This review may contain mild spoilers for inFAMOUS: Second Son. Read with caution.
Games like inFAMOUS are tricky these days. Once upon a time, studios could make a game, release it, and be done with it. Today, it’s all about longevity. Those studios have to consider content after the game is released. They want to make sure that gamers do not want to put their games down, and that they continue purchasing tidbits of content.
inFAMOUS, however, is so story driven that post-launch longevity is not very simple. Sucker Punch Productions could just chuck a multiplayer mode onto it, but not without making it feel like… well, like it just chucked a multiplayer mode onto it (lookin’ at you, Naughty Dog). If I’m a developer, I’m faced with the question of how to add longevity and value to my game in a way that is meaningful to my gamers and profitable to my company.
Sucker Punch’s answer: make more game.
Announced at E3 2014, inFAMOUS: First Light is an addition to the excellent inFAMOUS: Second Son. It’s not just DLC though; Sucker Punch has chosen to release First Light as a standalone game, available for purchase and use independently of Second Son.
First Light does not focus on Delsin Rowe, the main protagonist (or antagonist, as it were) of inFAMOUS: Second Son who fought against the Department of Unified Protection to free himself and other super powered “conduits” from oppression. Instead, it focuses on the story of Abigail “Fetch” Walker, who Delsin befriended on his journey. In Second Son, gamers got only a glimpse of Fetch’s story, a mere narrated flashback.
The flashback explained that when Fetch’s powers came in, her own parents tried to turn her in to the D.U.P. Brent, her brother, ran away with her, and the siblings lived on the streets and became very addicted to drugs. At some point, Fetch believed Brent stole her stash of drugs, and the addiction that consumed them led them to fight each other. Fetch had the sobering experience of accidentally killing her brother with her power. After this flashback, Fetch and Delsin worked together with very little reference to Fetch’s past other than her desire to victimize drug dealers (in Hero gameplay).
In First Light, this rather riveting flashback is expanded into a good 4-5 hours of content. In addition to that, there is plenty more for those gamers who like to find collectibles or race little balls of light around Seattle.
Gamers first find Fetch sitting in a dark room, with only the voice of Brooke Augustine, Second Son’s villainess, for company. Gamers know from Second Son that Fetch is in Curdun Cay, the D.U.P. detention facility for conduits. Augustine coaxes her to tell her story, the game moves to “two years earlier,” and gamers finally get a taste of what it’s like to be Fetch while Delsin is still off somewhere nearby with his brother and the rest of his Akomish tribe, probably ordering a truckload of spray paint.
Gamers also get to meet Brent, Fetch’s brother, and see for the first time that his mohawk is blue. He and Fetch are loading a boat, intending to leave Seattle after Brent completes one last “job.” Fetch agrees to provide her own brand of help, to Brent’s dismay, but since they’re on their way out of town, he allows Fetch to neon off into the city in pursuit of a red briefcase currently in the Akurans' possession.
Naturally, the job goes wrong. The Akurans, the mysterious foreign gang that hangs around brandishing guns threateningly at Delsin throughout Second Son, can't help but make life a drag for First Light's drug-addicted protagonists.