Prototype – PS3 – Review

Ok, there
are times when being a reviewer is easily the best job in the world; for me, the
past couple of weeks has been an absolute blessing. First I reviewed the
incredibly fun inFamous a few days ago and now, as if I were playing in the
super-powered jungle, I get Prototype, sort of the same game and then not quite.
Regardless, the game is a fascinating and highly addictive gaming pleasure and
PS3 owners should be very excited to have this one-two punch of action and

let me put this to rest, the game is like inFamous in the sense that you are a
super-powered individual running around freely in a city, but where InFamous has
you making moral choices and choosing to be the city’s defender or biggest
problem, Prototype, puts you smack dab in the middle of a biological apocalypse
and there is pretty much nothing you can do about it. Protoype is the Rated "R"
to inFamous’ PG-13. In inFamous, you can try and not hurt innocents; in
Prototype, hundreds if not thousands of people will die by your hand as a result
of your actions, and you could care less. inFamous is action oriented and
Prototype has the blood and gore flying all over the place.

you’ve got a little heartburn eh?"

When you
fire up the disc, the game has you 18 days into the future, New York is in the
throes of a full-on apocalypse, mutants and soldiers are killing each other and
trying to kill you while people are screaming and running everywhere. Fires are
everywhere and it appears that this is the end. As Alex Mercer, you (at this
point) are wielding some serious powers, you glide hundreds of feet, change the
mass of your fists so you can smash and throw tanks, switch to massive claws and
literally everyone in a 12-foot radius is turned to garden mulch. Grab a hold of
a battlefield colonel and absorb his body into yours and his memories are
accessible. The situation is grim and you are neck deep in it.  

But to get
there, you must play the game out as it starts today, and you aren’t even sure
who you are. And this is where I really got into Prototype; the game has a very
smart, very sci-fi story behind it and you unravel it as you go. Your memory is
shot, so you must learn who you are and why you were experimented on. The
military is hunting you and will stop at nothing to kill you. Flashbacks
detailing the story are found as you subjugate characters throughout the game.
Shape shifting into the people you have absorbed helps make infiltration a bit
easier, but the military is well prepared. Alex is hunted relentlessly, and
unless you learn the finer moves of avoidance and detection the game will be
much more difficult.

soldiers, a helicopter and two mutants against me? You better go get more guys."

this beast will take some getting used to. Since you can gain new powers and
upgrade them as you go, learning the finer points of skill management is a must.
Defensive powers, intellectual powers, attacks and tons of other things to work
with including using military weapons, can be a daunting and somewhat
intimidating venture. Of course, the game does a good job of helping you get the
tougher things done with instructions in the power list and occasionally popping
on screen with which buttons to push. But there is so many combinations and
weapons to load up on, it is ridiculous and it is awesome all at the same time.

But how it
all works is why Prototype is a really good game. You see, with all these powers
and being placed squarely in New York City, Alex can run very quickly, leap very
far and run up the sides of buildings thanks to his powers. Moving across the
city is incredibly fun as you sprint across rooftops doing your best impression
of the Matrix movies leaping from rooftop to rooftop. In fact, you can run up
the sides of skyscrapers and then leap to the street sending vehicles and people
flying. Yes, this is a killer title and quite possibly the most exciting
super-powered game ever. Spiderman, the Hulk, all those games based on actual
super heroes have nothing on Alex Mercer, at least their games don’t.

you had a bad day? This dude starts the game off dead."

As you roll
through the title, you must follow the game’s linear plot, going from mission to
mission, but you can run off the beaten path and go exploring, fighting enemies
or practicing moves. There are also plenty of side adventures you can do as
well, helping you get more experience points which are used to buy upgrades to
your powers, or new powers all together. This is a good way to help uncover the
game’s overall plot as sometimes it involves absorbing key characters who help
flesh out the story. But they are more than that – they can sometimes be timed
and rated easy to difficult. If you can execute these side missions, platinum
missions will appear, with even more content. The game is several layers deep
and you could play it several times finding new stuff each time. Remember, it is
New York – a big, busy place.

The graphics
of the game are really well developed. Alex’s powers sort of remind me of the
Spider-man character Venom as he runs up the walls of the buildings, a smoky,
black tentacled mist erupts and attaches to the wall. It’s very subtle but very
cool. Likewise are the transformations; again, a unnatural mist envelopes Alex
and his body changes to meet the challenge. Characters are well modeled and have
a real, gritty look to them. The city is alive and appears very busy and fluidl
as cars and people make their way around. Same goes for the military; its clear
that there is something really big in the city, so there are military vehicles
and soldiers everywhere. Now there is a repetition in character models, but I
was surprised at how many models there actually were. And that includes vehicles
and other nuances of the city. It looks so good. There’s nothing like a
plague-infested Times Square to make a game really hum.

And speaking
of humming, this is an excellent way to tune up your home theater system. If you
are running a surround sound system, then you are golden, all sorts of things
are being heard throughout the speakers. Sirens from behind you, gunfire from
the side, explosions in front, this is a well-built game as far as the sound
effects are concerned. I love it when a game really takes the time to break down
the little things. Alex is not a nice guy and this game contains some not nice
language. Now as far as the voice acting goes, it too is well above board, Alex
sounds like a genuine tough guy and considering what he can do, he is. But there
are plenty of other voice actors spread out through the game, some familiar
voices, some not-so much. Either way, the game sounds great.

Scoring Details for Game Prototype

Gameplay: 9.4
You can do
so much in this game, and it does take a little bit to get it all down. The
controls are well tuned and the action comes at a break-neck pace.

Graphics: 9.6
from the city’s landscape to the business of the New York streets. Characters
have a strong presence. I would have liked more creatures to battle, but I guess
we’ll have to wait for the sequel.

Sound: 9.0
Great use of
surround sound, strong voice work, excellent sound effects.

Difficulty: Medium/Hard

Concept: 9.0
super-powered game where the protagonist is an anti-hero through and through. So
what if a few hundred innocents get wasted on my quest for vengeance.

Overall: 9.4
Its a
virtual toss up between this and inFamous, both are great games, but this one
has a decidedly more adult feel to it. Did I mention the copious amounts of