Review: Prototype (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)

Deceive and destroy!

Alex Mercer, not as dead as he looks.

Alex Mercer, not as dead as he looks.

Alex Mercer is an ex-soldier who found out he survived a viral breakout by waking up in a morgue, part of a crazy three-way war between Blackwatch soldiers who roam the streets hunting the Infected, zombies who were once people infected by the viral outbreak.

The movie scene which introduced all that looks fantastic and would rival the cinematic in quality of both the X-Men and Resident Evil movies.

After becoming affected by the virus, Alex has transformed into a shape-shifter which possesses some nifty powers. If feeling stealthy, he can absorb enemies to gain access to their memories and appearance or, if feeling destructive, morph his arms into claws, hammers or spikes and rip them limb from limb. His arms can even become shields in time of need.

The primary goal of the game is to find out who did this to you and get back at them. Adding to his impressive repertoire of skills is his superhuman ability to run, jump, glide and climb buildings with ease. Nothing is out of reach in this free roaming game.

Basic and special attacks can also be charged up to deliver more attack variety, depending on the current form he is in. Abilities can be purchased in the game with experience points collected throughout the game.

You can use weapons dropped by defeated Blackwatch soldiers or throw anything in the environment around you such as cars, power generators, bins, fences or unsuspecting grandmothers.

Perhaps the most interesting ability is to consume people and their memories. You can disguise yourself using their appearance. Just make sure that you're not being watched by anyone when you transform. Once your disguise is compromised, it is no longer effective. This brings a risk factor to the ability, one which many games in the past have not taken into consideration.

The same ability also delivers the story to the player, bringing more key characters into the game when you learn about them from other characters which have been consumed. It also brings some missions into the game where you need to consume militants with key abilities such as driving armored personnel carriers.

Game tips are displayed during loading screens and new moves are shown in a screen which temporarily pauses the game. Alex's acrobatic movements make it a bit hard to figure out at first, so it may leave you unsure if you performed the move correctly or not. His inhuman speed, combined with the erratic camera angle when climbing, makes it cumbersome to stop your movement, so you will find yourself overshooting the top of buildings or backtracking quite often.

A helpful arrow on the screen will display waypoints within the game, so it is fairly difficult to get lost. There is also a mini-map to help you locate enemies. If you really are confused, then there is still a full map you can view when the game is paused.

The physics engine is quite impressive, as blasts and attacks affect the environment in a realistic way whilst the in-game graphics are superb - a nice replica of mini Manhattan. Day, night, streets, rooftops and even scenes from within buildings, this game delivers quality in buckets.

This game kicks ass! With so many sequels coming out, it's great to see that Prototype is a fresh franchise and definitely one of the best games for the year. Intriguing story and insane boss battles will keep players hooked for hours while immersive graphics and cinematics keep the story flowing.

star rating

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