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Review

Infamous: First Light Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed: August 26, 2014
  • PS4

Ruthless neon on the wet streets.

In Infamous: Second Son, leading dudebro Delsin Rowe made little attempt to disguise his newfound powers; in fact, he reveled in them, delighting in the destruction available at his fingertips. Given Delsin's penchant for calling attention to himself by spray-painting street art on public property, such exuberance is unsurprising: he's a self-described rebel wearing a beanie and a denim vest, the kind of anti-establishment cliche born of focus-group testing and savvy marketing. If Delsin were a Simpsons character, he'd be Poochie.

I didn't care for Delsin very much.

Aside from his appearance as a playable character in its challenge levels, Delsin has no meaningful role to play in Infamous: First Light, which is just as well, since resident dirtbag Shane has masculine bravado to spare. Shane certainly has no qualms subjecting First Light heroine Abigail 'Fetch' Walker to his loathsome pick-up lines and sexist drivel, an uncomfortable and heavy-handed story device designed to make Fetch a sympathetic lead from the get-go, as if her depressing backstory as a runaway were not humanizing enough. Fetch herself fulfills the role the plot expects of her--the street-smart young woman learning how to channel her rage into the superpowers she was once afraid of revealing. It's not the ham-fisted dialogue that makes Fetch so appealing, nor the by-the-numbers story she stars in, but rather actress Laura Bailey's nuanced and emotional performance, as well as Fetch's beautifully animated face.

It's bleak and lonely on the mean streets.

Spending time with Fetch is a delight, which makes it a pity the story missions tie her down with so many limitations. As the plot leads you through its predictable beats, you improve powers and gain access to new ones by completing missions, collecting glowing shards scattered around Seattle, and performing a few mundane side tasks, such as preventing drive-by shootings--which actually just means beating up a few criminals or blowing up their vehicle until all of the hooligans are dead. Fetch's neon-based abilities allow her to speed through the city as a ray of light, enclose enemy agents in stasis bubbles, and create a gravitational singularity that sucks in nearby enemies and then detonates with a burst of light and limbs. And yet a good portion of the story tasks are boring sniper missions that bolt you on rooftops and have you firing neon at the shooting gallery underneath you. What a waste of Fetch's talents.

Delsin's art's got nothing on Fetch's.

Where Second Son flourished--and where First Light also impresses--is in the fluidity of the interactions. Speeding through Seattle is a breakneck delight, particularly when you rush through one of the countless neon vortexes scattered about and pick up an additional speed boost. Seattle is a playground, and the collectible shards that improve your powers have you scurrying up skyscrapers and floating from rooftops. This is the same vibrant, high-fidelity version of Seattle that made Second Son such a fine showcase of the PlayStation 4's capabilities. There are no frame rate hitches to distract you, and there is little textural pop-in to grab your attention. It is you and the city. Obstacles are easily surmounted, making Seattle's borders the only notable boundary to your freeform exploration.

It doesn't take long to exhaust the supply of easy secondary activities, which is just as well: as wonderful as it feels to interact with Infamous: First Light, the game simply goes through the open-world motions. The morality system that makes the series stand apart is missing from action here, so the only guiding principles are your own, not the game's. You occasionally have the option to enchain guards and gangsters that try to flee the scene after you've wreaked havoc, but there is no reason to choose peace over murder: First Light is typically concerned only with its own neon fireworks. Given the way Delsin fully embraced his living power fantasy, it's ironic that his story would allow a (sort of) noble path, when the more conscientious Fetch is allowed no such redemption. First Light also displays the symptoms of retroactive continuity: several specifics of this story deviate from the details described in Second Son.

Once you max out your homing missiles you can sleepwalk your way through challenge arenas.

It's not in the open world, but in the challenge rooms, where Fetch is most able to let loose. Again, First Light is going through the motions here: you either fight progressively stronger waves of digital enemies, or you do so while rescuing the innocents they threaten. Zipping from corner to corner, blasting Department of Unified Protection guards and digital demons, is an absolute blast, at least before you earn the game's full complement of neon powers, some of which do not unlock until you finish the story. The freedom of movement, the ease with which you can chain melee attacks together, the responsiveness of the controls: all of these attributes combine into a silky smooth demonstration of otherworldly skill.

The time comes, however, when you learn how to exploit your powers and earn ultra-high arena scores. Once you've earned sufficiently potent and plentiful homing missiles, you needn't worry too much about exercising a full range of abilities. Instead, you can simply zip from one neon source to another, filling up on juice and spamming enemies with missiles until you are able to summon your colossal singularity and vaporize your attackers. On every level, I easily earned diamond-level scores, the highest you can receive, using this technique. Several times I allowed myself to die just because I'd gone for 45 minutes and had grown more than bored by the process. Combat is far too easy to abuse, and without tension, the battles have no sting.

Nevertheless, Infamous: First Light proves itself a serviceable time waster. Fetch is an engaging character, troubled yet intensely loyal, and though her story arc recalls more video games, film, and anime than I care to count, she still commands your attention. I spent about six hours with her in total, and managed a 100-percent playthrough in the process; if you're just in it for the story, you could probably zap your way through in around two hours. Given Second Son's greatness, I had hoped for something more than a time-waster, but this Infamous has no bite.


The Good
Fetch is an engaging heroine
Silky-smooth combat and locomotion make it a pleasure to move around Seattle
Colorful powers make challenge arenas a temporary thrill
The Bad
Ham-fisted dialogue and characterizations
Exploitable powers suck all the tension from combat
Uninspired mission design
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for inFamous: Second Son

About the Author

Kevin VanOrd finished Infamous: Second Son earlier this year. In First Light, he earned diamond-level scores in every battle arena, earned every power, finished the story, and performed every side activity.

Discussion

227 comments
RevLux
RevLux

 "You improv powers..." Lol.


I just pictured a group of amateur improvisation actors using random objects to humorously depict super powers on a small stage in a rec. center. 

quantumbullet-
quantumbullet-

I really wish they would remove the comment section, very VERY few of you have anything remotely intelligent to say. You rather try to pick apart a review that is based off the opinion on the person who experienced the game. Which the comedy in that is there are some of you on here who didn't even play the game! If you don't like it then go somewhere else, like IGN...where you will rarely find an honest review. Keep up the good work fellas some of us do appreciate it. 

bitmapbrother81
bitmapbrother81

If they had stuck to the Infamous 1 formula it could have been a lot better.

azunaki
azunaki

glad this got a plus for having an engaging heroine, to bad the rest had a bit of a stumble.

daniel79
daniel79

"Boo Hoo, Kevin didnt rate the game I like higher, he's weally wubbish.. waaah, blub blub"

Pathetic.

hoyholyhoy
hoyholyhoy

Yeah I loved playing as Fetch because she is a great character, but I agree with the mission system being so uninspired. I actually liked the story (especially into the end) it only felt a bit rushed, only taking me about 3 1/2 hours to beat. I love that you can still explore and do the arena with Delson if you have SS. It's good, just not nearly as awesome as SS, obviously. I'd say wait for it to go on sale.

the22for4
the22for4

Kevin VanOrd why this guy still working here, He should leave Gamespot and work in somewhere better.
HIM>GS.

Sound_Demon
Sound_Demon

Fellow Gamespoters, there's a reason why only Kevin VanOrd and Shaun Mcinnis are the only 2 reviewers that weren't laid off. THIS REVIEW is the embodiment of all the faults caused by all those reviewers (apart from Tom McShea and if I'm not mistaken, Justin Calvert). Kevin VanOrd has never wrote on this political bullshit and we gave him our trust as reader (the only reason I still visit this website still) but what has he done? He's burned his reputation, all with one article. Congratulations Kevin, I hope you made your point.

sakaixx
sakaixx

The game is beautiful as hell, played it and since I enjoyed the infamous series, this game becomes so much more enjoyable for me so I'm quite bias that it should get higher score.

Jasurim
Jasurim

Ahh, that's a shame, I was hoping fora bit more.

Oh well, I think I still might pick this one up and try it for myself, Fetch was probably my favourite character from the game, like you I wasn't much of a Delsin fan lol.

black_icefa02
black_icefa02

This was a sucky review......not that I planned on playing the DLC, but the fact that the social commentary was thrown in there made it a pain to read for me.  Who cares if the Resident dirtbag male character--who was written to be a sexist quasi-racist douche in the first place--lives up the role he was created to fulfill, why should that negatively impact anyone's experience of the game????  Some feminists (male or female) are overly sensitive I guess.....Kind of makes me feel as if I should be retroactively complaining about how the Devs from inFamous 2 decided to make the only Black Female Protagonist and embodiment of every negative racial stereotype about Black Ppl. 

OneStrong2
OneStrong2

"Creepy, come-ons?" Precisely why females should not review video games. You're supposed to be critiquing the game, not the NPC's Pickup lines. "It's Ironic that the more conscientious Fetch would be allowed no such path...." We fell out of a gender feminism tree, and hit every....single...branch...on...the...way...down, right? Cause of course the devs had it in for females. It's DLC, for crying out loud. Obviously, if the game's just going through the motions, so devs can push it out the door, did you really think they would add branching paths? Oh, that's right, female -- can't think passed cosmic short end of the stick complex.

vadagar1
vadagar1

ops all my old replies just retuned to life :D


sorry GS for accusing you of unjust deletion

hitomo
hitomo

I think this is the first game in history featuring a transvestite as the main protagonist ... except bayonetta

VintAge68
VintAge68

I loved the main game with its great graphics & gameplay and will certainly get this DLC, too. What's more, Delsin is not uninteresting as a main character: good-for-nothing in life his unexpected skills grant him with powers that finally make him be ahead of all the others. Narratively, Fetch is no true match for him but I see it positively that at least they did feature also a female "hero" in this game.

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

Ok so playing through it I have to say this DLC is a better deal than second son. For 60 bucks the original game game you twice as much CG and content. Think about it. For 15 dollars you are pretty much getting 30 dollars worth of content. What is worse is I like this Seattle that doesn't have DUP located here. It's unmarred and no issues what so ever from breaking realism outside fetch's own power.


Problem is? Look what we got for 60 bucks with GTAV content wise. JUST the game. no extras or online stuff. You can do so much without additional cost while again this game feels restricted. Considering everything Rockstar had done with only around 500 megs games todays should be just as expansive and detailed as GTAV At LEAST.


Anything less than that level would leave most wondering why are they leaving all this stuff that was last gen out this gen?

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

Well that's a disappointing score. I still think 'neon' is still a pretty shitty power, and I certainly don't get why you'd be able to create singularities. 

mdign
mdign

 lmao. Madden 15 is better than InFamouse!


mi_hung_lo
mi_hung_lo

Fetch was a boring character to begin with

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

my main issue with the infamous games is that they're shooters trying to pretend they're superhero games it's like the devs had trouble thinking of a way to interact with the world other than "line up crosshairs to shoot, or throw grenades".


also, no morality system is a plus, IMO. the morality system in infamous is stupidly bipolar.

Bowser05
Bowser05

From what I read, it seems like if we wanted more continuation it's still a fun expansion. I'll be picking this up soon so I can 100% it before I trade in my game. Wait a second...is this standalone?

senjutsu
senjutsu

Worst review I ever read. If you didn't like Infamous, why the hell are you doing the review of the DLC? This is lame, I'm gonna go see on IGN instead.

screenlion76
screenlion76

I'm a bit surprised by the scores on this title, I started to see the low numbers coming in before I started playing today and got a bit worried but now that I just finished my first play-through I have to admit - I loved it!  I enjoyed Second Son but liked this way better, in part because I think Fetch is a fantastic character and in an even larger part because Neon power was the only power I liked to begin with.  A 6 out of 10 just doesn't match up with the game I just played as I found it to be FAR better then "fair". 

jts1891
jts1891

In all honesty, while InFamous was a good game, I wouldn't spend any money on it's DLC. Unlike most people, I think the story was actually it's strongest point. But in terms of gameplay, it was really repetitive. While there are some superficial differences, the various powers play almost exactly alike with few exceptions. Then you've got the lack of variety when it comes to side-missions. All in all, it's a good game for a single playthrough if you stick with just the story missions, but if you spend time doing the side-missions, it gets boring by the time you get to the end.

hoyholyhoy
hoyholyhoy

@Sound_Demon What in god's name are you talking about? He wrote a well thought out, concise review. He made his points, focused on the most important aspects of the game, and carried through without any form of racial/feminist/gaming/etc bias. He is by far the best reviewer on Gamespot, and in my opinion has not written one piece I haven't majorly agreed with.

Sound_Demon
Sound_Demon

@black_icefa02 There is a lot of politics in this review... it disgusts me... Those politics INGAME are meant to immerse you into the game's atmosphere but then you have to pull it out and dissect it and judge the game based on these gender stereotypes where "women are interesting characters". It's quite ridiculous. I haven't seen a review ever that had "<Male character> is an engaging hero". Engaging and interesting are not synonyms so what is the point of adding that line in this review? Anyway, I'm done with GS... I'm going to IGN where the politics of a game don't really matter.

vadagar1
vadagar1

@hitomo when are u coming out... just asking


cause its pretty obvious now....

DesertEaglex24
DesertEaglex24

@Kinguard73 Your comment is embarrassingly incoherent. Btw GTA 5 is a boring game, no matter how much random side content they put into it.

rollotomasi56
rollotomasi56

@Kinguard73  Ok so what I've found is, it is best to STAY OFF THE CRACK before posting online. Your post is about 25% coherent as you probably know. A 50 rock a night is no way to live your life son...

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@BrunoBRS  I hardly shoot I punch a lot for a change of pace this game and singularities can create hilarities with objects being blocked by buildings and such.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

It you can think of a better way to do it by all means tell us.

Gen007
Gen007

@senjutsu IGN gave it 7.5 it didnt exactly fair all to much better there.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@senjutsu 

You have spoken as if there cannot be reviews which do not regard games kindly.

Really, why do you even read reviews? Do you want them to tell you what you want to hear?

Horndawgie
Horndawgie

@screenlion76 Congratulations! You just figured out that scores are subjective and perception is biased. Give yourself a cookie. 

Kinguard73
Kinguard73

@jts1891  Then I hope you never [played a FPS or a sports game because then you just became one helluva hypocrite.

Sound_Demon
Sound_Demon

@gruoch1 @OneStrong2 I think he was talking about viewing it from a feminist perspective (like carolyn does with EVERYGAME). If the game has a main character that happens to be female, the score goes up and you see it mentioned on the article. Males don't matter, even when MALES review this shit they are feminist. What the fuck happened to gaming?

hitomo
hitomo

@vadagar1 @hitomo  I mean ... bad artists are everywhere, dont blame me, like the Person responsebile for that anatomicaly incorect farcry.4 cover

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

@canuckbiker more emphasis on melee and lock-on based combat, so that you spend more time unleashing superpowers and less time aiming down your hands' sights. you know, standard action game stuff, but with superpowers and open world. there are tons, tons of super powers they can draw inspiration from that don't involve shooter mechanics like "this is the sniper attack", "this is the grenade attack", "this is the SMG attack", etc.


and with no "either i save the orphanage and buy candy for all the kids, or i set it on fire as i laugh maniacally" morality system. seriously, even if you want to be black and white like that, there are better ways.

FollowY0urBliss
FollowY0urBliss

@Kinguard73 @jts1891 

Are you serious?  Comparing a game with a whole genre (fps or fpgame lol. I agree with you about sports games) with PLENTY of amazing games.  Come on....  the second Infamous and Second Son also were repetitive to me.  I didn't play the first one.

Infinite_713
Infinite_713

@Gelugon_baat

8/10 IGN

3/10 Gamespot.

With all the commenters mad at Gamespots review "Don't listen to reviews", I decide to challenge the review when it was free on PS+......that game is freaking garbage! LOL.

inFamous: Second Son More Info

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  • First Released
    • PlayStation 4
    inFamous: Second Son is a PlayStation 4 exclusive and the third entry in the inFamous franchise by Sucker Punch. The game is set seven years after the events of inFamous 2 and follows the story of Deslin Rowe, a 24 year-old who gains the ability to direct, manipulate, and even transform into smoke after he rescues occupants from a fiery bus wreck.
    8.5
    Average User RatingOut of 569 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate inFamous: Second Son
    Developed by:
    Sucker Punch
    Published by:
    SCEI, SCEA, SCEE, SCE Australia
    Genres:
    3D, Open-World, Adventure, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Sexual Themes, Violence