Yes, the Playstation family is at it again, as Troy Baker; Ashley Johnson; Laura Bailey; Travis Willingham and Christine Dunford lend their considerable talents to the compelling short story that is inFamous: FIRST LIGHT
[Story Spoilers: None]
[Gameplay Spoilers: Mild]
Jumping around within a two-year chronology, First Light tells the story of jersey girl Abigail "Fetch" Walker (Laura Bailey). Upon discovering the presence of Fetch's conduit powers, her parents attempt to turn her in to the newly formed D.U.P. Unafraid of his sister's condition, however, her brother Brent takes her and flees their parents, and they end up homeless in Seattle some time later.
Conditioned and comforted by his steadying presence, Fetch has been able to hide and control her power thus far, but in typical kickoff fashion, Brent is mysteriously kidnapped. Ill suited for independence, but willing to do whatever it takes to find him, Fetch begins to scour Seattle for her missing brother, all the while fighting mental breakdowns that, strangely, seem to add to her powers.
Gameplay consists of a fluid mix of flowing parkour, neon retrieval races, and ambient combat. Enemies consist of Russian gangs (called "Akurans"); Drug dealers led by a texan pervert who goes by the name of Shayne (Travis Willingham); and early-response D.U.P. forces, led, as always, by the indomitable Augustine (Christine Dunford). Whether being trained in captivity by Augustine, or roaming pre-DUP Seattle, having an overhauled neon powerset at your disposal is just the blast you'd think it to be.
By giving you fewer core powers - but more ways to upgrade them, the upgrade tree is more similar to inFamous 2 than to Second Son. There's a new neon Super as well (formerly called a "Karma Bomb"), and even it is upgradeable. Fans of the "Boltstream" power from i2 will be pleased at the upgrades for the standard neon shot, as it no longer has to be rifled as Delsin needed to do. Also added is a Stasis Shockwave attack that is highly reminiscent of Cole's thundering shockwaves from the original games, but now with - Stasis - added to the mix. Near the end of the upgrade path you'll find deadly arcana like the ability to confuse and even enslave enemies with your neon attacks, but I'll just leave it there. There's plenty of power to discover and use.
Non-combat gameplay consists largely of using Neon Dash (now upgradeable as well) to race after neon clouds (the new Shards, if you will), police spy drones, and Drive-By-Shooters. While all good and fun, you may find that the world empties quickly of missions like these because there are just to few, both in number and in kind.
Indeed, it's not a perfect game.
The first and most easily noticeable letdown is that only HALF of Second Son's Seattle is present. The Lantern District and the entire southern island are out of bounds......to keep down install size, I guess? I don't know about that design decision, to be honest. Why chose a character who is FAST but then cut the world size in HALF?! The game's short enough as it is. I'm pretty sure it can be beaten in about two hours, though a respectful player can easily milk 4-6 hours if they have a mind to.
Another small problem with the title is yet another one of comparison to Second Son, that being that aside from story sequences, rarely are there enough enemies in one place to get a satisfying fight going. You'll typically fight ambient enemies in groups of 4-8 max, and, MOST OF THE TIME, you can dispatch them in just as many seconds...(Yes, people, it's an inFamous game. Easy=casual; Normal=easy; Hard=normal)
The fighting is fun, but it exists in small bursts that just seem to tease more than titillate. If that begins to bother you, then just charge through the well-told, well-acted storyline and find out just what events made Fetch so very messed up. You won't be disappointed.
To conclude, First Light is a short, but high-value adventure in the inFamous universe. It costs $15. Get it, play it, beat it. Enjoy.