XXL’s Game Corner: Infamous Second Son Preview: Bright Lights, Bigger City

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Fans who played Infamous, and Infamous 2 remember Cole McGrath was the character that helped define the game on the PS3, but developer Sucker Punch decided to switch gears and introduce a new hero inside their sandbox adventure. Set in Seattle McGrath has been reduced to a memory as a new man takes center stage in Infamous: Second Son in Delsin Rowe. A risky move considering how iconic McGrath had become on the PS3, but Sucker Punch expressed a desire to give it’s Infamous series a new look as it was built from the ground up exclusively for the PS4.

Before taking the demo for a spin, I was impressed just by the visual quality of Second Son. Everything from the city’s sharp-edged, gorgeously textured buildings, to the nice mix of wide streets and interconnected rooftops to race across helped bring Seattle to life in very detailed fashion. The lighting and particle effects were truly incredible. Environmental reflections flicker off puddles of water in the street, neon projectiles pulse with an incandescent glow as they hurtled towards enemies making the power of the PS4 very evident. My demo kicked off with a trailer introducing me to Abigail “Fetch” Walker, a vigilante conduit wreaking havoc on Seattle’s drug dealers. Delsin and his brother Reggie manage to apprehend her, but it’s left to the player to jump in and decide her fate. If you want Seattle to crumble around you as you and the other Conduits rampage through the streets, you have that option. If you’d rather take a non-violent approach to the anti-Conduit soldiers, you can do that too. As with the rest of the Infamous series, Second Son is about choice and the decisions you make radically change your experience. The way Delsin handles is worth noting as the control is top notch. His animations transition so smoothly as he changes direction, and despite how quickly he moves, there’s never any type of clumsiness to his movements. Delsin is also equipped with multiple powers called Neon and Smoke. You can cycle between the powers by finding instances of each power source in the environment (storefront signage is the source which you can absorb into Neon and, chimneys and wrecked car engines provide you with Smoke) and tapping on the controller’s touchpad. Neon allows Delsin to shoot up the sides of buildings and fire heavy shots of brightly colored energy at enemies. When equipped with Smoke, you’ll have to find vents on the sides of buildings to reach the skyline quickly. Fighting with Smoke also gives Delsin the ability to shoot at a much faster rate, something you will need in the high intensity battles.

Infamous: Second Son is looking like a promising title for the PS4 and looks as if it will elevate the series in almost every way. It is due to hit stores on March 21st, so be sure to check back with XXL then for the full review.—Written by DJRhude (@DJRhude)