Fetch is an interesting character
Battle arenas offer replayability
Neon powers are better than ever
Over before you know it
Plot is filled with cliches
Possibly too similar to Second Son
Last year, inFamous: Second Son proved to be one of the best Playstation 4 exclusives up to that point. Though it wasn’t without its flaws, it was arguably the most polished entry in the series. Months later, Sucker Punch announced that there would be a stand-alone expansion based on Second Son’s most interesting character, Fetch. Thank goodness for that because I couldn’t stand another minute of Delsin “look how cool I am” Rowe. Luckily, Fetch has a completely different personality and I was much happier having her as a protagonist, and what a wonderful protagonist she was.Fetch’s personality certainly does a lot to add to the otherwise lackluster story. Like Second Son, First Light is filled with eye-roll inducing tropes that do little to add to the game. Some of the twists and turns that happen along the way are so uninteresting, it’s easy to pass right on over them and ignore them completely. I can’t give anything away, but I will say that the storyline of Fetch’s (brief) campaign seems straight out of a “how to write a generic superhero script 101” classroom, and that’s probably not a good thing.
Luckily, there are plenty of good things to make up for annoying flaws like that. To start, First Light boasts some of the best visuals on the PS4. From the opening cutscene, it seems evident that Sucker Punch tried their best to squeeze everything they possibly could out of the Playstation’s hardware. It probably helps that Fetch’s neon power is bound to look pretty cool in one way or another, but Sucker Punch has outdone themselves. After playing so many games that seem practically grayscale, it’s nice to get one as colorful and shiny as First Light.
The gameplay remains mostly unchanged from Second Son. Fetch has a few new neon powers that Delsin didn’t possess in Second Son, but generally speaking, this is a very similar game. It takes place in the same city as Second Son, and like its older brother, it’s an open world game with a decent balance of primary missions and side missions. You still get the opportunity to spray paint the city, you still get the opportunity to destroy flying drones, and you can still participate in random events spread across the map. So if you didn’t like Second Son, keep in mind that you will not like First Light because it is essentially the same game, which is why its being billed as an expansion as opposed to a new entry in the series.
What has changed, you ask? Well, as I stated earlier, Fetch does have some new powers. One of the most notable powers she has is the triangle finisher, which definitely helps mix up the otherwise repetitive melee. Basically, when you kill someone with a melee attack, your finisher meter fills up, allowing you to instantly take someone out with the touch of the triangle button. It’s surprisingly satisfying and it adds several layers of strategic possibilities to the somewhat mundane melee combat. Another addition comes in the form of neon clouds, that act as a boost and send you flying across the city at light speed. Accompanying these are a host of new side missions that ask you to race through the clouds in an attempt to catch neon lumens that will grant you upgrades. These changes turn out to be a welcome addition, and they do help differentiate the game from Second Son.
The biggest addition to the game comes in the form of the arena mode. This mode is essentially First Light’s attempt at a horde mode, and to my surprise, I really enjoyed it. I say “to my surprise” because I generally don’t enjoy endless waves of enemies. I generally like a bit of variety. However, in First Light I frequently found myself replaying the same arena in an attempt to beat my high score. It’s also a great way to practice if you want to bump up the difficulty, and it helps you test out new upgrades.All in all, it works better than it should. The only issue I have is that there wasn’t more of it.
First Light is a welcome addition to the series, minor problems aside. At only $15, there’s no reason to pass it up, especially if you’re a fan of the series already. This isn’t going to change your life or anything, but it will certainly keep you entertained for a couple days while you’re waiting for the next big game to come out. Delve into Fetch’s origin story – you won’t regret it.