This is our first guest writer review; kindly donated by MrJohnSherry.
Follow him on twitter @MrJohnSherry.
Graphics and Presentation
Ok, let’s get this out of the way first! This game is undoubtedly beautiful; in fact, it’s the most beautiful game I have ever seen on a home console. The lighting, the textures, the character models are all top notch and thanks to the new photo mode, you can see all the small details that really show how much attention Sucker Punch paid to this game (even down to the chain around Delsins wrists). The world itself has plenty of variation, a lot of high scalable buildings, down to dingy alleyways – it has it all. Seattle has never looked so pretty (or so dirty; depending on where you are).
However all this prettiness comes with a pretty big caveat, the absolutely horrible HUD. I am not exaggerating. It really destroys the immersion that Sucker Punch tried to achieve with the graphics and atmosphere. Worst of all is that some of it isn’t even necessary. The karma indicator dominates the top left of the screen; even though, it is depicted already on the back of Delsin’s jacket. The screen just feels littered, and I wish it had options to disable, or at least scale it. Dead space mastered the art of an effective; minimal HUD in 2008; why couldn’t Sucker punch in 2014?
Storyline and Gameplay
I am going to try and not spoil this for anyone who wants to play this game, so I will keep it deliberately brief. Like many modern AAA title these days; the narrative arc treads well-worn ground. Bad guy rolls up in your town, causes a bit of mayhem and of course; it is up to you to try and fix it.
The real source of fun in Infamous though, is through your 3 main powers; Smoke, Neon and *Mystery Power* (I am not going to spoil it, but trust me, it is awesome!) which are obtained through tracking down and defeating conduits which already have these powers and “stealing” them. Like Rogue from X-men. You can only wield one power at a time, but to change it up, all you have to do is drain the power you desire (like Neon signs for neon, or chimney spouts for Smoke), and away you go! This system gives the game a feeling of naturalistic progression, and provides the player with an organic freedom of choice on how to approach any given situation.
The powers have some leeway for customisation, although it is very limited. Using Core Relays which the main story will take you too, giving you new abilities, which can then be upgraded throughout the game by collecting blast shards; which are littered throughout the world. The upgrades depend on your karmic level so you will get things such as take-downs to level up your good karma quicker, or bigger AOE damage to create mass destruction where ever you go.
Being an sandbox there are also plenty of collectibles and activities to do outside of the main story campaign. You can roam around the city, picking up side missions, breaking up drug busts, attack street musicians, or go to the roof tops for a spot of graffiti. While all of these are fun I did find them repetitive and ‘grindy’ after a while, as if their only purpose was to help you grind out karma – which isn’t even necessary. I got to max karma level through mostly doing the campaign. If you are only interested in main campaign, you are probably looking at between 7-10 hours gameplay per Karma path. However for the completion amongst you, you are probably looking between 10-15 hours.
Infamous Second Son is a fun game, in a beautiful setting. Delsin is a great main protagonist – a far cry away from the dreary boring Cole from the previous games. While not perfect, the ground work is certainly laid, and I can’t wait to see where Sucker Punch go with it in future.
Do you have anything to say about infamous 2?
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