inFamous: Second Son was among the first PlayStation 4 titles announced back at the platform’s reveal in February of 2013. Many of the other games—such as Killzone: Shadow Fall and Knack—have since released, while inFamous: Second Son spent extra time at Sucker Punch getting plenty of attention to ensure the franchise’s next generation debut is the one fans deserve. Almost a year after its announcement, Sony let press go hands-on with inFamous: Second Son at a preview event this week, where we got to take Delsin Rowe’s new Neon and Smoke powers for a spin.
inFamous and inFamous 2, while visually respectable, are not remembered as graphical powerhouses that pushed the PlayStation 3 to its limits. But that’s changed with inFamous: Second Son—it’s too early to be pushing limits of a new, next-gen console, but the game is certainly more visually striking and just as impressive, if not more so, than PS4’s current visual showpiece, Killzone: Shadow Fall.
The draw distance on the massive city of Seattle is breathtaking, spanning what appears to be miles of towering buildings for Delsin to deftly traverse using the lightning-fast Neon powers. It’s Seattle, so rain falls often, almost constantly, and highly realistic, reflective puddles line the streets, pooling in a natural fashion. The weather and bustling city streets make for a perfect backdrop for inFamous: Second Son’s open world gameplay and rooftop-to-rooftop navigation.
In addition to street lamps, big-city neon signs, and car headlights, the active civilian population brings the city to life while furthering the strategic series-staple karma system. Not only must you make difficult choices at pivotal moments that can alter the storyline and augment gameplay, but in a heavily populated area fighting against the Department of Unified Protection, you have to use a precise and cautious trigger finger to insure no civilians are harmed to keep your “good” karma intact.
Unless you’re a “bad” guy at heart, then use Delsin’s entire arsenal of swift Neon powers in combination with the close-range power of Smoke powers to decimate everything standing in your path.
In this particular hands-on build, Delsin comes across a female conduit named Fetch. According to how you want to experience the game, Delsin can vouch for Fetch and reel in her abilities to use them for the sake of good, or he can choose to corrupt her and harness her destructive power. Depending on which path you choose, the storyline changes significantly and how you approach each scenario differs. For example, turning Fetch “good” led to her and Delsin blowing up house boats full of drugs, while the “evil” route led to a path of destruction and a huge underground tunnel firefight against the D.U.P. with many civilian casualties.
The build ended after a massive D.U.P. battle with a dramatic finish as Delsin unleashes a supercharged attack that’s so over-the-top, so powerful, Sucker Punch asked us not to describe it to leave some shock value for fans. And just as our build ended leaving us hanging, wanting more, that’s how we’ll close this preview too.
inFamous: Second Son is explosive and electrifying open-world action, arriving March 21st on the PS4.