As a stand-alone expansion and prequel to inFamous: Second Son, First Light sets itself apart with a new playable character and a fresh sense of style. Players will have a great time wreaking havoc with their flashy superhuman abilities but not for as long as they did in the previous installment.
inFamous: First Light stars a street punk named Fetch who has the ability to absorb neon and utilize it to fuel her powers. The story jumps back and forth from present day in a prison to a couple of years back in Seattle. In the present, Fetch is incarcerated in a facility where they put her powers to the test and she is interviewed about her past. In the past, the story involves her and her brother Brent's relationship and all of the hardships they endure together while also explaining all of the events leading up to Fetch's incarceration. This dynamic is a pretty nifty way to present the plot and overall it's an interesting story that explains some back-story for Second Son.
The graphics look awesome from the neon effects to the cinematic cutscenes. Seattle is stunning as there is so much detail in every inch of the city. As day changes to night, the city appears different and the neon effects start to pop off the screen in a very flashy way. The music always complements the on-screen action nicely and never becomes obtrusive. Sound effects as you perform abilities and fight enemies are spot on. Some effects come out of the controller's speaker which is a nice touch. All of the characters are animated realistically and voiced suitably which makes them all the more life-like. Fetch has somewhat of a Jersey accent which adds to her tough persona. Everything looks and sounds great and therefore keeps the player engaged in the action and drama that take place.
Fetch has a huge arsenal of abilities at her disposal. Probably the most impressive is her ability to transform into neon rays of light which allow her to travel quickly while climbing buildings seamlessly. This ability is amplified when you get a boost of speed after flying through clouds of neon gas that are plentiful throughout the city. The sense of speed is quite a rush and you can use the momentum to propel yourself off rooftops and dash through the air. The combat mixes ranged and melee attacks effectively. Fetch can zoom in on enemies (which slows time down) while shooting neon from her hands to hit their weak points, perform melee combos with finishing moves, blast enemies with neon that suspend them in mid-air, fire homing missiles, and use a special attack that destroys all enemies within range. These abilities either use some neon or stocked charges to initiate. Neon can be recharged by sucking it in from nearby sources such as signs. Everything is executed responsively and the controls are very intuitive for a game with this amount of abilities.
Players are rewarded points by fulfilling certain requirements and completing challenges. These points are used to upgrade fetch's abilities. One of the last things you'll accomplish in the game is unlocking all of the upgrades. This seems rather counterintuitive since the only use a fully powered Fetch will serve after completing the game is to climb the arena's leaderboards. Not all gamers will care enough to do that, so fully upgrading Fetch may not be in everyone's best interest. However, it is rewarding to apply upgrades to your favourite abilities.
inFamous: First Light really shines while exploring the city of Seattle. There are a wide variety of missions to take on and each one is fun and rewarding. Missions have objectives such as protecting a vehicle as it drives from point A to point B, spray painting murals on walls with neon using the Sixaxis, chasing after collectables, and taking down cameras by hacking in to see what they can see in order to find where they are. Optional challenges will have you act heroic by taking down thugs, rescuing hostages, and destroying armoured vehicles. There are so many different things to do and the variety keeps the gameplay exciting. However, all of this excitement will be finished within a handful of hours since that's all it takes to completely master the Seattle portion of the game.
There are brief story related gameplay segments that occur in the prison. These act as the game's tutorials as Fetch tries to prove herself to her captors. The enemies you face in the prison's arenas are holograms of humans and eventually demons. Fighting them feels constricting as exploring the city of Seattle is very liberating in contrast. Optionally, players can take on arena challenges in order to unlock upgrades and get high scores. After the main game is finished, you may find yourself fighting hordes of enemies in order to complete everything there is to do in the game. This might overstay its welcome for a lot of gamers as the restrictive nature of the arenas in conjunction with the inherent repetitiveness of constant combat quickly becomes a chore.
inFamous: First Light is a solid stand-alone game that both fans of the series and newcomers will enjoy. Overall, it's a great experience with engaging gameplay and an interesting storyline. It's too bad that the main game is over so soon since most gamers will want more.
- + Fetch has a wide variety of abilities and attacks
- + Nice assortment of rewarding missions and collectables will compel you to keep playing
- + Graphics look truly next-gen
- - The main game is over a bit too soon
- - Prison scenes are constricting and arena combat quickly becomes tiresome