I liked the original Infamous (despite the wonky character animations and the campy story), and I really, really liked Infamous 2. It addressed all of its predecessor’s visual problems full-heartedly, and its story, while still campy, felt endearingly so. Frankly, I’m a sucker for tales of genuine bromance.
The most recent installment in the series didn’t exactly disappoint me. Yes, the side activities could have been a bit more engaging (I’m all for Banksy style stencil art, but pretending that my controller is a spray can and waggling it about for a few seconds doesn’t really a mission make). Also, I personally would have liked more challenge and did sort of miss the cover system. Still, Infamous : Second Son essentially delivered exactly what I had expected it to.
It is a solid Infamous sequel with absolutely astounding graphics: a comfortable, if not especially innovative, experience for the fans, and an excellent demonstration of next generation capabilities for the world at large. I mean, you really have to see it to believe it. At points, it felt as though the Patron Deity of Video was repeatedly punching me in the face with the full and awesome force of her magnificence. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Second Son’s story is decently written and, more importantly, extremely well acted. That Troy Baker has serious range. The game itself is a bundle of superhero fun, and I absolutely love the fact that you can, almost from the very beginning, take the baddies down without killing them, and that this proves to be a fun and challenging alternative to the standard slaughter-everybody playstyle.
In short, I really, really, really like Second Son. There is one thing, however, that bugs me, and just won’t stop bugging me. The karma system I’ve made my peace with. It is what it is. The uninspired side missions, and the fact that I am no longer being swarmed by baddies from every direction (something that I rather enjoyed about the earlier installments), only bother me enough for a quick grumble. The one thing in the game that really makes me uncomfortable (warning: feminist soapbox ready to deploy), the one thing that I truly found to be disappointing (in that it neither met nor exceeded my expectations), is the dialog spoken, in passing, by the randomly generated female denizens of Second Son’s virtual Seattle. Do bear with me here.