There’s been a lot of talk about Prototype and Sony’s InFamous being very similar and they are in the way that both stories take place in sandbox worlds and both let you scale buildings and glide down to the ground. That however is where the similarity ends. Play Prototype and you’ll soon realise it’s a very different game which offers a much more intense action experience.
As Alex Mercer, the story is told as a flashback. You begin the game with all your powers and when you’ve completed the tutorial, the story shifts from day 18 of New York’s viral outbreak where you escape from a facility and begin finding out where you fit in all the mayhem.
Alex is known to the military as Zeus, a weaponised virus on the loose and of course that gives you lots of cool abilities. You can absorb people in the street to gather their memories, looks and abilities, you can run up buildings and leap across cars and have a variety of powers including Wolverine-style claws, iron fists and a very big blade which you can use to cut tanks into little bits. You can also commandeer tanks and even air-jack helicopters to take to the skies for even more destruction.
Movement is similar to Assassin’s Creed in that you press a button which automatically makes you free run over obstacles and up the sides of buildings. This makes the action a lot more fluid than the slower scaling in InFamous. You often end up fighting the military, the infected and big Reaper monsters all at once and you will find a problem locking onto enemies due to the fact that the right analogue stick is used for switching targets and controlling the camera. It doesn’t ruin the game but it can result in confusion and sometimes death. Luckily checkpoints are regular.
Because there’s a lot going on at once in the game, textures aren’t fantastic but the atmosphere of New York with infected running about more and more as the days go by and the sky turning slowly red makes up for this. Music and sound is also great with Batman-style strings playing as you hear the military radio calling air strikes into your position.
Prototype is an absolute blast as you play through the story. Unfortunately the side missions feel like a bit of a waste of time but you’ll really enjoy the main game while it lasts, and the story alone should last you about 10 hours.
Prototype gets an excellent 8 out of 10.
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