There’s a stark duality at the heart of the Infamous series. The original Infamous was built on a solid foundation, putting players in the role of a modern-day superhero with a repertoire that expanded gameplay in satisfying, meaningful ways throughout its campaign. Its sequel boasted a number of improvements, but its mechanics weren’t always explored to their fullest potential.
Playing through InFamous 2 recently reminded me of the series’ darker half. Though its upgradable superpowers were impressive and its parkour mechanics were fun, its story missions frequently came up short. Throughout the campaign, protagonist Cole MacGrath was too often saddled with repetitive arena fights and escort missions — a poor fit for a man who can shoot lightning from his fingertips.
Infamous: Second Son emphasizes the series’ strengths in its debut appearance on the PlayStation 4, easily trumping previous Infamous games while showcasing the power of Sony’s latest console. In the process, it drastically overhauls the series’ defining elements, stripping away the weaker parts and focusing on what works best. If you found previous Infamous games more frustrating than fun, Second Son‘s gleefully destructive superheroics will win you over as a fan.