After playing and thoroughly enjoying The Swapper, naturally I had to play the second free PS4 game of the month. I was interested in Infamous: First Light when it was released back in August, especially after enjoying Second Son, but I never gave it a shot.
All in all, First Light is a fun, different ride through the Infamous world. The story was severely heavy-handed, but I enjoyed the gameplay more than Second Son.
- TL;DR: A fun slice of the larger Infamous pie
- Platform: PS4
- Score: 8.6
- Hours: 5
- What I Played: Main story with all side missions complete, a little bit of challenge mode
- Recommended?: To action fans regardless of whether or not you’ve played Infamous: Second Son
I’m really into this whole standalone spin-off game thing. Ubisoft did it with Far Cry 3 and Blood Dragon and now Sucker Punch has given us First Light, a completely standalone game set in the Infamous: Second Son world. In Second Son, we meet Fetch, a Conduit with a troubled past that we know little to no details about. First Light dives into Fetch’s backstory where we learn about her brother Brent being kidnapped, how she plans to rescue him, and how things went to hell for the two of them.
On one hand, I like that First Light drops you into Fetch’s life with her already having and controlling her powers. It gets you past the awkward hour or two of Second Son where Delsin is learning what he’s become, how to control it, should he be a force for good or evil, etc. On the other hand, the bulk of the story in First Light is so heavy handed and repetitive. At just about every important plot point, Fetch has a near mental breakdown and repeats over and over (and over) that she needs Brent, she has to focus on Brent, focus on a good memory. I get it, Fetch. You need your brother.
While the story may lack, First Light’s gameplay does not. The biggest difference between First Light and Second Son is the general speed of the game. I don’t mean the hours to play it, since this is a spinoff game and it’s obviously shorter, but rather how quickly Fetch moves compared to Delsin. When you meet Fetch in Second Son, you’re given her ability to run super fast, but only for a few seconds at a time. In First Light, Fetch can do her lightspeed run forever. Between the speedy running, the dash-jump boost, and air dashing, Seattle can be traversed in just minutes.
There is a good amount of content to find while running around Seattle, too. Strategically-placed points of light (lumens) can be collected for skill points along with races to track down other, fast moving lumens. Large clouds of neon light litter the city, providing Fetch with a boost of speed as she runs through them. Honestly, I wish there were more things to collect in First Light. I really enjoyed just dashing around Seattle, clearing the map of collectible icons.
Two other differences between Second Son and First Light are how the skill and combat systems are played out. Skills in Second Son are presented in a web with each skill having a few levels of upgrades on the same node. First Light has a handful of distinct skill tracks that require more linear, predetermined progression. Also, not every skill track is available to you from the onset, so don’t go collecting and using almost every skill point on the first few tracks you have, like I did.
Combat leans much more towards the shooting side than the melee side. Fetch can engage enemies up close, sure, but she only has her fists to do so. There are no smoke-fueled chains or hard light beams like in Second Son. Instead, Fetch does her damage from a distance via weak points. Each enemy has one or two weak points, normally on the head or limbs, that conveniently glow when Fetch aims at them. Hitting each weak point on an enemy causes them to topple over in defeat. Some have criticized First Light for having boring combat, but I enjoyed it. It’s definitely not as varied as Second Son, but the constant changing between dashing at light speed and aiming at weak points in slow-mo is a good time. Not quite as challenging as Second Son, but a good time nonetheless.
If you enjoy the fast-paced shooting like I do, you’ll probably like the challenge mode included in First Light. There are a few different types of challenges on varying difficulty levels with a leaderboard. Standard challenge mode fare. If you own Second Son, you can even bring Delsin into the mix for some added fun.
First Light is a great way to dive into the Infamous universe if you haven’t yet done so. As a spinoff/DLC for Second Son, it’s got enough (repetitive) story and new gameplay to warrant playing it. Overall, First Light is a fun game that anyone looking for a quick mow-down-my-enemies-with-great-power fix should play.