After completing X-Men Origins: Wolverine and
inFamous on the PS3, it’s good to see that the great games on
2009 are still coming and Activision’s Prototype is no
exception to the rule. In Prototype, gamers take the lead role of Alex
Mercer, a man with godlike powers who has the ability to change his body
into either a weapon or the likeness of someone else… in essence, Alex
is a shape shifter.
Set in New York, you need to uncover a 40-year old
conspiracy that may be linked to a deadly viruses that has been
unleashed on Manhattan.
Before you do this, you
need to ensure that your sister is safe, unfortunately a variety of foes
will be after you but thankfully you have the upper hand... maybe!
The story of Prototype is just as gripping as
inFamous, if not more so as the player is thrown into a strange and
surreal gaming universe where nothing is what it seems and Earth is
really up the creek without a paddle. Although the player must follow a
main story path which at times is linear, it’s truly an open-world
experience as you attempt to discover just what the hell happened.
Thankfully as you progress, the player is rewarded with more and more
snippets of your past and how it fits in with the present which is
actually very rewarding in this sturdy science fiction based game. You
immediately know from the start that you are for a spectacular treat,
especially from the pre-rendered cutscenes and the first few levels
which is like a tutorial as you run up buildings breaking glass and
bricks (very @#$ing cool) or attack the military by throwing cars into
helicopters or our big friend below.
The heart of Prototype is a third person action adventure
game in an open world where your character Alex has been infected by a
deadly virus which has also infected Manhattan. With thousands of people
dying, Alex has been transformed into something that has allowed him to
survive and of course, other humans have been given similar and creepier
powers, almost zombie-esq. The military has locked Manhattan in order to prevent infecting
larger parts of America from this monstrous hoard that now threatens
the very fabric of reality.
From the very first moments in the game, I for one was
drawn into the game as you stand atop a tall building in Manhattan as a
shadowy figure recounts the chaos. This is where the game uses some
clever flashbacks to recount the story and really creates a bond between
gamer and character. Seeing Manhattan crumble from chaos is almost like
watching a block buster Hollywood movie and generally gives you more
questions than answers which of course is created by some very clever writing.
In inFAMOUS, players had the choice of being
either good or evil, however in Prototype, players are more of a neutral
alignment which is needed to where you are going.
As Alex, you
shape shifter who can change into other people and even absorb their
characteristics from their appearance to their memories. However, the
highlight of the game for me was the combat and changing
your body into a lean mean killing machine.
other peoples memories (ala Silar from Heroes),
the story around Alex and Manhattan is made clearer and
the story becomes less shrouded. As you explore this open-world city,
you will acquire a variety of skills and powers which is where the
superhero genre comes into play and it’s almost like having a variety of
superheroes all morphed into one man. Very cool indeed! The game
features some RPG elements as you collect experience points throughout
the game which can then be used to “level” up your character.
Combat is really fun in Prototype, especially
the melee attacks such as using your shape shifting abilities to create
some deadly combinations. You also have access to a variety of weapons
that are littered throughout the game and of course some special
maneuvers or superpowers as you kick some serious ass.
fighting an almost endless supply of baddies, you need to destroy hives
which is like brain trust of this infection. Of course if you are being
chased by the infected or military, if you manage to slip away, you can
shape shift into another person which is brilliant when your health is
Using your body to interact with the environment makes
the game quite interactive, such as transforming your hands into
razor sharp claws which can be used to climb and grab things. The amount
of freedom for Alex is very impressive and is only limited by your
imagination of how you will solve your current predicament. It’s like
Spider-Man meets the Darkness as you climb buildings, jump rooftops and
explore some really hard to reach places.
The control system is quite easy to master on the PS3
without it being too convoluted and best of all, the game gets harder as
you become better. As you explore the city (thankfully you have a GUI to
assist), the sense of freedom is an interesting point of Prototype and
as the virus spreads through the city, you need to choose your
destinations quite carefully as both the government, military and
infected want you dead as well.
Graphically, Prototype is a visual treat on the PS3 with
some extraordinary gaming environments. The characters are well animated
with some impressive looking textures that at times makes them look
real. Match that with a plethora of lighting and special effects and
this is what 21st century console gaming is all about.
use of flashbacks in the game is brilliant that gives you a truly
immersive gaming experience. At times, the graphics look a little
strange and Spartan but generally it’s a very visually impressive
looking title. Through our surround sound system, this game BOOMS from
the great use of sound effects to the Hollywood style soundtrack that is
equally complimented by the professional voice acting. The developers
should be commended on such a visually impressive and sounding title.
In conclusion, there was some hype regarding this game
and I must admit that it actually worked as not only is the game good
but the marketing was first class. Bad points? The game is a little too
linear and after you've finished it, you may wish to play again to see
what you missed but generally, this is a one show game. Secondly, the
multiplayer aspect is a little lacking but it's interesting. Needless to
say, Prototype has some strong controls, decent graphics and some innovative
use of surround sound, hopefully we’ll see more Prototypes!