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whatshot Prototype PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 8.7
Graphics 8.8
Sound 8.9
Value 8.6
Distributor: Activision
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
June 2009
Reviewer:
Tyrone Williams

8.7


Prototype

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!

Features:

  • Unprecedented Abilities and Control — Play as the most powerful and dynamic character ever created with innovative shapeshifting powers and over the top parkour locomotion movement
  • Shapeshifting — Attack with brutal and devastating powers; instantly triggering hundreds of power combinations (Attack, Defensive and Sensory).
  • Disguise — Assume the perfect disguise by transforming into any character and assuming the victim's powers, skills and abilities.
  • Open-World Gameplay with Full-Blown Destruction — New York City is your hunting ground! Jam-packed, vibrant, fully interactive city filled with thousands of people and enemies out to destroy you.
  • Conspiracy Based Storyline — Delve to the bottom of a conspiracy that has haunted the American government for decades. Who is responsible for your condition? Only you can find out!
  • Multi-Player — 2 Person Co-Op Online Multi-Player.

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 are a 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.

By getting 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.

Apart from 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 down.

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.

The 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!





 

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