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Spider-Man vs. Infamous Second Son: Which PS4 Superhero Exclusive Is Better?


Spider-Man vs. Infamous Second Son: Which PS4 Superhero Exclusive Is Better?

The PS4 has had a number of strong first-party titles over the last few years, and tow in particular are strong candidates for superhero video games. The superhero genre, in particular, has gotten a big shot in the arm with 2014’s Infamous: Second Son, and now 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man. With two big superhero exclusive, which one comes out on top? We’ll have a showdown between Second Son and Spider-Man to see which exclusive captures the superhero spirit better.

Spider-Man vs. Infamous

Exploration and Traversal

Superhero games are, more often than not, about freedom. They give you the freedom to emulate that iconic hero, zip around the city like a shooting star, effortlessly take down baddies, and generally be all things, well, super. Never has this rung more true than with Spider-Man and Infamous, both of which have traversal system focused on speed and flexibility.

Over the course of Second Son, Delsin gets access to four different conduit powers, each of which let him fly through the city in different ways. Smoke lets him shoot streams out of his hands that let him float, Neon lets him dash as the speed of light to run up walls, Video lets him fly through the air with digital wings and zoom to radio dishes. It all feels great, and there’s a ton of options that can be applied to both exploration and combat.There just isn’t a ton of incentive to explore, though, as the game’s collectibles, overall, don’t do a whole lot to expand on the story or world.

While Delsin’s powers are great, there’s just something truly awe-inspiring about how Spider-Man tackles its web-swinging. The new Spider-Man has a surprisingly complex traversal system that takes a tiny bit to get used to, but once you are used to it there’s a wealth of options opened up. Spidey can swing and dash with ease, and the way the game’s heroic music swells as your web-swinging really helps set the overall tone. Despite having a fast travel system, there’s not much reason to use it as web-swinging through New York becomes so effortless and fun you just want to travel everywhere yourself. At the same time Spider-Man has a number of side activities and collectibles, most of which are engaging. Backpacks scattered around the world yield rewards for finding a certain number, and each time you find one you see an item Peter Parker left there from his past, helping to flesh out the history and character of Insomniac’s version of Spidey.

Ultimately, both games do traversal exceedingly well, but the sheer thrill of Spider-Man’s web-swinging can’t be topped.

Winner: Spider-Man

Spider-Man vs. Infamous


With any piece of superhero media you can expect plenty of fighting and special powers, and in that regard both Spider-Man and Infamous don’t disappoint. Spidey is an incredibly mobile character, swinging and jumping around fights with ease. Spider-Man’s combat is heavily based around combos and stringing different attacks together. There’s a wide variety of options you can use, and the game’s different suits can instill Spidey with new powers to use. The boss battle can run the gamut, however, from big set-piece battles with unique mechanics to ones that only require simple pattern recognition, and little else. Web-swinging may be Spider-Man’s biggest strength, but combat is certainly no slouch either.

Infamous definitely gives you a little more variation when it comes to combat, with Delsin gaining access to four wildly different powers in the game. Smoke and Concrete let you deal some serious damage up close, while Neon and Video are more long-ranged powers. Once you have multiple powers, swapping between them creates a fast-paced, diverse combat system with a lot of different options. There’s just something more visceral about Second Son’s combat over Spider-Man’s, and Sucker Punch’s game does a great job of making you feel like a super-powered wrecking ball. This is another very close category, but the sheer variety in Infamous gives it a very slight advantage.

Winner: Infamous: Second Son

Spider-Man vs. Infamous

Story and Setting

Both Infamous and Spider-Man use their setting as almost secondary settings, recreating real-life cities in stunning detail. With Infamous, players get to explore a stunning recreation of Seattle. Dark alleyways are ripe for exploring, neon signs glow in the rain-soaked night, and steam rises from manholes. It’s a gorgeous recreation of the rainy city, and jumping around it can be a real joy. Second Son’s story meanwhile introduces a brand new hero, the rebellious Delsin Rowe. Much of the story deals with Delsin coming to terms with his newfound Conduit powers, and discovering a wider world of other Conduits around him.

Second Son’s story does go to some interesting places, especially with the whole superheroes being criminals theme. The moral choices of Infamous make the game’s story much grittier than that of Spider-Man, and as a whole the Infamous series is a little more grounded than your normal superhero story. Even with what Infamous does well, though, Spider-Man’s story weaves an emotional web filled with big surprises and twists. Insomniac made a bold, and wise, choice with Spider-Man by creating an entirely new universe with a story we haven’t seen, instead of retreading old ground already seen in the comics or movies. This version of Peter Parker has eight years of experience as Spider-Man, and he’s much more comfortable in his role as a hero. The story weaves in a ton of different characters from Spidey’s history, and it does a great job of really making you feel like Spider-Man, through a combination of straight up great gameplay and crazy set pieces.

At the same time, Spider-Man’s version of New York is a massive environment with tons to see and do, and it almost feels like a character in and of itself. There’s a ton of little touches put into the game to make the world feel richer, like being able to greet citizens, crawling up walls and seeing in rooms in buildings, or Spidey taking the subway for fast travel. New York feels vibrant and alive at every point, and as with most pieces of Spider-Man media, the hero is inexplicably tied to the city.

Infamous definitely has an interesting story and setting, but in terms of making you feel like a hero, Spider-Man definitely takes the cake. It’s no small feat, and has only been achieved by a handful of other games, like Batman: Arkham City.

Winner: Spider-Man

Spider-Man vs. Infamous

Graphics and Aesthetic

Despite releasing back in 2014, Infamous: Second Son still manages to be one of the very best looking games on PS4, and its aesthetic is one of its strongest qualities. Visual cues are sprinkled in throughout Infamous’ world, showing you where you can draw energy from for Delsin’s various powers. Second Son has some fantastic tech working under the hood, especially in terms of weather and reflections. At the same time, Sucker Punch is based in Seattle, and this allowed them to put a ton of detail into the world, right down to iconic landmarks like the Space Needle.

Meanwhile, Spider-Man’s New York is yet another stunning recreation, with bustling city streets, fun landmarks, and more. Seeing the city at different times of day is great, and the sunsets are especially stunning. Animations for Spidey and another characters are also top notch, and surprisingly realistic. Spider-Man is by far one of the best digital representations of The Big Apple yet.

Even with Spider-Man’s stunning recreation of New York, Second Son’s Seattle still looks incredible years later. The particle effects of Delsin’s powers are fantastic, and the overall aesthetic of the game is incredibly strong. In all honestly, both titles are at the top of their game when it comes to graphics, so this one is pretty close.

Winner: Infamous: Second Son

Spider-Man vs. Infamous


Villains are just as important to a superhero story as the heroes themselves, as every great hero needs an equal opposing them idealistically and physically. Second Son doesn’t have awful villains, per se, but it just doesn’t have the sheer diversity and memorability that Spider-Man does.

Second Son’s main villain comes with Brooke Augustine and the DUP (Department of Unified Protection.) Delsin spends much of the game combating the military organization, and despite the DUP’s role in arresting all Conduits, Augustine is a powerful Prime Conduit herself. She’s a fairly interesting character who has a larger role than initially expected in the overall Infamous series, and the final confrontation between her and Delsin is a memorable fight.

To be fair, though, there’s no way Infamous could have stood up to the iconic roster of villains featured in Spider-Man. This version of Spidey has a lot to contend with, and throughout the game you’ll encounter many of the hero’s greatest threats. Shocker, Electro, Vulture, Scorpion, Rhino, Mr. Negative, Taskmaster, and more are all featured and fought at some point. This isn’t even to mention the huge villains that appear later in the game, or it teases at the end, which we won’t spoil for you. These villains feel like a real threat to Spidey and the world around him, and the sheer variety of characters helps keep the gameplay and story diverse.

It should come as no surprise which game takes this one.

Winner: Spider-Man

Winner: Marvel’s Spider-Man

Spider-Man, ps4, trophies, platinum, how, get, all, selfies, camera, photos

Both Infamous and Spider-Man are great superhero outings and, honestly, it’d be easy to recommend either one to a fan of the genre. Still, Insomniac has pulled off an incredible achievement by giving Spidey his very best game yet, and possibly one of the greatest superhero games ever made. An interesting main story, fantastic traversal, a great virtual version of New York, and more help solidify Spider-Man’s place in the library of PS4 exclusives. By the same token, Sucker Punch should be commended for the job they’ve done with creating a brand new superhero video game IP, and Second Son only helped make everything tighter and smoother over its PS3 predecessors.

At the end of the day, though, if you’re going to go with one superhero title, you can’t go wrong with the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

About the author

Twinfinite Staff Writer

Hayes Madsen

A connoisseur of all things RPG related, and always looking for the artistic expression in gaming. His love of Gundam is only matched by his love of Pizza. Playing Games Since: 1991 Favorite Genres: RPGs, JRPGs, Strategy,
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