Second Son has a lot going for it. The graphics are amazing, the powers are absolutely astounding and fun, the game is populated with great characters and has the best villain of the series in Augustine. That's why the fact that the game is so repetitive and a chore to get through hurts so much worse than it normally would have.
The game takes place some years after the events of inFamous 2. The U.S. government has created the D.U.P., a military branch designed to track down and lock up Conduits. It is headed by a Conduit with concrete powers, Augustine. She has managed to find a way to gift normal humans with her powers, making the D.U.P. force to be reckoned with. One day, three Conduits are being transported to a new facility when the transport crashes on the Akomish reservation. Delsin, a slacker with no real ambitions, ends up discovering he's a Conduit when he absorbs the smoke powers from one of the escapees. He gets on Augustine's bad side, so she uses her powers to infect most of the tribe with concrete shards. Delsin and his sheriff older brother Reggie travel to Seattle to confront Augustine and hopefully have Delsin absorb her powers so he can remove the concrete shards. Along the way Delsin interacts with the other escaped Conduits and can guide them on a path of good or a path of evil.
The gameplay is similar to the other games in the series. Delsin starts with some powers which operate much like Cole's electricity powers. Delsin can fie smoke blasts, a charged up version of the smoke blast, smoke grenades, and a smoke rocket. He can also hover in the air, turn himself into a cloud of smoke and zip through the air, and travel through air ducts on buildings.
As the game progresses two new powers are unlocked: Neon and Video. They have the same basic set-up as smoke, but they have their differences as well. Neon is my favorite because I think it's the most well balanced of the powers. Delsin can slow down time with this power to line up shots better, and he can see weak points on enemies that if he hits instantly incapacitates the enemy. The travel method is the best as well, since Delsin turns into a glowing Neon version of himself and can speed run throughout the city. You can upgrade this ability to be constant so it's the best way to travel.
Neon is more of a good power, since you have to be following the Good path to unlock most of its abilities. Video is more of an evil power since you have to be following an Evil path to unlock most of its abilities. You can still use either power but can't unlock its full potential unless you're good or bad. At the end of the game you get the Concrete power but you only use it during the boss battle which is too bad because it's actually a pretty cool power.
Where this game fails is in the missions. Seattle is divided up into districts, and each district has the same side missions. The only thing that changes is how many side missions are in each district.
Every district has a D.U.P. command center (or two) that you have to destroy before you can see all the side missions and other random things you have to do like destroy D.U.P. cameras and find shards to upgrade your powers. The side missions consist of spray painting, finding a hidden camera, finding and subduing an undercover D.U.P. agent, killing or freeing suspected Conduits, freeing people that have been rounded up, and eventually unlocking a District Showdown where you take on a lot of D.U.P. soldiers.
That's about it. There is no variety to the side missions in the districts at all. While both inFamous and inFamous 2 had some repetitive side missions, they offered enough variety to keep things fresh. That's not the case here at all. Once you have done a side mission once, you know exactly how it is going to play out in every instance in the game.
The main story missions offer more variety and they are pretty fun, especially once you team up with two of the freed Conduits: Fetch and Eugene. Delsin can either turn them to the side of good or make them evil. You then get a story specific mission with them and both of those missions were a lot of fun. Fetch and Eugene are great characters. They're just not used anywhere near enough. in inFamous 2, Kuo and Nix play a large part in the game and have a major impact on how it plays out. Fetch and Eugene don't have the same kind of impact. Then there's the fact that there simply aren't that many main story missions.
I don't want this to sound all negative. Second Son is a lot of fun, in large part thanks to the variety of powers on display. Seattle looks amazing and is fun to traverse. The combat is fun and forces you to get innovative since the soldiers have powers as well and can easily overwhelm you. The boss battles were pretty unique and I love the final battle against Augustine. The story is good. The relationship between Reggie and Delsin forms the heart of the game, really. Second Son has a lot going for it. If there had been more main missions and a wider variety of side missions, Second Son could have easily become the best inFamous game. As it is, that title stays with inFamous 2.