Sunday, June 28, 2009

Prototype Review

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Prototype may be the first game since Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 where the core mechanic revolves around consuming people. This, in and of itself, makes the game awesome. The question as to how awesome is a bit trickier, as Prototype is one of the most unique and schizophrenic games I've played in recent memory.

The game introduces Alex Mercer, a moody bloke with amnesia and super powers (i.e. the ability to take on others' forms and memories). He's out to get revenge on those who gave him said powers. I'm not sure why, exactly, as having said powers seems kind of awesome. Supposedly he wants his old life back, but if that old photograph of him in the Cosby sweater is anything to go on, his old life was rather dull. There is a virus converting much of the city into mutants, however, and Alex feels like there's got to be some connection between what's happened to him and what's going on in the city. So off he goes to investigate.

On paper, Prototype bears more than a passing resemblance to the recently released inFamous: Both games feature a 20-something male who wakes up with inexplicable super powers. Both games contain viral outbreak and both take place in a city that's been quarantined. They're also both are free-roaming platformer/action games. In practice, however, the two games couldn't be more different. Whereas inFamous focused heavily on its narrative, platforming, and atmosphere, Prototype focuses on combat above all else.

Oddly enough, the elements that Prototype has in common with inFamous are its least successful. In my view, the best thing about games like inFamous and Crackdown was the way that they delicately balanced shooting enemies with collecting power-ups. Prototype has both those elements also, but the draw distance is so terrible that collecting said power-ups feels broken. Furthermore, inFamous had an engrossing story and Prototype does not. None of that means the Prototype is a failure, just that it offers a completely different kind of experience than Sucker Punch's superhero adventure.

Read the rest of the review here, as Honestgamers.
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