Taking a well-liked game, picking the most intriguing character from it and using them as a focus for single-player DLC seems to be a common theme recently. Naughty Dog did it with The Last of Us and Left Behind; Ubisoft did it with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Freedom Cry; now, it’s the turn of Seattle-based Sucker Punch Productions to do it with inFAMOUS: Second Son and First Light.
• Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
• Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
• Reviewed on: PlayStation 4
• Release Date: Available Now
Opening in the Curdun Cay prison facility for Conduits, Abigail ‘Fetch’ Walker is under the supervision of Second Son’s primary antagonist and head of the D.U.P. (Department of United Protection), Brooke Augustine. In order to learn more about her latest captive, Augustine questions Fetch on her past. Unlike Delsin, Fetch has had her conduit powers for years. When her parents threatened to turn her in to the authorities in order to get her help, her brother Brent intervened and the two siblings went on the run. Both end up homeless for years and before long, turn to crime in order to survive and feed their drug habits.
When the game begins, the pair are in Seattle but wish to make lives for themselves in Canada. Brent hopes the next job he needs to do will be the last but when complications arise, he has to rely on Fetch and her powers to help. Unfortunately, the job goes awry and Fetch returns to their boat hideout to find Brent missing. The man he was working for, Shane, shows up and promises to help Fetch find her brother if she helps him get back at the rival gang who took her brother.
To be honest, the rest of the major plot points could probably be guessed easily enough. Thankfully, First Light‘s characters are the highlights here. Fetch is once again the most interesting of the bunch. Her interactions with Augustine and Shane are particularly well-written, and parallel the relationships intelligently.
Outside of the story, Fetch herself is a strong, able protagonist. While the game does strip away all but one of the powers from the main game, at least you get to start this title with most of the best abilities unlocked. The neon dash that allows you to run continuously throughout the game is open from the get-go, for instance. In fact, within the tutorial levels, you unleash neon gas pockets throughout the city. Running through these actually increases your speed temporarily and when strung together, can get you from one side of the city to the other in record time.
The story missions in First Light vary from escort missions to all-out attacks on gang and D.U.P. establishments. Based on the first island available to you in Second Son, the area is diverse and populated enough not to feel constricting. The disappointing element is the lack of variety in the side missions. Like the main game, you either graffiti a wall or collect lumens (read: upgrade points)… and that’s it. However, as you collect new powers, Augustine demands a demonstration – which opens up the battle arena aspect of First Light. This certainly makes up for the lack of variety elsewhere.
It must be said that if inFAMOUS: Second Son didn’t float your boat, First Light is unlikely to change your mind. The story takes on many of the same themes – from family and acceptance to oppression – and the gameplay still pits you as a superhero with elemental powers. The upside is if you enjoyed Delsin’s adventure, Fetch’s escapades add plenty to proceedings. The enhanced neon powers are fun to use and easy to learn.
First Light is a fantastic nugget of a game. The padding that would exist in a larger AAA game is nowhere to be found. Instead, we get a tight story, with engaging characters and varied gameplay. Fetch continues to be one of the best characters created in this generation and hopefully, we will get to have a few more encounters with her in the future.