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April 09, 2014

Infamous Second Son Content Rundown


I second that motion, son!

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Verdict: (T) Teenage Gamers (For Drug References, Moderate Language and Some Suggestive Material)

Release Date: March 2014

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Genre: Action-Adventure



Areas of Concern:

Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A man is strangled to death; we see him struggle around, straining and choking. He grabs for the man behind him desperately, before he finally falls over, dead. 

--Players use special abilities to fight enemies: You can use a flaming chain to hit enemies, with sparks, smoke emitting and cries of pain being heard.

Players can fire bolts of flames, neon or video (yes, video) at enemies, who are knocked back and cry out in pain. Players can fire bolts into enemies from up-close in an execution-like way. Players can also blow up cars and buildings, with explosions and wreckage depicted.

You can also do moves like "ground pounds", sending the enemies around you flying and causing the ground to crack. One of the moves is a very destructive power where you jump up high in the air and fall back down, causing a huge explosion and sending huge amounts of wreckage everywhere.

--A man is stabbed several times through the leg with concrete stalagmites; we see them sticking out of his leg as he keels over, groaning in pain. This is bloodless and mostly happens off-screen.

--There are several sequences where explosions go off, knocking people back and strewing wreckage around the environment.

Context of Violence: Shock Value, Fantasy (While the violence is not too shocking, several of the aforementioned moments are clearly done for the shock value. The impact is lessened, however, because the violence is clearly fantastical in nature.)

Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--There is an implication of a liaison between two characters; in one version, they kiss very passionately and mention "foreplay" being unnecessary. The woman straddles the man, but the scene cuts away before anything happens.


--An environment contains a woman's underwear hanging from a clothesline, which is remarked on by a male character. The same man later mentions that he's thinking about the bras.

--Prostitutes, referred to as "hookers" and "sex slaves" make appearances in the game, clad in short skirts and stockings. A man remarks after saving them that they should "Live. Love....just not professionally."

Context of Sex/Nudity: References Only

Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Frequent Uses of S**t, D**k, B**ch, A*s, P**s, C**p, H**l, D**n, Turd, and a partial use of F**k.

--God and Jesus' names are used in vain.

Context of Language: Grittiness (The language is used to add salt to an already gritty game.)

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Your in-game morality meter is referred to as "karma".

--A man quotes from the Bible, saying "Let he is without sin, cast the first stone" and later remarks that he was quoting from the Bible.

--A boss fight in the game takes place in a "hell" like environment with lots of lava and Gothic architecture. You fight against a large, virtual creature which looks like a mix of an angel (because of it's wings) and a demon because of it's crimson, glowing eyes.

-A man transforms into a devil-like creature in a comic book scene. Later on, angels and demons make appearances, but they are all virtual and not real.

Context of Spiritual Content: Fantasy (Most of the spiritual content is clearly fantastical and has no references to real religions.)

Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Drugs are often scattered throughout the environment. Players can destroy the drugs, which you are rewarded for. There are also several references to drugs corrupting youth.

--In one sequence, we see drug paraphernalia and a man and a woman lying next to it, obviously high. The woman remarks how the drugs were "heaven". Immediately thereafter she describes the effects of withdrawal.

--Some neon signs and verbal references to beer and alcohol.

Context of Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco Usage: Atmospheric, Justified (The drug use adds to the game's gritty nature, but it's justified because drugs are clearly portrayed to be bad and addictive.)

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--A piece of graffiti art depicts a crow "c**ping" on a camera.

-A man remarks that the inside of a porta-potty smells like someone had "Thai food". 
Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

Players have the option of making very good choices, like saving the innocent, healing fallen civilians, non-lethally subduing enemies, or very bad choices, like executing wounded foes in cold blood, terrorising bystanders and drop-kicking pugs across cities.

(Okay, the last one isn't true.)

Morality Type: Great Power = Great Responsibility, Player Dependent (Hehe, Spider-Man reference. Jokes aside, players are confronted with how to use their powers. Whether it be for good, or for evil, the choice is yours to make.)

Thoughts & Impressions:


IGN: (8.7/10) Open-world superhero action games are about freedom and empowerment, and in these regards, Second Son is really impressive. Seattle is a big, beautiful playground for you to stomp around in with a set of devilishly fun and powerful toys at your disposal. It plays great, and it looks even better, but its advancements also beg it to be held to a higher standard, one that its overall story and morality systems struggle to reach.

GamesRadar: (3.5/5) A beautiful game with a handful of interesting ideas that simply doesn't give you enough to do with its tools. Second Son is a great example of the PS4's power, and works as a decent stop-gap until bigger and better exclusives appear.

Destructoid: (9.5/10) 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.

Edge: (7/10) 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.

My Thoughts: While the story is far from a masterpiece, Infamous Second Son is the rare example of a game too joyful to make you care about the lack of intricate plotlines.
 
Conclusion:

Well, what do you know? The rare occasion where a game actually doesn't take itself too seriously. And the serious parts are the only flaws in the package.

Infamous was always a test of morality, basically a mirror of sorts to see what your inner man is capable of. Or just a playground where you could try the things you would never attempt in real life.

It says volumes about a person if they still do the right thing in such a playground, even if the wrong thing is far "cooler" and more rewarding. Or you just have a very soft heart and hate the thought of hurting random people for fun and profit, even if they aren't real.

(Like yours truly. Yep, I even felt guilty playing Left 4 Dead 2. True story.)

All in all, the content shouldn't be that bad. And with that, I have the honour of giving Infamous Second Son the first ever Teenage Gamers rating. Congratulations, "Son", you deserve it.

Verdict: 13+




For Drug References, Moderate Language and Some Suggestive Material

Outro:

Another game in the bag, another new verdict finally used. Heck, come to think of it, I've never actually given a game an All Ages! But anyways, I bid you adieu. Hope you enjoyed the Content Rundown, I'll see you guys next week with some more gamey goodness!

What did you think of the game? Do you agree with the rating? What are your thoughts on the new verdict?

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