I have a love/hate relationship with the Infamous series. On the one hand, I hate the series. On the other hand… I love that they keep trying I suppose? They seem so completely doomed to failure, with no chance of producing a great videogame with the methods they are using. But still they persist and we have got three Infamous games out of them so far and the spin off, First light which I took the time to play.
Why first light and not Second Son? Well I figured if I was going to play something on the PS4, Infamous looked pretty good considering the current options. But if I was going to play Infamous? A cut down, get in and get out and don’t waste too much life on it experience would be ideal.
In this regard? First Light delivers because it is a damn short game. I’m not sure how long I spent on it, but it only felt like a couple of hours and that included some time to do the “mini games” (more on those suckers later). Think of the game as the first part of a GTA, where you meet a low life scum bag, do a couple of missions and end up leaving them for the next scumbag who is slightly higher up the food chain. In first light? You only get to the first rung and the game ends.
Which is a good thing, because there isn’t much to recommend here.
The missions range from travelling to a location to snipe enemies, to travelling to a location to shoot enemies to travelling to a location to ride a truck while you snipe and shoot enemies. There is little variety here and none of those “cool missions” that you will remember after the game is over. If you have played Saints Row 4, you might have noticed how it is 95% crap, but there are some pretty cool moments here and there. First Light unfortunately has none of this.
I think the game is best summed up by one mission which challenges you to fill up a meter based on “destruction”. Reeking havoc is fun right? But you soon realise the only way to actually do this is to shoot cars, and there are not many cars around. So this mission takes ages while you look for something to destroy and quickly realise you have very few options.
The mini-games? Almost trivial races, a painfully painful spray paint using the six-axis “approximation of control” and a frustrating shoot down the drone event which offers little fun. Besides this, there is literally nothing else to do besides some arena challenges, which I can’t see anybody playing for long.
So the game is a complete train wreck right? Well not quite. Firstly it is an amazing looking game. The image quality? First class. The city? Ok you can’t do anything, but it is at least beautifully detailed. It is, overall a complete waste of an amazing looking world (Letting somebody create a real game in this city would be amazing!).
The controls are tight, the powers (zoom around and shoot things) reasonably satisfying and the challenge non-existent, so at least you can get through the game quickly.
Of special note is the relationship between the female protagonist Fetch and her brother. I’m not sure if they were going for a creepy incestual vibe there…but if so they completely nailed it. I’m not saying there was something going on between them…but I’m just saying.
But really the voice acting is well done and the characters at least superficially interesting. So you will enjoy your time with the game and it is cheap, so if you don’t have many options it is better than nothing.
“Better than nothing” isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement, but if you must play some Infamous, in its bland and uninspired glory? This is probably the best way to do it.