Infamous – 2nd Son, A conduit of mediocricy -UPDATED-

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2nd Son is a grafically impressive game, eventhough a large amount of clipping errors do put a chink in to the armor. The powers look really great, especially neon is very flashy. Every other aspect of Infamous 2nd Son falls in to mediocricy.

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The story of 2nd Son has elements that seem interessting at the start, but fall flat after one or two missions. The acting of Del and his brother is the only highlight. The repetetiveness of the game is noticeable as soon as you leave the starting area. Do a few side missions free up an area of the map from the D.U.P., rinse and repeat. Seattle itself is designed without any real differentiating factors, bar the Needle, in each area. The original Infamous did a better job of having a diverse grafical look.

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Traversal is a big feature of the Infamous series as well as other big current franchises. We have seen traversing a City landscape work much smoother in recent memory in Batman – Arkham Origins or AC4 – Black Flag. It looks and feels very janky in 2nd Son. The character does not always grab on to ledges and sometimes gets stuck on objects. The kung-fu crane landing animation looks very silly and is often the reason for getting stuck.

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One would imagine the fighting system would be cool and thoughtout in a game with a main focus on that system. The fights turn out to be boring and always following the same patter, storm in, do damage, get out and wait to heal. The AI of the enemies is also lacking and just giving them more armor and weapons, which change the look, brings old school enemy design with different colors for differentiation to mind. The boss encounters are not much different. Another minus is that powers cannot be switched on the fly.

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If we look back what pedigree of open world sandbox games have come out just in the last few months, we find games like Batman – AO, AC4 and Lego – Marvel. And all these games deliver much more on what one is expecting and are plain and simple more fun to play.

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Infamous 2nd Son was set to be a system seller, seeing that is a Playstation 4 exclusiv, but it fails to even get the status of a primary game. If you are looking for a 2nd game, that you can pop in once in a while, while playing mainly another game, then 2nd Son might be for you, otherwise renting the game is advised.

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-UPDATE-
The Paper Trail DLC
The first batch of DLC for 2nd Son adds layers of gameplay that enhance the experience by a mile. The interconnection of console and web browser gameplay and the way it is executed are things that all of the big franchises can learn from.

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The story is interesting and gives the player insight in to what goes on behind the curtain of the main plot and established universe. The puzzles on http://www.infamouspapertrail.com are challenging, but if you have a little private eye in you, you will be able to put two and two together and progress further.

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I played most of the web browser based puzzles on my iPad and was pleasantly surprised by how well it works. Only one puzzle had to be done on a PC, because the controls weren’t optimised for touchscreen control.

Paper Trail shows us where the future of gaming is heading and that future seems very interesting and packed full fun new ways to play games.

Original score 7.1/10
Including the PaperTrail DLC 8.9/10

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