Guide: How to Master Your Powers in PS4 Exclusive inFAMOUS: Second Son
Posted by Sammy Barker
Come as you are
Seeing as Sucker Punch’s superhero sequel is currently smoking out store shelves, we figured that we’d burn through a companion to our inFAMOUS: Second Son Trophy guide in order to help you to get the best out of your newfound abilities. This is designed for up-and-coming conduits, so you won’t find any spoilers in the text below – just a few surefire tips to help to prepare you for the PlayStation 4 release. So, take your supercharged eyes off the title’s shrink wrap for a moment, and let us walk you through the basics of being a complete and utter badass.
Should I be Good or Evil?
It’s probably fitting that the inFAMOUS franchise’s morality mechanic is both its blessing and blight. While it has traditionally imbued the series with plenty of replay value, it also feels funnelled and false compared to more ambiguous titles like Heavy Rain. That’s no different in inFAMOUS: Second Son, meaning that picking a side doesn’t really matter – as long as you stick with your choice.
Playing with Good Karma does make the game slightly more difficult, so if you’re going for the Platinum Trophy, we recommend saving your Expert difficulty run for Evil Karma. Still, in order to ensure that you unlock all of the available powers for your character, it’s best to select a specific style and stay with it throughout the game. After all, superheroes don’t have time to be indecisive.
You’ll still get the same core powers irrespective of which path you choose, but your upgrades will be tailored towards your specific approach. Good Karma abilities will emphasise precision and enemy suppression, while Evil Karma naturally turns you into a rampaging one-man D.U.P. destroying machine. Which should you pick? Well, it really is up to you.
Help, I keep getting beat in battle!
You rarely see a comic book character bite the dust – and even when they do, you just know that they’ll be making a comeback in the next issue. Death in inFAMOUS: Second Son, however, is a very real reality – well, until your last checkpoint loads. Still, you’re not going to get anywhere in the game if you keep losing battles, so what’s the best way to come out on top?
The first thing is to never be afraid to retreat. Dashing with the circle button will allow you to move away from your foes, but you’ll need to break their line of sight if you want to win. Use your smoke powers to shoot up vents or neon to run up walls to get some distance between your opponents – and then lay the smack down with some long range shots or a ground pound.
The real secret is to mix things up. Grenades on L1 can temporarily disable your adversaries, while rockets on R1 can be used to bring down structures and create big chain explosions. Save your big firepower for vehicles and armoured foes, and pepper the lesser grunts with potshots. Remember that replenishing your powers gives you a health boost, so don’t be afraid to do this often.
What are Karmic Streaks?
Karmic Streaks are inFAMOUS: Second Son’s equivalent of a Fatality – but fortunately they don’t require you to tap out an infuriatingly long combo. Each of the four powers in the game has a unique one of these, but the way that you access them will alter depending on your underlying moral fibre. Surprisingly, bad guys actually finish last in this department.
While you’ll just need to complete a sequence of seven upstanding deeds to unlock one of these super moves with Good Karma, you’ll need to perform them in quick succession if you’re playing the Evil Karma route. This means that you’re free to casually build up your streak as a hero, but you’ll need to keep acting horrible if you’re a tyrant.
Fortunately, rogues can keep their combo alive by landing a potshot on a civilian or two, so it’s not especially difficult to unlock. Moreover, once you’ve reached the requisite number of good/bad acts, the move will sit in your inventory until you’re ready to use it. A quick way to build it up is by using the neon power, and targeting either the red or blue markers on enemies depending on your stance.
Should I bother with Blast Shards?
Ignoring the blue Blast Shards that inhabit Seattle would be like overlooking the fact that there are a dozen quadcopters hovering over your head in real life – it just wouldn’t happen. These shiny blue items represent a pivotal part of inFAMOUS: Second Son, as they allow you to upgrade your powers. As such, you should collect every single one that you see.
You’ll find most of these in the aforementioned miniature aircrafts, but they’re also found in hand scanners and D.UP. Mobile Command Centres. The former can be found all around the city – usually protected by troops – and will require a quick rocket blast to open up. Meanwhile, you’ll find at least one of the latter in each district. Destroy it for four shiny shards.
Destroying the popup command post actually has other benefits, as it marks all of the Blast Shards that you haven’t collected on your map. This makes them extremely easy to find, and it’s worth just going around and gathering these up in between missions if you want to maintain a sense of power throughout the campaign.
What upgrades should I buy?
Most of your upgrades will be limited to your current Karmic Level, which is why it’s so important to stick to a specific path. If you chop and change, you may not reach the top tier of your chosen alliance, and that means that you won’t be able to access the best moves as a result. Assuming that you heed this advice, though, remember to actually invest any Blast Shards that you collect.
To upgrade your powers, push the Options button and toggle to the skill tree using the R2 trigger. It’s really up to you what powers you purchase, but we recommend always plumping up for the traversal abilities where possible. You can, for example, unlock the ability to dash twice in midair with your smoke powers, or run infinitely with neon. These help you to get about.
It’s also worth investing in the abilities that reduce the amount of a given material that you consume with each individual move. Constantly looking for power sources in battle can provide a surefire way to get killed, so the less often that you need to do this, the better chances you face. Finally, it's worth having a good inventory of rockets, as they come in handy during some of the boss fights.
How can I win District Showdowns?
While there are plenty of big battles in the game, the District Showdowns are probably the most difficult that you’ll face. However, there is a way to truncate the time that it takes to drive the D.U.P. out of a district, and that’s to exploit your abovementioned Karmic Streak skills. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.
To unlock a District Showdown mission, you’ll first need to bring the opposing force’s dominance down. You can do this by completing side-quests, collecting Blast Shards, and taking out cameras. Once it hits 20 per cent, a telephone will appear on your map, which will allow you to start the District Showdown. Don’t go straight there.
Instead, try to unlock your Karmic Streak by detaining/obliterating enemies and helping/murdering civilians. Once the special move pops, head back to the District Showdown and start the mission. You’ll instantly be approached by multiple enemies. Get as close to as many of them as possible and let rip. The neon super move works especially well here.
Is there anything else?
inFAMOUS: Second Son is not an especially difficult game, so you should focus on having fun. Familiarising yourself with the controls and traversal while you’re out in the world is a good way to get started. The title does a good job of getting you up to speed, but if you’re still having difficulty, let yourself wander around Seattle and see where the world takes you.
There’s often not an obligation to complete the next mission, so you’re almost always free to explore, level up your powers, and immerse yourself in the world. If you don’t fancy progressing with the story, try taking out the D.U.P. Mobile Command Centres in every district (the above tip works here, too, so lean on it if you’re finding things tough) and gathering up the collectibles.
Also, don’t forget that your powers are pivotal to getting around. While the parkour of previous titles is present and correct, it’s much quicker to run up buildings or shoot up vents to get across the world. Your powers are here to help you, so as the game’s marketing slogan accurately suggests, enjoy them.
Ready to go? Don't forget to check out our inFAMOUS: Second Son Trophy guide for tips on obtaining that all-important Platinum.
Have you got any tips for wannabe superheroes looking to jump into inFAMOUS: Second Son? Leave your benevolent/malevolent mark in the comments section below.