Prototype (PC)

By DeltaX, Posted 04 Jul 2010

Ah, Manhattan. What a great place... to unleash a viral infection. Cordons and martial law by the military. A surefire setting to wreak some havoc.


Graphics: 8/10

The graphics in Prototype aren't spectacularly awesome. However, the game does a great job at managing to capture the life and feel of a living Manhattan, especially in areas where you can see more than 100+ objects moving on-screen, and still being able to maintain great framerates. The city has been faithfully recreated, and looks great as well. Character models are not too drab, and gives the military vs. Infected its own appeal.


Gameplay: 6/10


Playing as Alex Mercer, you are techinically a virus incarnate, and with that, all the perks that come with it as well, being able to adapt and change. You progressively gain more abilities to unlock and upgrade, some useful, some not. With a health critical mass upgrade, you gain access to devestator super-powers, which can be used to turn the tide of a battle, or simply to wreak some havoc. Stealth is pretty much hide-in-plain-sight, but shifting in front of military personnel will send the alarms ringing and bullets flying; on top of that, a subsequent upgrade allows you to steathily consume people so long as they aren't being watched.


The gameplay of Prototype is straightforward. The missions are not too entirely hard, and easy to understand; mostly, they consist of killing, gathering, or following, while using your wide repertoire of powers to stay alive. Overall, the story is fairly short, and repetitive. There is an optional "Web of Intrigue" plotline that you can follow by consuming certain special characters; however, the Web is mostly confusing, and doesn't really leave much to the player to interpret; it feels like it's more of an unfinished tacked-on plot element.


Most of the time spent playing this game will be after the story is finished, playing events or blowing up things to get more upgrade points to maximize all your skills. The city of Manhattan is permanently stuck in a time-loop after beating the story; no matter how many hives or military bases you blow up, no matter how many Infected or military you kill, the city of Manhattan will still look the same after you save and load it up again. This pretty much means that only point events and random rampages of death will keep you in this game after you're finished, both of which get old really quickly.


The AI in this game is shallow. Very shallow. Just simply landing on the ground will draw attention from military, who will then scout your position, pointing guns at you, and wondering "Whoa, where did that guy go? He was just here a minute ago!"... while you're standing in front of them. Much can be improved, as it seems the only effective functions of the AI are shoot, swear, and die.


A personal pet peeve of mine was that even though there are concept art of fighter jets and the inclusion of an aircraft carrier off the shores of Manhattan, you are never given the chance to truly pilot a jet.


Sound: 7/10


The sound in Prototype is great at best. The voice actors do a fairly good job on their roles, but otherwise don't seem to try enough to make it believable. The greatest point on the sound is how it captures and makes it feel like the military is fighting a war in an urban environment; one only has to stand around a Hive and listen to the military chatter; it feels authentic, what with jargon, swearing, and all that. Everywhere else, however, much is left to be desired, and could have been done better.


Story: 6/10


The story in Prototype is fairly transparent, mostly for the fact that characters don't really make a difference in the story besides the main character, and some are never even heard from again after certain missions, leaving the player wondering what happened, and also leaving massive plot holes open to interpretation. Some characters seemingly pull red herrings (much like what happened to Captain Cross in near the ending, as you never really learn how he ended up like so).


At the basest, the story is mainly about Alex trying to find out who he was, why he was turned into a virus with its own mind, and the cause of the infection. In the whole, the story is not very well thought out, serving mostly as "go here, consume him, gain memories" sort of thing, as well as being required to unlock certain powers (like the blade and armorsuit abilities). Completion of the story yields no bonuses except an extra difficulty mode and some upgrade points.



tl;dr: Prototype is a game that suffers in gameplay and story. The allure of being able to run around Manhattan and wreak destruction is chump change compared to the repetitiveness and blandness of the game itself. At the very, very, very least, it just might be worth a rent. But you'd probably be better off trying something else worth your time.


Verdict: 6.8/10

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