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Critics Say Second Son Plays Too Much Like...inFamous?

Some reviews are already in for inFamous: Second Son and as I predicted, it's not exactly scoring off the charts.

These games have never dragged down high scores from critics (for one reason or another) but this time, the reason is just infuriating. Basically, as far as I can tell, the critics that are giving the game a 3/5 or a 7/10 are saying Second Son doesn't really do anything new, and it really just feels...like inFamous.

Of course, they mean that in a negative way, in that the new title feels too much like past entries and yeah, we're in a new generation of gaming. However, what always gets me is this: All we ever hear from gamers these days, especially older veteran gamers, is how their favorite franchise "isn't what it once was." They complain about how it changed, about how it just "doesn't feel the same." So now, we've got critics docking games for doing precisely what the fans want...?

Look, I'm all for innovation and creativity. I really am. Without fresh ideas, everything stagnates; that much is obvious. But there's a fine line to walk: You can't go and change everything about a new franchise entry, because it ceases to appeal to the fans you've already earned. You'll see my review in a few days but I can say that Second Son is exactly what the fans desire; it's inFamous 2 with more powers and much more in the way of environmental destruction. Now, I could've sworn that that's what series fans wanted. I could've sworn I wanted to play a new inFamous, not a game that barely retains any semblance of previous iterations.

This is the kind of reaction from my fellow critics that just drives me nuts.

Related Game(s): inFamous: Second Son

Tags: infamous second son, infamous sequel, infamous ps4, infamous reviews

3/20/2014 10:25:55 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (55 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 10:56:55 PM
Reply

The negative things I've seen deal with two things. The dislike for the main character and yet again not much depth to the karma system. I hated Squall (and still do) but it didn't ruin VIII for me.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:06:07 PM

Squall is awesome. You sir, are not quite awesome. Good day sir.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:07:26 PM

You're just upset I sent you a wonderful msg on the PSN about FFX. Squall is the biggest pussy in the history of gaming.

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 5:00:03 AM

I think Squall is one of the best developed characters in the series. If anything the main problem with Final Fantasy VIII is that Squall gets too much attention while the other characters are too shallow. I mean after the Dollet mission Quistis has no real purpose, the same with Irvine after the assassination mission.

However, Squalls development through the game made this all worth while, the way they explore his reasoning for being distant was just superb and it's great to see him adjust as you progress the game.

Though I know personally if I dislike a main character, I can be put off, Bayonetta springs to mind from a game this gen, the gameplay is fantastic but the characters and story were just so off putting.

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xenris
Saturday, March 22, 2014 @ 4:57:40 PM

I agree with LV, I hate Squall. He isn't as bad as Lightning though she takes the cake for the worst Final Fantasy ... no dare I say character I have ever had to watch.

Vivi, not starting an argument or anything but could you list some of the ways he develops? I feel like he was just a cry baby emo most of the game. I really liked Zell as I related to him more. But Squall was just ugh.. I dunno, even at the end of the game I still felt like he was quiet.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 10:59:31 PM
Reply

Oh and FYI FFX HD plays way too much like FFX ;)

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DIsmael85
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:01:27 AM

Lol, I love that. :D

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Gaming Prodigy
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 7:27:10 AM

^^lol

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telly
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 11:37:12 AM

ha

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Bromus398
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:04:00 PM
Reply

The negatives on the gameplay were a bit confusing to me -- that the game doesn't feel Next-Gen enough control-wise. Which brings up the question... WTF is "Next-Gen" gameplay control? I can't say I've seen it on either new gen console so I feel as though I'm completely amiss as to what they would have preferred? To just play a different game? I do have to say that most of the reviewers who were fans of the old games seemed to really enjoy this one.

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:12:12 PM

I feel with each new generation of gaming critics are still expecting to be wowed like Mario64 did way back in the 90s. New technology doesn't always translate to some huge jump in gameplay. I think it's incredibly unfair to those that create these wonderful games, especially the games early in a console's life-cycle. If this game plays like Infamous I'll be ecstatic. My biggest complaint from last generation was the entire FFXIII series. It felt nothing like a Final Fantasy (for the most part). Different isn't always better.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:09:22 PM
Reply

I wonder if that means there's nothing new in the mechanic, because I kind of doubt that since the guy works differently from Cole and his powers.

But hey those scores tell me I made the right choice, those are very good and for fans of inFamous it will probably register as even better. It's almost like the cult Sony exclusive to love.

I get the feeling I will see more in this than them.

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matt99
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:04:26 AM

Oh I've been playing for a little while now and I am LOVING it, if you're an infamous fan you will not be disappointed.

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Oxvial
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:12:06 PM
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I didn't enjoy much Infamous 2 compared with the first one, but gameplay wasn't the reason it was the plot :(... lately I don't agree with the majority of reviewers (I enjoyed CLOS2, disliked Titanfall and only youtube'd MGSGZ).. I'm not spoiling myself much with InFamous Second Son but I know some people wanted the city to be more interactive, something the franchise probably lacks and maybe those reviewers found that unacceptable on a next gen game.

Last edited by Oxvial on 3/20/2014 11:12:33 PM

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RobN
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:12:12 PM
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I've seen reviews like that - for other franchises, too - and they bug me. If you don't want an Infamous game, go play something else, but don't diss a sequel for being true to its franchise.

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Lone Wanderer
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:18:35 PM
Reply

Reviewers are out of touch and their reviews are all biased and contradictory period. In other related bs news, two guys from MS said that based on a study story doesnt matter in games. I know right? I dont need to explain why that is 100% false and why they're lunatics for thinking so.Riot Games narrative lead Tom Abernathy and MS studios design lead Richard Rouse III said plot narrative is highly overrated on an IGN news blog. I swear MS is putting dumbasses in video game development to corrupt and mar the industry to dumb it down for the masses so they can get all the consumers to flock to them.
If thats even remotely the case... then "Verrò per loro. Avrò la mia vendetta e pregherò per la morte prima che arrivi!"

Last edited by Lone Wanderer on 3/20/2014 11:33:16 PM

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LimitedVertigo
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:23:46 PM

Sadly I'd say there are plenty of people that agree with them. Just look at how many games are MP driven. Take any form of media and you'll find the ones with the most depth and intellectual value tend to sell the lowest. Just be glad you're not one of the mindless people.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:15:00 AM

"Reviewers are out of touch and their reviews are all biased and contradictory period."

That's not even remotely close to accurate. Not to mention exceedingly insulting.

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matt99
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:14:44 AM

Reviewers aren't out of touch, it's just like any other profession there are good ones and bad ones. And Ben is right, it is quite insulting to paint them all with one brush. Also there is always going to be a subjective element to any review for any type of entertainment so it's no surprise reviewers are going to contradict one another.
I'd suggest finding a reviewer whose reviews tend to match what you believe the game should get. That's why I weigh Ben's reviews more heavily than others when I'm deciding if I should buy a game, the score he gives is almost always in line with what I think the game should get.

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SaiyanSempai
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 11:54:17 PM
Reply

It's sad that there are some people out there that won't be happy no matter what you give them...

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DIsmael85
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:02:12 AM

So true!

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Knightzane
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:05:03 AM
Reply

And titanfall plays like...every shooter ever made.

Started up MGSV and well, it plays too much like MGS4 so I'm going to rate it 5/10 for being the same cause it didn't play well or worked well before, and the fact its still bad is bad. Also cause graphics aren't leik call of duty.

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Lawless SXE
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:30:16 AM
Reply

Yeah, that bugs me too. I grant that the morality system is far too simplistic in the first games (and from what I gather it's largely unchanged in SS), but aside from that the games are pure fun. The gameplay vids made it pretty clear that SS is inFamous through and through, so I really don't understand why the critics are criticising it so much for that. I can understand the complaints if no changes have been made to the suite of mechanics, but the new traversal options granted by neon and smoke put paid to that anyway. I don't know about the combat though, but it does seem pretty similar to what we've already seen.

I can understand wanting a revolution, but I can't understand docking a game for being better and having more options, but still playing largely the same. I mean, at least it does have more options (unlike some series that are almost literally reskins and still get a free pass).

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pavlovic
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:35:00 AM
Reply

It is amazing to read all this "lack of innovation" bs.

And it is wonderful because I know I'll play some real inFamous.

I read only a couple of reviews... and one of them is Ben's

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daus26
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:37:40 AM
Reply

Is there more to it? Are they docking it that much for that sole reason? That wouldn't be very fair. My goodness, so many games comes to mind that hasn't change much.

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cLoudou
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:42:22 AM
Reply

*Shrugs*

I don't really give a damn if it plays like past games, they were effing awesome. Pretty sure every other shooter gets less flak for being more of the same.

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kraygen
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 1:03:28 AM
Reply

That is one of my pet peeves of many sights that drove me to finding psx and is why I spend so much time on this site as opposed to others.

Truth is, if Second Son wasn't like Infamous 1 & 2 I'd be horribly disappointed and would feel betrayed.

Score the game however you like, if it's an improved version of 2, I'll be psyched.

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Beamboom
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 2:15:35 AM
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I've not yet played Second Son, but I gotta say I think I know what they are talking about - and I have been worried about this.

Thing is, Infamous isn't deep enough to be able to keep going with the "same old" for too long (according to my opinion, obviously). It doesn't have the replayability of a multiplayer game, nor the depth/mechanics to keep it interesting for iteration after iteration.

To be honest I already felt this in the second game. I had already thrown so many lightnings in the first game that quite frankly I'd had enough. The weapons are relatively few and the AI is just plain dumb so the fights became very much a rinse-and-repeat practise. Sure, there were some new stuff, but they were few and mostly minor or cosmetic.

Of course, this is where gamers will be separated between those who just loves exactly what Infamous delivers and those who would like to see something built and expanded upon the foundation created in the first games.

I definitely belong to that latter group. It's not a question of making "a game that barely retains any semblance of previous iterations", but making a game that takes things to the next level and deliver stuff I didn't get to do in those other two games - not just "more of the same" cause I've played that for many hours already.

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/21/2014 6:04:54 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 11:05:39 AM

It's hardly more of the same, Beamboom. It's actually exactly what you want: It's bigger, more environmental interaction, better AI, way more powers (you mention always throwing lightning; there's a LOT more to throw in Second Son), etc.

It just plays like inFamous at its core, which it's supposed to do.

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Beamboom
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 1:40:05 PM

That is great to hear. Like I said, I've not played the game yet. I look forward to play it - it'll obviously be one of the first games I purchase when I get me a PS4.

By the way, Infamous is not the only franchise I worry about this, far from it. I got the exact same concerns regarding Borderlands. Borderlands has that same "shallow" core (not meant negatively, it's just how it is - and I *love* Borderlands). They really, really need to come up with some great ideas to expand the formula for Borderlands 3.

Another good example of being "too much of the same" is Saints Row 3 and 4 after that again. That was such a letdown after SR2. Everything they *should* improve remained basically the same, they only did it more wacky.
Cheap!


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/21/2014 1:42:15 PM

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sawao_yamanaka
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 5:05:37 PM

Well beamboom, infamous two had other powers. It wasn't just throwing lightning. There was ice and fire, they changed up the mechanics and made it interesting. The story is about as good as any comic book out there and I welcome that.

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Beamboom
Saturday, March 22, 2014 @ 9:07:29 AM

Sawao,
A couple of new powers just isn't gonna warrant a sequel on this kind of game. That's something to put in a DLC.

Look at how Rockstar does things. Although GTA always have been GTA and maintain the core elements of the game throughout, each new GTA is not just a "bigger and better version of the former".

Every single GTA has their own very distinct identity, each iteration has *something* that significantly differ them from the rest; Being it time period, characters, ingame features, micro management, every game are very much unique.

That's how to do it properly.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/22/2014 9:16:58 AM

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Draguss
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 3:02:18 AM
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That kind of thinking is in large part responsible for the major decrease in games with turn-based combat.

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Underdog15
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:12:25 AM

It is, but I both agree and disagree with the sentiment.

None of these games should have to reinvent the wheel. An inFamous game should feel like inFamous. And a turn based jrpg like FF should fee like FF.

In that sense, I agree that they, in many ways, should remain the "same". However, I think in both cases, there is opportunity to change and develop within its confines. The turn based mechanic could change and evolve in so many ways, and there are still chances for innovation. inFamous is the same. It should play like one and feel like one, but they should develop and innovate within that structure enough that it is both familiar and feels new.

I don't know if they accomplished that or not, but that is what I look for.

What they should NOT be encouraged to do, is look to completely reinvent. And I'm worried a steady diet of that kind of review will encourage them to do so in the same way the Square Enix has done.

The confusing part for a lot of publishers/developers is when they see reviews like the SS reviews, then they see the comparison between the FFX hd remake and Lightning Returns. I think many of us get it, but for some reason, the big wigs that make decisions (that often are not gamers, but simply businessmen) don't.

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Gabriel013
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 3:39:12 AM
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This is interesting because it seems that there is confusion over whether sequels should remain true to the previous titles in design and gameplay or they should differ.

Just a few examples.
CoD All: Very much the same, gamers complain
Infamous 1-3: Very much the same, gamers happy
Dragon Age 1-2: Very much different, gamers complain.

And I can't recall a title which is very different to those preceding it which gamers are happy with, I expect examples exist though.

Each individual gamer knows what they want from their franchise and I wonder if it comes down to those who think a game is "ok" want the biggest change in style/gameplay and those who love a game want future releases to remain very much the same.

DA is a good example. Lovers of DAO were horrified at the changes in DA2, however there were many gamers who disliked the pacing and text conversation system and were therefore happy with the changes in DA2. Personally I liked both for different reasons so I could just be really easily pleased :)

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Beamboom
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 4:16:39 AM

I believe your three examples just proves that there are no universal rule on this subject: Some franchises *need* to evolve to warrant a sequel, others don't.

In regards to Dragon Age I'm with you, I enjoyed both as well. Although the first were clearly best, and had the by far highest replayability (loved the three different beginnings!).

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 11:08:03 AM

One thing to bear in mind:

Very often, those who you see complaining about CoD online are NOT fans. They're people who either A. don't like shooters in general, or B. accuse CoD of "ruining the industry." It's not so much the fans that are complaining, although there were definitely more after Ghosts.

The casuals are fine and will always be fine with CoD.

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Beamboom
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 1:45:21 PM

Very good point about COD, although I think that franchise is more to be considered an "e-sport game" than a "regular" game, and thus other factors comes into play.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/21/2014 1:48:34 PM

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___________
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 4:57:17 AM
Reply

wrong!
people are complaining because its a ps4 title, and it just does not feel like so.
whats the point bringing a franchise to a significantly more powerful system if your not going to take advantage of that?
people are complaining about this for the same reason why there complaining about every other "next gen" game, and is the same reason why allot of people havent taken the dive yet.
everyone was really expecting this to be the game that made them go wow, now this is what next gen is.
and it just dosnt, so of course there going to be complaining about it!

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DIsmael85
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 7:10:17 AM

What makes a game next gen? Please explain this. I've been playing PC games as well and the graphics have always been leaps and bounds above consoles. This is the first time a console has had the ability to output graphics in this way, that's why they are calling it next gen. What control scheme or game mechanic would truly make a game feel next gen. I am so confused by this. For this reason alone is why I consider gamers these days so jaded and spoiled. Prime example is with folks calling out this game for not being next gen, however, you get games like Titanfall and Battlefield 4 being considered great next gen experiences. So confused.

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Underdog15
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:05:33 AM

It looks "next gen" to me. Developers aren't instantly going to discover new ways to code. As is the case with every generation, you aren't going to see the full potential being used until the second half of the life cycle.

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Beamboom
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:46:05 AM

I agree with Underdog, I think it looks next gen as well, this early in the cycle. That game, judging from the videos, could clearly not have run on the PS3. That makes it per def next gen.

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___________
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:48:37 AM

it looks ok, nothing amazing though.
but thats not the problem the problem is it just feels like a ps3 game with a shinny coat of paint.
next gen games are suppose to offer you something they couldent of done on last gen systems and not just graphics wise.
resistance a perfect example it was probably the ugliest launch ps3 title, but it offered something so different and new that we had never seen before and thats why it was so popular even years after launch!
this, well, come a few months time people will have forgotten it.
everything so far this gen has been there done that yawn, and after 7 freaking years of been there done that we seriously need a freaking shakeup!
after all that was the whole point of releasing new consoles, to give us new engaging experiences previous systems could only have dreamed of!

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DIsmael85
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 10:44:52 AM

Resistance didn't offer anything new. It was an FPS just like all FPS before it. The only thing going for Resistance was its story and that died when they released 2. The whole argument you have about Infamous not being next gen still baffles me. Can you elaborate on what exactly would have made it more "next-gen"?

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telly
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 11:40:06 AM
Reply

Well, the reviewers I read, I read because I value their opinions. And literally all of them gave the game a solid 8 or higher, which is quite great. I can't wait to head home in a few hours to dig in! Though man, after the surprisingly awesome Ground Zeroes Second Son will have a tough act to follow...

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tes37
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 12:16:09 PM
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Oh no, the game I've been waiting on plays exactly like I expected.

Those particular game critics might want to consider less processed food in their diet. Your brain needs proper nutrition to function properly.

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PC_Max
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 1:28:18 PM
Reply

Well Assassins Creed for me is a perfect example where changing things, for me, made it worse. Maybe it was or is for many of us that we get use to a game mechanic for a series and when they change it we get frustrated because we have to figure it out all over again. AC 3 and up did that for me along with the fact it started not to feel like an AC game. For me anyway.

Won't be playing Second Son for a while, but unfortunately the game industry, games and systems/consoles has gotten back to the whole us vs them mentality as well as expectations for next gen maybe a little WAAAYYY to high.

Mind you, the criticism could be just weak excuses like everything else to just low score a series or genre one does not like to begin with or has been the case, paid to do so by competition. Its their job.

We got this last gen, its going to always be there, unfortunately. You go where you think the reviews are balanced. Thats why I come here to get a general idea which helps me with my purchase. I do not agree always with peoples assessments here, Ben might know this, but hey, debate of discussion helps me in my purchase decision. It helps, but does not determine outright.

The games looks great to me. I am an inFamous fan. It most likely has most of what I want in the game. When the day comes, I will buy and play it.

Keep playing, do your research, buy the games you want. Peace!

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bigrailer19
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 2:15:28 PM
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Sound like your using the same logic to defend infamous as I did when I was defending Knack. Weird.

Anyways, as long as it reminds me of inFamous you bet Ill be happy with it. Cant get it today, however ill be enjoying it next week for sure.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 3/21/2014 2:15:51 PM

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Crabba
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 6:05:05 PM
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Hm, I only checked IGN's review briefly and at least that review seems to be quite the opposite.

He says he likes that Second son is so different from the earlier games, and his complaints is mostly based on the story & the good/bad karma options. Then again, their 8.7 is probably one of the game's higher scores from what I've seen...

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PlatformGamerNZ
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 8:11:00 PM
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well it is infamous but it cud use something a lil new and fresh with the tried and true

happy gaming =)

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OtisFeelgood
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:12:45 PM
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The critics that make those kind of reviews are fools in my opinion. I've been playing Infamous Second Son for a few hours now and I think it's great(the main reason is it's similar to the first two).

Edit: I'm diggin the spray painting and Orbital Drop.

Last edited by OtisFeelgood on 3/21/2014 9:13:38 PM

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DIsmael85
Friday, March 21, 2014 @ 9:16:53 PM

Dude that spray paint thing is so awesome. I love the way you have to use the Dualshock 4 with it.

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xenris
Saturday, March 22, 2014 @ 5:07:59 PM
Reply

I hate when the critics rip on this game for being more of the same when games like AC4, Titanfall, Call of Duty etc are always more of the same.

Titanfall has a fancy coat of paint but people who know shooters, who play them a lot like I do can see that it is essentially CoD. It feels so similar but looks completely different which is why so many people think its the second coming of shooters. When really the mechs are just kill streaks and the gameplay is insanely casual with obtuse amounts of auto aim assist.

Bottom line, its a weird inconsistency I notice with game journalism. Its definitely getting better, but I dont like these double standards. One review will say oh Call of Duty retains that feel we love and we wouldn't have it any other way, then reviews review infamous and say man.. it feels too similar, 6\10.

I mean how different playing and feeling could they make a third person open world super hero game? Also from what I have seen the travel powers make moving around the city a breeze so is that not enough of a next gen change for them? Also the destruction? I dunno it bugs me but I'm obviously still going to pick up this game.

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DjStiv3
Sunday, March 23, 2014 @ 3:04:13 PM
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Ppl are fu**ing idiots im pretty into the game and it has soo many new things in it that just because its similar to the others.. its not enough to say its the same.
Everything is pretty simple in terms of how to navigate and where to go which is greatly appreciated in an open world game. And i remember i was a bit confused in the first.
Anyway it seems like its a combo of infamous and festival of blood with a bunch of new perks and things to do. (I say FoB too be ause you can dash and dissappear and i recall doing so in FoB as well disappearing as bats and reappearing)
Anyway it is very creative and new and remote play isnt too bad either its quite interesting however they didnt fully implament the spray can feature you still tilt the vita to its side but then the artwork just appears instead of you doing it yourself. I mean it would have been possible to do this on vita too it has sixaxis and gyro rite? Oh well i do hope SP is working on a new vita specific title.

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Caanimal
Monday, March 24, 2014 @ 6:59:59 PM
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From what I've seen people are either "Whaaaa This is too much like the previous game from the franchise" or "whaaaa This is too different, why is this even called (enter franchise name here), this is nothing like the other games!"... There is just no pleasing everybody, that is for sure.

Personally I'm loving the game, it's quite fun.

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Our Poll

Did Destiny live up to your expectations?
Yes it did and then some!
Not quite but it's still great.
No, it's only okay.
Not at all; it's a huge disappointment.

Previous Poll Results