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Xbox 360 Game Review



Format: Xbox 360
RRP: £49.99
5 030917 067310
Age Restrictions: 18+
Available 12 June 2009

You are Alex Mercer, the Prototype: a shapeshifter with amazing powers of combat, destruction, and deception. You can consume targets for their form and memories to assume a perfect disguise, or instantly transform your body into an array of deadly biological weapons, cutting your way to the heart of the conspiracy forty years in the making. Stalk the streets of New York City, searching for the life you led before. Take the form of anyone in your path, using an arsenal of identities to confound, exploit or annihilate your enemies...

In Prototype, mankind is your mask. You must wage a secret war against factions with complex agendas of their own, out to capture or kill you. They are your greatest threat and the key to the secrets of your past. Confront them, find those responsible and make them pay. Delve to the bottom of a conspiracy that has haunted the American government for decades. Who is responsible for your condition?

The story behind Prototype is surrounded in mystery and confusion, with it regularly hopping between time lines to a future event and the present. When you first start the game you are ambushed by tanks, helicopters and far too many soldiers. This is when you discover that you have a range of different abilities that you can change between. This section of the game lasts for about 10-15 minutes before you're sent back into the past, only to find out that your powers no longer exist.

Most of the missions in the game are fairly straightforward with lots of clues, making it fairly easy to get back to the stage you were at at the start of the game - even if it does take a fair amount of time. Some of the missions can be a bit of a pain as they seem to be almost impossible to complete - requiring way too much luck. But there is a sense of satisfaction, and achievement, once you do finish them.

As you progress through the game you start to unlock your newfound abilities, getting a broader view on what each one can do and which are the most effective against which enemy or obstacle. You also do you feel as if you have earned each and every one of them - which is fairly unusual in a game of this kind.

Most of the powers have a visual effect to them, such as giving you huge claws on both of your hands, or allowing your arms to stretch hundreds of feet allowing you to knock helicopters out of the air. There is even one that changes your entire body, creating a huge moveable shell around your body. Most of the powers are rewarded for progressing far in the story but others have to be brought using the games upgraded system.

The game features its own version of the standard experience points system, called evolution points which are used to provide extra moves for your powers, increased health and speed, and you can even buy more powers that are unattainable from the storyline. At the start of the game you are unable to buy all of these abilities and powers but as the story progresses you gain access to more and more upgrades.

Combat in this game is fairly basic but gets more interesting once you start to unlock new powers. At the start of the game you are limited to basic attacks, such as fast and power attacks, there is also a grab button which is used to consume enemies or just throw them far distances. Once you start to unlock the additional content you are soon able to unleash powerful area attacks, which can deal serious damage to different opponents at once. However, most of the more powerful attacks cost quite a lot of evolution points and it takes a long time to unlock the better attacks.

The game has an interesting, eerie atmosphere. Possibly the biggest element that helps to create this feeling are the tentacle like veins that infest most of the city. As you explore the New York you will soon discover find that there are buildings that are covered in veins and have to be destroyed with vehicles. These buildings are called hives and harbour some heavy enemies that can get quite annoying, so it’s best to avoid them.

The city looks quite gloomy from the high points, but once you get down into the streets it has quite an interesting look to it. Possibly the biggest let down, on the graphic front, are the fairly plain looking enemies. They look incredibly dull when you compare them to the effort that has gone into the detail of your character, Alex.

Prototype is a game with a lot of potential but it is let down by some simple things, such as stupidly hard missions near the end of the game and annoying enemies that go into a unblockable frenzy after you start to attack them. The military attacks can also be frustrating, as they bombard you with rockets and gunfire and there’s just nowhere to run.

But apart from these slight issues, the game is enjoyable and can be a good laugh. Try grabbing an enemy soldier and carry him up the empire state building just to throw him off. And then go and find where he landed.


Carl Simpson

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