InFamous: First Light Review

First Light-banner

When InFamous: Second Son released on the PS4 earlier this year, fans everywhere were treated to a game full of exciting combat, an open-world ready for adventure, and a cast of unique and interesting characters that carried you through the game’s action-packed story. One of these characters was Fetch, a young woman with a dark past who spent her free time murdering drug lords and terrorizing the government enforcers known as the D.U.P.

Fetch was one of Second Son’s stand-out characters, and her fantastic, immediately likable personality and apt for destruction made her a fan favorite right off the bat. Unfortunately, she didn’t get nearly enough screen time in the game, and I personally couldn’t help but feel like Sucker Punch missed out on a chance to make their already great game even better by not giving her a bigger part to play.

However, with the release of InFamous: First Light, a story-based spin-off to Second Son, Sucker Punch has made the brilliant move to focus an entire game on Fetch and her backstory, and the results do not disappoint. While First Light is obviously a lot more condensed than Second Son was, there’s a lot of depth packed into it’s five-hour campaign, and it is easily one of the most enjoyable story-expansions I’ve ever played.

First Light-prison

First Light takes place about two-years before the events of Second Son, and alternates between showing us a glimpse of Fetch’s time in the D.U.P. Conduit prison Curdun Cay, and her desperate attempts to rescue her brother from a psychotic drug lord in Seattle. This two-sided story works extremely well, and I really loved seeing how the two plots intertwined and came together in the end for a thrilling climax.

The entire campaign of First Light can probably be completed in four or five hours depending on how fast you rush through it, but with several different kinds of side missions and activities to complete, you could easily play First Light for almost ten-hours, especially with the new addition of the point-based challenge maps that you have at your disposal.

As interesting as the story of First Light is, it’s these challenge maps that sold me on the game, as they concentrate on the very thing that makes both Second Son and First Light so much fun to play: the combat. Indeed, the challenge maps focus exclusively on the combat, and task you with simply surviving as many waves of increasingly difficult enemies as you possibly can.

While this is far from an original concept, it’s one that is used to great success here, and I probably spent at least four hours on this single feature alone. Chasing high-scores is an addicting and immensely satisfying experience, and thanks to the ever-rotating range of enemies and obstacles to overcome, each and every challenge feels different than the one that came before.

First Light-arena

This is all made even better by the dozens of in-game challenges that you can unlock, which can range from tasking you with eliminating a certain number of enemies or using one of your neon-based superpowers in a difficult and surprising way. This new feature adds a lot of extra depth to the gameplay, and almost demands that you experiment with different play styles that can energize even the most tedious encounters in the game.

Despite the fact that First Light only lets you play with the neon power from Second Son, which was arguably the most enjoyable one anyway, Sucker Punch has done just enough to make Fetch’s abilities stand apart from Delsin’s that they somehow feel both new and familiar.

Anyone who has played Second Son will feel right at home here, and racing around Seattle is just as fun as you remember it being, but Fetch’s unique powers do a lot to make First Light stand on its own, especially in terms of traversal and melee. Fetch is quicker and more fluid than Delsin was, and even though they both have the same basic powers, Fetch plays very differently and learning the ins and outs of her character is one of First Light’s best qualities.

First Light-destruction

You can tell that Sucker Punch put a lot of work into making First Light feel like its own self-contained story, and while they mostly pull it off, I still wouldn’t recommend playing it until after completing at least the majority of Second Son. First Light almost assumes that you know the events of Second Son, and really wastes no time in throwing you into the fray, and if you’re new to the series, you won’t have any context for anything happening in the story.

While I really enjoyed discovering Fetch’s backstory and seeing just what drove her into becoming the character we met in Second Son, there was still something missing. The majority of the game’s story revolves around Fetch’s attempts to rescue her brother, who has been kidnapped by a manipulative drug lord, but the brother-sister relationship between them is never fully realized, and thus the emotional connection falls a bit flat.

This didn’t kill the enjoyment of playing the game, but I was disappointed that I never got to see the depth of Fetch and her brother Brent’s relationship, especially since there were hints at a truly compelling connection between the two. And with Brent only making a couple of appearances in the entire game, there was never really a chance for the player to connect with Fetch’s need to rescue him, especially since those of us who have already played Second Son know how it all ends anyway.

First Light-winter

Even with that said, playing through First Light’s main story was a lot of fun, and Fetch remains an exciting and enjoyable character that I still hope we get to see more of in the future. She’s such a dynamic and unique personality that you never quite know what to expect from her, and it gives the game’s story an energy that it would’ve lacked otherwise.

If you’ve played InFamous: Second Son, then chances are you’ll be playing First Light as well, and I really can’t recommend it enough. It’s a wholly satisfying return to the series that nails the feel and style of Fetch perfectly, and even though the story lacks the emotional punch it was obviously going for, it’s still a visually stunning and immensely enjoyable adventure that is very much worth the fifteen-dollar price tag.

8.25

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