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InFamous Second Son review round-up: An American hero

All the verdicts in one place

Infamous Second Son reviews have started to go live ahead of the PS4 game's release date this Friday, March 21.

In our InFamous Second Son review, we said the title "sticks too close to the InFamous template, and skimps on the next-gen trimmings".

To give you a taste of what other critics thought, we've rounded up a number of review scores below, along with short excerpts from the verdicts. Interestingly, American critics seem to have warmed to the game more than their international counterparts.

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  • CVG: 7/10 - InFamous Second Son inherits a lot from its predecessors but offers too little to the mix. Rowe himself holds the game together, while the satisfying traversal and combat mechanics show flashes of excellence. At times it feels too safe and at others it glimmers with neat ideas, which overall is just enough to recommend it.
  • GamesRadar: 3.5/5 - A beautiful, but shallow, game with a handful of interesting ideas. It's a decent stop-gap until better PS4 exclusives appear.
  • Polygon: 8.5 - I struggled with feeling let down that Second Son isn't a brilliant shift for action games. My small disappointments come mostly as a result of undeveloped potential. It had a chance to be a superhero game about more serious issues as well as a showcase for the power of the new generation of consoles. Instead, Second Son is more of the Infamous I already loved last generation, prettier, with more powers and better writing. But Second Son still kept me excited to discover each new power set and happy to shoot fireballs at fascist thugs long into the night. Maybe it's not so bad to just let go of responsibility and blow stuff up once in a while.
  • Eurogamer: 7/10 - As pretty and playable as it is, in no sense is inFamous: Second Son a post-Grand Theft Auto 5 open-world game. It's just a tidier, shorter and shinier one. It's easy to enjoy and has a winning personality, but it's reluctant to deviate from a stale streetmap of game city. It's no rebel, then. In fact, it's a conformist.
  • VideoGamer: 7/10 - The novelty alone is worth a punt.
  • Edge: 7 - As an open-world game, Second Son feels emaciated. There's little to do in the way of side missions, and what is here becomes repetitive, unlikely to sustain interest beyond a single playthrough. Approach it as an action game that just happens to be set in a nonlinear environment and it makes more sense, but its not-inconsiderable achievements take effort to uncover. By the time you've gained the full suite of powers, though, it's easy to forget its shaky first steps and impossible not to share Rowe's vocal enthusiasm each time he does something spectacular. And Sucker Punch provides plenty of opportunities to do so.
  • The Sixth Axis: 9/10 - Second Son is very much an inFamous game. It doesn't stray off the series' beaten path too much, but there are enhancements in terms of gameplay and some stunning effects put to good use to create the PS4′s most fun and best looking game yet. While the narrative might not have the same impact as previous games, it's somewhat more of a down-to-earth tale of an ordinary man with extraordinary powers, and that's an exciting new direction for the series to take
  • Official PlayStation Magazine: 8/10 - Sucker Punch now needs to concentrate on banging those missions into shape. The groundwork has been laid out in spectacular style with Second Son. Mechanically, the game often sings, in spite of rare framerate hiccups. With such a convincing set of powers in place, the next inFamous could finally be the truly great hero you deserve. In the meantime, you'll just have to put up with the merely very good berk in a beanie. Gorgeous, and instantly satisfying to control, inFamous: Second Son shimmers across the screen in a way that simply wasn't possible on PS3. The core missions lack sparkle, but this sandbox yarn is heroic in full-flow.
  • Joystiq: 4.5/5 - Second Son is polished and refined enough to make previous series entries feel dated in comparison. It represents a great leap forward both in terms of gameplay and in graphical fidelity, and establishes a high standard for what players can expect from the PlayStation 4.
  • Kotaku: Yes - . Second Son feels a game made by a studio reaching the peak of its own powers, on a new console that it's helping come into its own.
  • GameInformer: 8.50 - I like the way that Infamous Second Son splinters off from the first two entries in the series. Delsin's conduit ability creates uncertainty in the gameplay mechanics, and the choices he makes apply similar levels of ambiguity to the narrative arc. I never really grasped what was coming next from this tale, outside of knowing that the open world activities and encounters would be repeated ad nauseam.
  • GameSpot: 8 - Second Son focuses on pure enjoyment. It communicates that through the excellent combat that forces you to concoct crazy tactics to overthrow the invading forces. It draws you in further through its incredible visuals that not only hint at the PlayStation 4's impressive power, but employ a sensible artistic touch that makes Seattle a place you want to explore. It uses a complementary score to underline dramatic moments, and the sound effects pop with flair. And yet, for all of the elements in which Second Son excels, the narrative fails to carry its share of the weight. Still, don't become mired in the negativity as Delsin so often does. Instead, just laugh at the cheesy dialogue and chortle at how extreme the morality system is. Second Son is a great game that knows exactly what it is, and sucks you in with its unfiltered fun.
  • Destructoid: 9.5 - Second Son is by far the best inFamous yet. If you're a fan of the series, then checking this one out is a no-brainer, and if you're not, consider jumping in with Delsin. You don't need any prior knowledge of the franchise to do so, and if you have any appreciation of open-world superhero games, you'll enjoy it.

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