Getting started in InFamous – Second Son

InFamous is one of those series that I’ve never really heard anything bad about, and when Second Son came out, it seemed really well received, to the point that I immediately marked it down on my list as a “must”.

Likened to Prototype, a series that I’ve spent a lot of time with, I was pretty much sold on it from day one.  Powers? Check! Free-roam? Check! Jumping off buildings and smashing into the ground to cause a shockwave? Check!

What’s not to love?

What’s the deal?

Well, so far, I’ve learned that Delsin (the protagonist) is a “conduit” which means that he can absorb and retain the powers of people who have them.  Think Rogue from the X-Men but with a more permanent impact.

The world is at war with “bio-terrorists” which are what the government are calling those mutants/power-havers……Then there’s a special task force the “DUP” that have been created to capture and imprison all bio-terrorists.  It sounds quite X-men, right?

The big-bad is a middle-aged woman called “Augustine”.  Not your usual fare for an antagonist, but she seems suitably awful.  She’s in charge of the DUP, and appears to have powers of her own……what a bitch!

As an introduction to the characters and the premise, there’s a kind of prologue section that acts as part-tutorial, part-story building.  It works nicely, you learn about Delsin and his brother Reggie, and you see why you’re forced to go to Seattle, basically setting the stage for the whole game.

Starting out

I’ll be honest, the first hour didn’t do much to impress me.  I know that you need to set the stage for the game, and be taught the basics, but it all felt a little flimsy.  Delsin was a bit naff, until he started to get powers.

InFamous started to shape up from then though, and now I feel like I have a decent grip on what’s going on, and it doesn’t all seem too contrived which can often be the downfall of a game like this.

The dynamic between the brothers Delsin and Reggie is superb from the get-go.  Some real character and personality from both characters, and they talk to each other like actual brothers.  One big brother trying to look out for his little bro that is suddenly in a world that hates him.  It’s pretty interesting and entertaining.

Seattle seems fine so far.  I’ve only been there a little while, and I’ve not cleared enough of it out, yet, so there’s plenty for me to see and learn.

Graphically the game looks great.  Considering it was released almost 4 years ago (March 2014), it definitely holds up.  Particle effects from the smoke abilities look great, and everything seems to run really smoothly so far, even in big fights with loads of AI taking part.

Audio has made some interesting choices…..Lots of audio through the controller, which is a new experience for me.  NPCs are really quiet, too.  Everything else is pretty solid though.  Yet to give it the headphone treatment, so it might improve drastically.

So far….

It’s only been a few hours, but I’ve gone from flimsy Delsin to a pretty powerful Delsin relatively quickly.  Traversal has gone from lame, to fun, and I know I have a lot more to learn and earn.

I’ve got these “smoke” powers so far, which are kinda cool, but I gather from the fact that I’m a “conduit” that I’m likely to get other types of power?  I feel like InFamous Second Son has already given me plenty to work with and get used to, so I have no idea how additional abilities will tie-in to gameplay and the controls.

Use of the touchpad and the motion functions of the PS4 controller is novel, and something I’ve not experienced too much before.  Shaking the controller like a spraycan, swiping it to rip open cages, using the motion to control where you’re spraying paint.  It’s mostly seamless and fluid, although it was a little jarring to begin with (they’re kinda superfluous motions really).

I’m looking forward to getting more stuck-in and seeing how Delsin develops and to see where the games takes me.  Having a big city to jump about in and cause chaos in, is always a big plus, so it’s looking good!

After a few more hours I’ll do the usual further thoughts, and see if InFamous Second Son stands up to the praise and love, and my expectations.

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