Although Delsin Rowe was the ultimate focus of inFAMOUS: Second Son, he wasn’t alone in his quest to rid Seattle of the anti-conduit DUP military corporation. In fact, the beanie-wearing, one-liner touting superhero was provided with new powers and abilities by strangers met along the way, including a girl named Fetch. She, with her neon-infused powers and love for badass graffiti designs, left the biggest impact, provided what is perhaps the game’s best power and ended up becoming the eye of our protagonist’s affection.
Now, months after Second Son brought its breathtaking visuals and action-packed gameplay to the PlayStation 4, Fetch is back in the game’s first piece of standalone DLC, which is appropriately titled inFAMOUS: First Light. This time around, however, she’s the main focus and character, after playing second fiddle before. That’s because the fifteen dollar, 6.5 GB download exists as a way to tell her backstory.
If you’ve played through the main game (which you should do before playing this), then you’ll know the gist of Fetch’s troubled life. As a conduit, she was shunned by parents who called the DUP on her, but was saved by her brother who took her under his wing and risked being homeless to save her from captivity. However, after time spent on the streets of beautiful Seattle, Brent and his sister not only fell into the drug scene, but also became low-level criminals in order to earn money. This would ultimately lead to disaster.
Throughout its four hour-long campaign, inFAMOUS: First Light does a good job of providing backstory for one of its series’ more interesting characters. However, its mission design sometimes leaves things to be desired. Repetition sets in after a bit, as Fetch finds herself tasked with doing similar things like sitting on top of a truck and protecting it from chasing gangsters or wiping out large assortments of enemies before being able to progress. These repeated designs don’t affect the game’s quality all that much, though, because playing as a neon-shooting badass who can run like the wind is ultimately a lot of fun. Fetch was shown as being pretty powerful in Second Son, but she’s an incredible wrecking ball here.
The majority of this prequel takes place two years before the main game and features introductory narration by Fetch, who’s shown in DUP captivity at its onset. Things transition between the present and the past, though, with present day serving as a training ground, wherein our lead character conveniently remembers new skills. Locked away in a seemingly impenetrable jail, she’s given ample opportunity to show off her abilities to an onlooking captor, who wants nothing more than to make her a DUP soldier.
Gameplay-wise, First Light is quite similar to its predecessor. Fetch brings her own arsenal to the fold, but her plight doesn’t invoke any major gameplay changes. You’re still running through an open world Seattle — which has been made smaller this time around — taking out DUP forces, running races, collecting upgrade shards and creating graffiti. One difference, though, is that Fetch finds herself in the middle of a gang war in her attempts to save her brother, who’s been kidnapped by bad guys.
What’s most fun about playing as the game’s love interest is how fast she can run. As Delsin, we were able to use her neon sprint ability to get around town in a flash, but this expansion (or whatever you want to call it) takes things to a new level by introducing energy clouds. Sprinting through one will boost your speed, while going through consecutive ones will have a bit of a cumulative effect, making it easy to get from one point to another quickly. It’s a neat addition that works well and really fits the character.
Energy clouds are helpful during attempts at grabbing neon shards, many of which are located way up in the air. Approximately ten of them can be found in each of the city’s several regions, and you’ll want to make sure to pick-up as many of them as possible if you want to become an ultimate badass.
Another way to earn upgrade points is to enter into challenges, of which there are quite a few. Found in the game’s options menu, the three-tiered challenge room — which just so happens to be the same prison practice room I mentioned above — can be used as not only a way to hone one’s skills, but also an opportunity to show off on the leaderboards. By selecting one of these events, you’ll enrol yourself into trials that test speed and toughness. The ones I played were predominantly focused on having me save holographic civilians from grunts, or forcing me to survive against waves of baddies as either Fetch or Delsin.
Visually, inFAMOUS: First Light is a treat for the eyes. Then again, that was to be expected considering that Second Son is quite possibly the best-looking video game on the market right now. I’m not sure if I’d call them both equals, though, because First Light didn’t seem to look as sharp during some scenes. That said, it still looks great and features some incredible details, including technology that makes Fetch’s face look like it’s quivering when she cries. The city itself is still quite desolate, though, with few pedestrians and a limited amount of vehicles.
The audio is also no slouch, and is full of great sounds and rich tones. Like before, the voice acting is also quite impressive, lending a lot of credibility and believability to this comic book-inspired story. The writing has a couple of hiccups, due to cheesiness, but no major issues.
If you’ve liked or loved any of the past inFAMOUS games, then there’s really no reason not to pick up inFAMOUS: First Light. It may be a bit repetitive at times, but it’s a good deal at just fifteen dollars. For that money, you’ll get phenomenal presentation values, in addition to a wealth of content and a very solid campaign.
This review is based on the PS4 exclusive.
inFAMOUS: First Light is an entertaining and well-made prequel to inFAMOUS: Second Son, but it's kept from greatness by repetitive mission types and familiar tropes.