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Infamous: First Light Review

Pink Killer Some Filler

Infamous: First Light tells the origin story of side-character Abigail Walker, also known as Fetch, from Infamous: Second Son. However, this standalone DLC requires no previous knowledge of Second Son in order to be enjoyable; what it does require is a small portion of your time, and a love of solid game mechanics. First Light expertly employs a fun traversal system, varied distractions across its caricature of Seattle, and powers that always keep combat interesting. Thankfully, the game is a blast to play, because its mediocre narrative is not a driving force pushing players towards its mildly interesting conclusion.

Abigail Walker, also known as Fetch, is a raised-on-the streets sass monster who is out to save the only one who keeps her happy: her brother. This story arc is told through flashbacks while Fetch is kept under anti-Conduit control in the present – locked away in Curdin Cay, the prison for super-powered individuals introduced in Infamous: Second Son. Voiceovers and a small number of cutscenes keep the narrative moving forward, but there’s not much keeping it from feeling uninspired. The enemies are mobs of look-alike gang members or cops, and the antagonist uses threats to keep Fetch working. The most redeeming quality of First Light’s tale is its voice acting. Laura Bailey’s accent is incredibly believable, even as she delivers lines from a boring script. The narrative beats are in no way archaic, but they don’t stand out much either, excluding one unpredictable moment in the game’s conclusion. Regardless of the story, players will ultimately keep playing First Light because of its rock-solid game mechanics.

Fetch’s neon powers are a joy to use, and are intelligently given to players immediately. Streaking through the city, running up buildings, and dashing from objective to objective never became dull. The thrilling speed by which Fetch travels is just plain fun to command, and when they are coupled with the tight combat, players shortly learn that the gameplay in First Light is its biggest draw. A straight-forward skill tree gives players an arsenal that becomes seemingly unstoppable. Developer Sucker Punch expertly walks the fine line of withholding new powers without ever making the player feel like their enjoyment was the cost of waiting. What starts with targeting varied weak spots in slow motion ends with blasting enemies into the air, gunning them down, punching another until they pop, and then unleashing a finishing move that sweeps the whole block. Picture this: you’re flying over rooftops as a blur of light, spot a gaggle of gang members, descend on them with a pink shockwave of monumental proportions, then blast the reinforcements with levitation, slow time to blow away their exposed weaknesses, and turn around to finish the rest of with a barrage of neon missiles. Yeah. It’s dope.

The playground designed by Sucker Punch is the perfect arena for Fetch’s neon powers. Peppering the fictional Seattle are various objectives, from races and graffiti, to destroying drones and collecting Lumens. These Lumens are reminiscent of Crackdown’s green orbs, and reward the player with skill points as they collect the balls of light. Completing the plethora of objectives around the map rewards the player with skill points, which incentivises exploration. Collecting upgrades never feels like a chore, but instead gives players an excuse to just fly around and enjoy themselves. This version of Seattle definitely doesn’t sport the scale of Grand Theft Auto V’s Los Santos, but it’s certainly large enough to keep players busy. Luckily the sheer speed at which Fetch moves makes up for the fact that the city doesn’t feel like a living, breathing world, due to its population of placeholder NPCs.

Infamous: First Light is a fantastic standalone experience that anyone should play, regardless of their history with past Infamous games. The combat is kept interesting by weak spot variety and a steady but satisfying increase in destruction power. The city of Seattle sports a ton of objectives that also help flesh out your skill trees, and though the narrative is a tad vanilla with the exception of an interesting climax, the excellent voice acting is enough to ferry players from mission to mission as they explore Fetch’s origin story. Once the credits roll, players can jump back into arena missions in order to keep blasting foes with neon in hopes to land themselves high on the leaderboards. This touch of replayability is the only excuse I need to augment my original four hour experience with First Light when I’m itching to devastate mindless hordes of whatever.

Edited by: Malia Hamilton

By Chase Williams

A Product Management professional in the field of videogames, formerly of PlayStation, currently at InnoGames. Devoted student to Aesthetic Philosophy and the definition of artworks. Seeks to bring an honest and robust critical analysis to videogames.

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