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Prototype Review (Xbox 360) July 8, 2009

Posted by Matthew in Review, Xbox 360.
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Prototype

It was great to finally play a “superhero” sandbox game where you didn’t have to worry about being good or bad, Alex Mercer simply has his own agenda and doesn’t care about anything else – as can be seen by the way he comically shoves pedestrians out of the way as he walks by. The Alex you see in the cutscenes is the same Alex you play as, unlike Niko Bellic whose in-game actions were pretty disjointed from what you saw in the cutscenes.

The thing that really sets this apart from other recent sandbox games is Alex’s vast arsenal of superpowers, it succeeds where others (Infamous cough cough) have failed. as if being able to run up buildings wasn’t enough, the abilities you learn in this give you a genuine sense of power. From things like elbow-dropping a tank from the top of a skyscraper to picking up and launching a car at a pursuing helicopter, Prototype does a fantastic job in making you feel like a complete badass. You barely ever feel vulnerable and know that there is a move to get you out of any situation. Hijacking a helicopter in mid-air using your whip attack never gets old. I also loved the Guyver-like armour which limits your movements but it’s worth it, if only because you look like a badass. Also, the ability to absorb people and take their identity provided some brilliant T-1000-esque moments.

It’s obvious some graphical detail has been sacrificed in order to make the city feel more alive, but this was definitely for the better. The streets being filled with civilians and vehicles adds to the mayhem when things kick off. It’s great watching the city slowly decay into an infected mess over the course of the game and randomly come across fights between the infected and the military.

Along with Crackdown, Prototype is one of the best sandbox games I’ve played this generation and it certainly provided the most fun I’ve had from a game this year so far. The sense of power it gives you is phenomenal and the open-ended way in which you can approach most of the missions adds to the enjoyment. I also thought the Web of Intrigue was a very clever idea to help develop the story a bit more. There are plenty of side-missions to keep you occupied, along with orb collecting for added Crackdown-ness.

Badass, in a word.

9/10