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Hands On With inFamous: Second Son's Neon Lights And Smoke Filled Fights

From the ashes...

Delsin clearly doesn’t have a particularly easy time of it, even though he’s got super powers and abilities coming out of his ears. Sitting down to play through a fairly short demo, one which has admittedly been doing the rounds for a while, it was great to see just how everything really comes together, even as just a sneak peak of what it will ultimately entail.

It all goes wrong when Delsin tries to pass through a DUP checkpoint, using the touchpad to get you to provide a finger print scan that sets the alarm bells ringing and starts the carnage, as your brother disappears off on a separate mission.

The close up of Delsin’s face during the cinematic is just one moment that shows off the remarkable graphics that are coming out of the PS4. Not just being able to capture the minutiae of Troy Baker’s quirky, roguish performance, but render it with startling precision, in a version of Seattle which is packed full of stunning detail.


Civilians scatter and the DUP forces fall back to a more defensible position, as I chase after them. It’s quite a miserable day in Seattle, with fairly low hanging clouds and a light drizzle, but there’s also a lot of vibrant colours that pop out at you.

There’s a lot of neon lights, which we’ll come back to, while the DUP in particular are easily highlighted by the yellows of their armour, making them easy to pick out and target. Combat should feel fairly familiar to those who have played the first two inFamous games, but it’s greatly streamlined and faster paced.

You no longer need to hold down a button to aim before firing, with a crosshair always visible on screen, but Delsin’s powers afford him a lot more flexibility. Exploding into a dense cloud of smoke, ash and fire, he can leap forward very quickly, closing the gap to an enemy before slicing through the air with a glowing hot chain, or he can pass through vents on the ground floor, before shooting out of the top of a building and gliding across to come smashing down to the ground in a blast of ash.

Things get even more interesting when you add the neon-based powers into the mix. Don’t ask me how “neon” can be a super power, but it seems to work well for Delsin, replacing his smoke abilities until he next absorbs that element. This one point lays the foundations for some intriguing situations deeper into the game, where you are starved of the element that you really want, pushing you out of your comfort zone.


Of the neon abilities themselves, they differ from the smoke by not having a dedicated melee attack, with an emphasis on the ranged and what seems to be an increased level of mobility with longer dashes which allow you to perform slams more easily, leaving beautiful light trails behind you. Again, it points towards Sucker Punch playing around with giving you different skill sets to play with and more variety.

However, regardless of the powers, it simply wouldn’t be a particularly challenging super powered game without enemies that could go toe to toe with you. Thankfully, though the DUP acronym screams ineptitude to me, they don’t go down without a fight.

One or two hits and they’re out for the count, granted, but they’re not enemies without a little nous, and bring their own powers to the table. It surprised me, but I found large flaming balls being hurled my way, and they were able to leap large distances, leaving columns of ash in their wake. Are the DUP turning a form of Delsin’s powers against him?

Either way, I got a look at what happens when you take too much damage, as the largely HUD-free screen drained of colour and I had to retreat and let my health recharge.

Their emplacements are dotted around the city, and mark some of the more destructible elements in the game, with towers that can be smashed to the floor, making further use of the game’s physics engine, as well as the ultimate objective of the demo: a mobile command centre to take down.


Breaking this, fighting through tons of DUP goons in the process before engaging in another moment of touchpad interaction to overheat the generator led to the end game moment. A minigun wielding soldier rocking up to the battle, to show that the DUP really mean business and aren’t exactly the most pleasant of government agencies, and letting me use that simply spectacular Karmic Power, rocketing up into the sky, before crashing back down to ground and unleashing hell upon everyone underneath.

From just a short demo, there was a lot to take in, whether it’s the utterly gorgeous setting and graphics, the way the powers contrast with one another and stay separate or the fleeting glimpses of what else to come. As a big fan of the first two, I can’t wait to see what else Sucker Punch have in store.

  1. ringten
    Since: Mar 2012

    nicely written :) I can sense a lot of enthusiasm. Hope it lives up to the hype

    Comment posted on 22/01/2014 at 17:52.
  2. Cron_13
    Since: Sep 2013

    Its funny how when Second Son was previewed along with the likes of Drive Club, Watchdogs etc I wasn’t that fussed about it. Now all these months later, apart from The Division this is my most anticipated game on the PS4.

    It looks brilliant and I want it even more after reading this article :/ Hurry up March!

    Comment posted on 22/01/2014 at 18:07.
  3. Steelhead
    Since: Oct 2013

    One of the games that makes me want to rush out and buy a PS4 right now. Damn floods destroying my home and costing me money!!!

    Comment posted on 22/01/2014 at 18:52.
    • RudeAwakening
      Since: Jan 2011

      Shit man, sorry to hear that. I hope the damage wasn’t extensive. :(

      Comment posted on 22/01/2014 at 22:22.
      • Steelhead
        Since: Oct 2013

        Still gaming, that’s the main thing.

        Comment posted on 23/01/2014 at 17:02.
    • scavenga
      Since: Jul 2009

      That’s awful, hope it gets sorted.
      I sympathize as I lived in temporary accommodations due to water damage 2 times last year, for more than 8 months total, and I’m moving back in next week.
      It wasn’t as dramatic as a flood though. Good luck!

      Comment posted on 23/01/2014 at 10:32.
  4. DividSmythe
    Since: May 2012

    This is going to be a great game. I can’t wait.

    Comment posted on 22/01/2014 at 19:42.
  5. Lieutenant Fatman
    Since: Jul 2013

    Really looking fotward to this, have a feeling this is going to be a system seller. First triple A exclusive PS4 game I believe and looking all the better for it too.

    Comment posted on 22/01/2014 at 22:51.
    • Severn2j
      Since: Aug 2008

      Apart from Killzone: Shadow Fall.. But yeah, really looking for to this as well.

      Comment posted on 23/01/2014 at 11:08.
  6. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Day one. Love the previous 3. Really can’t wait :-)

    Comment posted on 22/01/2014 at 23:02.
  7. SamBeThyName
    Since: Sep 2013

    I wish they had managed to make this a launch title. I don’t have a PS4 yet cos I can’t justify the spend when they’re doesn’t really seem to be anything to play, and I’ve got such a huge back log of PS+ games to get through. But I’m getting a free one next month with a phone upgrade. Good Times.

    Comment posted on 23/01/2014 at 10:09.
  8. scavenga
    Since: Jul 2009

    Been playing the first two in preparation for Second Son, have had them lying around for ages, but I’m enjoying them very much, despite the occasional same-ey missions.
    Makes me regret not getting Festival Of Blood while it was on sale a while back.

    Comment posted on 23/01/2014 at 10:36.
  9. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008


    Comment posted on 23/01/2014 at 12:16.
    • Hobbes130
      Since: Jun 2009

      I agree. It’s youth culture propaganda. Like we don’t have enough reasons to fear youngsters in hoodies and beanie hats down the shopping centre. Now we have to worry that their super-charged mutants with smoke/neon powers….

      Comment posted on 23/01/2014 at 13:20.
  10. Kennykazey
    Since: Mar 2010

    This has been my most anticipated PS4 title since last February. I was sad to see it miss launch, but now it’s nearly upon us!

    The original Infamous was one of my first PS3 games, it’s nice to see this mirroring that.

    Comment posted on 23/01/2014 at 16:45.

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