[Prototype] – The PS3 Attitude Review
The entire city of New York has been infested with this specialized virus; one that was designed as a biological weapon that can be targeted against an entire race of people. It has unfortunately been spread across the city and you are the key.
18 days ago your were lying on the cold, hard, surface of the GENTEK morgue, dead, and now you have the ability to absorb the form and memories of the people around you, becoming their doppelganger to find out just what happened to you and why you are alive. Youâ€™re name is Alex Mercer.
Codenamed ZEUS, Alex is the key to this entire virus outbreak. In his quest to find answers, he must deal with the constant onslaught from the elite military group, known as Blackwatch, as well as those that are infected including the powerful Hunters. Thankfully, you have an arsenal of abilities to combat those who want you dead.
You begin as Alex Mercer on day 18 of the outbreak, complete with all your powers and abilities. This level acts as a tutorial, where youâ€™ll learn the basics of parkour, combat, and absorbing those around you. There are a total of five different weapons you have at your disposal; Claws, Hammerfists, MuscleMass, Blade, and Whipfist. Youâ€™ll have to utilize each of these weapons depending on what obstacle is blocking your path.
In addition to your five death dealers, you have the ability to fly around the city, literally. Well, itâ€™s more along the lines of gliding but at the height you can jump to, it might as well be called flying. Combine this with the various airborne attacks, and you are one deadly force to be reckoned with.
As soon as you finish this tutorial level, you wake up in the morgue of the GENTEK building. Was it all a dream? No, itâ€™s now day 1 of the infection. Youâ€™ve simply been given a taste of what you will become as your abilities have been stripped and you must start from scratch in leveling up Alex Mercer in addition to finding out just who exactly he is.
The story is told via the knowledge locked in the memories of others. In order to view these memories, youâ€™ll have to absorb key figures located throughout New York City. Collecting these experiences unlocks videos viewable in the Web of Intrigue. Watching them will reveal vital information as to who you are or where you should head to next.
In addition to the main storyline, there are dozens of side missions scattered throughout the city to partake in. From free running to fighting off the infected to infiltrating military bases, youâ€™ll find plenty to do in order to earn experience points to unlock new powers. Everything you do, not just missions and side-quests, grants you EP. The more difficult the task, the greater the reward, so try to earn as much as you can. Gain enough and youâ€™ll be as powerful as you were when you started off on day 18.
Now, like all sandbox games, there comes the question of originality and repetition. Of course, the internet is ablaze with talks about how similar this game is to another game that was recently released, inFAMOUS. Personally, we see more similarities to the Spiderman games although that could be because Activision published those as well.
Thankfully, [Prototype] isnâ€™t as repetitive as our spandex dressed friend but it still suffers from a lack of content.
A normal hour of play might go along the lines of the following. Do missions, free roam the city; looking for either side missions or people to absorb, and fight off any military or infected that become aware of your presence. Repeat. Probably the most enjoyment comes from absorbing your foes.
These sequences play out like a game of cat and mouse. As you stalk your prey, you must find the opportune moment to absorb them and take their form. Fellow military wonâ€™t be aware of your presence so you can continue your voyeurism. Depending on who you absorb, you can acquire different skills, from calling in an airstrike, to flying a helicopter.
Speaking of helicopters, hijacking one is probably the single most exhilarating experience in the game. Being miles up in the air as you cling to the tail end and make your way towards the cockpit until you finally pry open the door and kill all who are inside is like nothing else. Afterwards, youâ€™ll have free control over the chopper and its weapons. You can also do the same with tanks but theyâ€™re not as fun.
From ripping enemies in half to absorbing them, [Prototype] is not one for the kiddies. Red seems to be the color of choice with all the blood youâ€™ll see. Did I mention that itâ€™s all in graphic detail? The city of New York is beautiful, especially seeing it from the eyes of Alex Mercer. The Web of Intrigue videos have live action sequences mixed in with some CGI to provide a more realistic feel to the game, like this outbreak could really happen. Will all thatâ€™s going around, things can get a little bit hectic on screen. The frame rate can drop some if there is too much going on at once. At that point, it becomes more of a button masher as you struggle to escape from the multiple enemies surrounding you.
After playing the game to completion we just have one final question. Why is it spelled [Prototype] and not Prototype? I guess weâ€™ll never know. The game is a blast and if youâ€™re a fan of these large open environment then it will be doubly so. It seems that Activision has gotten a hold of NYC based games this time around and ditched the costumes as well. As far as the inFAMOUS vs. [Prototype] battle, that my friends, weâ€™ll save for another time.