Prototype
Gameplay 8
Graphics 9
Sound 8

Prototype is one of those games where you can have hours of fun just messing around with the gameworld. Add in a bunch of gruesome and over the top moves and you have yourself quite an adventure. It is not without its flaws, but overall it is a very enjoyable game.

Gameplay: Lots of fun to be had.

Graphics: Quite gruesome.

Sound: Good voice acting and sound effects

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Prototype

Developer: Radical Entertainment | Publisher: Activision | Release Date: 2009 | Genre: 3rd Person Action / Adventure | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Stop me if you have heard this before; a man wakes up in a morgue with no previous memories and sets out who he is and how he ended up there. He discovers he has some incredible powers and uses them to get revenge on the people responsible for his predicament. Now while on paper this might sound like yet another boring clichéd excuse for a game in reality nothing could be further from the truth.

In Prototype you assume the role of Alex Mercer, who has clearly woken up on the wrong side of the mortuary slab as no sooner does he discover his amazing powers than he starts using them to destroy anything and anyone in his path for vengeance. Unlike most other games of this type where you are given a choice between good or evil characters, in Prototype you pretty much have to be as cruel as possible to survive. The game takes place in the city of New York, which is in the grip of a terrible viral infection outbreak that is spreading like a wildfire under the terrified populace and turning most of them into mindless, bloodthirsty monsters. The military has their hands full battling the infected and amid all this chaos Alex stalks the city accomplishing his own goals.

Whatever or whoever Alex was before his death one thing is for sure, he certainly left most of his humanity behind in the morgue. With powerful shape-shifting abilities Alex can assume the form of any person he “consumes” (an act that is just as gruesome and grotesque as it sounds) but it doesn’t just end there. After consuming someone Alex gains access to all their memories and abilities as well. This means in order to pilot a helicopter all you need to do is to find a skilled pilot and consume him. After that you can hi-jack (or sky-jack) any helicopter you see as well as consume more pilots to increase your skill. The same goes for tanks and other military weapons. Best of all though Alex doesn’t need any of these to be a force to be reckoned with.

What sets Prototype apart from games like Assassins Creed and Grand Theft Auto (both of which it clearly drew a lot of inspiration from) is the incredible powers of its protagonist. As if consuming people for their abilities and memories (not to mention a nice health boost – yum) wasn’t enough Alex can also jump hundreds of meters into the air, run up the side of any building, fall from any height without taking damage, soar through the air like a bird, pick up and throw cars like they were pebbles and sprout a bewildering amount of deadly weaponry from his body! Now I don’t know about you, but if I woke up with those kinds of powers the last thing on my mind would be taking revenge on the people who did it to me.

The game starts off a little confusing on “day 18” of the citywide infection by which time Manhattan looks more like a war-zone and Alex has access to all his abilities. You’ll soon find that this is just a short tutorial (and taste of things to come) before you are thrown back to day one and left to uncover the shocking truth about yourself. This is done through a “web of intrigue” whereby you get snippets of information when consuming a certain important character and through him also find out the names of other people that will know more. There are literally hundreds of these so to fully understand the plot you will need to hunt down all of them.

Of course you can disregard the whole plot and just have fun terrorizing the whole city which is equally entertaining. I’ve heard complaints from some people that the graphics in Prototype isn’t state of the art, but unless you are the type of person that is more interested in staring critically at every texture and polygon in the game instead of running around having fun you won’t care. Any game that gives me the entire city of New York as a playground and then allows me to fling taxis at helicopters and smash tanks to bits with my bare hands are forgiven if the thousands of civilians milling around lack variety or the building textures resemble each other too much. All of this fades into the background amidst the action and chaos that takes place.

Between story missions the city is open to explore and there are tons of challenges to take on in order to earn more evolution points which can be spent upgrading the various abilities that Alex possesses or unlocks. Most of the challenges involve using a certain power or weapon and you can even earn bronze, silver or gold rankings for each event. Doing these are highly recommended as they story is quite short and can easily be finished in about ten hours.

Prototype excels at making you feel like a near invincible and unstoppable force, but don’t for one second think the game is a walk in the park. While Alex can take a great deal of punishment before he goes down, the game will throw everything it has at you. Cause too much commotion in an area and the strike teams will be called in to dispose of you and it’s not long before the skies are black with helicopters and you get bombarded by tanks and rocket launchers around every corner. There were times where I could barely see my character through the barrage of ordinance raining down on him and to make things harder there will be some super mutants and elite soldiers to deal with later on too.

While the combat is fast, frantic and fun (who doesn’t like kicking helicopters out of the sky) it is not without its flaws. Alex has such a bewildering array of weapons and abilities at his disposal that remembering how to activate and use them all becomes near impossible. I found myself sticking to a handful of useful ones and not bothering too much with the rest. Even then it was a finger mangling experience since every single button on the gamepad is used in almost every type of combination. My biggest gripe however is the targeting system. With so many hostiles swarming you in battle it’s not unusual for Alex to go flying off in the wrong direction or attacking someone hundreds of meters away instead of the guy standing right in front of you. This is annoying, but tolerable and something you get used to after a while. The stealth aspect of the game is also pretty basic and half the time an all out assault works much better than trying to sneak in undetected. The game also has no multi-player mode, but that’s not such a train smash.

The audio was pretty good and while the music isn’t exactly memorable the bone crunching sound effects and voice acting is pretty good. This is obviously a mature game so brace yourself for some expletives. If this isn’t enough to convince you to keep this game away from children the gory graphics certainly will. With a character that can morph his arms into claws, whips, hammers and blades you can imagine the end result.

Overall I had a blast with Prototype and it has enough stand-out moments to get my vote as one of the highlights of 2009. After leaping from the Empire State Building and gliding down to Central Park you’ll agree that no other game of its type can match the thrills and freedom that Prototype provides. My fingers are definitely crossed for a sequel.

*Review originally written in 2009.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows® XP (with Service Pack 3) or Windows Vista®
  • Processor: Intel® Core™2 Duo 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 4000+ or better
  • Memory: Vista 2 GB RAM / XP 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: All NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800 GT 256 MB and better chipsets. All ATI Radeon™ X1800 256 MB and better chipsets
  • DirectX®: Microsoft DirectX 9.0c
  • Hard Drive: 8GB of free hard drive space
  • Sound: DirectX® 9.0c compliant sound card

Related posts

Grand Theft Auto IV

Grand Theft Auto IV

Its hard not to harbor some resentment for the delay and lesser port that PC owners have received with this game, but at the end of the day it's still a lot of fun to play and a great game. As long as you can look past the technical issues that is. Gameplay: The technical issues and more "mature" feel detracts a bit from the gameplay but it's still good. Graphics: With the right hardware this game looks stunning. Sound: Decent voice acting and loads of good tunes.

The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile

The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile

If you enjoy stylish visuals, fast-paced combat and over the top violence, then The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile will definitely put a grin on your face. It features two different characters, a nice carnage-filled campaign, as well as plenty of extra modes to keep you hacking and slashing. Despite its age (the game was originally released on Xbox 360 back in 2011), Vampire Smile still has what it takes to satisfy fans of the genre. Gameplay: Fast, fluid and very, very violent. Graphics: Very stylish, but the art style might not appeal to everyone. Sound: The soundtrack and sound effects are a perfect match for the action.

Victor Vran

Victor Vran

Victor Vran is the latest contender for the action-RPG crown and actually offers a very enjoyable experience. Visually, it is a little similar to the Van Helsing titles, but thanks to its character customization options feels quite fresh. It also features non-stop action and plenty of challenges, so fans of the genre will really get their money’s worth with this one. Gameplay: The relentless action can become a little repetitive, but the variety of weapons and powers keeps the combat interesting. Graphics: The handcrafted levels look really nice and the lighting effects really stand out. Sound: Good voice acting by some familiar voice actors and a good soundtrack as well.

Princess Maker 3: Fairy Tales Come True

Princess Maker 3: Fairy Tales Come True

The third installment in the popular Princess Maker series is finally available, but unfortunately not in refined form like its predecessors. The game is a lot more streamlined, but with sixty different endings, it still has more than enough content to keep players busy for ages. It is a pity that the game has had such a rocky launch and issues with the translation along with other technical problems continue to plague it, but underneath it all there is still a very addictive game waiting to be played. Gameplay: Schedule your daughter’s activities and raise her to become a princes. Graphics: This game dates back to the nineties, so don’t expect too much, but the pixel art animations are really nice. Sound: The music is decent enough, but can become repetitive, although the voice acting is still good.

Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets

Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets

Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets is a fast paced puzzle game with a great story and interesting enemies to outsmart. Playing as a intern trying to escape a doomed space station that is overrun by deadly alien pets is a lot of fun and the strong narrative elements makes it even better. The game also features a surprising amount of content and can keep players busy for a long time. Some more variety for the environments would have been nice, but the great monster designs make up for this and their varied behaviors keeps things fresh. Overall, this is one of our favorite puzzle games of the year and a must-have for any fan of the genre. Gameplay: Five chapters with a 100 challenging, but entertaining, levels to conquer. Graphics: The hand-drawn visuals look great and the monster designs are really neat. Sound: Features a great soundtrack, decent sound effects and even full voice acting.

Fortix

Fortix

Cheap and short but you'll definitely get value for your money. Fortix is a variation on a age old concept but adds a few nice twists of its own and is the perfect "in-between" time waster. You won't be spending hours playing it and will probably get most of the achievements on your first play through, but at the price it's being offered there's no reason not to pick it up. Gameplay: A very simple concept, but quite fun. Graphics: About as Indie as they come, but has a certain charm to it. Sound: Catchy but limited.

Leave a comment

two × three =