Review: inFamous First Light

About this Game

inFamous: First Light

Publisher

Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. (SCEI)

Developer

Sucker Punch Productions

Release Date

August 27, 2014

Console

PlayStation 4

Time to Plat

~20h

Platinum Difficulty

Easy

Online Trophies?

No

Difficulty Trophies?

No

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“Curdun Cay Was Hell. It Was Also Home.”

inFamous First Light is a spin-off of the successful PS4 launch title “inFamous Second Son” which was the third game in the PlayStation-Exclusive inFamous franchise developed by Sucker Punch, who are launching the highly anticipated “Ghost of Tsushima” this month.

inFamous Second Son was one of my very first Platinum Trophies when I started hunting them all those years ago and since then I’ve had my eye on First Light. We got it for PS Plus somewhere down the line and then it just sat there, installed on my PlayStation 4 for years until this week when I finally got around to playing – and platting – this game.

First Light puts us in the shoes of Abigail Walker – or “Fetch” – one of the main characters in Second Son and one of the super-powered youths from whom protagonist Delsin gets one of his abilities. By playing as Fetch we experience her backstory which serves as a direct prequel to Second Son, ending right where the original picks up.

inFamous First Light Review

A Story at Light Speed

Told via a few cutscenes, pseudo-animated stills and a lot of talking over the phone, the story in inFamous first light is neither exciting or thrilling though it clearly tries to be. We learn the sad past behind the edginess that is “Fetch” and how her relationship with her brother and a history of panic attacks create the character we see Delsin chasing down in inFamous Second Son.

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These 2D segments match the graffiti aesthetic from previous games but adds a neon flare with it’s colour scheme and over-the-top lens effects.

There’s a lot of emotion involved in this backstory which one would imagine could result in some very deep and meaningful moments, but everything somehow falls kinda flat and given the actual length of the story campaign, it’s not nearly long enough for you to actually take the time to become invested in these characters.

Given the story campaign is so short, the explorable environment in the game feels relatively tiny when you can go from one side of the map to the other in less than a minute, with very little happening in the city as you do so, except for the occasional drive-by shooting. The map is divided up into districts as is quite common with sandbox-style games of this nature but they’re very small districts with maybe only 15-20 collectibles in total per district.

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The very simple map contains a pretty limited list of activities and collectables.

This means that even if you’re doing your absolute best to extend this portion of the game by collecting absolutely everything and completing all side-activities as you go, you’re still only looking at maybe 5-7 hours of game. Which is where the real game comes in, but I’ll come back to that.

Now You’re Fighting with Neon

Fetch’s neon abilities look fantastic. The drab and murky setting of rainy Seattle contrasts perfectly with the obnoxiously vibrant colours which burst onto screen with every attack that Fetch does. Even travelling through the city is a magnificent light show. Holding will reduce Fetch down to neon wisps and in this form you can travel at incredible speeds, leaving behind a trail of neon gas which you can see stretching off into the distance, tracing the path you just took.

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Fetch’s neon trail making her extremely easy to follow.

The range of abilities available can be quite exciting. From firing a blast of neon out of her hands – suspending her enemies helplessly in the air – to unleashing a devastating neon singularity which pulls enemies into an inescapable gravity well before exploding and destroying everything in the vicinity, Fetch’s abilities are both great to look at and devastating when used properly.

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Fetch’s move set is all flash AND bang.

All of these abilities can be upgraded via an RPG-style upgrade menu. However, I do have some gripes with how this works. Many of the abilities become available as you progress through the story, which makes sense that’s pretty standard for games of this type, but the fact that some of the best abilities aren’t available until the story is over and done with seems a bit cheap.

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The Upgrade Menu

Of course, there is a purpose to them doing that and it’s so that these new abilities serve you well in the Battle Arena, but I think it would have been nice to let these abilities be used towards the end of the story instead, for those who aren’t into sticking around for the repetitive post-game.

The Real Game

The fact of the matter is, the story mode is such a small and frankly insignificant part of the game that it’s clear the true intended use of your time here is within the “Battle Arena”. Here, you’ll find a set of replayable survival missions within each of the various arenas which Fetch visited during the story campaign.

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My best high score on one of these involved surviving for almost 40 minutes.

Some are “Survival” and others are “Rescue”, which is just Survival except hostages will occasionally spawn and you need to defeat the enemies surrounding them before “saving” them by running into them.

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Hostages are easily recognisable for their green colour.

Each Survival stage has 5 challenges tied to it and there are a total of 60 additional global challenges which you can complete in either story mode or the Battle Arenas. The 5 arena-specific challenges all involve score and in order to earn all 5 you will need a score of 500,000 or more, which usually takes around 10-15 minutes of survival.

Defeating enemies in a row will earn you a score multiplier and each enemy awards you a minimum of 100 points, with higher score rewards for tougher enemies. The longer you survive, the more enemies there will be which makes it both harder to survive and easier to earn score.

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A well-timed singularity will earn you thousands of points with a single button press.

Someone going for the platinum trophy will spend much more time on these challenges than they would in the actual campaign hence my feeling that this is actually the main game and the campaign is just bolt-on, though it’s more likely that the campaign came first and the additional challenges were used to extend the worth of the game, similar to how Metal Gear Solid V’s prequel game was a 20-minute mission followed by a torrent of additional challenges.

Honestly, though, this is the best part of the game and certainly serves as the greatest source of entertainment and fun to be found in this arguably tiny game.

My inFamous First Light Platinum Experience

Collectable Tunnel Vision

When I started the game, as I often do with sandbox/free-roam games, I first looked at the available collectables and assessed how many I could earn at this stage.

Apart from some security drones you need to destroy after a certain point of the story, every collectable and side-activity was available from the beginning. So, naturally, I made very little story progress and the majority of my time was invested in collectables and side-activities.

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Neon graffiti and timed races are a cool but limited distraction. The controls for the neon graffiti are a little hit and miss too, I miss the excellent spray-paint system they had in Second Son.

These would often earn you upgrade points which I would then immediately spend on upgrading Fetch’s abilities. The difficulty is that to earn all upgrade points you need to also complete every challenge, so I was spending a very finite supply of upgrade points on Fetch’s most basic abilities, meaning that when she finally unlocked powerful abilities such as missiles, I had no upgrade points left and no immediate ones available.

After maybe only a couple of hours I had every collectable but the security drones, which I obviously also cleaned up as soon as they became available. This earned me the 4 collectable trophies.

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Taking out the last Security Drone

Finishing up the Story

With every possible side-activity and collectable all mopped up and shiny 100% completion indicators on the map, I was ready to go all-in on the mere hour or so of story I had remaining. These missions were all the same, essentially, go from point A to point B, kill a few enemies while preventing them from reaching a certain objective and then move on and repeat.

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One mission in particular just asked me to destroy as much stuff as possible, which was a pretty good mission compared to the rest.

With every story mission complete I had another 4 trophies under the belt but despite picking up a few miscellaneous challenge-related trophies here and there, I was nowhere near the platinum.

Blood Diamonds

There are myriad trophies tied to the various challenges available in the battle arenas, but there’s only one trophy you really need to earn and it’s impossible not to earn the rest of the challenge trophies along the way:

Unleashed

Purchase Every Upgrade

As I mentioned earlier, it’s impossible to unlock every upgrade by just playing the story because you earn the majority of your upgrade points from completing challenges. So, in order to purchase every upgrade, you need to complete every challenge, which would earn you 4 challenge completion trophies (one for every 25% of challenge completion), 6 trophies tied to specific challenges, and 4 trophies for completing the 500,000 point challenge on every battle arena stage. That’s a lot of trophies!

So where do we begin with a challenge list like that? Well, the obvious starting point would be to try and earn 500,000 points on every stage so that’s where I began. It was pretty much easy to earn these trophies as you’d only need to survive for about 20 waves which takes about 10 minutes. It’s good to note also that the “Delsin” arenas are entirely optional and are not required for any trophy.

One ability makes this challenge a lot easier. It’s an upgrade for the ranged attack which you don’t unlock until you’ve beaten the story, but it allows you to shoot the weak points on an enemy to turn them into an ally, you can then end up with an army of soldiers yourself, who will help you survive.

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My first attempt was so close.

However, some of the stages have additional challenges requiring you to survive for 30 waves, which is madness and that additional 10 waves can be extremely challenging. The best approach I could devise was to avoid enemies as much as possible as I made my way from Neon source to Neon source. Draining Neon will recover your health and give you up to 4 homing missile uses.

Therefore, I’d drain the Neon, turn around, fire homing missiles at the approaching crowd of enemies, and then run to the next neon source. Around once every 3 waves I’d get a singularity which I could then use to not only rack up a huge score but also clear plenty of the enemies off the map, buying me a lot more time.

The first survival stage took me 3 attempts, the second took me 2 attempts and then after that, I got 500,000 score for every stage on my first attempt. Exponential improvement and all that!

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Just one of the 5 500,000 score trophies popping.

Challenge Checklist

As it turned out, I managed to get a large majority of the challenge trophies done during the previous phase of my journey and was surprised to find I only had 3 challenges left.

A lot of the more difficult challenges such as killing enemies by destroying the bridge under their feet or killing a certain number of the D.U.P’s indestructible “Rook” units were actually really easy because they were being progressed every time I used a singularity.

The three challenges I had left were the following:

  • Earn a grand total of 10,000,000 score
  • Kill 50 enemies with a Super Bolt
  • Kill 50 enemies with explosive hazards

The last one of those proved incredibly easy as it, too, was being completed slightly every time I used a singularity. The singularity would pull all the enemies and nearby explosives into a cluster and if any of those enemies happened to be killed by the explosives before they’re killed by the singularity, I earned progression towards the total 50 kills.

The 10,000,000 score one actually had a trophy tied to it and as I was already at 7,000,000+ total score, I only had about three more decent arena runs to go because usually, when I completed an arena, I was able to survive for around 20 minutes and earn just over 1,000,000 points. As it turned out, I managed to complete this trophy in just two exceptionally good attempts, earning myself the trophy.

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The 10,000,000-point trophy

The only thing I had left was that darned super shot challenge and it was a real pain. I didn’t realise this for quite some time but whenever you defeat one of the drone enemies in the battle arena, they drop an absorbable Neon light, which offers Fetch temporary upgrades such as Invincibility (Purple), Infinite finishers (Green), and score multipliers (Yellow). The fourth and final kind gives Fetch a boosted “Super Shot” attack which kills almost all enemies in a single shot and comes in the form of blue neon.

The problem wasn’t that these drones were rare as they were very common, the problem was that the blue ones were very rare. I’d find maybe just one every two runs of an arena until finally I got lucky enough to find two back-to-back in the same run and was finally able to earn that last collectable and buy myself the last upgrade needed for the final trophy and the platinum.

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Bagging that final upgrade.

Time Breakdown

Collectables/Side-Activities

Story

Battle Arena & Challenges

That concludes my inFamous First Light Trophy Review. If you enjoyed reading this review, please do let us know, it means the world to us when we hear feedback and we love engaging with people over the game we just platted. It’s basically the only thing motivating us at the moment!

You can follow us on Twitter @GetPlat and Instagram @platget where we’ll be sharing updates, upcoming reviews and general gripes about the games we’re working on so feel free to follow us or use it as another channel for feedback!

Verdict

Plat

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inFamous First Light isn't an incredible game by any means, the story is okay if a little short and the gameplay barely stands out by today's standards. Despite that, it has enough challenge in it to keep things interesting and the Platinum is pretty easy, worth adding to the collection.

Pros

  • Interesting range of abilities available
  • Great neon aesthetic which makes excellent use of the PS4's particle systems
  • Entertaining selection of approachable challenges to occupy you

Cons

  • Very short but it is a spin-off after all
  • Story is uninteresting
  • The story-based free-roam content is lacklustre
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Bronze Trophy

inFamous First Light falls pretty flat for what it is. When put against the main game this one branched from, it begs the question why you'd ever play it. But, with it's own separate Platinum Trophy requiring minimal effort, and a great set of extra challenges, it finds a place in our trophy collections.

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About the Author

More fond of single-player experiences and story-driven games than anything else, TheDblTap has a keen eye for secrets and collectables, a skill which serves him well as a Trophy Hunter. However, with little patience and poor timing, he can struggle where MrZhangetsu would succeed.

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