At times Prototype is brilliant
At times Prototype is brilliant

At times Prototype is brilliant

There's been an open-world overload in recent months. It seems as though everyone is trying to make the next big thing by building a big city to play in, and Prototype from Activision Blizzard is no exception. This action packed free-roamer also features a main character who has superhuman powers and a storyline that's unravelled as you progress – sounds similar to another recent video game, does it not? In truth Prototype feels very different to Sony's PS3 exclusive inFamous, and has enough ideas of its own to make it a very solid entry in the genre, even if it doesn't quite come together as we'd have hoped.

Prototype's protagonist is Alex Mercer, a man confused about who and what he is. The game begins with Mercer slicing enemies to pieces and smashing up tanks in Manhattan, packing more superpowers than he knows what to do with . This is Mercer as he's become some 18 days after a virus hit the city, but you didn't think you'd get to play with all the toys from the start did you? After this brief, spectacular opening you're taken back to day one and have to earn all your abilities and upgrades again.

It sounds like the usual trick developers play, but in Prototype you're never left wanting for abilities. As standard Mercer can jump really high, run up walls and use some pretty nice parkour skills to avoid anything that gets in his way, but the abundance of experience points thrown at you for almost everything you do can be spent on a ton of new powers and upgrades. Early on you'll get the ability to glide after jumping, which is ideal for getting about the city, while new offensive and defensive moves and tools give you more options while in a scrap.

There are far too many to list here, but you'll eventually be able to choose between fighting enemies off with massive fists, claws or a huge blade, rip them to pieces with a wave of giant spikes, pick up and throw cars at helicopters, and turn into something that looks like the Guyver. This is just a small fraction of what you can unlock, plus you can buy upgrades to your running speed, jump height and air dash moves.

Sadly it's also extremely repetitive

Sadly it's also extremely repetitive

All this would be largely pointless if the game that required all these moves wasn't actually any good, so thankfully developer Radical has remembered to include some fun open-world gameplay too. The brunt of the action will see you storming through the city, fighting soldiers and large pink mutants – more often than not at the same time. The soldiers pack a punch from the sheer fire-power at their disposal (they call in helicopter strike teams on a whim), while the mutants are just incredibly quick and powerful, sending you flying if you're not careful. Missions generally vary from killing enemies or destroying objects, to getting from point a to b or taking on a disguise.

Disguises are what makes Prototype feel a little different to its open world superhero cousins. Mercer is able to consume people and take on their likeness at the press of a button. The game utilises this by throwing a number of objectives at you that can't be completed unless you've consumed a certain character in the game world, so for example you might need to consume a helicopter pilot in order to walk into the army base and take a chopper for a spin. As long as you remain somewhat in character and don't start super jumping in front of a line of marines you'll stay hidden and be allowed to get on with the task at hand.

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Mar27w's Avatar

Mar27w

great game and the best action title in months,miles better than the simplistic wolverine with loads more combos
Posted 09:45 on 20 July 2009
trigger_happy's Avatar

trigger_happy

y is it 18???
Posted 16:14 on 30 June 2009
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ Schiff

I agree with the Gaiden Button Bashing - It will only get you so far through the game - unless you actually learn to use your combo's properly you'll be screwed.

I'm probably going to pick Prototype up this weekend - reminds me of Hulk: Ultimate Destruction with gore.
Posted 08:12 on 16 June 2009
jakeistheman's Avatar

jakeistheman

should have gotten a 8 but o well will get this when i have the money.
Posted 02:25 on 16 June 2009
Schiff's Avatar

Schiff

@ CheekyLee: in Ninja Gaiden you can't simply bash the buttons.... trust me :)
Posted 21:52 on 15 June 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ El-Dev

Whilst I have only played the demo of inFAMOUS, I have to say that there is more fun stuff to do in the first 10 minutes of Prototype than in the entirety of the inFAMOUS demo. In fact, the inFAMOUS demo did an awful lot to put me off wanting the game. Prototype is definitely more action-oriented, from what I can see. (Solving problems by throwing tanks at them = WIN!)

I have no doubt that inFAMOUS has strengths of its own, which I will find out in time. I think this review is fairly accurate in part, but I disagree that the combat is repetitive. It is only repetitive in the way that Devil May Cry or Ninja Gaiden is, in that you can just mindlessly bash one button and win, but you will have much more fun if you learn the nuances and use them to your advantage.
Posted 21:14 on 15 June 2009
Wido's Avatar

Wido

I have actually, my brothers copy :) The video on what I watched sealed the fate of me getting it.
Posted 20:21 on 15 June 2009
rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx

"The city is dull
Not much variety"

Not suprised, it looks average and a bit rushed.
Posted 19:04 on 15 June 2009
Marink's Avatar

Marink@ Wido

Quote:
People have different tastes so its a fair review, but personally it would of had a 8 because of the fun you can have with this game.

You haven't even played it yet...
Posted 19:00 on 15 June 2009
Wido's Avatar

Wido

From what I have seen it looks enjoyable!

This is barking up the right tree for people who have been waiting for a open-world, gore fest with sick moves. I have the game myself coming as I couldn't resist it as of watching this video on which Lee posted up. Just made me even more to get it!

People have different tastes so its a fair review, but personally it would of had a 8 because of the fun you can have with this game.
Posted 18:29 on 15 June 2009
RecoN's Avatar

RecoN

I found this game really enjoyable! It's quite close between Infamous and prototype, personally I find them both great games and well worth some of the hype!!!
Posted 17:55 on 15 June 2009
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

Is it true there was an embargo on reviews of Prototype?

inFamous didn't really do it for me so this is a very definate miss.
Posted 16:56 on 15 June 2009

Game Stats

7
Out of 10
Prototype
  • Some brilliant abilities
  • Occasionally thrilling set pieces
  • The city is dull
  • Not much variety
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 12/06/2009
Platforms: PS3 , Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Action
No. Players: One
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 4,670 3
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