I’ve been busy as a bee of late and that doesn’t bode well for the blogosphere, that is what I am calling it now, the blogosphere. If you don’t like it then tough. I kid though. Recently Sony and SuckerPunch dropped the first must own next gen PS4 title. I cannot say overall next gen seeing as Titanfall just dropped shortly before inFAMOUS came out but it’s still the same point. One of the most hotly titled games in recent months. I know I had mentioned beforehand that a huge detriment to the launch of both consoles was the lack of star power in terms of first party or hotly anticipated titles and now here we are in the closing days of the launch window and they both drop huge bombs, the question being does Delsin Rowe’s debut as a Conduit hold up to the parkour adventures of Cole McGrath in Empire City and New Marias or does Delsin blow away like the smoke powers he inherits?
Second Son takes place seven years after Cole’s incident in the fictional New Orleans. A huge problem for Sony and SuckerPunch was in a game that was morale based how do you chose the ending that is canon? They took a look at the trophy set and noticed that most gamers chose to sacrifice Cole and save the world so they went with that ending, Cole is gone and now so to are the conduits. Just a bit of backstory. Delsin is a young member of the Akomish tribe in the Pacific Northwest who is a bit of a reckless youth. When an army caravan crashes and three conduits escape and wreck havoc Delsin finds out he is a conduit too, except he can absorb other conduits powers. With the DUP causing immense amounts of pain for his people Delsin and his brother go off to the great city of Seattle to get the DUP and take away the pain of his people.
That’s the rough gist of the story, now most people will say it’s a weak story but at the same time I don’t think they are looking at the fact that it is an open world game. The story is not the most important aspect of the game but the gameplay and how you arrive at the end. For me the story is a simple straight forward tale that works for the game and it doesn’t leave much to deviate from and that is okay in this instance. Both the first and second games didn’t feature immensely deep stories but it was the characters and the gameplay that kept you deeply involved.
With the DUP hot on your tail (pretty much the conduit police) you fly through the city doing tasks such as spray painting buildings, hunting down blast shards, and kicking out the DUP from your city. While it is similar in effects to the last inFAMOUS game doing all the side quests helps provide a sense of accomplishment and not just for the achievement. The spray painting segments are fun as it forces you to hold your controller just like you would an aerosol can which is pretty neat. Hunting down the blast shards is a useful thing to do seeing as it helps you upgrade your powers and after you kick the DUP out of that section of the city it (the map) shows all the remaining things to get 100% clear for that area.
There are hidden security cams in each section that are probably the most annoying of the side quests to accomplish but once more it has that sense of accomplishment to it when you finish them. I didn’t like having to tap up on the D-Pad and study the area to find the thing then switch over to Delsin and try to shoot the thing down.
Overall though the gameplay helps create an addicting game that you really don’t want to put down, especially if you are a fan of the series. As you go through the game there are core relays that unlock latent powers for you and you can use the blast shards to upgrade them. Some powers are locked via the karma system so there are some you cannot get if you are good or evil.
As you move through the story you unlock more than just smoke just like in inFAMOUS 2. You can get a neon power which is pretty sweet and it allows you to run as fast as the speed of light and shoot beams of light out at your enemies like a sniper. This power is a neat and fun upgrade and in a city like Seattle there is so much neon to use. I loved running around and up the sides of buildings with my neon powers. At one point you can snipe at their legs for good karma or go for the head shot for bad karma. But once I unlocked the third power, video, I only wanted to use that one.
Video allows you to shoot pixels at your enemies and allows you to have pixel wings. On top of that all three powers have a super powered projectile. Smoke has cinder missiles, neon has light blasts or something like that (I rarely used them) and video has pixel swords. Each power though fits to different game styles. Smoke is your more let’s hop into combat and go head first. Neon is for more for range and video for stealth. Sure you can mix and match and do it however you want and that is what is a great thing about this game.
Visually it is a stunning masterpiece. Almost every aspect of the game is gorgeous and breathtaking. The city itself is insanely realistic but the enemies get kind of tedious since it is almost always the same as are the vehicles driving around but for the first time developing on the next gen it’s a sight to behold. The voice acting is pretty good as in the main characters are good but the rest are spotty. Troy Barker is great as Delsin and makes you love the character with attitude and all.
I was slightly disappointed by the music choice seeing as it was set in Seattle I sort of expected there to be some more grunge and indie music strewn through the game but I did not get much of that other than the portion of the Nirvana song that was in the end credits.
Overall Second Son is the first must own title for the PS4 and if you don’t purchase the copy then your library is sorely lacking the fire power it needs. I hand Second Son a glorious 9.6 out of 10.