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TAC Reviews..."Being a Hero is Optional" - Infamous

 

In 2009 there were two superhero sandboxes released a month apart, these were Infamous and Prototype which had a super powered main character. In the case of Prototype this superhuman was, Alex Mercer, a completely and utterly remorseless killing machine bent on uncovering the truth about what happened to him no matter how many puny mortals got in the way, and Infamous gave the player the option whether to use Cole McGrath’s new electricity powers for “Good” or “Evil”

 

 

I originally grouped Infamous and Prototype together but after the first game the two franchises basically went in completely different directions.

 

The thing is that Radical Entertainment went down the plughole so we have only two games in the Prototype franchise, whereas Infamous had two games featuring Cole McGrath, then the action switched to another protagonist for the third game which also jumped from the PS3 to the PS4 and served as a release title. There have also been a couple of DLCs that have also helped to flesh the second sequel Second Son which is why I separated these two franchises so I could look at each one in their own right.

 

On this page I have reviewed all things Infamous and you'll find them below in the following order:

 

Infamous

Infamous 2

Infamous 2: Festival of Blood

Infamous Second Son

Infamous Second Son: Cole's Legacy

Infamous: First Light

 

TAC Reviews...Infamous

 

The game is an action-adventure released in 2009 and is PS3 exclusive. The player character has the option to be either good or evil, and the game play changes depending on whether you are going for a good or an evil play through.

 

Infamous Boxart

 

As I have said, I am not about to go and buy a next-generation console when there is currently nothing good out for one, and recently I have had an opportunity to get back to some of those games that I used to play but haven’t had much time for in the last year or two.

 

I have played Infamous 2 through several times, but strangely I could only remember playing through the original game twice (and I will tell you why twice in a minute). But first let me tell you a little story, a few months ago my original PS3 went tits up, and it was only after this happened that I did some research and discovered that all PS3 systems format their hard drives so that it can only be used with a specific machine so if your console fucks up and breaks then there is no simple way of getting your data back. But fear not because you can save your data online with Playstation Plus, unfortunately you have to be a member of Playstation Plus to use that facility which I am not, so with a console that will leave you screaming in frustration as your machine breaks trapping within it all of your saved data and hard work…no, you know what, my feelings about a console that can do this and the company have the cheek to demand that you pay to use the online saving option is a rant for another day.

 

So why have I told you this little story?? Well, as I said above I really like Infamous 2 and when my PS3 went tits up I was able to copy, most, but not all of my data onto a flash drive and transfer it once I bought a new console. You see not surprisingly Infamous 2 takes place after Infamous and if you have a save file from the original it affects the events of the second game. It was only after I loaded up Infamous 2 and started a new game did I realise that my saved games for Infamous had been one of the things lost when my previous PS3 died.

 

I have spent the last few days then tearing through Infamous again in order to get a saved game once again, so I can return to the superior sequel, however, during my play through I started to think that I had been wrong to think of Infamous as inferior to its sequel…permit me to explain…

 

Right, so we start off with a bike courier named Cole McGrath who wakes up in the middle of a destroyed area of Empire City following a massive explosion, his body is charged with energy, and not only has he somehow survived a blast that kill thousands of people but he can now manipulate electricity. He doesn’t generate it exactly but he can siphon it out of junction boxes, railways tracks, cables and so on, storing it inside his own body. Once the supplies have run dry you need to recharge by draining something electrical nearby.

 

The city is placed under quarantine so no one can get in or out. Cole is ultimately blamed for the explosion, and must decide whether he is going to use his new powers for good or use them for evil.

 

You are then dumped into a city that you are able to explore in sections initially but eventually in its entirety, you have your main missions and various optional side missions that reward you with xp for completing them. It will also clear out an area of that district which basically means that enemies will no longer spawn there

 

There is a Karma meter in the corner of the screen that tracks whether you are being good or evil, it is divided into six sections, 3 for each side, and so the more you do good the better your reputation, and the more evil you do the more your body is corrupted by your powers. This meter also affects how civilians in the game behave towards you, cheering when they see you or throwing rocks, that kind of thing.

 

The game basically gives you the option of being a right bastard if you so wish, and the powers that are assigned to each side of the Karma meter reflect how you are playing. Good Cole will get attacks that are more precise and disable enemies without killing them, whereas Evil Cole will get abilities that cause havoc to enemies but also do a lot of collateral damage so innocent civilians will get caught in the cross fire.

 

Now what I had remembered most about this game is the fact that the powers in it were not as good as in the sequel, but honestly I think some of the powers are better here. You can recharge your energy levels by grinding on cables and train tracks, and in later parts of the game you spend a lot of your time grinding along cables so you are almost never engaging enemies without being fully charged. The powers themselves are basically like having electric guns, you have a shot bolt (pistol), a precision mode (sniper rifle) and can hurl out a shock wave that will knock enemies back (shotgun). Still, the way you use these powers allows you to be creative, for example you can throw someone into a lake and shoot the water electrocuting them, or can use your shockwave to hurl enemies off buildings and let gravity do the rest. It is great fun to leap onto a building and effortlessly hurl four enemies to their deaths on the pavement below.

 

So the powers are a great point in this games favour, the way you get around is fast paced and flows well with Cole gaining an ability to glide so jumping off one cable and souring to the next one does keep the action moving a good pace. The city itself also changes to mirror the actions that Cole is taking, shops will reopen if he is being a saint or the city will plunge even further into ruin if he is being a bastard.

 

The game is a little mean with xp so you will be running around shooting minor enemies time and time again hoping to build up the necessary number of points to buy the next upgrade. There is an exploit that will grant you xp, and it is this...when you are charging the junction boxes in the last area you have access to a lightening attack, what you do is, fry the enemies as the box is charging but before it charges jump off the box and run away. The mission fails because you have moved too far away from the box but you keep the xp you earned, rinse, lather, and repeat until you have the xp needed.

 

A game that requires a loophole to gain enough xp to get all the powers is annoying because what you want is to run around with all your powers as soon as possible rather than having to pick and choose which one to unlock.

 

The powers, the design of the city, and the way you get around are all great…but…as always there are some niggles.

 

My biggest problem with playing superhero type games is that there are very few superhuman characters that can take more than a few bullets, or a rocket launcher being set off in their face. I have played a game called Prototype in which you play a character called Alex Mercer who can literally keep fighting until there is no one left in the immediate area to kill. So you can be running along, ignoring soldiers, just completing your mission, get pissed off because people are continuing to shoot at you, turn around and massacre them all. In Cole’s case, he gets overwhelmed a lot, and as the enemies have the self-preservation instincts of cheese burger they will happily fire a rocket at you at point blank range killing both you and themselves in the process. It is so frustrating to come around a corner or fight off waves of enemies with machines guns only to have some twat with a rocket launcher spawn from nowhere and blow you up. I experienced the same thing when playing a game called Crackdown, as powerful as you get, you will always get gunned down by enemies with superior numbers that are armed to the teeth with rifles, rocket launchers, grenades and enough firepower to start their own war. I mean where the fuck did they get all this hardware?? I seriously doubt that many weapons could have been moved into Empire City without someone noticing.

 

Anyway, apart from the frustrating combat which does take up a ton of the game, my other big problem is the whole Good and Evil thing. Now there are certain things that can be seen as an evil act, killing a civilian or blowing up a children’s hospital, those are fair enough but most of the time evil is a matter of perspective. Now when you are playing as Good Cole, the majority of the game makes sense because a lot of the side missions are given to you by civilians. One that springs to mind is when two rivals gangs are fighting each other and you are asked to go and break it up before any innocents get hurt, if you are good that it fair enough, if you are evil then why would you give a shit?? Who cares if civilians are caught in the cross fire?? Why are people asking someone who is using their powers to cause mayhem to do anything?? Surely it would be far smarter to stay the hell out of his way. The civillians will also actively attack you if you have evil karma which is just retarded because naturally you will simply turn around and kill anyone that dares challenge you.

 

The game tends to assume that you are playing through on good karma, now yes some of the cut scenes are different depending on your karma meter but what sticks out most in my mind is Cole’s girlfriend Trish. In the blast that gave Cole his powers, her sister was one of the people killed, when it is revealled Cole was carrying the package containing the bomb Trish immediately blames him for the blast and walks away. If I am handed a box and told to take it somewhere…it then blows up…I fail to see how I would be to blame. Cole’s job was delivering stuff, how the hell was he supposed to know what was in the package?? So Trish instantly turning on him made her seem a really unpleasant human being or just a bitch, now during the game if you are Good Cole then Trish starts to understand that the explosion was not his fault and he has been doing everything he can to help so she forgives him, if you’re a bastard, she continues to hate you for the blast. This in itself seems fair enough, BUT she will still call Cole to ask him to help her out, protecting people from gangs and stuff like that…if you are EVIL why the hell would you bother doing anything for a woman that hates you?? I certainly wouldn’t so why the does Cole keep running to her every time she snaps her fingers?? It doesn’t make sense to me

 

On the whole I have to admit that I do like Infamous despite the fact that the dialogue and cut scenes don’t make as much sense if you are playing with evil karma. Trish is the only one who seems to notice that using your powers to hurt people is wrong with Cole’s best friend Zeke just jealous that Cole has powers and he hasn’t.

 

Now most people would probably play this game through twice, once doing all the good options, and once doing all the bad, however, if you can’t be bothered to play through it twice there is a little loop hole that I am going to share. On the 39th of 40 main missions you are given the choice to either destroy the device that gave Cole his powers and killed thousands or reactivate it to try and become even more powerful. If you are playing through with good karma, destroy it, then do the final mission…game over, job done…to see the evil ending simply reload your save of the previous mission, choose to activate the device, this is a decision that is so evil it permanently locks you into Infamous which is the worst karma rating. You then do the final mission again and get the evil ending…then when you start Infamous 2 you have both endings saved on your console. Personally I think you are missing out if you take this shortcut, but as I was zipping through and I have played it once good and once evil, I have done the other missions.

 

I have now started Infamous 2 again and have chosen to start from an Evil karma position but play through doing all the Good missions to see if the game will be different. I played the original good all the way through and only did the last two missions after becoming evil so is the sequel going to recognise that or play as though I had been evil all the way through the first game?? Time will tell.

 

Good story, great movement and creative powers score Infamous some pretty decent karma points but the inconsistencies with dialogue when going for an evil play through do imply that being evil was given less thought than being good so…hmmm…I am happy to give this game a Thumbs Up, although, it would have been nice if more effort had been made to create unique dialogue that reflects Cole’s journey towards being truly evil.

 

 

6.5/10 – This is a good game and for the most part is fun to play, but getting overwhelmed by superior numbers of enemies time and time again gets really annoying really fast and the cut scenes and dialogue do suffer when playing through with Evil karma because they are mostly the same and do not reflect the actions that Cole is choosing to take.

 

TAC Reviews...Infamous 2

 

In 2009 Infamous hit the shelves and featured a character that could choose between being either good or evil. The sequel Infamous 2 was released in 2011 and continued the adventures of Cole and Zeke as they depart Empire City and head cross country to New Marais. The game was developed by Sucker Punch (like the original) but Cole’s voice actor has been changed for this instalment.

 

Infamous 2 Boxart

 

As you will recall I liked Infamous but felt that the lack of focus for a game that actively encourages you to pick an either good or evil play style was a bit disappointing. Now whilst this time around we are also continuing with that theme, this time Cole has two friends that he can team up with, one who encourages his dark side and one that encourages him to use his powers for good. If you have a play through from the previous game you get to start this one with either a good or evil bonus depending on which save file you have from the original game.

 

The end of the original game was left on such a blatant cliff-hanger that a sequel was inevitable, and I for one was looking forward to it.

 

So as the trailers have stated: “The Beast is coming…”

 

Set not long after the end of Infamous in which Cole was either the hero or the villain of the city, he meets a woman named Lucy Kuo who tells him that if he travels with her to New Marais a city in the deep south and meets with a man named Wolfe Cole can gain some new powers and return even better prepared to fight the Beast. Unfortunately before they can depart the Beast appears and Cole is forced to do battle with it, he gives it everything he has but the Beast breaks his powers and Cole is forced to flee as the Beast obliterates Empire City behind him.

 

After making it to New Marais Cole must build his powers back up, whilst contending with the city’s leader who is trying to turn the population against him, and the fact that the Beast seems to be intent on finding Cole for Round 2.

 

Right, now with super powered characters there is really only two things that you can do with them, the first is take away their powers at the start of a new game, or make everyone around you stronger thus negating the strength of your powers. In the case of Infamous 2 the game goes for the former option, following the battle with the Beast in the beginning, you lose most of your powers so have to find Blast Cores to build them back up again. The game does let you keep a few of them, like the static thrusters that allow you to glide, but all the really good ones like the bolt from the sky or the energy shield, disappear. From a game play prespective it obviously makes sense because starting the game with all of your powers from the original would have make things a bit easy, the game developers were building towards this sequel so surely they should have anticipated that in a sequel the powers themselves would have to play a significant part. Since I have played Infamous recently I remember those powers and really missed the grinding along rails to charge your powers one, because like that game you spend a lot of time grinding on cables so it would have been a good power to keep but sadly it is not one of the handful you still have.

 

The city is a little more creative this time with areas of swamp land, and there are plenty of buildings that you to scramble around on. I remember Cole being a bit too “sticky” before and jumping around on buildings was fun but precise movements were a little tricky because Cole would be forever grabbing hold of ledges you did not want him to grab hold of. Thankfully that has been addressed to there is a greater freedom to climb around without being stuck to walls.

 

Unfortunately the issues that I had with the original are still here, once again you are confined to smaller areas first before being allowed access to the other areas later on. In addition you are going to get overwhelmed a lot, but because you still have your shockwave power, the best way to deal with enemies if to blast them off rooftops. Even so you are going to get gunned down time and time again. The powers that you gain here are creative, and you are able to undertake various stunts that unlock further powers so it gives you a reason to dispatch enemies in creative ways during and in between missions.

 

As before being good or evil is your choice and if you continue from a good play through the dead drops you collect reflect this and vice versa if you are playing from an evil beginning. I have started the game again with evil karma having continued a save file from the loophole I mentioned in my Infamous review but the game is not smart enough to recognise that I was good most of the way through that game and only turned evil a mission before the end. You might as well simply select whether you are being good or evil from the beginning so you can stop being asked to be either good or evil every time you are given a so called “karma choice”. I think that the whole evil thing still does not make much sense with some of the smaller options. I’ll give you an example, someone starts making bombs out of blast shards and attaching them to the walls around the city. Now for good karma points you can drain the bomb before it blows up and take the shards once it is deactivated, but an Evil side option is when you see civilians walking around with shards that you can kill and take the shard from. Here is my point though, someone is making bombs out of blast shards, so how do we know that those so-called innocent civilians are not the ones making the bombs, or selling the shards to the real bomber?? The game doesn’t establish that the shards are of any use to anyone other than Cole, would it have been so hard to say that ordinary people can use them to…I dunno…roast a chicken or something?? This would give civilians a reason to be carrying them so stealing them would be considered a bad thing.

 

The cut scenes favour the good play through and this time around Good Cole gets way better powers than Evil Cole. Cole’s dialogues with Bertrand (the main human antagonist) work if you are good but make little sense if you are evil, Cole asks Bertrand at one point if “he [Bertrand] really thinks that he [Cole] is the Demon of Empire City!” If you are good then all Cole has ever done is use his powers to help and make the lives of those around him better so this makes sense, if Cole has been using his powers for his own selfish wants and desires then Cole demanding to know if Bertrand really believes his own propaganda doesn’t work.

 

As I mentioned before there are two other people that you interact with that develop powers too, and you have the opportunity to swap powers with them about mid-way through the game. Now whichever one you pick the other will say if you don’t choose them then they will never speak/work with you again, so you switch powers and the one that you didn’t swap with storms off, but reappear a few missions later having apparently forgiven your choice. It is not really going to affect game play as regardless of which one you choose both characters remain part of the story and ongoing missions. You get to swap powers with one of them but trust me choose Kuo because Nix’s powers are shit, so regardless of which karma play through you are going for always choose Kuo.

 

Now that Trish is dead (spoiler alert) there is no one that questions Cole or his decisions, everyone keeps expecting him to fight the Beast but once the Beast shows up we learn that things are not as simple as they should be. The Beast is not just a mindless killing machine and there is a reason why it has been pursuing Cole and why it has left so much destruction in its wake.

 

Sadly like Infamous there is no +game mode so you have to start from the beginning each time you play, once you have played it in good and evil mode you do gain the other powers for post-game fuck about but by then most of the enemies will have been defeated so there really is no point continuing to play after finish the game. How cool would it have been to have access to both Good and Evil powers right from the beginning?? Sadly it is not something that we get to do and once again you play through as either good or evil.

 

Doing the Right thing is the continued theme of Infamous 2, and this bogs me down as well, because what is the right decision. At the end of the game if you are good you can activate the RFI which the game establishes might not work to cure the plague sweeping across the country or convert the conduits that we know does work. In the Good ending you activate the RFI and everyone lives happily ever after and in the Bad you become something worse than the Beast. What if the RFI hadn’t worked?? Then everyone, everywhere, dies. If you have choice of saving a handful of people it is better than saving no one at all?? I believe it is called triage, better to save ten than waste time trying to save a hundred and lose everyone.

 

Finally the endings, there is the loophole I have mentioned several times that enable you to get the good and evil endings for the original and perhaps that is why you cannot choose which option to go for in the final decision.

 

If you have good karma you must choose the good option and vice versa with the evil, so if you have been good but want to do the evil ending, you’d have to go around doing evil stuff until your karma meter has switched from good to evil. There was such a great opportunity for a variety of endings here. I could think of at least three, possibly four, endings and I am going to describe them. One: the ultra good ending, you have been a saint throughout the game and do the “right” thing (again a matter of perspective) and become the Patron Saint of New Marias, this is the in game ending. Two: ultra evil ending, you team up with the Beast, murder Zeke, abandon humanity to its fate and raise an army of conduits, this is the in game evil ending. These are my two suggestions for other endings. Three: you have played the game through with Evil karma but ultimately choose to activate the RFI and fight the Beast, this could have granted you an ending cut scene in which Zeke says that “Cole may have made a lot of bad choices since gaining his powers but ultimately he chose to save us all. Folks around here may have hated him, but I’ll always know that my friend did the right thing in the end. Life goes on, and it is thanks to Cole that they can. Rest in Peace Brother”. It is not the ultra good ending or ultra bad ending but it is something in between. Ditto with a fourth possible ending: in this one Cole has been good all the way through but chooses to side with Beast, again you could have had a cut scene in which Cole talks about looking at the bigger picture, humanity must be sacrificed but the race of conduits that rise up in the wake of humanity’s downfall will ultimately build a bigger and better world. Like I said triage, don’t try to save a hundred people when you know that you defiantly can save ten.

 

The game would have been so much better if the endings had been more creative, and would have encouraged multiple play thoughts if you could have had a +game rather than having to start from the beginning every time with the ending loophole not present so if you want to see both endings you basically do have to play the game through twice.

 

The powers are good, the city is colourful, but Cole himself really lacks a clearly defined character with the game assuming you are being good so there are very few cut scenes which reflect you being evil. The fact that I have played the game numerous times does prove that it is doing something right however if the game had featured more creative endings and cut scenes I could have rated it considerably higher. I think it is better than the original but I miss some of the powers and taking your powers away after spending the entire first game building them up is a bit of a cop-out.

 

At the time I would have said that Infamous 2 effectively draws a line under itself and ends here (even if there is a literal question mark regarding Cole’s fate at the end of the good karma path) but then Infamous Second Son came out for the PS4 and as I haven’t got one of those yet I have no idea how it continues the story from either the good or evil ending to this game.

 

Infamous 2 is still getting a Thumbs Up because it is definitely worth your time, and you never know you might think you your own endings.

 

 

7.5/10 – I like the powers, and the idea of swapping powers between characters was good if a little under developed. The cut scenes and dialogue are what let this down because Sucker Punch still haven’t worked out a way of reflecting the actions that Cole is taking in the game’s various missions.

 

TAC Reviews...Infamous 2: Festival of Blood

 

Released in 2011 Infamous 2: Festival of Blood serves as a stand-alone DLC that doesn’t require a copy of Infamous 2 to play. It uses the same game engine and sandbox as Infamous 2 and features both Cole and Zeke during an event in New Marais called “Pyre Night”.

 

Infamous 2: Festival of Blood

 

It occurred to me the other day that I have done a review of every game related to the Infamous Franchise with the exception of Festival of Blood. I couldn’t honestly think why because all of the Infamous games have given me something to talk about which is why I’m going to look at it. Now similarly to my Dead Space reviews I have put the reviews into the chronological order that they occurred in rather than the order I reviewed them in. However, unlike Dead Space I have actually played the Infamous games in order but this review is the last one I have written.

 

Right now that is out of the way let’s take a look at Festival of Blood

 

So the game starts with Zeke sitting in a bar trying to chat up a woman, but he is not having much success, as she is about to leave Zeke mentions that he knows Cole MacGrath and recounts a story involving Cole during the city’s “Pyre Night” festival.

 

During Pyre Night, Cole investigates a church after hearing screams, and he frees a number of civilians from the catacombs. However one woman suddenly attacks him, revealing herself to be a vampire, and Cole is incapacitated. He is chained up and taken deeper into the tunnels by other vampires, when he wakes up, his body is being suspended over the corpse of an ancient female vampire named Bloody Mary. One of the vampires cuts Cole and his powerful electrically charged blood drips onto the corpse awakening Mary, who then bites Cole on the neck, and he passes out.

 

When he awakens he finds to his horror that he has become a vampire too, his Amp has been stolen and he creates a makeshift weapon from a cross. Unable to control his bloodlust he feeds on an innocent civilian and Mary tells him via a telepathic link she now has with him that come the morning she will become her puppet.

 

Cole contacts Zeke who begins researching Pyre Night looking for a means of returning Cole to normal whilst Cole himself does battle with his dark urges and the vampires that descend on New Marais as Bloody Mary plans her revenge…

 

Game play wise everything is exactly the same as it was in Infamous 2, the controls are identical and so it is incredibly easy to pick this game up if you have played the other games in the series. Plus the sandbox is still New Marais but it has been decorated with various balloons and other festivities to make it look more like Halloween which is obviously the inspiration behind Pyre Night.

 

Chronologically the story takes place somewhere during the events of Infamous 2 and as Cole has access to his Bolt from the Sky power this game takes place between Cole finding the final blast core and The Final Decision, however, he only uses his Bolt from the Sky (or Ionic Storm) once during the game.

 

Cole does have access to the majority of his other powers during the game and also has a new ability called Shadow Swarm in which Cole transforms into a swarm of bats. There are no ionic charges here and Cole doesn’t have access to any of his Iconic Powers from Infamous 2, probably because at this point they would have made him a bit too overpowered. The Shadow Swarm is powered using a Corruption Metre that fills up as Cole does things like staking vampires or drinking the blood of civilians.

 

As is typical with DLCs the actions takes place in a smaller section of the overall sandbox that players had access to by the time Cole had access to all his powers in the main game, so you cannot visit the Gas Works, Bayou or Flood Town. But the sandbox is as large as it needs to be for the scale of the game so you don’t feel like you are missing out on the other areas or that the developers just couldn’t be asked to render the other areas with the Pyre Night paintjob.

 

Festival of Blood is a good fun and very solid DLC. Plus it is very entertaining. But, I have no idea if it is meant to be canon or if it is simply a story Zeke is telling to a hot woman in a bar as a means of getting in her pants. Still, you know what, that is okay by me, I liked the Infamous games and welcomed any opportunity to play around in New Marais again.

 

Blood Mary is a decent villain and whilst this game does have some of the vampire lore that I really dislike, such as a newly turned vampire will become human again if they kill the Head Vampire by dawn, the vampires here are a good mixture of man and monster. They can hide, looking like normal humans, and look like humanoid bats when they are in their vampire forms. Bloody Mary obviously doesn’t realise how powerful Cole is because she makes the mistake of taunting him when trying to persuade him to join her or straight up chaining him down till dawn would have been a better decision if he’d have become her puppet after the first night. I also liked the fact that the vampire minions used Cole’s blood to resurrect her because as a Conduit his blood is more powerful than that of a regular human. This could create the idea that like vampires, the race of Conduits are effectively offshoots of humanity that have as much right to exist as human beings.

 

Looking back the only real criticism I have of the game is that although you are playing as Cole again, this is not an Infamous game, due to Cole’s status as a vampire during the story he is permanently locked into his “Evil” or Infamous mode. So there are no karma choices, there are no opportunities to not kill civilians, and basically there are no Good or Evil moral choices. Now I have to admit that Cole does look pretty badass as a vampire but bizarrely some of the civilians will still cheer for him as though he is playing through the game with Good Karma.

 

Generally my criticisms of the game are small, it was a fun little DLC to play and gave me an opportunity to play a badass vampire for a change. If this idea had been expanded into a full game I would have been perfectly happy with that, so the game gets a Thumbs Up. I liked playing it and would have welcomed more games like this even if they are just Zeke trying to impress a pretty lady.

 

 

8/10 – All in all Infamous 2: Festival of Blood is a nice little self enclosed story that has enough good ideas and fresh powers to make it a fun little edition to the Infamous game series. I could have quite happily seen it develop into a full game but fans had to wait until Second Son before we got to step into this world again.

 

TAC Reviews...Infamous Second Son

 

Released in 2014 Infamous Second Son was developed by Sucker Punch the guys behind the first two games and serves as a spin-off?? A reboot?? You know what I am not exactly sure which category this game falls into. However it is in the same universe as the original two games and like them is a Playstation exclusive in this case an exclusive for the PS4.

 

Infamous Second Son Boxart

 

Like I said above I have no idea if this is supposed to be a reboot of the franchise or it is just a spin-off, the events of Seven Years Ago (Infamous 2) are hinted at but the game doesn’t go into detail regarding exactly what happened. I am assuming we are following Good Cole’s actions but considering that there are both humans and conduits (that are older than seven) I am not really sure.

 

As you may recall I quite liked the first two Infamous games and over the years have played them through several times. Now they were not without their problems and one of the biggest was the grinding for xp in order to unlock the decent powers. Will Second Son correct this and other niggles?? We’ll get to that but first let’s take a look at our new protagonist…

 

Delsin Rowe is a minor juvenile delinquent who is frequently being arrested by his older brother Reggie for graffiti and petty misdemeanours. His is Akomish which is a native American tribe, and on a day like any other Delsin and his brother witness a APC crashing and two survivors running away. Whilst investigating the crash Delsin touches a man named Hank then inexplicably acquires new powers that enable him to turn into smoke and go through fences and into vents. His brother is not exactly thrilled about his new powers because Conduits are now known as Bio-terrorist and are rounded up by the Department of Unified Protection, or DUP, and taken away never to be seen again. Hank is apprehended by Augustine, a powerful conduit that controls the DUP and has Concrete powers. She interrogates Delsin about what happened between himself and Hank, ultimately she tortures Delsin and his people, for information.

 

A week later Delsin regains consciousness and discovers that his friends and family including Betty his…aunt…granny…(??)…the game doesn’t specify…has been impaled through the legs along with a number of others by concrete daggers. The only way that the people can be saved is to get the daggers out the same way they came in. Delsin believes that as he absorbed the abilities of one conduit then perhaps he can absorb the abilities of another, so if he can get to Seattle where Augustine has gone and touch her hands, then he should be able to absorb her power and save his people.

 

He and Reggie head to Seattle and find the city on lockdown with the DUP occupying most of the city districts and the population terrified of not just Delsin but the other two Bio-terrorists that were on the APC when it crashed and subsequently escaped.

 

As you know I was quite fond of the Infamous games and whilst they did have some issues I never-the-less found them to be good fun and have played them numerous times. When I acquired a PS4 Infamous Second Son was at the top of a short list of games that I wanted to play, however, for one reason or another it fell back behind Grand Theft Auto 5 and The Evil Within. Still now that I have completed those two games I was in the mood for something a bit different so turned to Infamous Second Son.

 

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of these games then let me give you the back story, within humanity there are beings that possess a Conduit Gene which means that given the right circumstances they will develop superhuman abilities. In the first two games those with this gene needed it to be “activated” by a Ray Sphere explosion which essentially killed every regular human in the vicinity and gave any conduits in the immediate area their powers. The more people caught in the blast the more powerful the conduit would become. Cole McGrath, a bike courier, was the protagonist of the first two games and had the ability to absorb and control electricity. Delsin Rowe does not get his powers through an explosion, instead he simply touches the hands of another Conduit to absorb their powers, and as the game progresses he switches between the powers that he acquires by absorbing either Smoke from chimneys, Neon from signs or Video from televisions…don’t worry I’ll get to the powers in a bit.

 

In a first for me I actually made some notes about the game whilst I was playing it so I wouldn’t miss anything out when I came to do this review. I have played the game through twice in order to see both the Good Karma path and the Evil Karma path…and now I am going to share my thoughts with you.

 

Okay, so first things first, the powers. Delsin absorbs Smoke which gives him the ability to turn into smoke for short periods of time. He can travel through vents and “dash” through the air and hover. During the game he discovers that he can only absorb powers from Prime Conduits like Augustine so the minions that have been infused with some of her concrete power cannot be drained. Cole possessed the power to control electricity and later either Ice or Fire (depending on your decision)…so okay…initially Delsin has Smoke, fine, smoke is pretty common and he is able to use it to distract enemies and subdue or kill them, create missiles (??) yeah I didn’t really get how Cole could do that either, split himself into pieces going into the air and smash himself back down to obliterate enemies which was Cole’s equivalent of Bolt-from-the-Sky and has his own variation on static thrusters enabling him to glide. So basically all of the powers that you spent most of the game unlocking in both Infamous games are at your finger tips almost straight away. Which I have to say I liked. I remember struggling to clear areas of enemies in the first two games with pretty weak powers but here you can be throwing around rockets within minutes.

 

You are after concrete power…yeah, that is also fine and pretty cool….but…the other two conduits you encounter have the power of Neon and Video…

 

 

Yes…Neon and Video.

 

The thing is that basically after you absorb these powers you have much the same abilities as you did before. Each set of powers has missiles of some sort, a Bolt-from-the-Sky equivalent power, static thrusters, plus a means of moving around a bit faster. Before we had conduits that could control the elements themselves, here we have a boss battle with a bloke that pulls you into a massive computer game to have a fight with him…I am not even joking about that. You have to fight a giant flying angel-like creature from floating platforms in a battle that is highly reminiscent of the fight between Dante and the Saviour in Devil May Cry 4. The Neon fast travel is pretty useful for getting around but basically each power can so pretty much the same thing. In Infamous 2 the powers were added to Cole’s arsenal, in this game they replace one set of powers with another, so you can’t combine the powers you acquire to become any more powerful than you were before.

 

As I played through this game more and more, I began to realise that despite the title this game is not an Infamous game. In the first two games Cole had dozens of opportunities to do good or evil, and Cole himself would justify why something “evil” could be the right thing to do. After the blast in Empire City, people were looking out for their own, and when he had the opportunity to take a food parcel or share it, Cole asked the question of whether he should continue with the mentality of look after your own or be the first to step up and do the right thing. Here there are so few moral choices that they are basically meaningless. Street musicians are about that you can kill if you want but there is no context for them to be there and no reason to attack them. Zeke said that he found them annoying in Infamous 2 and that Cole should silence them but in Seattle they are just kind-of there and you can kill them for evil karma. Plus there are basically…four major decisions in the whole game. One: let your tribe be tortured for information or admit you absorbed Hank’s power. Two: Corrupt Fetch (a female conduit) or Redeem her. Three: Corrupt Eugene (the other conduit) or Redeem him and finally Four: Kill or Expose Augustine to the public. That is basically it. You can heal civilians and help those in trouble but like I said there isn’t really any context for it and seems to only be there because there is an “Infamous” in the title. There are no good or evil karma missions given to you by random people around the map and basically you do one good or evil karma mission with Fetch and Eugene…that’s it.

 

The game might as well just ask you at the beginning if you are going for a good or evil play through and lock your karma because once you start going good or evil you aren’t going to change your mind mid-play through mainly because there is absolutely no point in doing that.

 

The issues with the cut scenes not reflecting your play style except when they are directly related to one of the few moral choices is a problem that I had with the first two games that hasn’t been addressed here either. If you corrupt Fetch and Eugene it is done during a single mission. What really made me laugh was that if you redeem Fetch you end up in the “friend-zone” and if you corrupt her and the two of you go off killing drug dealers plus DUP personnel. She apparently gets turned on by murder so at the end of the mission Delsin has sex with her. So yeah, be a saint and end up with cock in hand or be a sinner and fuck an ex-junkie that shoots Neon out of her hands when she orgasms…tough decision.

 

The biggest problem with the laziness in the cut scenes can be summarised in a single scene, much like Infamous 2 when Cole asks Bertrand if Cole is really the “Demon of Empire City!” the scene only works if you have good karma. In Second Son there is a scene when Delsin’s brother Reggie dies…it was kind of implied that he might betray you because he seems to be struggling with the fact that you are a conduit but he doesn’t and remains loyal during the game. Now during his death scene, Augustine attaches concrete to him that kind-of grows over him (she does this a few times during the game) during which time Delsin and Reggie are hanging off a building above the ocean. Reggie tells Delsin to let him go or the concrete might spread to Delsin and he won’t be able to battle Augustine if his is also consume by concrete. Reggie looks into his brother’s eyes tells him that he is so proud of him and then lets his hand go…sacrificing himself to save his brother. Delsin with Good Karma…someone to be proud of…Delsin with Evil Karma…he is someone who has murdered countless innocent people and used his powers to corrupt two impressionable young conduits…not really someone to be proud of. So the cut scene does not make sense. The majority of the cut scenes assume you are playing with Good Karma and just like the previous games make little to no sense if you are being evil.

 

The boss fights are also pretty lame, as mentioned above you fight one boss whilst jumping between different platforms…[yawn]…and you have two final boss fights with Augustine herself. The first is immediately after Reggie dies, during the battle you knock Augustine off her feet, she is lying at your mercy and as you run over to her the game prompts you to attack her at which point Delsin kicks her across the arena after which she regains her composure to resume the fight. All Delsin has to do is grab her hand to absorb her power so why the donkey bollocking hell doesn’t he do that instead of booting her in the side and allowing her to get back up??? Naturally you acquire her powers in the game’s climax but they replace the other three you have so the powers you have used to beat her down twice during the game are not at your disposal.

 

Thankfully the game has streamlined the blast shards and the taking over the city aspects of the previous games. Remember how Cole would spend hours scrambling up buildings to get blast shards that gave him the capacity to hold more electricity or triggering the missions that would clear enemies off rooftops?? Well Infamous Second Son has separated Seattle into different zones that contain a DUP truck that you destroy to absorb blast cores from and then you run around an area completing various objectives in order to trigger a showdown between yourself and the DUP forces that result in pushing them out of the district plus unlocking various jackets for Delsin to wear. Unfortunately the side missions are pretty repetitive and mainly involve a mini-game in which you spray paint various tags around the district which will either earn you good or evil karma, I am not sure why one picture is good and other is bad but hey-ho, the thing is that again there is no context. When someone asked Cole if he wanted posters made of him that presented him as good or bad he considered how he wanted the people to view him and made a decision. Delsin…simply has good or bad…no explanation, no context, no nothing. Yes turning the controller sideways and shaking it like a spray can was a nice touch but it is still a repetitive mission that you do over and over and over again.

 

As I have mentioned more than once in these reviews I like continuity and one of the biggest question that hangs over this game is: How are there any conduits at all??? Presumably we are following Good Cole’s actions in New Marais in which he activated the Ray Field Inhibiter and sacrificed all the conduits to stop the plague sweeping across America. It was suggested at this action would kill all conduits (and the ending cut scene supported that impression)…so as this game is only happening seven years later why are there still numerous conduits?? If we’d jumped ahead twenty years then fine new conduits could have been born and grown up but are we to believe that only some of the conduits died when Cole activated the RFI?? The events of seven years ago are hinted at but again without proper context I have no idea why some conduits survived the RFI blast…plus calling Conduits Bio-terrorists and locking them all away seems a tad unfair when Cole sacrificed himself and supposedly his entire race to save humanity. Augustine is described as the most powerful conduit ever but what about the Beast?? Or Cole?? Standing next to either of them Augustine isn’t especially scary and comes across as more of a Saturday morning cartoon villain than anything else, plus her reason for why she hunts down her own kind and locks them away is so retarded that it is barely worth mentioning…basically she was locking them up for their own good…right and torturing and experimenting on them, was that for their own good too??

 

In the good ending Delsin informs us that thanks to the efforts of himself, Eugene and Fetch in exposing Augustine’s corruption, the DUP is disbanded and the people of the world realise that they can live side by side with conduits…everyone links hands and together they skip though the tulips (okay not that last bit but near enough). So again, Cole saving both Empire City and New Marais, then sacrificing himself and all other conduits to save humanity from a plague…that wasn’t enough to convince humans that conduits aren’t necessarily evil. But Delsin, Fetch and Eugene taking down a corrupt government official that convinces everyone. Where the hell were the people of New Marais when the DUP was being formed?? Didn’t they make Cole the Patron Saint of New Marais?? So why did they stand back and do nothing whilst the obviously corrupt DUP was established??

 

Context Infamous Second Son…can I have some fucking context!?!?!?

 

In the previous games Cole’s power was electricity so he was incredibly vulnerable to water and if he fell into the ocean or a storm drain he would ground out and die. Delsin doesn’t have that problem but strangely if he lands in water he simply stays where he is and a icon flashes up prompting you to warp to shore. Why were there no water missions?? That would have given us something new that we hadn’t seen before in an Infamous game and could have been really cool.

 

…I am only about half way through the notes I made…and I think thus far I haven’t talked about what was good in the game. So that is going to change…ahem…well Second Son looks really nice. The city is bright and colourful, and I have to say the effects when Delsin absorbs Neon are pretty beautiful. Plus when moving at Neon-speed a variety of colours follow in your wake and you are able to follow Fetch using this technique…but…

 

…Damn it…it was really hoping that I could talk about something positive but immediately a negative appears that I can’t ignore.

 

Similarly to the first two games the enemies here have pixel perfect laser accuracy and just like the first two games I was gunned down time and time and time again by enemies that could track my location no matter where I went. Seriously I’d be moving a Neon-speed (which is pretty fast) and helicopters were able to launch missiles that intercepted me, it didn’t matter if I changed direction, because the enemies were still able to hit me. Mini-gunners, regular enemies and just about anyone that had a gun was able to kill me at some point because no matter how fast I travelled I could not get away from them and would be overwhelmed.

 

Ah…a positive I can’t pick holes in…there is a shop called Cole McG’s Electronics…that was a nice touch.

 

Honestly this game has more in common with Prototype 2 than either of the Infamous titles that went before it. The check points and the oppressive government are all echoes of what was happening to New York in Prototype 2. I have no idea why Sucker Punch spent time developing the graphics but then made the missions so repetitive and the game itself is aggressively short. Compared to the forty main missions (not including side missions) in Infamous 2 this game is painfully short. I managed to complete both the good and evil karma missions in a single weekend so compared to the other games there is really not much value for money this time around.

 

Some of the gripes that I have with this game may be answered in a DLC called Cole’s Legacy but at the time of writing this review I haven’t played that. If I have since played it there will be a review for it following this one but as far as Infamous Second Son goes I have to say that I seriously doubt I’ll be playing it again anytime soon and if I do I may corrupt Fetch again just so I can get some sex out of her…I don’t think the game is worthy of a Thumbs Down because I guess if you aren’t familiar with the previous games this will be pretty good, but unfortunately I am familiar with the other two and this one basically left me disappointed. As a result my Thumb is going to have to be Horizontal, Second Son is not terrible but it is repetitive and despite being made by Sucker Punch hasn’t brought anything new to the world of Infamous

 

 

5/10 – Infamous Second Son could have been so much more and the problems that plagued the previous two games are still here and instead of adding new and varied missions Sucker Punch have focussed on making the game look pretty but skimped on what you are actually doing in Seattle.

 

TAC Reviews...Infamous Second Son: Cole's Legacy

 

Released in 2014 this DLC was initially only available in the special edition versions of Infamous Second Son but has since become accessible to anyone for £3.99 on the Playstation Network. It seeks to fill in some of the blanks left in the story of Second Son and explain how the Conduits came back following their destruction at the end of Infamous 2.

 

Cole's Legacy DLC

 

As you know I like continuity and one of my biggest gripes with Second Son was the fact that it did nothing to explain how the Conduits had returned after the Good canon ending of Infamous 2 in which Cole activated the RFI killing them all but saving humanity.

 

In the DLC you return to playing as Delsin Rowe continuing from either your good play through or your evil one, personally I played continuing from my good path as the Good endings are always the canon ones with the Evil being more “What-if” scenarios.

 

In the DLC, Delsin is contacted by Roland Wolfe (the brother of Sebastian Wolfe who appeared in Infamous 2 and worked alongside Cole in New Marais) who tells him that if he wants to know the truth about what happened Seven Years Ago and how the Conduits came back after Cole killed them all then the two need to work together to recover data from the DUP.

 

Delsin agrees to help and undertakes a series of missions in which he must recover Dead Drops from the forces of the DUP which inform them (and us) of how the Conduits returned…and that is pretty much it.

 

 

Yep, that’s it.

 

This DLC is made up of four missions, it features no new enemies, no new powers and can be completed before you even have time to think “fuck, that was short”

 

I have played some shit DCL in my time, but I think this has to be the laziest and shortest of them…so let’s get the main problem out of the way first. The title: Cole’s Legacy. So you’d think we’d be looking into what happened directly following Infamous 2, but no, all we get is basically a hand wave type explanation that says how the Conduits came back.

 

How would a Q&A panel with Cole’s Legacy work I wonder??

 

Me: “So tell me, Cole’s Legacy, how did the Conduits return after Cole killed them all when he activated the RFI??”

 

Cole’s Legacy: “Yeah, urm, the DUP managed to isolate the Conduit gene in regular humans and reactivate it somehow, so that’s how the Conduits returned”

 

Me […frown…]: “But wasn’t the DUP only formed after the Conduits came back so how could they have been responsible for their return?”

 

Cole’s Legacy: “Well, you see the thing about that is…er…I left the answer in my car, if you’ll just excuse me for a moment”

 

[…The sound of running feet, a door slamming, a car engine starting and the screeching of tyres as Cole’s Legacy hastily drives away…]

 

Me:…[sigh]…

 

So in Infamous 2 it was established that certain people have the Conduit gene and Cole killed every activated and potential Conduit to save humanity, only he didn’t get them all, some managed to survive.

 

How???

 

The DUP managed to isolate the….no, no, no Cole’s Legacy you can’t just throw that bullshit at me and expect me to buy it. Every Conduit was killed at the end of Infamous 2, you can’t just go, actually no they didn’t, without explaining exactly why or how certain conduits survived.

 

Plus, remember this image??

 

Final Shot in Infamous 2 Good Ending...

 

In the canon good ending, the boat is sailing into a storm, lightening flashes around it, but a final bolt seems to directly hit it and doesn’t that bolt look like a question mark?

 

During one mission of the game Cole had used the lightning bolts from a storm above him to recharge his energy levels, so it was entirely possible that a bolt of lightning could have been attracted to his body. It was therefore implied that a bolt of lightning might have hit Cole’s body as Zeke was taking it out to sea. This left the ending of Infamous 2 somewhat open to interpretation, perhaps that lightning bolt had somehow brought Cole back, so maybe whilst the other Conduits were dead Cole might have survived. Hell, if the bolt of lightning did somehow resurrect him and he’d been apprehended, experimented on, and through him the conduit gene had been isolated and dispersed into the human population then fine. But no, we are given no explanation regarding the ending to Infamous 2 so this DLC is basically just a waste of time and money.

 

The missions can be completed in under half an hour, you unlock Cole’s jacket after completing it…terrific, that makes the game with it…no actually it doesn’t.

 

Zeke is in the DLC but he literally phones in his performance, he never physically appears, and just speaks to Delsin about how his powers will develop further. It was a nice touch but sadly he is so poorly used it was pretty much pointless having him in the story at all. The only thing that links Cole to Cole’s Legacy is the presence of Zeke, and the whole story could have been written on a post-it note stuck to a wall by Delsin’s graffiti.

 

I thought Dead Space Severed was half assed with no +game mode, no ability to use Isaac’s weapons, and the fact that it tried to make me believe that Weller and Lexine got together after Extraction. But this…this…it’s just a shameless cash-in on the Infamous title, it adds nothing to the story, nothing to the characters, no new powers and despite having Zeke appearing it is just a waste of time. It could have been so much more, I’m not saying it needed to be epic but a bit of effort would have been nice and there is obviously no effort here. Cole’s Legacy has nothing to do with anything and even less to do with Cole, it is a pile of shit and unsurprisingly my Thumb is squarely Down

 

 

3/10 – The Conduits came back…somehow. That is basically the gist of Cole’s Legacy, it answers no questions, gives Delsin no new powers and aside from giving Delsin a new jacket to wear, it is 100% pointless, there was no effort put in and it is just a cash-in on the Infamous name.

 

TAC Reviews...Infamous: First Light

 

Serving as a prequel to the events of Infamous Second Son, First Light sees the player taking control of Abigail “Fetch” Walker. The game was released in 2014. The player is limited to one area of Seattle unlike the duel areas that Delsin Rowe would ultimately unlock. Unlike Delsin who gained access to numerous powers Fetch only has her Neon abilities and she is able to unlock other powers during the game

 

Infamous First Light Boxart

 

As you know the last DLC for Infamous Second Son was Cole’s Legacy which was easily the laziest cash-in on a game’s licence that I have ever played, it added nothing to the story, no new powers, and its idea of a reward was to give you Cole’s jacket…hoo-fucking-ray…now when I downloaded First Light I was not hopeful of getting a good game.

 

So did First Light surprise me or was it another shameless cash-in??

 

Let’s jump in and take a look…

 

First Light begins with Abigail “Fetch” Walker incarcerated in Curdun Cay, she is ordered to demonstrate her powers to the leader of the DUP, none other than Brooke Augustine. After the demonstration Augustine orders Fetch to recount the events that led up to her arrest by the DUP.

 

Flashing back to two years previously we see Fetch and her brother Brent loading up a speedboat so the pair can flee Seattle to Canada where the influence of the DUP doesn’t extend. Unfortunately a gang named the Akurans plant a bomb on the boat, and kidnap Brent almost killing Fetch.

 

A friend of Brent’s named Shane approaches Fetch and tells her that if they work together then they should be able to rescue Brent. Shane is a small time drug dealer but has the connections to track Fetch’s brother down whilst Fetch can use her powers to destroy the influence the Akurans have in the city.

 

In between flashbacks Augustine tests Fetch’s abilities in various combat arenas fighting against holograms created by another Conduit [Eugene obviously]. These abilities help in the main game and can be used to unlock additional upgrades to your powers which can be used in further arenas or in the main game.

 

As the game continues Fetch is betrayed by Shane and she is forced to do his bidding as he uses her to cement his own position as Seattle’s new Drug Lord. Fetch fights to rescue her brother from Shane, but the forces of the DUP start to close in on Seattle threatening to arrest her before she can rescue him.

 

In Infamous Second Son we learned Fetch’s back story but this is a stand-alone game so the game recounts the events in which Brent and Fetch were forced to flee after their parents turned her into the authorities. We don’t really learn anything new about Fetch during the events of the game except that new powers manifest themselves when she suffers from extreme emotional stress. However, we do learn more about her relationship with her brother and how dependant that she is on him to keep her sometimes unstable powers in check.

 

I have to say that generally the game is pretty good fun with Fetch’s powers differing from Delsin’s because of the way in which they are unlocked. Delsin used Core Relays to unlock other abilities he has absorbed from others, none of those powers were his, whereas Fetch developed her powers alone. They weren’t released by a Ray Sphere explosion so they are a part of her and as she becomes more stressed her powers manifest themselves in different ways as part of a defence mechanism. I think that this is an interesting idea because it shows that born Conduits powers are linked to their emotional state and will not just evolve if they absorb enough electricity or Blast cores (as they did in Cole’s case) or through the use of Core Relays as they did in Delsin’s story.

 

The city sandbox is lifted directly from Second Son but is limited to the first area, and like Second Son there are various challenges dotted around the map. Some of these, like the races are pretty good fun because Fetch can charged through Neon “gas” that give her a speed boost, so it is relatively simple to catch the swirling neon orb you were chasing. I think the neon graffiti is a little weird and seems to only be in the game because the mechanics already exist, Delsin sprays graffiti, so they use the same tools to allow Fetch to scorch patterns on various walls.

 

Just like the main game doing these side missions will unlock points that can be used to buy new upgrades to enhance Fetch’s powers. The biggest problem with the upgrades is the fact that they don’t amount to the necessary points to fully upgrade your powers without doing the challenges. I have finished the main story mission at the time of writing this review without fully completing all the challenge maps which consist of Rescue and Survival. So you have to keep rescuing hostages until five die or you survive as long as possible, you can do this as either Fetch or Delsin. The trouble is that now the main game is completed the only reason to do the challenges is to unlock more powers to use in the challenges which is a little pointless and exists to give the game a bit more replay ability. If you like trophies then you’ll need to slog through these arenas time and time again in order to get the necessary points required to get the trophies. Collecting neon orbs in the game give you experience points that can put towards developing new powers but some of them are a little difficult to get and picking them up is really repetitive when it is one of only three or four side activities you can do.

 

Before I go any further let me say that the game is by no means bad, it was a well developed insight into an interesting character and it has gone a long way to restoring my faith in Infamous DLC. Naturally, that doesn’t mean that the game was perfect and not surprisingly as I played a few issues started to appear.

 

At the time of the story Fetch and Brent have already been junkies with Brent having previously kicked his habit and is trying to help Fetch get clean. With the exception of a sequence right at the end of the game, Fetch is never shown to be suffering from the effects of drugs, either the consequences of taking drugs or the symptoms of withdrawal. Personally I think it would have been more interesting if the pair had gotten addicted to drugs during the storyline and it wasn’t because Shane had kidnapped Brent that forced Fetch to work for him. If the two had gotten hooked on drugs and Fetch was doing these jobs to pay for them then that might have worked better. As a main enemy Shane’s betrayal couldn’t have been more obvious. He starts off sleazing after Fetch but quickly realises that she is the key to becoming Seattle’s new Drug Lord, his betrayal couldn’t have been more telegraphed if he had been wearing a huge sign saying “I Will Betray You”. Yet if Fetch and Brent were addicted to the drugs he was supplying, then the pair would have been forced continue working for him in order to get their fix. The story could have been a lot darker with Fetch’s powers manifesting in different ways when she is high, or Shane could have been a much stronger and charismatic character that charmed the naive brother and sister into working for him, Fetch could have fallen for him which would have made her initial reluctance to work with Delsin much more obvious as her trust has been abused before.

 

The ending and the circumstances surrounding Brent’s death have all been altered for the purposes of First Light. In Second Son Fetch describes Brent’s death as happening because both were becoming paranoid because of the effects or the drugs and Fetch killed him in a moment of rage. Here Shane injects Fetch with drugs before she is attacked by what she thinks are DUP soldiers but it turns out that the attack was in her head and Brent was the opponent she was fighting. Thus his death was the result of Shane tricking her, not her losing control of herself when struggling with withdrawal, shifting blame away from her takes something away from her character. In Second Son Fetch suffered with guilt and had surrendered herself to the DUP without a fight because she recognised how much damage she could do if she lost control of her powers. The end of First Light leaves Fetch standing on a mountainside after blasting her way out of Curdun Cay and killing Shane, she could have fled, but she just allows herself to be captured. Surrendering to the DUP willingly after accidently murdering her brother when she is consumed with guilt carried far more weight than simply standing on a mountainside when freedom is within her grasp then letting herself be recaptured.

 

Like Second Son, First Light, whilst fun, is not an Infamous game. Fetch has no moral compass, she can murder gang members, police, DUP and no one bats an eye. She isn’t given any options to do the “Right” or the “Wrong” thing depending on her situation, when she confronts Shane there is no option to spare him, the only thing you can do is kill him. Whilst Second Son had severely limited moral choices there were at least a few chances to be “Good” or “Evil”, there are no opportunities to do that in First Light. Yes, I do acknowledge that this is a prequel so Fetch is locked into some decisions but if her back story can be changed to make Brent’s death an accident caused indirectly by Shane, then surely other details could have been altered too.

 

Like I said above, the game is actually really good, and whilst it was limited in the sandbox area you could play around in, the variations on Fetch’s powers make this a great prequel to the events of Second Son. Shane could have been a much stronger character that seduced Fetch and Brent into the drug lifestyle but sadly he is a two-dimensional bad guy that wasn’t especially interesting. Still, the game does enough things right to earn a Thumbs Up, if you are a fan of Second Son and want to play as the ex-junkie Fetch then this is the game for you.

 

 

7/10 – I enjoyed First Light and it has helped to restore my faith in DLC, however, with just a few tweaks it could have been a lot better. Shane was a poor villain and the side quests were pretty repetitive but on the whole the game was good fun. I advise you to check it out if you enjoyed Second Son but were left supremely pissed off by the lacklustre Cole’s Legacy.

 

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