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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Prototype - Review

I want to apologize for these past two weeks. I've been sick and thus away from my computer. In addition, I've screwed up my sleeping schedule to the point where it's in dire need of being fixed, but you don't care about that. It's time for a review.

Prototype is about Alex Mercer who wakes up in a morgue only to realize there's something wrong with his body. It has the ability to consume others and give him superhuman powers. This is because of a virus that was loosed where he died somehow worked with his biological system to help him. Now, with many holes in his memories, he tries to find out who he is what happened.

My friend probably gave one of the best comparisons for his game calling it a mix between The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man. Prototype is a game which in many ways is brainless fun, but it's brainless fun done well. Once you complete a small set of necessary starting missions, the game enters free roam mode in mid-to-downtown Manhattan. Considering it takes place in New York, there are so many references to other games and movies that I could make, but I won't.

You have a pretty wide set of powers to unlock each with their own smaller set of melee combat and special abilities. There's also an expanded hand-to-hand combat that you unlock later that gives you a bit more freedom in controlling your enemies.

If you don't feel like doing a mission, you can do a set of events that you unlock throughout the story which give you points to unlock upgrades or you can just raid military bases because you can. Or you can just free roam and find some landmark points.

The controls for the PC version are very well done and I'm quite glad that it's more than just a port. They're intuitive, easily manageable and incorporate the combination of the mouse and keyboard very well. I never had any problems in terms of controls, although I can't say the same for the Xbox, which involved a lot more holding buttons to go into certain branches, as well as the lack of precision joystick control required to climb the spike on the Empire State Building (or for any other climbing to be exact).

My main problem with the game has to be the bosses and their "I refuse to flinch" condition. Fighting major enemies in the game have always been a pain, and it isn't as if I was underpowered (I usually went into those fights with almost every available upgrade) but bosses have this problem where they don't' flinch if they take damage which means that you have to do hit and run tactics (rather... run and throw, then run and consume as many enemies until you have devastator....), which mildly irritates me as they deal obscene amounts of damage per hit and knock you off your feet which gives them time to land another hit as you're stuck falling.

Oddly enough. I feel like that's it. The story isn't really worth mentioning. Aspects of the game that try to emphasize the "depth" of the story (known as the Web of Intrigue) but since the game actually places very little focus on it, how do they expect the players to care?

It was a fun sandbox game with cool abilities to try out. The combat is well done and the powers are pretty cool. I never got tired of hijacking apaches.

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