Developer(s) – Sucker Punch Studios
Publisher(s) – Sony Computer Entertainment
Director – Nate Fox
Producer – Brian Fleming
Also acting as a standalone game as well as DLC, InFamous: First Light brings players back to Central Seattle to play through a prologue to the original game, documenting the back story of supporting character, Abigail “Fetch” Walker. Though most of the gameplay largely remains the same, I was both impressed and somewhat disappointed by it at the same time.
Graphics – 9.5/10
Just as in the original game, First Light portrays a very dark and gritty take on Central Seattle, which went leaps and bounds ahead of what Sucker Punch Studios have ever done with the InFamous series in terms of presentation. The heightened sense of realism compared to previous games in the series is also very prominent, and I think the further emphasis the developers put on using neon as scenery and a general constant adds a further presence of grittiness to the setting of the entire saga. Although there is less scenery to look at overall, I think the developers have done a very good job of adding something very interesting to their already existing artwork.
Gameplay – 9/10
Since First Light is essentially an add-on to an already existing game, I expected there would be considerably less content and substance in gameplay. But I found that while there is much less than in Second Son, it was still a great joy to play for how long it lasts. There are a few side quests scattered here and there, and also a fair amount of variety. I was disappointed by how toned down the range of abilities were compared to the original game and how the morality mechanics aren’t present, as they are in every other game in the series, but the training programs that can be done gives it a fair bit of replay value, at least.
Controls – 10/10
Just like in Second Son: Many of the control issues that had been apparent in the first two games in the series had been addressed. It is much easier to move around and to engage enemies, and there aren’t any unnecessary complications present that are annoying as opposed to being innovative. It can be somewhat hard to control the new neon graffiti art mechanics, but to me, it’s not annoying enough for it to lose any marks.
Lifespan – 3/10
In relation to the much more restricted gameplay, DLCs usually last considerably less time than the original game. And I’m sad to say that First Light is no exception. The main story can last merely two to three hours; even taking in side quests. However, the game isn’t without replay value of course, since the ultimate objective of undertaking the various training programs found in the DLC is to simply beat the high score, interestingly introducing the franchise to a grass-roots video gaming basic.
Storyline – 8.5/10
The story of InFamous: First Light tells the back-story of Abigail “Fetch” Walker; a conduit that can harness the power of neon, imprisoned in the DUP facility Curdan Cay, all the while being trained to harness her powers by the DUP leader, Brooke Augustine, whilst simultaneously documenting the chain of events that led her there, and of her life on the streets of Seattle with her brother Brent. In my opinion, the story is just as gripping and full of twists and turns as the original game. And although the morality mechanics have been taken out of the gameplay formula, the theme of morality is very much present in the game’s story; as well as the contemplation of the effects of making tough decisions; story elements that have been stables throughout the entire series.
Originality – 7/10
Although I wish that more could have been added to First Light to make it last longer, and by the same token I hope that this is merely the first of many DLC packages for the original game, I think that adding as much replay value as they have to it in a way which is fairly unusual for a game of the same calibre as InFamous: Second Son, is pretty unique, and also a very smart move. It’s by that token that I believe First Light also works relatively well as a standalone game.
Overall, InFamous: First Light is a decent add-on to what it is still my pick as the greatest game of 2014 so far. Though it lasts a pretty short amount of time, what time players will spend on it will be enjoyed, and replay value will be had on top of that.