SUCKER PUNCH’S SECOND PUNCH
inFAMOUS First Light seems more like a reply to critics than a standalone title. With inFAMOUS Second Son being released a mere five months ago, Sucker Punch Productions has taken an active step in analyzing what needed improvement and tested it out with Fetch’s own mini-prequel. However, is there enough packed into the vignette to warrant the $15 entry fee?
The answer is an overwhelming yes. When reviewing Second Son, most critics mentioned the shallowness of the plot and the emptiness of the lead character (Delsin’s most detailed characteristic was his beenie). Paired with a flawed moral-choice system, Second Son’s campaign struck most reviewers as underwhelming — it was more of a summer blockbuster than an Oscar nominee. In an effort to bring some personality back to the franchise, First Light focused on fan-favorite and the tortured soul, Abigail “Fetch” Walker.
Within the first five minutes players will know more about Fetch than they ever did about Delsin — the ups and downs of the three and a half hour story campaign are more reminiscent of inFAMOUS’s roots. That said, the story is far from perfect — the level of quality has increased from sub-par action movie to a decent primetime TV drama. The story is still no comparison to the twists and turns of the original games, but this is the best Sucker Punch has done this generation.
While Fetch’s story outshone Delsin’s through heavy character introspection, Sucker Punch improved on the moral choice system by just leaving it out. Good move, SP — hopefully this is a trend that follows in subsequent games.
Next on the list are the side missions — Sucker Punch has tried to tailor the variety to fit what players liked the best. For instance, the highly acclaimed “spray painting missions” made the cut while “find the secret agent missions” got kicked to the curb. Additionally, some new side quests were thrown into the mix, specifically a form of racing missions. While it feels like these missions are generally better than the missions from Second Son, there is even less variety — a major gripe from the original. The main missions also have the same issue; there is too much of the same thing. No matter how much I enjoy chasing after orbs of neon, it gets old after the tenth time.
Speaking of neon, I’m glad to report that the limitation of conduit abilities never felt stale. Thankfully Sucker Punch paced Fetch’s abilities throughout the entire campaign, keeping the game feeling fresh. While none of her upgraded abilities are going to surprise you after playing as Delsin, they never feel worn out.
The other main issue that players had with Second Son was its lack of replayability. Sure, you can squeeze about 12 hours from the game, but what after that? Sucker Punch took a page out of Resogun’s playbook and implemented an leaderboard-motivated arena mode. In these arenas, players rack up points through the amount of DUP-holograms killed and hostages saved. Not only that, but there are in-game challenges to add to the playtime. While the arena mode felt shoehorned into the campaign, it works great as a standalone competitive option. Seeing that the story mode took me just under four hours to complete, I can imagine the arena battles will add two or more hours, depending on your level of skill and whether you are a high score chaser.
Last but not least, Sucker Punch fixed some of the minor issues plaguing Second Son. Ever get frustrated trying to run up awnings and overhangs? Not a problem anymore. Did you ever wish Picture Mode was more elaborate? It’s been expanded. The game mechanics of First Light are overall more polished, even if the general game is not.
The Verdict: 8.0 out of 10
If you weren’t a fan of Second Son, then First Light isn’t going to make you a believer. However, for those who are looking for a taste of inFAMOUS, Sucker Punch’s foray into Fetch’s troubled past is a must play. While the game is plagued with some of the main issues of Second Son like repetitive mission types, the 6+ hours of content more than justify the $15 pricetag.
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Lou Contaldi is MONG’s Executive Editor. In his off time, he enjoys being aggressively mediocre at Hearthstone. You can follow his incoherent ramblings at Twitter.
This review is based on a game that was independently purchased at full retail price. The reviewer has played 7 hours on this expansion, building a slow and steady hatred against all Texans.