Post-mortem: “InFamous: First Light”

Back in May, I wrote about how much I was enjoying the PS4 game “InFamous: Second Son”; at that time I had just completed a first playthrough on normal difficulty and was in the midst of a second playthrough at a higher difficulty. About a month later I completed that second playthrough and in June this became the first game that I had earned a platinum trophy achievement in for completing all of the game’s other trophies.

I talked about how much I enjoyed the game back in May, and the fact that I eventually finished off every trophy available in the game was a testament to that. So when I heard that developer SuckerPunch was developing an expansion (which, really, was inevitable) called “First Light” focused on the Abigail “Fetch” Walker character, I was excited; Fetch was a strong supporting character in the first game, and she was the source of the game’s neon-fuelled powers, which were fun to play. All seemed to be in place for a solid

I completed First Light last week, and I’ve been waiting for a bit to post about it simply because I initially wasn’t sure what to think about it. Here’s my post-mortem on the game:

What I liked
• The game seemed to use better character models than Second Son; Augustine, the first game’s main villain who was relegated to sidebar status in First Light, certainly looked better.
• Fetch’s neon abilities were significantly more powerful than Delsin’s version in Second Son. There were some nice upgrades to the sniper abilities, and Fetch was a much more capable melee fighter than Delsin was in any of the original game’s four power configurations.
• The clouds to boost Fetch’s speed when sprinting were super-fun; as if the neon sprints weren’t one of the best parts about the game already.
• The lumen race side-mission layer was fun. Most of the races were trivially easy, but it was a neat addition to the game that I enjoyed.
• Fetch’s grafitti tagging side-missions were good, and I liked that those were very limited in number; there were too many of these in the first game.
• Only a couple of the lumen-collecting jumps were difficult, but those few that were took many attempts. It was a nice victory to complete all of those.
• The sniper’s nest missions were super-fun; there should’ve been more of those.

What I didn’t like
• The game was very short. Had I been so inclined I could’ve run through the game from start to finish in a solid night of play (as it was I sat down to play the game maybe four times in total, start to finish); it left me wanting much more.
• As with the first game there’s essentially zero penalty for failing at anything. You just roll back to a checkpoint and start again. And as with the first game, that eventually served to encourage me to play sloppily.
• There wasn’t a branching storyline depending on whether you made hero or villain choices, because there were no such choices. That created even less of an incentive to continue with the game after the first play-through.
• There were no boss fights. The boss fights in Second Son were some of the most challenging aspects of the game, and I missed those more-significant one-on-one fights in the expansion.
• The game world was limited to one of the first game’s two zones, and it was the least-interesting of the two zones visually. Given the game’s neon focus, I would’ve liked to have spent time in the virtual Seattle’s Lantern District.
• I wish there would’ve been more police drones to hunt down; those weren’t difficult but they were fun to do, and even doubling the amount of them in the game would’ve been welcome.

Most disappointing to me was the fact that First Light moved away from the first game’s trophy system — where all of the game’s trophies could be achieved while simply playing through the main storyline and running the side-missions — and added “virtual training” missions that you essentially have to farm repeatedly in order to attain the scores necessary to earn the trophies. I really do not enjoy this kind of content, and I definitely do not like playing this content repeatedly simply to achieve a higher score (and, to be honest, the old-school ‘80s gamer in me weeps at this revelation about my current gaming habits). So as I did with Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City, which had similar content making up a significant portion of the games’ respective trophies, I essentially skipped this content — and, as a result, am going to end up skipping about two-thirds of this game’s trophies. It would’ve been nice to have platinums on both the base game and the followup, but I’m simply not interested in grinding those training missions.

In short, while I wish the trophy system was more in line with the first game, I wish the main campaign had taken longer, and I wish the main campaign took longer to complete, in all I would say I liked First Light. Fetch is a strong character and as I mentioned earlier the neon power tree was one of the best things about the first game. Given what I know about it having played it, I’m not sure I would’ve spent $15 on it again though. 

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