<div align="center"><img src="http://img197.imageshack.us/img197/1687/prototypentx.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> [Prototype] Review</div> Story -------------- 8.0 Graphics ---------- 8.0 Gameplay--------- 8.5 Sound ------------- 8.0 Tilt/Value -------- 9.0 Story -------------- 8.0 The story in Prototype is quite a mystery as well as amazing. The foundation of the story starts out with a man named Alex Mercer who has a fuzzy past but an incredible power. His power allows him to consume people as well as near invincibility. The basis is that Alex must find out who he exactly his, how he received his power, and take vengeance on the people that made him the way he currently is while surviving the viral outbreak that has occurred in Manhattan Island. Even though the story seems very typical, the way the narrative is told, as well as the main character being an anti-hero will draw many players in. The way that the story is told is actually quite fascinating. Alex is a few hours away from the destruction of Manhattan Island and retells the whole entire story up to that point through flashbacks. As well as flashbacks, the story is told through a game mechanic called the Web of Intrigue or WoI. The WoI is a system in which Alex can consume key people and piece the puzzles of his past. It is quite a mind bending experience and gives the player the ability to delve deeper into the world of Prototype. Although the story is quite fascinating there are some key problems. If a player goes straight through the game with main quests, then they will most likely lose track of what is going on. The main quests are meant to be supplemented with the WoI whether the player likes it or not. Some moments will be very awkward and others not effective without ascertaining the WoI memories. Another problem is that the characters in the game don’t seem to have a real major role. You won’t meet a large cast of characters so the focus should be great with the little amount of characters but they are not. The focus is Alex, and it seems like he’s the only focus. There are little interactions between Alex and a few other characters and because of this the other characters beside Alex seem very unreal and lifeless. Not only this but their role in the story seems very minimal and could be without. Graphics ---------- 7.5 Graphics in Prototype is definitely not one of the best in the market, nor is it the best in the generation. However, when you mix the graphics in together with the game as a whole, it’s understandable why the quality isn’t as good as maybe Halo or Gears of War. The graphics are for the most part solid and look good. The visuals have the quality of the first generation of Xbox 360 games and look nothing bad. There are two types of visual quality that appear in the game. One is the in-game engine and the other is CGI cutscenes. During special or certain cutscenes the game will load into a CGI cutscene which looks gorgeous. The game has no errors in these parts, facial expressions look great, details look amazing. However, it’s just a cutscene. Animations are absolutely great. The fluidity of the game is rock solid and there’s nothing out of place with Alex’s motions or attacks. Not only this but the game keeps up with the crazy explosions and attacks while maintaining a constant framerate. The graphics are in-turn somewhat low quality in order to keep the quality of the gameplay well. What draws the game back in graphics are two things. One is texture pop-in and quality, and erratic distanced views. From time to time a texture in the game won’t pop in right or they will not pop in when you’re near them. It seems like the loading mechanic during the game isn’t fully complete and there fore certain textures will load in faster than others. Another problem with texturing is the details. The details in certain things absolutely amazing, such as Alex Mercer, tanks, and maybe a couple of enemies, however, for the most part the texturing in the building and people are very bland and murky. Although you can’t quite tell unless you look closely with a 52’’ HDTV, it’s still noticeable at times. The second problem is distanced views. Players might find themselves hunting for achievements and as a result they will look for landmark and hint orbs. These are absolutely atrocious to find with this graphical error. Sometimes even when you are a couple of feet away from the orb, the orb will not pop in for a few seconds. Because of this, it is very hard to notice a few things that the player might search for. It’s not the case for orbs but there were couple of instances where the game did not reveal a nearby or somewhat faraway enemy even though they were on my radar. It’s not annoying but it is a critical error. Fortunately the chance of encountering this error isn’t extremely large, nor is it game-breaking. Gameplay--------- 8.5 Prototype’s gameplay can be described in one word: visceral. This game is bloody, gory, violent, visceral, brutal, and extremely cruel. The violence in this game is absolutely incomprehensible, and part of this is what gives Prototype its charm. The gameplay of Prototype is a sandbox game much like GTA IV but with superpowers. The player takes control of Alex Mercer that is a superhuman with superpower that likes to go on a superfrenzy. The game has the player roam with the left control stick and control the camera with the right control stick. A button is to jump, X and Y is to attack, and B is to grab. The layout of the control is very simple but the game itself is very deep. There are 5 melee weapons to choose from, excluding your fists, and many combos to unlock as well as Devastator moves. The game places a heavy emphasis on variety and it is not kidding when it means variety. There are so many combos and moves you can pull off that it seems endless. Alex can jump in the air and latch onto a body and do a body surf for a while, he can cannonball from almost a mile high, he can bulletdive into a crowd. Each weapon that the game offers is satisfying in its own way and each move is also. There is no way a player can not enjoy hurling their massive fist across Time Square and blowing up a ton of cars. The weapons that are offered such as claws and whips have their own special combos as well as moves. They are all satisfying in their own way and if the player ever gets bored of one, they can change it with the scroll wheel activated by the bumper. The moves of each weapon are absolutely brutal. With a simple attack of a whip, a few civilians might have their entire body cut in half or a monsters might find themselves without an arm or a leg. The brutality of this game is amazing and immerses the player into the merciless world that Alex Mercer has to deal with. Moves and weapons are unlocked by going to the unlock section in the menu and buying them through Evolution Points that are accumulated by killing people, finishing missions, finishing side-quests, and other activities. Some moves and weapons will cost more than others and others might be acquired by other means. With a great combat system, there is also a fairly well-done lock-on mechanic. By holding the L-Trigger and using the right control stick, the player can cycle through enemy targets. This gives a player the option to focus on one target and is absolutely essential when Alex is in the middle of mayhem. All in all, the choices that Prototype offers are amazing and it is one of the many mechanics of the game that might appeal to many. Along with a deep combat system and customization, the player has the ability to sneak into military bases, hijack vehicles, and other types of activities. The military bases can be infiltrated by grabbing a military personnel and consuming them. By consuming them, Alex can change his form to the consumed victim and sneak into a base. This will be one of the key components to finishing the game as well as retrieving WoI targets. Not only can you annoy the military using covert tactics but you can also steal one of their vehicles and use it against them. You have the option to take a tank or hijack a helicopter in mid-flight. Both vehicles are extremely fun to use and mastering each one will make missions much easier. What Prototype has to offer in the game is very promising and very amazing. If you are not busy doing a mission, side-quest, or unlocking new upgrades, the player will find themselves exploring the hazardous Manhattan Island filled with monsters and infected creatures. There are Landmark Orbs to find that are scattered throughout the island as well as Hint Orbs. This will boost the Evolution Points pool with more points and help to unlock an achievement as well. Roaming around town can be done with the Left and Right control stick in combination to the Sprint feature which is utilized through the R-Trigger and Jump. As the story progresses Alex will be able to unlock the glide feature which will make exploring the island much more enjoyable and faster. There are plenty of things to do while roaming around and the player might find themselves a happy mob to kill. However, with many of Prototype’s rights there are some wrongs. A few game mechanics in the game tend to get a little crazy as well as drive the player a little crazy. First problem is the lock-on mechanic. Although the system is great sometimes it will be unresponsive in targeting the enemy that the player wishes to and it is frustrating. Not only this but the camera cannot be utilized while locking on so if Alex is in a bad angle the view range will become very distorted. Another problem is the linearity of the lock-on. If there is an obstacle or some building in between the enemy and Alex the actions that Alex does are a little unwieldy. This brings about a bit of frustration when a mechanic as important as the lock-on system isn’t truly perfected. Another major problem in Prototype is difficulty. A normal game would recommend the player start at a Normal difficulty instead of easy. However, the difficulty of this game ramps up at an extreme level that players will find themselves stuck on certain missions or certain parts of a mission. The game’s pacing should’ve been more fluid and smoother but it isn’t and the player will be greatly punished if they do not notice quickly how to complete the mission therefore resulting in the restarting of the game on a lower difficulty. Prototype’s gameplay is amazing. There are a few flaws within design decisions but for the most part they can be overlooked. The combat feels extremely smooth with no framerate problems and roaming around Manhattan is great. The powers that the game offers the player makes the player feel like a true bada** while not completely overpowering you in the game. Sound ------------- 8.0 The audio quality of this game isn’t outstanding but it is to note that it certainly does a great job. The voice-actor for Alex did a stunning job capturing his mood, essence, and character. Other voices that are in the game are great as well and none of them seem overacted or under. The songs that the game offers aren’t quite diverse but it does fit the mood for each situation. The effects are what are truly amazing though. From the slicing of an enemy to the exploding noises of a tank, the developers truly captured the moment of each encounter that Alex faces in the audio department. Tilt/Value -------- 9.0 The lasting replayability of this game is amazing but at the same time variable. There is a variety of side-missions to a degree and how fun they are can differ from player to player. Sometimes the missions will feel repetitive and much like a chore, whereas other times they will be extremely enjoyable. There are landmarks to collect, hints to collect, upgrades to unlock, and even after that Prototype will still offer something that not many sandbox games can offer: Awesome Combat and Visceral Killings. Conclusion ------------- 8.3 (With Reviewer’s Addition/Deduction) Prototype is truly an amazing game. Most players might look at the game and say that it is a knockoff of Infamous, however, the two games play very differently. There are tons of things that players can do with their own imagination and killing in a sandbox game has never been this fun. Prototype will have different viewpoints depending on the player, but one fact will never change: Alex Mercer is a bada**.