s touch pad.

New powers are available for Delsin to combat the DUP (Department of Urban Protection) and/or random citizens as the player sees fit. These include smoke and neon powers, which not only allow for some badass fighting, but allows for much smoother and faster traversing of the city than the previous installments of “infamous.” This is helpful not only in combat, but to explore Seattle in the true open-world way in which it is intended.

A gripping storyline was major factor in the “inFamous’” series success. This time, however, it feels like a movie sequel where the producers decided to bargain shop for their actors. Delsin Rowe is no Cole. Playing the first two games isn’t required but is what drove up the excitement for this one. It is a distraction when it’s hard to connect with the main character and it becomes quickly obvious that something is missing. Additionally, the binary setup for character development further distances you from the main character. The karma question that accompanies the franchise is the same as it ever was, even if one might assume that five years (after the original “infamous” release) and a system upgrade may have changed that.

Ambivalence proves to be imprudent as there are no intermediately moral pathways. It becomes a disadvantage to act impulsively when presented an ethical conundrum. If you help citizens from the onset, you’re expected to avoid every “innocent” bystander. Who cares if some throw insults or rocks at you? Even worse, the powers you gain are functionally indistinguishable: good or bad.

These frustrations are even more discouraging on the second play though. The personal experience is unique enough to give it a try but with realistic expectations.