Developer – Sucker Punch
Publisher – Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform(s) – PlayStation 4
MSRP – $19.99
Release Date – March 21, 2014
As of this writing Sucker Punch’s upcoming game, Ghost of Tsushima is hours away from release. As a way to celebrate its impending release, we’re going to go back to 2014 and review Sucker Punch’s last full-fledged release (Infamous First Light was DLC) in Infamous Second Son.
Back when the PlayStation 4 was released in 2013, there weren’t really any big exclusive titles released for the console. Those first couple of months for the PlayStation 4 were really dry in terms of video game releases. I’ve always heard some say that the PlayStation 4 didn’t have any truly big console exclusives until Bloodborne, which just isn’t true. It always seemed to me that Infamous Second Son was forgotten about relatively quickly after its release. I can assure you I never forgot about the game, considering I’ve played the game from start to finish about 5 or 6 times even after I got the platinum trophy on my 2nd playthrough.
If it wasn’t clear already I’m a big fan of Infamous Second Son. At the time of its release in early 2014, I had been waiting for that first big game coming out exclusively for the PlayStation 4 and Sucker Punch delivered that with their third entry into what I consider their best franchise.
Infamous Second Son was released in March of 2014 with a new feeling and new setting in Seattle. The first big difference from the other Infamous games is that we have a new protagonist with Delsin Rowe replacing Cole MacGrath. Delsin isn’t necessarily one of my favorite video game protagonists of all time. He’s brash, arrogant, and cocky to pretty much everyone he meets and yet somehow I and many others still like him as the main character. Delsin isn’t someone I got attached to emotionally like Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2 or Joel & Ellie from The Last of Us but I don’t think Sucker Punch necessarily wanted him to be.
The franchise isn’t called Infamous for no reason, as is a staple with all the full-fledged Infamous releases, you have the Karma meter. In this game, you’re either a Hero or you’re Infamous. The gameplay changes substantially based on what path you choose. The story changes too, but not as substantially as the gameplay though. As is obvious, the more evil deeds you do, the more your meter goes up towards the Infamous level, the more valiant deeds you do, the more your meter goes up towards the Hero level. Certain upgrades from obtaining shards are locked if you go down a certain karma path and ignore the other. I personally preferred the Infamous playthrough because it caters much more to my specific playstyle. I’m a guns-blazing type of player, so naturally, I was much more suited to a more carefree experience.
This game is similar to Ratchet & Clank PS4 to me for one specific reason, the gameplay is why I love both games so much. One thing I love that Sucker Punch did with this entry as opposed to other entries is that you have more than one power to work with. Cole had electricity in his games, Delsin has Smoke, Neon, Video, and Concrete in Second Son and all of the powers are completely distinct in their own way. You obtain Smoke from smokestacks or cars, Neon from signs, Video from TV’s and Satellites, and Concrete from DUP agents. I feel Sucker Punch did this to keep the game fresh and keep the gameplay from getting too repetitive and they 100% succeeded. I was never bored by the gameplay in the slightest even when I was going for the platinum trophy. The amount of fun I had causing destruction and watching debris fall down around me was something that never got old, although it did cause a few glitches at times and a really bad hard crash I still remember all these years later.
One thing that strikes me when I look back on Infamous Second Son is how great the game still looks for being over 6 years old. It really saying something when Second Son looks better than certain games that have been released by bigger studios than that of Sucker Punch. The graphics hold up extremely well, the lighting is excellent, and the audio design is tremendous. Technically, Infamous Second Son is outstanding and everyone at Sucker Punch should be proud of what they accomplished from a technical standpoint that early in the PlayStation 4 console generation.
One thing that can’t go without criticism for me is the story. By no means does Infamous Second Son have a bad story, but a really short and predictable story. The length is one of the main reasons why I feel I couldn’t care much about characters like Reggie or Eugene because I didn’t have enough time with them or feel connected to them at all. The main villain in Augustine would’ve benefited from way more screen time to understand her motives better instead of one flashback at the end. Reggie is a character who fell especially flat because of Second Son’s short story, (Spoilers in the upcoming sentence) his death fell really flat for me because I don’t feel I reacted to that moment the way it seemed like the game wanted me to. The only character I remember feeling true emotion for was Fetch because of her story and how interesting it was, but I feel even that was cut too short. I can’t speak for other people but for me, Infamous Second Son has a very predictable story. Predictably isn’t always bad in certain cases but literally almost every aspect of this story I could see coming. There are tons of convenient moments throughout the game that I can’t necessarily buy. As I said earlier, Infamous Second Son isn’t a bad story at all, it’s just way too short and predictable for me personally.
With my criticisms of the story aside, I absolutely love this game, Infamous Second Son is one of my favorite games of this generation. It isn’t held in as high of a regard as other exclusives such as Spider-Man PS4 or God of War, but I feel it should be. At a time where the PlayStation 4 didn’t have many exclusives to its name, Infamous Second Son was a game I was looking forward too and overall my experience was nothing but a thumbs up.
Infamous Second Son from a gameplay standpoint is so much damn fun and I could never put this game down. Technically, I can’t believe how amazing this game runs and looks for how early this game came out in this console generation. The only thing I have problems with is the story, but I still didn’t even dislike it, just feel certain aspects could’ve been done differently. I’ve waited 5 years for a new Sucker Punch game, and I’ll finally get that in a couple of hours with Ghost of Tsushima. I only have one question left for Sucker Punch, When are getting a 4th Infamous game?
Rating - 9/10