inFamous: On Second Thought


inFAMOUS: Second Son is an interesting entry into the series. It’s the best for gameplay but the weakest for story (I am not including the stand alone DLC with Fetch) and it builds successfully upon Cole’s jaunts around the country blasting things to oblivion. Regardless of the laws though, Second Son is fun and the story picks up right when it needs to, which is refreshing.

I grow tired of games that put an emphasis on story too soon in the game, throw a bunch of mechanics at you, and expect you to feel anything but confusion and frustration. I don’t mind a slow build or nothing at all, doing mission after mission in which you the player get to practice your own way of playing, until ultimately you read an event that puts the past in perspective.

In the grand conversation of linear/non-linear, I think we focus too much on gameplay. Even an open world game can have a linear story line that leads you by the nose and doesn’t encourage you to explore or have fun, blowing shit up. Second Son does this very, very well. I found myself thinking, “why am I doing this? Oh, to find some guy? I just blew the shit out of these soldiers. Fucking awesome. Yeah. What am I doing again? Finding the guy over there? LOL sent some angel demons from my TV and blew them to smithereens. Tight. What? What am I doing? HOLY SHIT SHE IS SO COOL. Yeah, follow her. DO IT.”

I once told a friend of mine that Second Son had a weak story. It doesn’t. It’s there. It’s just told in a different sort of way. It knows you’re playing it for the rock solid game play in truly fantastic powers. So why bog you down with semantics? Have fun. Blow shit up. Because eventually, you’re going to hit a mission where the story kicks into over drive and will greatly shift depending on whether or not your a Hero or Infamous. And it will be at that point when it hits you like a lightning bolt as to what the story is all about: legacy.

Video games use that word a lot but rarely successfully implement it. “Build your legacy!” No, I’m just building things in a game which let me build things. Legacy is a buzzword now. “WHAT IS YOUR LEGACY?” “Saving the universe, but that is the point of this game. To save the Universe.” Even Skyrim. You can’t run away from being morally gray all of the time and there aren’t any real moments that change the way the world reacts to you unless you go extreme. It always feels like a Legacy as placebo and not owning its open-wordless pulpy-adventureness. (Also, how fun would it be if you just killed a Jarl and took over the hold? Screw this Thane bullshit, turn it into a Kingdom simulator!)

inFamous: Second Son’s karma system helps build your legacy. the world changes with you and reacts to you in much the same way the earlier entries do, but I never felt in the story it mattered. Whether or not you were a hero or a villain, the cinematic’s were mostly the same. No true for Second Son. Not true at all. I can’t go further than this because of massive massive spoilers, but all I will say is this is the very first game in which I went down the “Evil” path where I legitamately felt bad about my choices at the end.

Like, fuck. I still look at the game on my PS4 and I’m like, “if only I could erase everything I know about this and be a Hero. Would that still have happened?”

Damn, yo. Check this game out.


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