Check out our review of Infamous: Second Son.
Infamous: Second Son is a game that’s all about choice. You choose your path, you choose the lethality of the powers, you choose how you approach the game and what order to tackle things. It’s also a fairly big game that takes hours to explore and complete. With that in mind we have a few tips that should help you get started, and some suggestions on what choices you should make to best suit your play style.
This guide is not intended to be a walkthrough, but rather offer a few hints that make your life easier and prepare you for some of the things you’ll come across deep in the game. If you have any tips of your own, please feel free to sound off in the comments below!
Make a choice and stick to it
The Infamous games all feature a Karma System, which rewards you for following a “good” or “evil” path. The Karma System takes into account your style of play; if you subdue enemies using non-lethal methods and heal injured citizens, for example, you earn good karma. If you execute enemies and kill civilians, you earn evil karma. Infamous: Second Son is no different. The Karma system returns, and how you play influences what kind of person Delsin Rowe becomes. Just like in previous games, there are also random events scattered throughout that push you in one direction or the other by design. They are identified on the map by a blue marker for good karma missions, or a red marker for evil ones.
All of your actions affect your karma, but the choices you make during the story – scripted moments that present you with two options – are where the majority of your karma is earned. Within the first few minutes of play, you are presented with a choice that could be considered either virtuous or selfish. The choice won’t affect the way the story unfolds in a significant way, but it does set you on the related karmic path. Choose wisely and stick with your choice for the rest of the game. You’ll want to go all-good or all-evil, since you won’t be able to unlock every ability on the five-stage Karma scale unless you stay committed to one path.
The story remains mostly the same in the broadest sense, but your actions will unlock different missions on either the good or bad side. It also culminates with a choice right before the final mission that determines how the game ends, but you can only access the mission that aligns with your karma. You’ll have to replay the game, or walk a line between the two which means you’ll be limited in your power, if you want to see both endings.
There are also five categories to upgrade throughout the game: four Conduit abilities that you earn during the course of the game, and your base melee abilities. Each of these five upgrade trees has abilities that are specific to the good and evil paths, though they are somewhat similar. For example, the evil path’s level 3 unlock is “Energy Drain,” which allows you to “Execute” a surrendering enemy for a health boost. The good path equivalent, “Karmic Healing,” gives you a health boost for choosing to “Subdue” surrendering enemies without killing them. The powers are slightly different, but the end results are the same.
Once you reach a new level, you’ll then need Shards in order to purchase those abilities. Lots of time is spent collecting Shards scattered throughout Infamous: Second Son‘s open world. Besides being the currency you need to purchase upgrades, collecting these Shards in each district also weakens the D.U.P.’s control of that area. The city is divided into multiple districts that you can take control of, but to do that you need to unlock the associated “District Showdown” side mission. There are a handful of ways to do this, including collecting the shards. Shards can be collected in three ways. You’ll always get some after you destroy Mobile Command Units, which are mini-bases located in each district. The explosion scatters a handful of shards that you can then pick up. Destroying an MCU also allows you to find the remaining Shards easily – they appear on your map once the MCU is gone. You can also earn Shards is by destroying scanning stations, which are marked on your map with an icon that looks like a hand. Blow one up and you’ll find a shard in the wreckage. The third and most common method for collecting Shards involves destroying the drones floating around the city. They’re all powered by Shards, and they’re marked on your map; just remember to look for them up in the air when you get close to one’s location. Shoot them down with an energy blast and take your Shard from the wreckage. There are some drones that are stuck in signs or on top of buildings, so just search the area a bit more thoroughly if you don’t see one in the air.
Once you have the Shards, you can spend them to upgrade the potency of your abilities and unlock new moves. Newly earned Conduit powers are fairly weak, but you can unlock more core abilities for that power by destroying the handful of relay stations associated with it. Think of this process as a tutorial that introduces you gradually to the new ability, as you’ll need to do this as part of the story mission. Once you’ve destroyed all the relay stations and are free to experiment, having a surplus of Shards will instantly allow you to make that power formidable.
If you collect all the Shards in the first of the two main areas of Seattle you can explore in Second Son, you’ll be able to fully upgrade the first two powers (barring abilities locked by your karmic level) and have a few left over to spend when you head to the second area. If you then collect all the Shards when you reach the previously locked section of Seattle, you will have enough to fully power up the third power once you get it, as well as the upgrades locked by karma. You’ll have several extras, but you’ll need them once the final mission begins.
Collecting Shards is easy enough, and you should be able to find them all without much effort – with one exception. One Shard, located in the southern section of Seattle on the news tower, can only be collected in a mission. You don’t need to finish the game with every Shard, but you’ll be glad you have them all for the finale.
When you begin the game your only ability is “Smoke,” which offers a semi-automatic like projectile attack, a missile-like attack, a grenade of sorts, and the ability to slow your fall and almost glide. It is very much like Cole’s abilities in the first Infamous. The element is different, but the way you move and fight is similar.
With just the Smoke ability, moving around the city can be a chore. Like Cole, at first Delsin moves by combining parkour climbing with his smoke abilities. You can go anywhere using this method, but you still need to jump from window to window, handhold to handhold as you scale upward. When you jump off a building and hold the Jump button, you slow your descent and cover a big distance, and you can also dash in the air for a moment (twice if you upgrade that ability). There are also vents located at the base of many buildings that instantly take you to the roof, but exploring can still take time just to get around. If you want to save a little time, wait until you earn the second ability, Neon.
Neon is a light-based power that offers its own set of offensive abilities, but most importantly it allows you to run at hyper speed, including up straight walls. You fall much faster when you jump and hold the button, but once you upgrade to unlimited sprint, you can hold down the Dash button, let Delsin fall, and immediately run up walls and over roofs. With Neon, you can make your way around the city much more quickly than before, and complete the sidequests quickly.
Infamous: Second Son includes an episodic metagame called “Paper Trail,” with six episodes set to be released over the first six weeks of the game’s life. In order to activate the content, you need to first go to the website InfamousPaperTrail.com and link your PlayStation Network account. Once that is done, you will have access to the content after you complete the main story mission “Chasing the Light,” which introduces you to a Neon-based Conduit. Once you find their hideout, a special icon should appear on your map.
You may want to wait a bit before tackling this though, at least until you enter the second section of Seattle (through a Story Mission). By that point, you’ll already have the Neon powers, which will make the coming chase sequences you’ll soon be engaging in much easier. Part Two requires you to cross the broken bridge anyway.
Paper Trail combines in-game activities with online detective work. In the game you’ll be taken to a crime scene, where you use Delsin’s camera to take pictures of the area. You then collect evidence (you just go to it and press the action button when the icon appears). From there you head to the specifically linked mailbox, which sends a message to your profile letting it know you’ve completed that section. From there, head to the website and look at the evidence you just collected by clicking the associated link.
The first puzzle is a little confusing if you don’t know what to do. If you want to solve it yourself, skip to the next section.
If you are having trouble, look at the “Detective’s Wallet,” then examine the photos. Check the back of each for info you will need later, then look at the business card. On it you will see an email address, which also contains a web address. Type that address into your computer’s browser (in real life, not in the game), and it will take you to the detective’s agency site. Click the Employee’s access link, enter the email address, then choose the option to get help with your password. The answers to the security questions can be found in the wallet, and once you are in, click on the only case file open, which is regarding a familiar face.
From there look for a frequency number, and go back to the Paper Trail website. Click on Delsin’s phone, enter the frequency, then back in the game you should be able to track the frequency, just as you do in many missions that use the frequency scanner. that will take you to the next event.
You’ll need to jump back and forth between the game and your computer to solve the puzzles. Keep checking the Paper Trail website for more information, and to know when the next episode is available.