inFAMOUS: Second Son PS4

Few games feel quite like inFAMOUS: Second Son. We forgive Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption the odd controller quirk because their sandboxes are so sizeable that they mask any shortcomings, but delicately guiding the dextrous Delsin 'Too Cool for School' Rowe through the dreary districts of Seattle is this PlayStation 4 exclusive's underlying appeal.

Sucker Punch may have succumbed to 'short and sweet' syndrome with this hotly anticipated retail release, but what the lovingly crafted title lacks in longevity, it more than makes up for in plenty of panache. Packing an anthology of showy superpowers, the smug star at the centre of this angsty adventure brings an air of irresistibility to your average urban reprobate.

inFAMOUS: Second Son Review
There's an unparalleled sense of empowerment in inFAMOUS: Second Son that makes it a release to be reckoned with. Bursting with more attitude than a high school hardcore band, this out-of-control excursion effortlessly nails the sensation of possessing superpowers. It may put its plot forward a little too forcefully at first, but persevere and you'll be richly rewarded with an appetising roster of outlandish abilities. While it does little to push the open world format forward, this is still a series that's very much in bloom.

It's beyond the protagonist's slanted smirk and failing fashion sense that this energetic affair really succeeds, though, with the conceited conduit serving as an outlet for some truly engaging action. Whether you opt to employ the explosive bluster of smoke bombs or the glitz and glamour of neon, the title's elegant in its attempts to fuse the DualShock 4 to your fingers.

And this is consistent across both combat and locomotion, with the stop-start style of parkouring pizza delivery skinhead Cole MacGrath traded in for something a little more seamless. Sprinting up skyscrapers may have made the rain-slicked streets of the sequel's city feel slight, but it also condensed the world's activities in a way that ensured seeing them all was curiously compelling.

Compare this to the hodgepodge of out-of-the-way icons that litter your average open world map, and there's a brilliance in this release's brevity which publisher's like Ubisoft with their factory-like output appear to have forgotten. Flashy, fast-paced, and, best of all, fluid, this supercharged foray was easily one of 2014's most immediately gratifying games.

Do you agree that inFAMOUS: Second Son was one of 2014's hottest games, or did your interest fizzle out the moment that you finished its campaign? Spread your wings in the comments section below.

[ Words: Sammy Barker ]