The story of a complete jerk
With all the free-roaming games that have been released in such a short period of time it seems like Prototype is the title with the least amount of hype between Infamous and Red Faction. At first glance Prototype seems very similar to many other super powered free-roaming games. In the end it proves itself to be very different in terms of gameplay, story.
In Prototype you are Alex Mercer, a super powered freak of nature with amnesia. In many events, you wander the streets consuming other individuals in order to make sense of your past. This clears up the story further by finding possible explanations on how you obtain your inhuman powers and who you really are. The story in Prototype is set in the city of New York and isn’t quite impressive, the characters are not memorable. Also, as you continue, the experience seems to become more generic as it goes along. After the story ends in Prototype you will be able to roam around the large landscape to find many of the collectibles and finally finish the abundance of side missions.
The missions in Prototype range from “kill a whole bunch of guys” to “follow some people then kill all the guys”. Though this is basically the game itself, all the power-ups and powers you have are able keep the game fresh with new ways of disembowelling your enemies.
Prototype is a gory game. I don’t mean like blood everywhere type of stereotypical videogame violence, I mean, I am going to grab this pedestrian then knee his head so hard that it explodes and then let his body slowly meld with mine in a mess of flesh and entrails. This is also shown off through the variety of powers you get from hammer-like fists forming on your hands to a giant blade growing from your elbow down to your fist. You get some defensive powers like a shield and body armour which grows out of you which brings up the question, why doesn’t he have these on automatically. Finally some useless powers like thermo vision.
Getting around the city is a smooth process with all the power-ups you have. You are able to dash through the air, run up walls and over obstacles automatically, and glide through the air. Your dashes make getting around the large skyscraper-infested-city with ease. The special moves in this game are not remarkably noteworthy, they are effective in game but they aren’t too creative. Special moves oftentimes take regular moves but create a bigger version of it that will clear the area around you.
At first Prototype might seem like a difficult game but, in the end, just becomes tedious. During a boss battle you will find yourself running away to consume some civilians to get enough health to use your specials. However, you are hit by one attack that you probably couldn’t dodge anyway so you then end up losing your special and repeating this process. This occurs frequently on hard mode and becomes frustrating towards the end of the game. Other frustrations involve the AI within the game. In some events, the AI could run into you while you are driving one of the vehicles in the game thus causing you to lose your disguise and having a whole battalion on your ass. In more annoying cases you have all these flying robots which can detect you in disguise making infiltrating army bases to get specific upgrades a pain.
Even though there is some tediousness to Prototype, the game is just satisfying in a way I just can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s all the visually appealing gore. It could be simply flying around the city, dropping from huge heights, and landing on the street with a shockwave, which in turn, results in flying bodies and cars everywhere. But what I do know is that Prototype is a very satisfying game that, despite the obvious difficulty flaws in some of the missions you will have fun with.