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Review: Prototype - PC, PS3, Xbox 360 - 8.2

10 sierpnia, 2009

Review: Prototype - PC, PS3, Xbox 360 - 8.2
Radical Entertainment, Activision

Prototype puts you in control of a great, open-world action experience...

Open-world games are all the rage these days and Radical Entertainment\'s Prototype is no exception. Putting you in the shoes of an amnesic protagonist named Alex Mercer with deadly superpowers, Prototype has you racing through a New York City ravaged by a deadly infection and military activities to uncover your history.

Built on an advanced version of the Hulk: Ultimate Destruction engine, Prototype gives you the familiar objective of taking on groups of enemies while tearing up the streets of New York. The basic controls are easy to understand and learn. Moving through the environment is a breeze, as holding down the sprint button will have Mercer racing over buildings and dodging over cars and other urban trappings. Combat has simple fundamentals, but it does get more complicated as you unlock a vast arsenal of moves and combos. This can lead to some mind-bending button and key combinations that make the game a little more challenging to handle than it should be. Fortunately, the combat is mostly great, as Mercer is able to transform into a variety of forms that can devastate both enemies and bystanders. Soon, Mercer can utilize objects in the environments such as weapons and even vehicles to continue on his path of destruction.

Throughout the game, you\'re given a multitude of choices to carry out your missions. Attacking a military base could involve Mercer hijacking a tank and tearing the place apart, or he could "consume" a patrolling officer and sneak in, undetected. This isn\'t true for all of the missions, but a wide degree of freedom remains. Fortunately, the game\'s difficulty manages to keep up with Mercer\'s repertoire of powers and techniques, constantly throwing in new enemies and challenges, all while Manhattan continues to deteriorate from the spreading infection.

In addition to the main story missions, there are a lot of side quests that Mercer can take on to extend their time with the game. Some are more interesting than others, specifically the targeted individual ones where Mercer has to absorb specific characters found throughout the city in order to gain their knowledge on the events happening in the city. What results is a slickly-presented montage that presents a disjointed take on their memories.

There are several weaknesses in terms of the gameplay mechanics, primarily centered around the camera. While it can mostly keep up in outdoor environments, it doesn\'t seem to be able to handle closed spaces well, often obstructing your view. The lock-on mechanic that should make it easy for Mercer to take on enemies has trouble in crowded environments, often locking-on to objects and characters that the player wasn\'t targeting.

Visually, Prototype is quite striking due to its dearth of violent content. Mercer will literally tear up enemies with his powers, leading to copious amounts of blood spilling out into the environment. There\'s so much of this that some players could become numb to all of the violence if they play the game for long stretches of time. Otherwise, the engine\'s rendition of Manhattan is passable, but there aren\'t many things that stand out besides some well-known landmarks. Fortunately, the game\'s frame rate is quite solid, even when there are tons of enemies onscreen.

In the end, Prototype is a solid open-world action game that succeeds in giving the player a lot of power and options with which to devastate his foes. It might have its flaws, but gamers looking for an outlet through which they could take out their feelings on an army of mutants, soldiers, and pedestrians will love Prototype.

Score Breakdown:

Gameplay: 8.5 – Mercer\'s wide selection of abilities gives the player a true sense of empowerment.

Presentation: 8.0 – The story bits are well-presented and the rendition of New York is competent enough to give Mercer a convincing playground to devastate in.

Graphics: 8.0 – Mercer is well-animated as he moves through his environments, but the extreme amounts of gore and occasionally-bland visuals are a bit distracting.

Sound: 8.0 Great sounding combat effects and crowd reactions.

Value: 8.5 – While the main quest might be 10 hours long, there are some interesting side missions that add more context to the story and value to the package.

Final Score: 8.2 – Prototype puts you in control of a great, open-world action experience.

Marcin Skok
"The Gaming Corner