I finally got around to playing Prototype for the XBox 360, and while it’s far from the greatest action game I’ve ever played, it’s definitely a lot of fun. There’s nothing revolutionary about Prototype, and in fact, there’s very little that makes this game unique. Still, if you like controlling a super-powered being with the ability to do just about whatever the hell you want in Manhattan, then Prototype may be the game for you. Prototype is empowering, gory, and intense, and it’s the type of game that you can pick up and play with relatively little difficulty. What makes Prototype so much fun? Keep reading for my full review.
A virus has been released in New York City and as the infection spreads and mutates the infected, the U.S. military has taken control of the are. As the mysterious Alex, you have the ability to use a variety of powers, many of which are upgradeable. Naturally, you don’t start off with all your powers (although in the game’s brief introductory level, you’re given the chance to control a fully-powered Alex), and you have to earn experience points to unlock and upgrade abilities. You also have the ability to “consume” people, which is essentially swallowing them and obtaining all of his or her memories as well as the ability to take his or her form. Memories of certain characters can be used to piece together Alex’s past. Prototype is pretty standard for a sandbox action game, but it seems to do everything right.
The game is set up very similarly to a Grand Theft Auto game. Alex is free to roam around Manhattan, and by going to a certain spot on the map, he can accept mission and progress the game’s storyline. The story – from what I’ve gathered so far – is one of revenge. Alex wants to find whoever is responsible for making him the way he is and kill him. I don’t know why; I’d want to thank them. Anyway, you are presented with missions – like in GTA – that involve, infiltration (shapeshifting), fighting, escorting, and so on.
OK, now to the fun stuff. You’re pretty much a mix between Carnage and a T-1000, and your main “powers” give you the ability to morph your body into claws, shields, giant blades, or giant clubs, with some “forms” working better on certain enemies than others. In addition, you can sprint incredibly fast, jump huge distances, and eventually glide. It makes traveling around Manhattan a cinch. Best of all, though, is the interactive environment.
You can consume, kill, or grab anybody, from military enemies to harmless civilians. You can pick up and chuck just about any object, making every car or truck a deadly weapon. And if you’re creative, you can massacre hundreds of people in a variety of ways. I particularly like picking people up and throwing them against the wall, splattering their bodies and blood everywhere, although it was also pretty cool when I grabbed a guy by the throat, raced up the side of the Empire State Building with his throat in my hand, and then hurled him hundreds of feet to his death. Like I said, Prototype isn’t anything special, but it’s incredible playable and incredibly fun.