When I first heard that Infamous: Second Son was announced, I knew it had big shoes to fill. While it doesn't live up to the standard of it's predecessor, it still does one hell of a job making me enjoy every second of it.
Infamous 2 was my favourite game of last-gen, and without going into too much detail as to why, I'll put it simply like this; it is the best open-world superhero game out there. I was almost positive that Second Son wouldn't live up to it, but that didn't matter. Sucker Punch could've made it half as good as Infamous 2 and I still probably would have loved it. That said, it's more like...95.6% as good.
If anyone wants to know where the 'next-gen' truly is, it's right here.
I'll try my best to avoid them, but there might be small spoilers for both 2 and Second Son.
Infamous: Second Son takes place 7 years after the events of Infamous 2, where there are now fewer numbers of conduits(the people with the powers). Those that are still around are gathered up and locked away by a government agency called the DUP. Delsin Rowe is a Native-American small town delinquent who, one fateful day, discovers he is a conduit too, and it's up to him to save his tribe. It's a lot easier said than done, and him and his brother are forced to enter Seattle, which is in lockdown by the DUP, to get what he needs to save them.
The Graphics & Animation
Along with Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Killzone Shadow Fall, Infamous: Second Son is the best looking game out there. I couldn't get over how beautiful Seattle was. Seriously, take a look at it.
Sucker Punch decided to go against a day & night cycle in favour of using dynamic settings in order to make the game look as good as they can. It was a very smart choice. Everything about his game is beautiful, especially when absorbing from a source to charge your powers. It is a sight to behold.
I was amazed by the animation. There is one scene where Delsin's brother is chewing gum. I couldn't get over how well it was done. While Second Son is a beautiful game throughout, it was the little things that really did it for me.
Delsin and Reggie
Both were done brilliantly, in every way. Their relationship is one of the most believable ones in all of gaming. I related very well with this relationship, with me being the younger brother. They were superbly written, they bicker, they worry about each other, they be smartass's to each other and at they end of the day, they are the best example of a brotherly relationship in gaming.
I'll only touch on the two known powers, to avoid spoilers. But I will say this, you won't see one of the other powers coming.
When I first heard that smoke and neon would be the two of the new powers, I had no idea how they would be implemented. Of course they'd be used just like Cole's electricity, but just how does one use smoke and neon? Apparently really well. They both are done in a similar fashion to electricity from the first two games. You can shoot "bullets" from your hand, grenades, missiles and your melee is a metal chain imbued with your powers. Each power also has a karmic finishing move, all with the same aim of wiping out every human in the immediate area. They look incredible too, I always get one ready before heading in to my next big battle. Each power also has a move that helps with traversing the city. Smoke lets you shoot up pipes to the top of buildings and neon lets you run a high speeds and even up walls. Traversing the city has never been as fun. It's quick, it's simple and they're a great way of exploring the city.
Troy Baker has done it again. He manages to convey every emotion Delsin has with ease. There is one scene with a certain boss battle that I personally think is some of his best work yet. Every other character also had superb voice acting, especially Reggie and Augustine, the antagonist. Each voice actor puts in so much emotion to these characters they all felt real. You can hear the worry in Reggie's voice, you can hear the confidence in Augustine's voice, you can hear the sarcasm infused cheekiness that is Delsin Rowe.
Simply put, they were all underused. Each of them appear for about 3 missions based around them and then after that they disappear until the final hour or so of the game. Fetch and Eugene could have been so much better, both with fantastic background stories and both different from Delsin. I felt it would've have made the story so much better if we could have at least hear each of the side characters perception of the world around them and how they've been dealing with being constantly hunted by the DUP
Karma Is Still In Black And White
You can either be good or bad. There is an in between but why the heck would you do that? There are a few missions that make you choose between a good option or an evil one. It's a little disappointing that there is no in between, no anti-hero. Let's be honest, if I was Delsin, I doubt I'd be 100% paragon, and I'd doubt I'd be 100% renegade. I'd do things that would suit me. While you can do a mixture of good or bad decisions, there are no rewards for doing so. I was hoping this was something Sucker Punch would fix in Second Son. They did not. That makes me sad.
The City Felt Imbalanced
This seemed to be a problem that many reviewers had too. I've never been to Seattle, I have no idea of it's current population, but I'm fairly sure the game isn't representative of it. While there are plenty of DUP and other bad guys about, there were parts of the city completely devoid of life. In other places there were clusters of people, which made me wonder why they couldn't have been spread out throughout the city. Sure it may make sense due to the city being on lockdown, but Empire City was full blown apocalyptic and it was full of life.
For every small flaw Second Son has, there are ten blessings which make the game great. In my opinion, this is the first must have game for the PS4. It's not just a new coat of paint, it's bigger in every way, and while that's not always a good thing, Infamous: Second Son is the best reason to own a PS4 at the minute.
EDIT: According to Word, this review was originally around 10 pages long, since no one would want to read that, this has been edited down greatly, so some of this may appear incoherent or just plain stupid. I apologise in advance.