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'inFamous: First Light' brings more of the same but that's not all bad

Infamous: First Light

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InFamous: First Light releases on Tuesday to little fanfare, getting overshadowed quite a bit by Madden NFL 15. It’s also possible InFamous: First Light got overshadowed by the announcement that Sucker Punch, the studio responsible for both First Light and InFamous: Second Son has started letting people go, with its big projects apparently completed for the time being.

Infamous First Light Review Gallery-slide0
SCEA
Infamous First Light Cover
SCEA

Despite being a game that was more heralded when it was announced than when First Light was released this new chapter of the InFamous story line brings just enough to suck players in for another go-round.

This time, gamers will play as Abigail Walker, otherwise known as Fetch. This is the biggest difference between Second Son and First Light but it is hardly the only one in this version of InFamous. While InFamous: Second Son was relatively straightforward in the way it laid out the story, First Light works by actually giving you two different storylines in one (admittedly short) game.

Sucker Punch has managed to pack quite a bit of story into a short period of game time for InFamous: First Light. Despite this being just 4-5 hours long, depending on how you play, there is an ability to get to know the characters that are central to the story. While the character from InFamous: Second Son was certainly a likeable guy, especially at the beginning of the game when you are first introduced to him, Fetch isn’t someone who has a very likeable personality until you get to know her as First Light goes along.

Perhaps it is because we are introduced to her as she is telling her story to the captain of the DUP inside what appears to be a prison, or training ground. This is how the story for InFamous: First Light is able to take on two distinct directions. On the one hand, you train against holographic projections of terrorists and DUP officers all while apparently getting ready to take to the streets as a member of the police force you fought against so valiantly in Second Son.

The other half of the story is telling the tale of how you apparently ended up in the prison/training camp in the first place. It is here where Fetch lays out that she and her brother were basically street urchins who found a great deal of trouble and that trouble became too big to handle.

Sucker Punch has also become quite good at building the world of InFamous to the point where you get to know the villains and this game is no exception to that rule. As you work alongside someone who is a friend of Brent, but clearly also a shady character you get to see a world that isn’t close to being black and white. Fetch and her brother clearly live in a world of grey and that allows you a little more freedom than you had in Second Son.

First Light doesn’t lay out the need to pick a side, you aren’t treading the line between good guy and protector of the people, or bad guy and villain. The mission in this game solely involves helping your brother and surviving obstacles put in your way. This is also where InFamous: First Light falls a bit short. While there is still an open world, with a ton of side missions to carry out, the people seem more like background than a part of the story. You can still beat these people up, and they’ll still run from you if you go rogue, but beyond that there really isn’t any repercussions to doing so.

The other big feature of First Light is this version of InFamous has managed to include something called battle arenas. These are a way to compete against your friends by posting the high score. While it is kind of neat to have this sort of bragging rights, it doesn’t strike as the kind of feature that will either make or break the game. If Sucker Punch had left it out altogether no one would have missed it.

All-in-all, InFamous: First Light is a solid game that would have been plenty interesting as a standalone. It almost makes you wish it had been a standalone, instead of the continuation of a series, because it might have had more substance if this world had been brand new.

Pros

  • InFamous: First Light's Controls are easy to pick up and create havoc quickly
  • The graphics and artwork of InFamous: First Light certainly take advantage of the PS4's power
  • Characters are interesting and well fleshed out for such a short game

Cons

  • InFamous: First Light is a very short game that seems like it could have been better
  • The lack of good or evil intent makes the citizens of Seattle little more than background noise
  • Battle Arenas are completely forgettable new feature

A review code for inFamous: First Light for the PS4 was provided to Examiner.com for the purposes of this review.