Formats: Xbox 360, PC, Playstation 3
How do you start writing a review about a game like Prototype. Its a free roamer but not in the stereotypical Grand Theft Auto sense most people come to expect when they hear the words Free Roaming Sandbox Game. If you’re familiar with one of Radical’s previous games, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction then you will have a good idea of how Prototype plays.
Prototype is by no means a bad game, its just a formula that’s been done before.
The game is based in New York and there is some kind of viral infection which is turning the citizens into rabid monsters, and the military is taking over and trying to contain this infestation. You play the part of Alex Mercer who wakes up not knowing what is going on or what is happening to him but find that you have some unusual powers.
Luckily this game can cater for those of you who want to play the game for fun and those who want a challenge through choosing the level of difficulty. I ultimately chose a harder level meaning that some of the later ‘bosses’ can get frustratingly difficult and I frequently saw the ‘Game Over’ screen whilst trying to figure out their weaker points.
Between main missions you are free to roam around and take your time taking in the sights, or attempting one of many side quests. You will find though that you will be unable to achieve the gold medal on any of the early side quests until later on, this is because all of your moves are upgradeable and you will need to upgrade things like sprinting speed to be able to do any of the checkpoint races early on in the game.
Depending on your patience this game can either be lots of fun or a chore to play, personally I’ve spent hours at a time playing it but I’ve not played anything like it before (I’ve obviously played other Sandbox games but not ones like this one). Also if you’re into collecting things theres plenty to bring you back. There is a section in the menu called the Web Of Intrigue which is basically a blank memory, your memory, and you will find random people throughout the city that you have to absorb to fill in the blank memories. Don’t worry though, after the first few missions they will appear on your mini-map when you get close enough so you know who to go for. There are also landmark orbs and hint orbs to find too, although those don’t appear on your map.
The character controls are as responsive as you’d expect although the camera can sometimes spin off just as you need to make quick manouvers, which isnt what you need when you’re doing a checkpoint race for example. You will also unlock and upgrade various abilities and attacks which is easy enough to switch to and can be assigned to the d-pad. These are bought with Evolution Points which are earned by killing enemies and being stealthy etc.
Visually Prototye is quite good and the draw distance is huge, I wouldn’t say that its graphically taking advantage of what the Xbox 360 can do but it’s by no means ugly either. From what I’ve seen everything runs smooth with very little to no tearing.
If you’re new to this type of game then you should find alot of enjoyment here, sure it can get repetative but most games are, and if you enjoy most of the tasks on offer then what does it matter if you have to do it again?
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