It’s 2016, and you walk in the shoes of Delsin Rowe, a young Akomish Native American street delinquent with a passion for tagging graffiti all over anything and everything. Delsin has little regard for authority despite the fact that his older brother, Reggie, is the local sheriff. Delsin’s actions constantly put him on the wrong side of the law, often to be handcuffed by Reggie himself. But after an attack on his tribe, Delsin must cultivate his hidden talents, track down his enemy, and decide upon a moral path to justice.
While showcasing his artistry on a billboard of his brother’s face, recognizing Reggie as the new town sheriff, Delsin is caught by his brother and about to be arrested once again. However, their reunion is cut short by a car accident; the passengers of which are three convicted conduits (the super-human type like Cole). One of the escapees is Henry “Hank” Daughtry, whose control over smoke and ember is absorbed and replicated by Delsin (thanks to a convenient gene in his blood that lets him absorb abilities of other conduits).
Following unavoidable, yet brief tussle with Hank, Delsin and Reggie head off to find answers, but not before being stopped by Brooke Augustine, the Director for the Department of Unified Protection (D.U.P. = bad guys), who are tasked with capturing any and all remaining conduits, now known as “bio-terrorists”. Coincidentally, Augustine too is a conduit, demonstrating her control over concrete by lodging several shards of sidewalk into Delsin’s calves and shins.
After a narrow retreat, Delsin and Reggie set out to make another attempt at catching Brooke Augustine in order to try to absorb her powers; a feat they believe will heal the members of their Akomish tribe who were injured and left for dead by Augustine and her concrete shards a week earlier. They arrive in Seattle only to discover that the entire city is controlled by D.U.P. and must be freed of control with Delsin’s help before he can get to Augustine and attempt to save his tribe.
inFAMOUS Second Son is a blast to play, and likely to be regarded as one of the best games currently available for next/current generation titles.
The controls are smooth and easy to get used to. The touch pad adds a unique element to the game, such as tagging walls, billboards, and other environmental features with spray paint. The controls are tight around almost every corner, and the weaker parkour elements are forgotten by the spectacular controls for running on rails and air dashing the sky like a smoke-bandit-ember-ninja. Of course, smoke powers aren’t the only thing the player gets a hold of. Delsin also absorbs powers of neon and video, both of which make traversing the terrain an even more uniquely abstract experience.
The voice acting is impressive, but perhaps not award-worthy. The real magnificence is found in how the environment sounds when it crumbles beneath the explosive blasts of ember from your palm, an opera of destruction that never gets too old to hear over and over again. Though Second Son does not maintain much of a soundtrack throughout, the action music that accompanies battles really helps you feel the fight. However, we do believe adding a few more songs to the final project would have made a better impact.
PlayStation 4 offers unprecedented graphics output in the console world, and inFAMOUS Second Son pushes that to its limits. You’ll hear your cooling fans buzzing like crazy sometimes, but that in no way interferes with the experience. The game is absolutely stunning throughout each and every turn.
A new direction in a franchise that seems as fresh as ever, Delsin is a character that you grow to genuinely care for whether you choose to play as a hero or a villain, making inFAMOUS Second Son worth playing through at least a couple of times to exploit every power and walk each moral path. This is one game we will definitely hang on to for a while and likely play several times before a sequel.
Developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, inFAMOUS Second Son hits PS4 exclusively today on March 21, 2014.