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Prototype Member Review for the PS3

MarKSlamS By:
MarKSlamS
06/16/09
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Adventure 
PLAYERS
PUBLISHER Activision 
DEVELOPER Radical Ent. 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

I'll get this out of the way right now: Prototype is amazing.

I find myself astounded by the professional reviews of Prototype.  Oftentimes, after a session of playing the game, I wonder how drastically different the review copies and the retail release actually are from each other.  Where most reviewers find fault, I find either a complete rectification, or a workable way around whatever problem they had.

For example, in Game Revolution's own review, they complain (slightly) about the fact that you can't run down buildings, and you can't drive cars.  These are rectified by the fact that there are many (and many devastating) ways to land from a jump, including but not limited to: Elbow drops (two of which are featured in the game, one of my favorite moves), massive stomps, targeting a human and body surfing, and doing the jumpthrust maneuver just before you land to get a little extra speed boost. 

And why would you want to drive a regular car in this game?  At any given point (keep in mind, the game is set in New York City), there are hundreds of cars on the road, wrecked or not, crowds of people running around, and if it's a combat zone, there's debris and infected zombies everywhere.  I'd much rather have a Thermobaric Tank than a station wagon in that situation, would'nt you?  Cars are available as projectile weapons and shields, and in this regard they do their job admirably.

The lock-on function in the game is really awesome.  It automatically locks on to the biggest threat, but you can switch targets with just a flick of the right analog stick.  Furthermore, it works with every power in the game, so there's always something to do with the lock on.  You can even hold lock after enemies are dead to add a little more insult to injury, if you like.

The gunplay in the game is fun, but was clearly not the focus.  Regardless, you have assault rifles, heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, and missile launchers at your disposal, each of which are individually upgradeable (meaning better accuracy and more rounds available; you start the game with 35-shot assault rifles.  After leveling up completely, assault rifles carry 125 rounds) by consuming clearly marked personnel inside military bases.

The game's stealth mechanic also works surprisingly well, once you learn the best applications for it.  Turning a corner suddenly mid-chase to shapeshift into a civilian or Marine never gets old, and the "patsy" maneuver is one of the coolest ways to kill an enemy I've ever seen in a game, period.

All of the powers available to you are, for lack of a better word, awesome.  Whipfist, Claws, Musclemass (which gives you twice the strength, making even just your regular jab, when fully charged, an 'explosive' attack on humanoid enemies), Hammerfists, and the blade are all not only upgradeable, but have their own special attacks.  The game encourages you to experiment to find the best combination for certain situations, but you'll no doubt play favorites (mine's Whipfist).

Take note, this game can get really hard; but it's never impossible.  Prototype definitely achieves the balance of making you feel like a badass, while throwing skill-testing challenges your way.

Above all else, the game controls divinely.  Powers are easily selected by way of the Power Wheel, which also grants a few seconds of super-super-slow-mo (which comes in handy quite a bit), the adaptive parkour is functional and cool-looking, and the combat flows as smooth as you allow it.  There are an almost overwhelming amount of options for movement and combat, and mastering them all can be a bit of a challenge, but the game was designed that way; it's all about emergent gameplay.  They give you the tools, you get to do whatever you want with them.

I could seriously go on and on and on about this game, but the best judge would be obviously to play it yourself.  It's a truly awesome open-world experience, and one of the best games released this year thus far.  I bought it day one, trading in Grand Theft Auto IV, and I will never, ever look back.  This package is everything good about open-world games.  Ignore the professional reviews and play this damn game.  If you have a heartbeat for action games, you will love it, guaranteed.


More information about Prototype
 
A Revolution report card
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