Author Topic: [Video Game] Prototype  (Read 1866 times)

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Offline setrataeso

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[Video Game] Prototype
« on: July 18, 2009, 10:39:11 AM »
Name: Prototype
Publisher: Activison
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Genre: Action

Let's, for the sake of things, pretend that Prototype is not one of the most anticipated games of the year. Let's pretend I haven't been following Radical's every move on this game. Let's ignore the release which coincides with inFamous, an oddly similar game to Prototype. Because, let's face it, anticipating a game too heavily, is always going to lead towards biased criticism, be it good or bad. So, despite the fact that I've been watching Prototype with the same eye that I've been watching Modern Warfare 2 and Assassin's Creed 2, I'm going to step back from the hype and talk about the game. Was Prototype worth the wait? Read on...

You play as Alex Mercer, a man who wakes up one day to discover he's changing. He learns about the involvement the government has had on these changes and vows revenge. Prototype is an open-world action game focusing on limitless superpowers. Like inFamous, the focus is on a few powers with many upgrades. While inFamous focused on electrical powers, Prototype focuses on shape-shifting. In addition, Alex can also absorb other characters, to gain health, take memories, or to use their body as a disguise. Radical has developed games for many generations of consoles, but the game most comparable to Prototype would be The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Both games give a sense of open-world destruction with limitless power. So, for reference, Prototype is a mix between inFamous and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.

Graphics
Prototype has its ups and downs, graphically. It never looks technically impressive, in fact it has many visual problems. The game does wow gamers more on the artistic direction Radical went in. Alex's animations are all really cool. When he absorbs people, their bloodied limbs will float around him for a few moments before disappearing. Because of the amount of people he abosorbs, Alex also carries tremendous mass. When you fall from tall buildings, you crash into the ground with an earth-shaking crash, which never gets old. The little things are all pretty good looking, but step back and you'll notice some problems with how the game looks. The draw-in is way too short for an open-world game, so you'll only notice a collectible when it's right next to you. The game also does not sport much colour. Yes, there is a lot of red, but strictly speaking, the game is pretty ugly. The cutscenes aren't very interesting, and are all pretty scatterbrained to watch. The city looks and feels lifeless, with just so much focus put on Alex himself, and nothing on what's around him.
0.5/1

Audio
Again, the audio is a mixed-bag. You'll get some very satisfying-sounding effects, include some brutal squelching noises when you absorb characters. Alex's powers all come equipped with killer sound effects, and depending on whether you use the claws or the hammerfists, the accompanying sound effects will seem appropriate. The soundtrack is fine, just pretty forgettable. Every time the music would start up, I would get into it, but I wouldn't be able to remember it 10 seconds later. The VO is pretty awful. No one seems into it in Prototype. All the voice cast deliver an uninspired performance across the board. Not to mention the cutscenes are all mixed very low, so players will have to crank up their volume just to hear.
0.5/1

AI
I appreciate the effort put into the AI in Prototype. The enemies are never overly intelligent or well-designed, but there really aren't any problems with them either. Their are two groups of mutants Alex needs to watch out for: the Governments-operated soldiers, and the mutants. This pretty much follows any formula for enemies. Halo followed that with the Covenant/Flood enemies, Spiderman: Web of Shadows with the Robot/Infected troops, and now Prototype with the Soldier/Mutant formula. As such, soldiers work in groups and use guns and tanks. Mutants are more unpredictable, using melee and ranged attacks and come in many different forms. The two sides will also fight each other, so there are constant war zones found throughout the city that you will want to avoid, or partake in. The variety of the two sides' groups gives some life to the otherwise dry city.
1/1

Variety
Prototype has two different types of missions: main and side. Like most open world games, the main missions follow the story and net you all the upgrades and experience that is needed to finish the game. The side missions are all bonus tasks that will get you more experience and a chance to view more of the story of the game. You get a nice variety of side missions, which include: rooftop races, assassination, kill X number of enemies with a certain power, skydiving onto a bullseye, and some stealth missions. These are pretty cool to do, and are ranked by bronze/silver/gold medal system. The story missions are all just amped up versions of the side missions, and last longer so the repetition is more noticeable. Of course, if I'm talking about variety, I have to mention the number of powers Alex Mercer has. His shapeshifting gives him the power to grow claws, arm-length blades, hammerfists, a shield, whip-fist tentacles, and he can also glide, run up buildings, and shape-shift. Basically, there is a lot going on in Prototype.
1/1

Value
Prototype features 31 story missions and many, many side missions. In addition, there are a ton of collectibles to gather, plus you'll want to see how strong you can make Alex become by upgrading everything. This should take you about 12-20 hours to do depending on how into the game you are. You may not want to play the game again as there is no alternate ending or morale choice system, unlike inFamous. Still, it's a long game, so you get a good deal for 70 bucks.
1/1

Innovation
Prototype is basically Hulk: Ultimate Destruction without The Incredible Hulk. Well, that's not fair to say, there is more to do experience in Prototype, but the game mechanics are the same. The new stuff comes mostly in this focus on shape-shifting, which doesn't get implemented in games very often. The memory system is also pretty cool, getting to take memories by taking over people's bodies. What works best about this part is that it's not limited to free-roam or anything. You can body-snatch in the middle of a chase mission and continue on. The game is set in New York, which is not exactly a new place for open-world games to be held, but it works fine, although you only get the main island, none of the side ones, and no Statue of Liberty. Bummer. The game does do a lot of new things. Whether it implements them well or not I'll get to later. But I'll give the game the nod for innovation.
1/1

Presentation
The game's story is told mostly through memories. You can get the very bare bones of the story just by watching the main cutscenes, but you experience the whole thing, you need to be more assertive. By taking the bodies of marked people, you get a short glimpse into what they had to do with this whole experimental science ordeal. This is a clever way to have the player learn the story for themselves but it holds many problems. The main issue is that the player needs to get ALL the memories before the whole story makes sense. The memories don't follow a linear path, so the extra bits you find will only make sense when put together as a whole. If you watch one memory without having seen another, you likely will not know what's going on. This is only hindered by the fact that memories are all presented in a very scatter-brained way. Lots of quick camera shifts, and blurry shots make even the simplest memories tricky to understand. The menus and interface all work well, and are easy to navigate. The game has cool ideas, but the execution is flawed.
0.5/1

Difficulty
The game is nice with the difficulty curve. The starting of the game follows the Metroid-style-get-all-your-powers-in-the-first-mission-so-you-see-what-you'll-have-8-hours-from-now-but-then-lose-them-at-the-end-the-mission. The first mission is a flash-forward, and the game then goes back in time to when Mercer was just beginning to change. Afterward, you get to do some training missions, which are used well, and then jump into the rest of the game. For an open-world game, Prototype does a great job in keeping the curve steady, yet acceptable. The game challenges the player, but any death is usually fixable the second or third time around. You are also able to choose your difficulty at the beginning of the game.
1/1

Gameplay
Hulk had strength. Batman had stealth. Wolverine had his big claws. How is it that Alex has all this and more. In Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, The Hulk could pick up cars and run up buildings. That seemed logical, that's what The Hulk could do. You couldn't have The Hulk do stealth missions. The Hulk games had boundaries, which kept the creative design in check. In Prototype, which is basically Radical's Hulk game without The Hulk, there are no boundaries. The team went with a kitchen sink approach, and said "Let the player do anything and everything", dumped it in the public's lap, and let them dick around with it. And it turns into a real mess. There's very little downtime in Prototype. If you aren't doing a mission, or fighting some enemies, you're running away from a fight. There's so much going on in the game, it's hard to get a grip with what to do. The game is still cool and fun, but there's a real lack of organization. The controls are slippery, the button inputs get ridiculous later in the game, and there is just a real sense of the game being rushed, despite how long it's been in development. I don't dislike the game, but it's far from being great.
0.5/1

Fun
What rocked:
+ Awesome powers
+ Clever side missions
+ Brutal

What sucked:
- Poor graphics and sound
- Unorganized gameplay
- Scatterbrained story

1/1

Prototype falls into this hole that it gets a lot of things right, but the few things it gets wrong are very detrimental to the game. I had this same problem with Red Steel for the Wii. It was fun, and a great idea, but the gameplay just wasn't right. In Prototype, most of the stuff surrounding the game is great, but delve deeper, and you begin to see the game fall apart before you. I do support the making of a sequel to Prototype, but the developers had better hear out the complaints that gamers and reviewers are giving, because it follows a game that didn't live up to it's potential. Prototype has great ideas, but it lacks the polish needed for a great game. I did enjoy the game, but for a game I was so heavily anticipating, as good as it was, it let me down.

8/10
« Last Edit: July 29, 2009, 09:57:16 PM by setrataeso »
NEW REVIEW: Lady Gaga - Born This Way
http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=25343.0

Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline Ouda

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 11:00:09 AM »
  K the AI is hilarious how on and off it is. They are sometimes ridicoulously blind/retardedly intelligent. I can glide right by enemy tanks, shooting blood from my ligaments (which is the key to flying), land straight into the enemies base, from a large height, causing a shock wave, which raises alert but the enemies logic is "He wears the same clothes I do, he's way too fashionable to be evil".

  Other times I'm in the darkest corner imaginable with no around for maybe a half a kilometre, and I stealthily transform into a marine and BAM, that army guy 500 meters away saw the whole thing, as he was much more interested with me than the infected mutants slashing him to bits.

  I don't understand why everyone thinks this game is so flawed. Well i understand the audio and graphics. The leaves on trees are squares, looking like some threw confetti into the air and it magically froze. But it's officially my favorite game for the Xbox 360, not including stuff like Guitar hero: metallica.

 

Offline AcidLameLTE

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2009, 12:51:54 PM »
setrataeso, do you have Prototype for the PC, 360 or PS3? The reason I ask this is because I found the controls quite good on the PC.

I agree with the graphics not looking too great but that didn't effect my enjoyment of the game to any degree.

I thought the AI wasn't too great. I mean, I could walk into an army base and fly around a bit (still disguised as a soldier) and they would just go around looking for me, even if I landed right beside them :lol

I think the city was a lot more enjoyable and had a lot more life to it before everyone got infected and the military showed up (which I is why I did a new game+ just to mess around in).

The audio levels during the cut scenes was the only thing that really annoyed me in this. I hated having to blast up my speakers just to hear what they were saying.

Overall, I really enjoyed the game though. Things like running up skyscrapers with people and then slamming them into the ground or using people as human surf boards never got old.

Offline setrataeso

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2009, 12:29:22 AM »
setrataeso, do you have Prototype for the PC, 360 or PS3? The reason I ask this is because I found the controls quite good on the PC.

I agree with the graphics not looking too great but that didn't effect my enjoyment of the game to any degree.

I thought the AI wasn't too great. I mean, I could walk into an army base and fly around a bit (still disguised as a soldier) and they would just go around looking for me, even if I landed right beside them :lol

I think the city was a lot more enjoyable and had a lot more life to it before everyone got infected and the military showed up (which I is why I did a new game+ just to mess around in).

The audio levels during the cut scenes was the only thing that really annoyed me in this. I hated having to blast up my speakers just to hear what they were saying.

Overall, I really enjoyed the game though. Things like running up skyscrapers with people and then slamming them into the ground or using people as human surf boards never got old.


- I played it for the Xbox 360.
- I'm no graphics whore,and the look of a game doesn't determine whether or not I think it's good. But, the visual and audio design is the most forward way of trying to convey the vision the developers had.
- I agree that the enemies weren't all that smart, but for some reason, these occurences all seemed to happen at the right times. If I was trying to avoid guys, they wouldn't see me. If I wanted to start some chaos, they joined in. The game is weird like that.
- Agreed
- Yeah, I mentioned that. I started skipping cutscenes, simply because I was tired of cranking up the volume.
This, Red Faction: Guerrilla, and inFamous (despite the fact that it's for a console I don't own) are all pretty great games. I encourage everyone into action games to give at least one of these a try.
NEW REVIEW: Lady Gaga - Born This Way
http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=25343.0

Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline AcidLameLTE

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2009, 06:38:45 AM »
I know you mentioned the audio thing. I was just agreeing with you.

Do you know what the solution for inFamous is? That's right buy a PS3 as well :neverusethis:

Offline setrataeso

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2009, 03:41:45 PM »
I know you mentioned the audio thing. I was just agreeing with you.

Do you know what the solution for inFamous is? That's right buy a PS3 as well :neverusethis:

All my money goes to playing all the games for one console.
I can't spend $400-500 on a PS3 AND play games for that as well.
I'll just have to mope that I can't play any more inFamous...
Oh well...
Ima go back and play some Call of Juarez now. :D
NEW REVIEW: Lady Gaga - Born This Way
http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=25343.0

Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline AcidLameLTE

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2009, 04:35:23 PM »
Oh well.

*goes back to playing inFamous on his PS3, Gears of War on his Xbox 360 and Crysis on his PC*

:neverusethis:

Offline setrataeso

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2009, 04:52:32 PM »
Oh well.

*goes back to playing inFamous on his PS3, Gears of War on his Xbox 360 and Crysis on his PC*

:neverusethis:

I've only known one other person who could actually play Crysis on his PC. Wowza
NEW REVIEW: Lady Gaga - Born This Way
http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=25343.0

Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline AcidLameLTE

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2009, 01:55:09 AM »
I could play Crysis on my PC before I even upgraded it and I've upgraded it A LOT since I last played Crysis.

Offline setrataeso

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2009, 08:51:17 PM »
I could play Crysis on my PC before I even upgraded it and I've upgraded it A LOT since I last played Crysis.

 :millahhhh
You lucky bastard.
NEW REVIEW: Lady Gaga - Born This Way
http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=25343.0

Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline AcidLameLTE

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2009, 01:45:50 AM »
It's called having a job :neverusethis:

Offline setrataeso

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2009, 08:44:18 AM »
Well, more about having the energy to upgrade PCs.
I hate my compy.
NEW REVIEW: Lady Gaga - Born This Way
http://www.dreamtheaterforums.org/boards/index.php?topic=25343.0

Setra, I think that is the best statement I have read on this forum.  Very well said.

Offline Space Invader

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2009, 10:33:42 PM »
Well, more about having the energy to upgrade PCs.
I hate my compy.

Agreed.
Everything can, should and will be progressive.

"The only thing that is certain is that nothing is certain" - Montaigne.

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Offline ZachyDou

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Re: [Video Game] Prototype
« Reply #13 on: July 23, 2009, 03:27:39 PM »
and getting back to the game u reviewed...

i like it cause u get to blow shit up