What's the story ?
Freedom or safety? That's Second Son's core question. When Delsin Rowe, a counter-culture slacker and perfect foil to his cop brother Reggie, accidentally gains elemental abilities, the warring siblings are drawn into a conflict between a group of superpowered "Conduits" and an oppressive government agency regulating their abilities and liberty.
GameplayDespite varied powers – the unlikely assortment of smoke, neon, video and concrete replace the mere electricity of previous inFAMOUS games – Second Son feels broadly familiar. Free-running and melee combat remain central, though Delsin's skills prove more versatile in navigating the Seattle setting. Scant features using the PS4 controller's motion and touch capabilities don't add much, unfortunately.
Highs and lows
One of the first PS4 games to tap the console's potential, Second Son looks astounding, with a vast world to explore. Voice acting is also superb. Animation doesn't always match raw visuals, with Delsin floating up, rather than climbing, buildings. The series' moral choices – determining unlockable powers and plot elements – also remain disappointingly simplistic.
Efforts to move the series forward centre more on narrative and characterisation than gameplay, but the strength of Delsin and Reggie's relationship makes it work. Even though the final package feels like a tweak rather than generational improvement, it's a hell of a lot of fun, and that can't easily be faulted.
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