Looking Back – Infamous First Light

Fetch looking around with the Seattle Space Needle in the background

We are only days from the launch of Sucker Punch Productions’ latest game, Ghost of Tsushima. It’s crazy to think that it’s been almost six full years since they last released a game. I wanted to look back at that game, Infamous First Light, to remind myself of not only just how interesting that series was but to get an idea on the kind of open-world adventure I can expect when I eventually get my hands on Ghost of Tsushima

Fetch using one of her abilities against an enemy

First Light came out a mere five months following the release of Infamous Second Son, and both were part of the PlayStation 4’s first year (also known as the launch window). Second Son was one of the more high profile games for the console’s launch lineup and it definitely hit the right spots of showing off the capabilities of the PS4. Unfortunately for me, while I did play Second Son back in 2014, I honestly don’t remember much of the game, so jumping into First Light had me scratching my head a bit early on trying to remember the story details.

The events that take place in First Light serve as a prequel to the events of Second Son, and features Fetch, a character first introduced in the main game. Fetch’s story focuses on the disappearance of her brother and her efforts to locate him with the help of a few other characters. The story actually jumps around, also giving us a glimpse of her detainment by the Department of Unified Protection (D.U.P), which explains her eventual crossing paths with Second Son’s Delsin.

The story itself isn’t very deep and because of Fetch’s neon abilities, she’s extremely powerful. On the game’s normal difficulty it’s hard to mess up missions and you can breeze through the story in about 3-4 hours.

Even with that, this is still a fun game because of Fetch’s abilities and the Seattle setting Sucker Punch developed. For a six year old game, this still looks incredible. Fetch’s character looks really detailed and the Seattle landscapes help to immerse you in its world. Yes, this is using the Second Son engine but that shouldn’t be considered a knock against it.

Fetch standing in front of a one of her tags

However, because First Light launched early in the PS4’s lifecycle, it does a few mechanics that aren’t that fun. Like in Second Son, Fetch can tag buildings and that requires using the DualShock 4’s motion controls. While not difficult, they just aren’t that fun. Other gimmicks like using the controller’s speaker during certain conversations, and tapping the touch bar to drain neon lights show just how few games now use those features of the controller.

While this is a standalone expansion to Second Son, you still need to have some understanding of its predecessor. There are no real major ramifications but considering characters from that game appear here (not to mention that Fetch is a major character in Second Son), it definitely doesn’t hurt to have some familiarity with the former.

I’ve been playing a lot of these standalone types of games lately. I wish more games like this existed. I’m not necessarily looking for episodic games (while those can also be quite enjoyable), but games that have an established world but do not require an investment of a couple of dozen hours to see everything. First Light doesn’t overstay its welcome. Yes, the story is easy, you see the plot twists coming a mile away and it’s over fairly quickly, but there isn’t too much filler here. You can travel around most of Seattle completing challenges to unlock abilities for Fetch and progressing through the game opens up Arena challenges, those serve more as rewards and not requirements.

Fetch speeding through a section of downtown Seattle

With Sucker Punch finished with Ghost of Tsushima, hopefully, they consider returning to the world of Infamous, be an all-new game, or a remake of the original two games. There aren’t too many games like this and with open-world games still extremely popular amongst the mainstream, I doubt people would complain about coming back to this game’s universe.