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"[Xbox 360] Prototype"

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Mon 22/06/09 at 18:41
Regular
Posts: 2,781
Originally written for my review website, ShaunMunro.co.uk, thanks!

~~~

"Sandbox titles", as they are so frequently named - that is - games that promote a sense of environmental freedom beyond that of their contemporaries - are certainly a dime a dozen, yet every so often, one emerges that stands apart from the rest. That game is Prototype.

As much as the likes of Grand Theft Auto might promote this free-roaming aspect, few sandbox games have endowed you with the sense of power that Prototype does; the protagonist who, let's face it, has a name of no importance, is equipped with a unique set of skills that allow you to kill and maim your enemies with impressive, excessive force. It even extends to allowing you to hurl vehicles like they were matchbox cars, and decimate massive tanks.

Essentially, you play a cooler, trendier-looking version of Superman. Unlike that terrible N64 Superman game, however, Prototype allows you to sprint through the city with a simple hold of the trigger button, destroying anything in your path, and even allowing you to run up walls rather than climb them.

What would all this supreme, seemingly awesome power be without some great visuals to back it up? Thankfully, Prototype is a visual feast as well, exhibiting Alex Mercer's (that's his name) physical transformations and abilities in meticulous detail. Furthermore, the level of detail of the game's violence is rather grim; limbs fly all over the place, and disembowelment is a regular occurence.

But wait - there's more. Alex can also subsume anyone that he comes into contact with - like a Terminator. This naturally makes infiltration and even stealth (although few playing this game will go that way) rather straightforward for a superhuman freak. What's interesting, although never put to its full potential in the game, is that you also subsume the person's memories and thoughts.

Although Prototype's roster of enemies is more limited than I would have liked, it earns points for balancing the combat system very well, reminiscent of God of War, whereby your character is an extremely potent murderer, yet he is pitted against large numbers of enemies so as to mitigate this. That said, the game isn't particularly challenging either: I don't recall dying once. Still, I prefer this as it reduces the frustration factor and simply makes it a fun game that occasionally makes you think your way out of situations.

Like few sandbox games, Prototype actually makes a substantial effort in imbuing its carnage with some depth through a reward system, modelled like an RPG, whereby Mercer can level up and train abilities and subsequently unleash even more mayhem.

For a game that could so very easily have become repetitive after a few hours, I praise its staying power; through 31 missions, it rarely becomes a chore to play. Also, if you start a new game once completing your first run, all of your abilities carry over, making the second run a surely easy, but utterly dementedly chaotic outing.

Overall, Prototype is one of the better games of its type in recent years - it provides the insane action and crazy abilities that all of those silly Matrix games should have provided, and is extremely well-presented to boot. I can't guarantee that it'll have you coming back to play through it time and time again, but for a run through the 31 missions it offered, I was thoroughly entertained throughout. If you're feeling a little jaded from the recent lack of fun action games, this should satiate your gaming taste buds.

8/10

Thanks for reading,
Reefer
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Mon 22/06/09 at 18:41
Regular
Posts: 2,781
Originally written for my review website, ShaunMunro.co.uk, thanks!

~~~

"Sandbox titles", as they are so frequently named - that is - games that promote a sense of environmental freedom beyond that of their contemporaries - are certainly a dime a dozen, yet every so often, one emerges that stands apart from the rest. That game is Prototype.

As much as the likes of Grand Theft Auto might promote this free-roaming aspect, few sandbox games have endowed you with the sense of power that Prototype does; the protagonist who, let's face it, has a name of no importance, is equipped with a unique set of skills that allow you to kill and maim your enemies with impressive, excessive force. It even extends to allowing you to hurl vehicles like they were matchbox cars, and decimate massive tanks.

Essentially, you play a cooler, trendier-looking version of Superman. Unlike that terrible N64 Superman game, however, Prototype allows you to sprint through the city with a simple hold of the trigger button, destroying anything in your path, and even allowing you to run up walls rather than climb them.

What would all this supreme, seemingly awesome power be without some great visuals to back it up? Thankfully, Prototype is a visual feast as well, exhibiting Alex Mercer's (that's his name) physical transformations and abilities in meticulous detail. Furthermore, the level of detail of the game's violence is rather grim; limbs fly all over the place, and disembowelment is a regular occurence.

But wait - there's more. Alex can also subsume anyone that he comes into contact with - like a Terminator. This naturally makes infiltration and even stealth (although few playing this game will go that way) rather straightforward for a superhuman freak. What's interesting, although never put to its full potential in the game, is that you also subsume the person's memories and thoughts.

Although Prototype's roster of enemies is more limited than I would have liked, it earns points for balancing the combat system very well, reminiscent of God of War, whereby your character is an extremely potent murderer, yet he is pitted against large numbers of enemies so as to mitigate this. That said, the game isn't particularly challenging either: I don't recall dying once. Still, I prefer this as it reduces the frustration factor and simply makes it a fun game that occasionally makes you think your way out of situations.

Like few sandbox games, Prototype actually makes a substantial effort in imbuing its carnage with some depth through a reward system, modelled like an RPG, whereby Mercer can level up and train abilities and subsequently unleash even more mayhem.

For a game that could so very easily have become repetitive after a few hours, I praise its staying power; through 31 missions, it rarely becomes a chore to play. Also, if you start a new game once completing your first run, all of your abilities carry over, making the second run a surely easy, but utterly dementedly chaotic outing.

Overall, Prototype is one of the better games of its type in recent years - it provides the insane action and crazy abilities that all of those silly Matrix games should have provided, and is extremely well-presented to boot. I can't guarantee that it'll have you coming back to play through it time and time again, but for a run through the 31 missions it offered, I was thoroughly entertained throughout. If you're feeling a little jaded from the recent lack of fun action games, this should satiate your gaming taste buds.

8/10

Thanks for reading,
Reefer

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