written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
After six weeks of new content (and platinuming the game), I can officially say that (for now at least) I’ve done pretty much everything inFAMOUS: Second Son has to offer. Papertrail is complete and while this content was given to us purely gratis by the folks over at Sucker Punch, it did serve the purpose of shedding some light on the whole conflict in inFAMOUS: Second Son. For our full review of the core game, check it out here.
In case you aren’t in the know, either you're yet to play the game or you just haven’t played any of the content, Papertrail's a weekly episodic series of missions where Delsin has to chase down a paper conduit all the while unraveling secrets about the DUP and the identity of the girl. Keeping spoilers light, the paper conduit you are chasing is named Celia. She’s a young girl wearing a private school uniform and rocking a bad ass bunny mask that reminded me of Donnie Darko far too often (yes this game can get THAT hipster). The interesting thing is; if you collect the dead drops left by an informant in the DUP, you eventually find one that mentions a paper conduit named Celia who committed suicide. The mystery thickens as you realize that this White Rabbit you're chasing and the aforementioned paper conduit could indeed be the same person. Like all good mysteries, unraveling it is the fun part... and Delsin just needs to see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Unique to Papertrail is an AR (augmented reality) portion. You set up an account on infamouspapertrail.com and after completing a few preliminary surveys, you are able to access missions that task you with chasing down this mystery conduit. Generally missions follow the pattern of in-game activity followed by accessing the site and solving puzzles in the browers. These can be as simple and hunting down clues in a memo or as difficult as figuring out a randomly generated series of numbers to track a phone or find a car. Some numbers stay the same across all players while others are randomly generated. To get through Papertrail, you really are going to have to get your Sherlock on. In game action is light, aside from a few search missions, the occasional battle, and the chase down Celia segments, the majority of your time with Papertrail will be on your browser.
I enjoyed the unique take on gameplay and while some puzzles were frustratingly difficult, the reward when solving a mission gave me a sense of satisfaction I don’t think I would have gotten from just playing the puzzles on my console.
The narrative really shines, as you solve each mission, facts about Augustine and her DUP left unexplored in the core game take center stage. As much as I enjoyed the free DLC, and I hate to complain about something free, but the whole time I was expecting some kind of battle between Delsin and Celia that resulted in Delsin unlocking a new power. Come end-game, that wasn’t the case, personally I wouldn’t have been that let down by the lack of gaining paper as a power if I had the chance to battle her. To reward the player for completing the DLC, you unlock four new vest… one of which lets Delsin wear Celia’s bunny mask, gotta admit that was pretty cool.
Celia’s character was so interesting, I hope they plan to explore her more. It goes without saying that DLC is coming for inFAMOUS: Second Son and a part of me hopes that it will revisit the character again in some capacity. Overall though, despite the anti-climactic end to all the puzzles and secrets, I was satisfied. Expanding on the core conflict in Seattle plus chasing down a bad ass school girl in a bunny mask was one of my favorite aspects of the in-game missions. The AR elements were wildly inventive and I hope more developers take cues from Sucker Punch and explore the inclusion of episodic content with a IRL twist.
+ intriguing mystery
+ fun and inventive AR elements
+ Celia's a wicked cool character
- never really a climax
- no paper power