Since I happen to buy and review Infamous Second Son and while the standalone expansion is free the same month I’ve decided to review Infamous First Light. First Light focuses on Fetch and her past briefly mentioned in Second Son. Does Fetch’s neon filled adventure shine a new light to this franchise?
Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 4
What is it?
Infamous First Light is about Abigail “Fetch” Walker’s life before Second Son. This is a story about her and her brother and her time in Curdun Cay.
Fetch’s story is told through flashbacks to Augustine in Curdun Cay where she’s detained. Fetch and Brent live on the streets who make a living by dealing drugs. On their final run Fetch and Brent run into several problems leading to Brent being captured. Brent was Fetch’s anchor to keep her emotions and powers in check. Now that he’s gone she must use the powers that she’s spent so long hiding.
Fetch has power over neon, an ability Delsin Rowe eventually gained in Second Son. She has the same basic abilities: focused shooting, neon sprinting, stasis fields and draining neon but she also has a few differences. Fetch can perform melee attacks and finishers with her neon, she can perform straight air dashes, she can shoot multiple homing missiles at once and her special attack is a gravity well that draws enemies and killing them. There is no karma system anymore either. No unique abilities or karma related missions.
You’re only in the northern half of Seattle and there are fewer side missions. All side missions earn skill points to upgrade Fetch’s abilities. There are various combat challenges to complete over time that usually reward several skill points. Most other side missions require exploration of the city. You can create neon tags and shoot down police drones but the main source of skill points are from lumins.
Lumins are scattered throughout the city and require height and proper maneuvering to obtain. There are also Lumin Clouds that give more skill points and involves a “race” These “races” take you across a fixed path to catch the cloud. You have to use your neon sprint and run through neon clouds to increase your speed in order to pass through the cloud before it disappears. Neon clouds are also spread throughout the city allowing for faster travel.
The game alternates between the flashbacks and Curdun Cay. In Curdun Cay, Augustine’s encourages Fetch to reveal all her abilities that are made available for use in the game. After all of these sections are finished you can participate in the battle arena. There are two arena mode for Fetch and Delsin. Rescue requires you to save as many hostages before you or 5 are taken down by enemies. Survival has you fight waves of enemies until you are taken out. The arena will earn you a lot of skill points and your score will be posted on the online leaderboards.
How does it look?
The graphics are on par with Second Son and Seattle is mainly the same. The graffiti aesthetic is still used in cutscenes and to tag places in the game. Fetch’s main power was the best looking abilities from Second Son. The neon is such a big contrast to the realistic city and really pops, regardless of the ability.
You still don’t get a good feel for the city. You spend most of the time moving in neon sprint on building and in the skies. Playing two games still hasn’t made me familiar with the city outside the landmarks and Sly Cooper graffiti.
How does it sound?
The voice actors of Fetch and Augustine return and along with a supporting cast who provide excellent work. Fetch really shows off her emotional range and doesn’t comes off as forced or fake. The antagonist is excellently hateable and is an excellent hook to carry you through the game.
What do I think?
I played First Light very shortly after Second Son and First Light picks up in several of the places where Second Son fell short. The side missions have become fun distractions again rather than leading to combat so often again. In on conversation, Fetch interrupts a conversation because there was something “distracting”. It’s a self-aware moment that was a funny nod to the amount of collectables in the series.
Finding the lumins is a fun distraction that doesn’t attract fights and it isn’t overwhelming and feel as unnecessary as they did in Infamous 1 & 2. The police drone is a cool twist on the hidden camera missions, the neon graffiti continues to show the creativity of the aesthetic and the lumin races are a highlight of the side missions.
The storytelling is improved from Second Son. This is a simpler story about the tragic tale of Fetch and her brother Brent and how her life was slowly spiraled out of control because of her powers. She was forced to grow on her own, she was used and she got people and herself hurt. Fetch is a wild child but nothing she does is out of context. Love her or hate her, you can really follow Fetch on her journey.
The story is about 2-3 hours long with only some distractions. Coincidentally, you’re back in Seattle but only the northern half. There are several lumins and side missions to do in the city all of it can be completed in an hour or so. The battle arena is can take up a bit of time but it’s a game mode that isn’t for everyone.
The main missions are varied but most involve fighting, a lot of fighting. There was a lot of Fighting in Second Son but mostly against the D.U.P. (who must have a cloning facility or something for the amount of them who go down). The Akurans and Thugs come in waves and waves and lack of a karma system doesn’t gives you almost no options to subdue. The Akurans and thugs don’t make a big impression in Second Son probably because Fetch killed most of them. This actually doesn’t really affect Fetch’s character but you would expect some guilt on her already heavy conscience.
Should you get it?
The game is currently free on PlayStation Plus so it’s a steal. Infamous First Light take liberties to improve on the lower points of Second Son. The game is only a few hours and there aren’t too many distractions but enough to be satisfying. Fetch is well written, her power are awesome because how they feel and how they visually pop. If you’ve missed the free offer, it’s still worth buying. This is also good for new players to if they want to test the Infamous waters before fully jumping in.