Let’s see here…I have reviewed a couple of games based off of super heroes, like The Darkness, which rocked a lot of awesomeness, even though it was a small package. I have also done bad ones, like Superman Shadow of the Apokolips, which sucked like heck! However, what happens when you take a game that was based off a comic book that wasn’t released yet? Well, the child of that question is Prototype. Let’s see if this prototype is actually complete, or if it still is a prototype…sorry for the bad joke.
It would suck to lose your memory of who you are. It would suck more if you were Alex Mercer who was killed, then brought back to life and has no memory of who he is or what has happened. While all this is happening however, a deadly virus has been put into the city of Manhattan, and it is up to Alex who has powers from the virus to stop the virus, and find out what is going on, and who is behind the whole fiasco and save Manhattan.
Prototype was developed by Radical Entertainment, which made one of the best comic book games ever, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. They also made other games like Simpsons Hit and Run, Jackie Chan Stunt Master, and the overly documented crud fest, Mario is Missing! However, that was made in 1992 and the other games I listed were made in the 2000’s.
The game play is a sandbox action game where you control Alex Mercer as you take on the military and the infected people of Manhattan. This game does borrow from a few elements of Hulk Ultimate Destruction, by making Manhattan a sandbox environment, meaning the game doesn’t march by a linear drumbeat. This means you can cause massive carnage, and then head to your next mission. Alex has a pretty good array of powers. He can morph his hands into claws, giant gauntlet-like fists, a whip, and a blade-like weapon. He also has other abilities, like morphing his arm into a shield, and having a somewhat heat sensor in his body, so he could find out who is infected but physically don’t show it. There are some intense enemies, like the hunters who can follow you unlike normal soldiers, which means the game keeps you on your feet and keep you moving. There are also super soldiers later in the game that can do the same thing, which is annoying somewhat, since when I’m low on health, I don’t feel like fighting and just healing, but then three super soldiers or whatever appear, and I have to keep moving until they don’t give a hoot. You can also hijack tanks and helicopters, but I never found a good time or the right move to hijack a copter, unless I was using an un-piloted one that was on the ground. In most parts of the game, you are there to absorb people who are behind the whole virus, and you gain their memories to see what they knew. You can also absorb people and enemies to regain health.
Graphically, this game does look great. The graphics are well detailed, and when you’re using Alex’s powers, it just looks awesome. It’s really amazing to see how many npc’s can be on screen without the game slowing down or freezing, which is shocking since some games slow down when the action on screen gets too crazy. I like how the hunter enemies look like the lickers from Resident Evil, and how the infected citizens look like zombies you would see in Left 4 Dead. The music also fits the action on screen, like when you are spotted and you’re trying to run away, or when you’re fighting a boss. The voice acting is pretty decent. I mean, you do get some of the lame acting from these kinds of games, but it gets the job done. The game is also nice and bloody, unlike Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. You get to see limbs fly off and blood fly everywhere, which is just awesome.
Now, it’s time to morph and hunt down the bad parts of the games. The controls are pretty good throughout most of the game, but some of the moves that you have to pull off are just insane. I don’t even use them all, and just stick to a few combos or just button mash. Heck, an even bigger problem is that it’s hard to read the text because it’s red on dark red so it’s really awkward to see what they say to do for a mission or combo. It’s just like Dead Rising, where it’s hard as heck to read the text on screen unless you have a HD television. The characters should have been given more emotions, because it seems like every single character has a motionless face slapped right onto them. I can understand that it’s supposed to be one of those dark-themed comic books, but I know they have more emotions. I feel like near the end of the game, it kind of drags on a little, and I just felt like it overstayed its welcome just a tiny bit. The ending is pretty standard for these kind of video games. Alex gets blown to bits, but is saved by a crow that he absorbs to regenerate his body, and he is still trying to taking down the virus, but I think that should have been left for the sequel. Instead, we are still offered to take down the rest of the virus in the city to gain extras. This game can get a little stressful, since you’re on no one’s side, and you can be constantly attacked, which means you really have no time to rest and catch your breath. I just feel like they should have just given us some time to rest and such. The biggest problem I have overall with this game is how much memory the game needs to play it. I had to delete a good chunk of game memory from my Playstation 3 just to play this single game. What a freaking hog!
Overall, Prototype is a pretty good game, and I had a lot of fun playing it. I would recommend playing it and giving it a try. I wouldn’t say buy it just yet, since it takes up so much memory just to play the game. Now, there has been some talk since this game came out a little bit after Sucker Punch’s Infamous. I guess I will have to try that game to see which is the better of free roaming action.
This game gets an 8.2 out of 10.