It Isn't Cleaver, Witty But Damn is it Fun!
Before anybody object's 3 star's is by no means a bad score. This isn't an in-depth review, I simply don't have the time or probably the writing skill's to go into so much depth.
Ok, Prototype was for me a highly anticipated game. Although as it drew closer to the release date I lost interest. But eventually picked this bad boy up. Beginning with saying that the gameplay is extremely fun, and that should be the reason you buy this game. If you are looking for a game epic tale, look some more.
The setting of the game is New York, Manhattan. Where you meet with a group of girl's and talk about sex. Following the event's based on the novel of Sex In The City. Yes? No! This is a superhero game! With lot's of powers!
And there is a virus out that turns people into mutants, this causes heavy military watch, the military also relentlessly kill the "infected". The game actually strikes me as very reminiscent of Spider Man 2. The way the world is set out is very similar, in the fact that you have nothing but event icon's as intractable from the open world.
The mission's themselves, I felt where poor. They seemed like random objective based skirmishes, and that about sums it up. Some are fairly unique, even if they are 2-out-of-31 story missions in the game. And YAY! There are a plethora of side quest or event skirmishes, with no relevant object! These side quest's can be unique as well, but again that is the 3-out-of-150 something events. I didn't try them all out, but I can tell you most of them feel like the rehash of the last one.
Easily the best part of the game are the power's you obtain. There is a fairly huge skill tree, that you would never fill out by the end of the game (apart from those people who do every side event). There are powers for movement, combat, survival, stealth, superpowers and the list goes on. And they are simply the categories with getting into the sub-categories. With these powers you can; run faster than speeding car's, jump higher than most building's, punch through tank's, elbow drop from 2000 feet and a hell of alot more. It's the diversity of the powers you obtain that will make you want to play the game, not only that but they make you feel like the ultimate bad ass, with no better way to be described.
One of the complaint's I have had was that "There is one power you'll need and that's it". I didn't find this true at all till you get the latest available power in the game, which makes sense. Each power has a kind of rock, paper, scissor mechanic to it. For example I would use the Hammerfist power for Tanks and Hunters, but the Whiplash power for Helicopters and use the Claws power for multiple small enemies.
The story is seriously paper thin. The run down is that you, Alex Mercer, wake up in a post mortem with some Doctors about to operate on you. You quickly learn you have these vicious mutant powers, then start killing people and vow to get revenge for you did this to you. And it only goes down from there since it stumbles around with filler missions until the last few. And even then you don't care anymore and it is so obviously predictable.
There is also this "Web Of Intrigue" that gives more ends to the story, which you get through consuming random people scattered through New York with no logical way to find them. This pisses me off, do the developers think it was a good idea to make people aimlessly wonder around a open world that's sort of half asses? The story of the Web Of Intrigue is actually half-decent, even if you first obtain them in an irrelevant clips, if you come back to them they pan out the story more, but still nowhere near enough to make it a good story.
The graphics's really are not acceptable for a 2009 game on the Xbox 360. They honestly do look like Spider Man 3 graphics's for the PS2, and that is no joke. In-game cut scenes look alright for the most part. Because the lead character's model's are fairly detailed compared everything else in the game. However still are poor. Everything else is bad textures and poor resolutions. CG in the game is fantastic even though there are only about 3-4 clips in the game.
The open world, is something I'd have to compare again to Spider Man 2, because of the similarity. An open world with random pedestrian's and cars that you can only interact with by killing them or consuming. However free running around the city is extremely fun if you invest in movement abilities.
Although the city does change from not-infected to infected, all that does essentially, is predominantly change if the Military want to kill you or the Mutants want to kill you. There is a change in scenery, but once you have seen it the first time you will have seen if for the hundredth time Military vehicles like Tanks and Helicopters can be piloted and used, and these handle just as you would expect from a GTA game. There is nothing particularly special about them, although they can deal out some heavy fire power.
There is also a "Stealth" mechanic, that is quite interesting. When you consume somebody, you can change to the form they had, disguising you as them. It is a mechanic that helps the 'cat and mouse' of you being constantly chased by the Military break down, and lets you lose the Military as soon as you breach the line of sight by them. You can also disguise yourself as a member of the Military and sneak into there base to consume other Military members that will upgrade your weapon skill's or another link to Web Of Intrigue. It loses more enjoyment the more frequently you do this though.
The music is not present most of the time. When the music is in play, it is mainly Hollywood blockbuster action movie sounding from an orchestra. It does a fairly good job of grabbing tension, but I sure as hell would not like to buy the OST!
It's what I would call "Cue-Music" in the fact that it helps add to the atmosphere.
The different enemies in the game are classed in two factions. One the Military set out to kill you. And the other wild Mutants that have been exposed to the virus, that will kill anything they see. As I said before, there is a rock,paper,scissor mechanic that suites different strategies depending on the enemy. Some enemies are interesting, most notably the higher class mutants that you will need to rethink you're strategy on.
I played Prototype on the normal difficulty. Most people say this game "will kick your ass alot", I didn't find that so much.
Yes it was challenging on parts that weren't button mashing sequences. But the reason why I died was clearly I wasn't using the right strategy. It never took me more than a couple times. Hell even the ridiculous second last boss battle wasn't hard, it was just long.
In my closing comments I'd like to say: Prototype is nothing special and probably nothing new at the same time. It was developed by the same people who made Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, so it has alot in-common with other superhero games like Spider Man 2. BUTT! You will probably have alot of fun with it, I sure as hell did!