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Review Infamous: Second Son (PS4): Good part in the franchise but might be a little underwhelming!

genre: action, adventure




Obviously this game would look better and slicker on PS4. And that definitely is a plus. But can the same be sad about the gameplay and the story? Yes and no. Let me explain.

Overall the gameplay is more streamlined but compared to the previous games a few options were missing that made me feel like no matter how cool the powers were felt like a downgrade somewhat. First of all the option to switch the shoulder aim has been removed. This would not be that much of an issue of another option or ability that also has been removed. The cover system. Now that is a very odd or perhaps even lazy decision. Delsin like Cole can't take too much damage so you will be forced to move around or even retreat from the action. In previous games you could remedy this with going higher up, take cover and snipe enemies from above. That leads me to another issue. The parkour ability has been downgraded. Delsin can't scale buildings like Cole. A case could be made that Cole was into parkour and that Delsin isn't but then why then not come up with another ability different and more unique from Cole? (Apart from painting graffiti. Hang on doesn't that require being able to climb good as well?) I don't know like swimming perhaps? Delsin Rowe can't swim people. He won't die since he has nothing to fear from water like Cole did because he doesn't have electric based powers. But how come didn't they add the ability to swim. Granted there is not much water in the game to do that still seems like another example of laziness. What else? Oh yes, the diminished melee. In Infamous 2 they had improved on the melee combat significantly but for some reason in this game it's almost useless. 

I don't care how good a game looks if you have less options and less variety than before then I consider that a downgrade. Especially if you realize that the new and different powers you are getting aren't that much different from each other. Although one could argue that they are when you are forced to use just one of them and then you see that there are advantages and disadvantages to each power. Neon is the power that comes closest to that of Cole when it comes to precision but also that infinite speedrun is incredibly useful and cool. I mean it basically makes you feel like you are The Flash. Saints Row 4 did it better though. Which brings me to one the things I was disappointed about. Delsin Rowe can absorb many different powers but only can use one at a time. To switch between them he has to find the energy source that activate his power. So you get all these cool powers but you can't use them all at the same time? Something that made Saints Row 4 like THE ULTIMATE super hero game. Why? If you had been given this option you offer more variation overall. Would it have made him overpowered? Well, yes but isn't that what makes these games fun? Besides you could design the missions so that you are limited in your choice like the game did in the last levels of the game to make it more challenging. Or one could give you all these powers to use freely but design an enemy that even then could best you. Now that would have truly made me feel like I have accomplished something. You know like they did in the Prototype games. Don't get me wrong I did enjoy most of the abilities you gained but often it felt superficial. Since the powers individually did not feel as big and epic as the electricity based powers of Cole. Combined it would have rocked but as the way it's implemented it felt underwhelming. Besides I don't see the point of gathering all these powers and then to be limited in using them. The first thing I did was to do all of the side missions and collect the shards to upgrade my abilities. Just so that I could be the hero they wanted and needed. 

These side missions are nothing special and perhaps a little repetitive but especially early on they are quite challenging but of course when you are upgraded significantly they are no match for you. BTW if you take the time to collect shards, do side missions and help out people you will be able to upgrade your character quite quickly. If only your abilities were a little more powerful. Because you see the difficulty of most boss battles are based on not having a cover mechanic and not absorb damage as much. Meaning you have to keep on the move while trying to deplete the energy of the boss. Most of the time this was about patience and endurance and less about skill and strategy. There is one boss battle in particular (He Who Dwells) where your patience surely is tested as you have to battle this boss so powerful and big who takes very little damage but has all these cheap tricks to damage you and lose your health. And you also are forced to drain energy from time to time because the rockets are the only things that do the most damage if aimed properly. All in all it's a tedious process. But it is the most difficult boss of the game so once you beaten him it pretty much will be smooth sailing after. One thing I have to point out though that defeating this boss will gain you the video power and while it has a few awesome features it is not nearly as cool or powerful as the same power used by the boss you defeated. I don't know it feels like I have been cheated. All this promise...

All of the above can be forgiven, since even if it feels a little underwhelming compared to the previous titles, as a standalone game it's good. I am sure that people who have never have played any of the Infamous games will have a blast. Hell, I have played all of them and still want to play more of them. I like the concept and being super human. But one thing I have to be extremely critical about is the story and the magnitude. It's incredibly lacking. Sure there are some elements that make you overlook this flaw. Like the dynamics between the brothers Delsin Rowe and Reggie and that Delsin is Native American. But everything else.*SIGH* So predictable and boring. And almost no ties to previous games whatsoever. Again I chalk this up to laziness. The end result is that the game never truly gives you that epic feeling the first two games did manage (although Infamous 2 a little less compared to the original). 

I am sure that by reading this you think I did not like this game that much. No, I did. Honestly. But seeing how this is the first PS4 title I played I simply expected more and better. I don't see this vast difference between the PS3 games and this one gameplay wise. Visually of course. That is a no brainer. (It's beautiful and very slick. Especially the city at night with the neon lights.) But believe it or not to me that is not that important. You really have to show me or do things that you can't replicate on older systems to impress me. So far I don't feel like this game has accomplished this. Every time when a next gen system comes out you have all this hype and promise but often it turns out they can't deliver. And seeing how often the focus is on the visuals and not the gameplay I deserve to be very critical. Cause I do pay for it don't I? That being said I can't deny that despite it's flaws it's fun. So certainly worth to buy.




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