​Tips for Playing Infamous: Second Son

Today's the day when the latest installment in Sucker Punch's open-world action/adventure series launches up, up and away into PS4s all over the planet. While it resembles its predecessors a fair bit, Infamous: Second Son does do a few things differently than them. Check out the advice below for ways that you can be a more super superperson.

Second Son's all-new lead character is Delsin Rowe, a Native American graffiti artist and all-around troublemaker whose metahuman ability is to absorb the powersets of other super-powered people called Conduits. He gets a total of four powersets in the game to use against the Department of Unified Protection, the military agency that's rounding up people with superpowers. Finding ways to use those powers in conjunction with the environment is the key to success in Infamous: Second Son.

​Tips for Playing Infamous: Second Son

Sneak up when you can

Stealth has never been a big feature of the Infamous franchise but Second Son does let you quickly dispatch enemies if you catch them unawares. Doing so lets you rack up Karma and gets rid of one stream of gunfire that you'll have to dodge when guns start blazing.

Max out your heavy projectile ammo early

Speaking of the missile attacks, you'll want to spend shards on those early and often. You start out with two for each powerset, in most cases, and can purchase additional ammo slots as you go. You'll be using this skill in every one of Second Son's boss fights so it's a good idea to build up your stores as soon as possible.

​Tips for Playing Infamous: Second Son

Make your fights into roller-coasters

Delsin may be a fast healer but he's not indestructible. In fact, there are times when it feels like he gets to the brink of death incredibly fast. I've found that the best way to engage in street battles in the open world—and even some boss fights—is to constantly be swooping up and down the environment. Staying on one plane is a great way to stay in the greyed-out, almost-dead zone. Don't do it. Every powerset has ways to vault you up to a rooftop almost instantly. The DUP soldiers will follow but, once you're on higher ground, you can start healing and/or find a smokestack, neon sign or other resource to let you switch to another powerset. Swooping up and down buildings is a very different way to approach open-world combat but, once the rhythm settles in, you'll feel powerful in a way that you can't in more realistic games like, say, Sleeping Dogs.

​Tips for Playing Infamous: Second Son

Area attacks are your friends

The first two powersets Delsin gets access to have area attacks—grenades with effects that spread out across a radius, essentially—that temporarily incapacitate enemies. Lob one into a group of assailants and they'll stop in their tracks, either choking on smoke or floating upward in neon stasis bubbles. Once they're rooted to the spot, you can take them out with one hit, either up close or from afar. You'll get Karma for dispatching bad guys this way so these area attacks are a great way to quickly bank resources for a super-move, too.

​Tips for Playing Infamous: Second Son

Wait a while before trying to liberate districts

One of the tasks Second Son gives players is the liberation of Seattle neighborhoods taken over by the DUP. Get their level of control down to 30% and you can trigger a showdown with the DUP, which opens up a fast travel point once you've beaten them. Thing is, you're going to be too underpowered to completely clear districts at the outset of Second Son. You'll be able to take out a few patrols here or there as you flit about the city but the heavily guarded Mobile Command Center present really chaotic challenges in the early going. Acquire at least two powersets and grind your way up for some of your skills—especially the ones that let you drain power sources quickly—before trying to clear out the DUP. Or you can save it for post-campaign play after you've wrapped up the story.

​Tips for Playing Infamous: Second Son

Don't forget to switch things up

Yeah, I know it sounds obvious. But some of the powersets feel so good that you'll use them almost exclusively. It's easy to get into a groove and forget about the others, like when I couldn't stop running around the city with Neon, even after I got the other powers that come later in the game. If you get stuck during a particular battle, remember that you probably have a whole other set of abilities that you can use. For example, heavy projectiles execute differently in Smoke and Neon, with the former's missiles launching immediately and the latter's ranged attack taking time to charge up. Subtleties like that can make all the difference in some of the boss battles. So, even if you do settle on a favorite powerset, keep on using the others so that you get fluent in what they can do.

That's what I've come up with as far as helpful tips. If you're playing and have advice of your own, please share it in the comments!