- Posted June 18th, 2009 at 19:59 EDT by Steven Williamson
- 48 Comments
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Brutally satisfying, Prototype offers hours of explosive, unscripted fun.
- Alex's brilliant range of superpowers and upgrades
- The over-the-top combat and resulting chaos
- The game's longevity
- The pointless shape-shifting feature
- Some of the poor enemy A.I. behavior
- The depressing design of the city
If ever you needed a way to let off some steam quickly after a hard day at work or school, then Prototype is for you. Unapologetically loud, brash, violent and over-the-top, Radical Entertainment’s sandbox-style action game may be a bit rough around the edges, but it has a heart like a lion. At times, combat isn’t pretty and the presentation is a little grubby, but when you're picking up a New York City cab and tossing it toward the cockpit of a helicopter, or using your razor sharp-claws to rip the limbs off anyone who happens to be get in your way, we can guarantee you'll be doing it with a grin of perverse satisfaction across your face.
Prototype’s new antihero, Alex Mercer, is ruthless. There are no good or bad paths to follow throughout the campaign; he’s a killer, and that’s all you really need to know. Prototype’s storyline is an interesting enough premise, but it’s the molding of Mercer into a powerful killing machine that really takes center stage. Alex isn’t worried about who gets in his way on his quest to discover the truth, so you don’t need to worry either. Sit back on your sofa and whack up the 5.1 surround sound, because Alex doesn't do things quietly. He'll kill anyone that gets in the way and tear New York City apart in the process.
Prototype follows the story of Alex Mercer, who, after presumed dead and placed in a morgue, wakes up out of a coma to discover that he lost his memory. Alex has been used as a host for a deadly genetic virus that has now infected the whole of New York City. To his surprise, Alex now possesses a devastating range of superpowers, including brute strength, speed, and the ability to shape-shift by changing his appearance and taking on the powers of anyone he consumes. Furthermore, he can absorb people’s memories and initiate flashbacks, which helps him discover the truth behind this deadly disease and find out why the city is now controlled by the oppressive BlackWatch forces and populated with mutated freaks.
Prototype features a bustling, open-world metropolis that is jammed to the rafters with typical sandbox-style missions and side objectives that you can complete at your own pace. There’s nothing particularly innovative about many of the missions types that you carry out in Prototype, so you can expect the likes of point-to-point races and rescue, escape and protect missions, but more often than not you’ll be fighting tooth and nail against BlackWatch guards and some of the city’s mutated creatures. One of the major new ideas in Prototype is the concept of shape-shifting, but it hasn’t been implemented as well as we’d hoped. In fact, it wouldn’t have really made any difference if had it been left out completely.
Shape-shifting allows you to blend into a crowd when the enemy is searching for you, or sneak into a facility undetected. You can tap on the D-pad and instantly switch to a different guise. The scenarios used for this particularly ability aren’t that interesting, though. Whenever you transform into another person, the disguise meter lets you know if enemies are aware of your presence. The problem is that the A.I. just isn’t that clever, so when you do get spotted and your pursuers let off rocket launchers and send their tanks heading your way, you can simply use Alex’s parkour skills to zip up the side of a building and hide it out on the rooftops until the coast is clear. It feels like a wasted feature.
Nevertheless, this pointless feature doesn’t distract whatsoever from the enjoyment of the game. Where Prototype really shines is in its vast range of exciting abilities and how you can evolve and better Alex throughout the game. Overturning tanks and plucking helicopters right out of the sky are among Alex’s special powers, but the combat system goes much deeper than that, with pages of upgrades and abilities to unlock. From physical abilities, such as being able to jump higher or glide across the city landscape, to offensive abilities such as ground spikes that allow you to skewer a dozen enemies standing yards away, there’s plenty of ... (continued on next page)
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- 3:00pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
Im not sure about this game im in two minds wheather to get it.
- 3:08pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
After playing this game for about two days straight at my cousins house, I just want to say it's incredibly fun. Terrible story and mediocre graphics, but FUN!
- 3:13pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
@1 whats up
@2 1st poster was quicker than you with a whole 8 minutes. so how about that?
I bought the game. did not play it yet. hopefully its better than infamous cause infamous gets boring though its a great game.
- 3:24pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
As for constructive criticism, maybe you can start making video reviews? Most people don't love reading too much text. A video would be much nicer. Well for me anyway :-)
- 3:24pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
I purchased this game and have been playing it for the past few nights. I agree that although not great eye candy as far as background...when your running at top speed with 5 "Mutant" badies on your tail, and have a couple of blackhawks chasing you as well you tend not to notice the background as much as getting the F*** out of dodge. All and all a very enjoyable game, at least in my opine.
psycho_mantis | uncut_raw187
- 3:29pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
- 3:33pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
I just recently finished the game on normal an i have to say, some of the missions were unbelievably hard. i consider myself a veteran gamer but i give kudos to anyone who beats the game on hard. don't get me wrong sometimes the gameplay was great and sometimes it was discouraging. the side missions are actually more fun that the story line missions, and can we say sequel?
- 3:46pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
there's no doubt going to be a sequel... although it's already a spiritual succesor ti Hulk Ultimate destruction. It really had the potential to be more than just a "kill everything that moves" game but at the same time it does atleast work for people who just want that type of game.
- 3:50pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
"One of the major new ideas in Prototype is the concept of shape-shifting, but it hasn’t been implemented as well as we’d hoped. In fact, it wouldn’t have really made any difference if had it been left out completely."
Alex's shape-shifting abilities aren't just confined to his stealthy disguises: being able to transform any part of his anatomy into a lethal weapon is considered shape-shifting, too! Sure, the game may have been able to do without the concept of disguising yourself, but it's a welcome addition, adding more variety and possibilities to his powers, and if the whole shape-shifting concept was left out, there'd be no aggressive, defensive or sensory abilities either, thus no game! The game clearly makes a big deal out of Alex's shape-shifting abilities, and in no way gives the impression that shape-shifting merely refers to disguise, so why you'd assume that is illogical!
"...despite the scale of the New York we frequently lost our bearings."
Surely a large scale envorinment would make you lose your bearings frequently, so why dop you sound surrised by this? Unless, of course, you was citing New York as a small scale city...
- 3:55pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
Speaking on behalf of troll radgamer because he's banned, "360 version is probably superior, ill buy that despite being too poor"
Anyways, I thought the game is good aside from the looks of the city.
Sonan | Sonan
- 3:56pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
So it sounds like I must have this game along with inFamous. Two high-scoring sandbox games with lots of destruction? Yes please.
- 4:11pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
I dont like it!!!
Its extremely gory for no reason!!!!!
GOW3 is another story (because there blood makes sense)
my review - a game for kids that only want to see gore in from of them.
i give it a 7 out of 10.
- 4:25pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
It's completely unrelated to the srticle, by the way...
- 4:57pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
radgamer is banned LOL!!!!!!
prototype is alright
- 5:01pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
- 5:17pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
I knew it.
and @4-- I can't believe you admitted on a message board that you would rather not read. Your generation is sad. All that twitter garbage. Well, in my day...<falls asleep drooling>...
- 5:20pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
Protype is fun, some of the graphics are good - the story is good if you get all the web targets. I smell a sequel coming, just fro mthe web targets - tho I am 20 away from em all. :P
And pointless shape-shifting? It seemed to have a point to me; Tho in the later bit of the game.. it was kinda pointless. :/
- 5:29pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
@10 ps3 version is better,article on n4g showing both versions and not only better graphics but ps3 actually has more objects like debris/rubble etc.
- 5:43pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
i'll buy Prototype after my second run through of infamous
- 5:55pm EDT - June 18th, 2009
thats all i needed to know its good but not as good as infamous
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