- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 30, 2014

Fans of a free-roaming, super-powered gaming franchise get another shot at fame or infamy in the third-person adventure Infamous: First Light (Sucker Punch Productions and Sony Computer Entertainment, for PlayStation 4, Rated Teen, $14.99).

Starring Abigail “Fetch” Walker, this multi-gigabyte download offers her origin story as a stand-alone game exclusively for Sony’s latest entertainment console. Abigail was last seen in the full-length Infamous: Second Son, released earlier this year, assisting her best bioterrorist buddy Delsin Rowe.

Encompassing Abigail’s hard life on the streets of Seattle as a Conduit (think one of the X-Men’s mutants) and set two years prior to her first meeting with Delsin, we learn about her tragic relationship with brother Brent and subsequent attempted transformation into an assassin for the Department of Unified Protections.

Once again, Abigail harnesses the powers of neon gas to run at super speeds, glide, leap to rooftops, run up walls and shoot laser beams and concussive blasts at enemies. Of course, being a mutant, our misunderstood heroine can also take and dish out much more damage than the average human.

I was continually dazzled every time Fetch dissipated into a stream of florescent pink particles to zip around the city, leaving colorful gaseous trails in her wake and then quickly reforming as her gothy self.

She can also use pockets of neon gas scattered around Seattle to add extra acceleration to her frenetic shenanigans making it a dizzying thrill ride for the player during many of the missions.

Although not as multipowered of a Conduit as Delsin, Abigail is still potent as she drains neon lights and other sources for power to beat on bad guys. She can suspend enemies in the air to methodically eliminate them and occasionally unleash a massive singularity on opponents and large objects where they get sucked into a glowing vortex and smacked into the ground.

Between escaping police and agents, riding shotgun on top of a trucks as an enforcer, stopping drive-by shootings, attacking DUP drones, sniping Russian mobsters and hunting down drug thugs, expect about four hours of action. Futhermore, the mission-based story, set within the confines of a beautifully recreated Seattle (complete with plenty of rainy landscapes), keeps the player busy with plenty of optional side projects.

These include capturing lumens (glowing energy masses collected and allocated to skill trees to increase powers) in high-speed races (like chasing a Golden Snitch), saving hostages, creating gorgeous graffiti or taking part in training exercises at the Curdun Cay Station detention facility.

Specifically, within three battle arenas, a player can control Abigail or even eventually Delsin (if they own the Second Son game) and eliminate waves of varied holographic enemies including some nasty demons. Success in the challenges leads to further help with unlocking powers. Points collected allow players to boast online, high scores worldwide.

Remember, a player does not need to own the Infamous Second Son game to enjoy First Light; however, it makes a strong case to go back and buy the full-length saga of Delsin Rowe.

It is so worth noting that Abigail’s dramatic story combined with Sucker Punch’s meticulous recreation of a city and her super-powered antics along with the power of the PS4 delivers scenes that rival any motion-picture blockbuster.

By the way, my giddiness to dive into the action was not only fueled by the exciting Second Son playground but set in motion long ago when the developer had released a spectacular, also stand-alone, adventure called Infamous: Festival of Blood.

The ghoulishly entertaining event from 2011 starred Cole MacGrath (from Infamous 2) who turns into a vampire. It really set a precedent for Sucker Punch to never disappoint with its superhero and super villain universe, even with simply a $15 game.

I just knew, even before picking up my controller, that Infamous: First Light was going to be a beautiful piece of interactive entertainment.

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