GOONL!NE Review: [Prototype]

Prototype BA

Developer: Radical
Publisher: Activision
Console Played on: Xbox 360
Release Date: Friday June 12th 2009
Rating: PEGI 18, BBFC 18

It seems that since 2007 with the release of Crackdown, sandbox games are all the rage. Sucker Punch recently released inFamous for the PLAYSTATION 3, now Activision release Prototype and Ruffian Games are currently developing the sequel to the reigning king of the genre, Crackdown 2.

But for now, we must do with Prototype from Activision, where you play as Alex Mercer. As you start the game, Manhattan is in chaos as it seems to be gradually infected with a biological virus as the game progresses. You rewind throughout the game to piece together how it all started, but it all starts with you, lying in a morgue when your suddingly wake up. Something’s happened to you, you’re amnesiac now and dont remember a thing. Then out of nowhere, you realise that you’ve been infected with a different strain of the virus which you can use to your advantage.

Story aside for a minute, is Prototype worth £40/$60?

Simply put: no.

First off, let us state: Prototype is NOT like inFamous. On paper, it does sound alot like it on paper, they’re both sandbox games and they are

Prototype is good fun dont get us wrong, but not £40 fun, more £20 – £25 fun. Firstly, Prototype’s story is basically like a halfway Spiderman 2 (hell, you can say Prototype is a next-gen Spiderman 2 in gameplay terms), met up with Resistance 2 somewhat. When I was playing the game, I got a feel of them two games, adding in also The Simpsons: Hit & Run from the PS2 and Xbox. It is a okayish story in it’s own right, but I cant help but feel it is weak in parts. The acting was sub-par, the cutscenes on average is 20 – 45 seconds and doesnt tell enough of the story, it sort of drags on and doesnt grip onto you like it should and finally, it is sometimes hard to follow.

On a gameplay level, it’s basically Spiderman 2 on either the PS3 or 360. Not thats a bad thing, infact it’s one of the game’s major upsides. You can upgrade moves, which you get thanks to the virus as you go through the game, via an upgrades menu, which is pretty much like what Spiderman 2 was like. You can also consume anybody around you.

Yes, I did say that correct, you can consume anyone. You grab someone, consume them and then take on their identity to assume. And this could be anyone from a civilian or a millitary soldier, so when your discovered by the army hunting for your dead man walking arse, try and get away and then switch to another identity to get away when you get the chance. And the millitary brings up my next point: they are determined shits, determined to kill you anyway possible.

You can run up skyscrappers as you try to evade the millitary with gunfire from soldiers on the ground, from tanks on the ground and helicopters in the air, trying to get you off with strike teams being brought in, at least several helicopters come hunting for you firing you with missile after missile, gunfire after gunfire and never stopping until your dead, which can become very annoying sometimes. When you try taking on the millitary, and other subsequent enemies which you’ll meet as you progress, you use several powers hand to hand and use weapons from the army as you take on the enemies in the game. But when your low on health, while it does regenerate somewhat, it makes your powers feel worthless sometimes.

Okay, that might seem like a bit of an overstatement but by god come near the end, you will be hitting difficulty spike after difficulty spike and they’ll keep coming until the end of the game. It’s quite somewhat like Spiderman 2 meeting Hulk: Ultimate Edition.

As well as the story, you also have sidemissions which sees you take on time trial like missions to kill enemies or to invade millitary bases and take out soldiers for many advantages, just to name a few examples. But even then, they’re quite dissapointing if I am very honest, they’re the sub-standard stuff you’d probably expect for the game when you end it. And ven then, you’d probably try and just complete the story as you go on throughout the game instead of doing these type of sub-missions.

Prototype’s graphics is alright. Manhattan’s skyline changes as the virus, and the game, progresses we have to admit is good. Starting out with a lush sky blue in the afternoon, as the game goes on, it really look like armageddon is coming to Manhattan with a red skyline as the virus progresses and crows fly about, trying to peck at whatever dead flesh there is lying about. It really does show how the small things matter in games of a sudden. But we have to say they do sometimes ruin the gameplay experience at some points during the game.

Final Thoughts: Prototype is not really worth £40. It is a decent game, but I honestly cant recomend a game that really does feel somewhat sub-par, in story, gameplay and graphics. If you can pick it up for cheaper then £40 and get it for or under £20, go for it.

Otherwise, it is not something we would not pick up for £40.

Story: 6 -Very sub-par. Good in some parts, mostly average in others.

Gameplay: 8 – It has that Spiderman 2 feel to it, but thats not a bad thing. It’s probably the best thing about this game.

Graphics: 7 – They’re good, but not on the standard set by say other multiplatform games.

Sound: 7 – Average voiceacting, but a good soundtrack for the game.

Overall: 7 – Prototype has a feel of some games in there, gameplay like Hulk: Ultimate Edition and a story similar to Resistance 2. It is an alright game, but we wouldnt recomend it for $60/£40.