Saturday, May 1, 2010

Thoughts From a Girl Gamer - Prototype [By Konoko Bailey]

Not going to lie. At first I was NOT a fan! The dialogue seemed sub par, the cut scenes made me feel like I was being brain washed, the lighting is often too dark ,making you miss out on seeing some great kills. But a co-worker of mine insisted that I continue…so I did. Turns out the game isn’t half bad. Once your earn enough points to fully upgrade Alex’s abilities, the game takes on a new face. But let’s just start at the beginning…

Prototype is an action adventure game developed by Radical Entertainment and published by Activision. Rated M17+ for it blood/gore, foul language, and inappropriate conduct. ;)

The game starts off with a cut scene of NY (Canal and Broadway to be specific). We quickly learn that 3 weeks ago a virus was let loose in Pen Station. Your character, Alex Mercer, woke up in a morgue with super human strength and abilities of unknown origins. There is a rapid spreading virus genetically altering humans into mega beast of all sorts. The military is trying to contain it the problem. And by “contain” of course I mean shooting to kill. Alex is caught somewhere in the middle, and often fights on both sides of this war. As NY descends in to chaos Alex searches for the truth...

Manhattan as we learned from “I am Legion” is a great place for an outbreak to occur. When all hell breaks loose just blow up the bridges and tunnel and it can all be contain! Presuming the infected don’t know how to use a boat of course. And if push comes to shove blow up the whole island….or want did I give away the ending of the game? Not quite, but you get my point. The game is hella predictable. Spoiler alert - The good guys are the bad guys, and the bad guys are the good guys. You of course find all this out through the progression of the game.

The dialogue gets a gentlemen’s “C”. I wanted it to be so much better, but it often fell short, and honestly could have just replaced words with grunting and inappropriate hand jesters.

More reviewing after the jump

As is the case with most games the animated cut scenes look pretty great, but when it comes to game play it never balances out. Oddly enough there were plenty of live action cut scenes thrown in the mix. Not sure what the artistic intent was there. Maybe to make the possibility of such a super human viral out break seem just a smidgen closer to realty? Who knows, I just found it odd. (Though the editing was done quite well).

There were several moments (usually after learning a new move) that I had to give Radical Entertainment their just due. Once sup-ed up, the kills are pretty great! Particularly because whenever you execute an ultimate move the camera pulls back for a swinging wide angle shot of you and the damage you create. :)

The controls vary from super simply, to just plain annoying. It all depends on what you're particular upgrades you're interested in. What I did enjoy is, is the fact that you don't have to master every move to beat the game. You can choose only to up grade the ones you enjoy the most. And there are so many options, you are bound to find at least a hand full of moves you'll find useful.

Top 3 annoying things:

-The 2nd to last boss is harder to beat than the final one. This disappointed me.
-Finding the orbs is ridiculous b/c they don't show up on your Heads Up Display (HUD), so unless you're up close on one, you have no clue in all of NY where they are.
-This game fell short of satisfying the visual expectation of NY's geography. Yes the streets and avenues were accurate, central park, the yellow taxi cabs, and massive traffic jams screamed New York City...but not much else. Where are the hot dog/ falafel carts...the store fronts...all the things that help make NY a living breathing city? Instead we were provided with stocky, boxy landscape, and over duplicated civilians.

Top 3 awesome things:

-Vertical surfing!!
-Jacking helicopters.
-Cannonballing off tall buildings. I swear the first few times you jump, you get that vertigo/motion sickness/ queezy feeling. A-MAZING

Things to know:

-The web of intrigue has nothing to do with your ability to beat the game. It was a cool idea, but isn't necessary. There are times when you're in the middle of a battle and a person of interest pops up. There were even a few times when the person I needed to absorb, got caught in the cross fire and died before I could get my tentacles on them.
-Apparently tanks can’t go into water.
-The flying kick is the best move when you’re low on health.
-Always make sure you start a new mission with full health. Some of them don’t have you hit the ground running. There are always New Yorkers around, so it shouldn't be a problem.

Over all I'd give this game a 6.5 out of 10. This is a game you buy used from Game Stop, beat it in 3 to 4 days (or less depending on how much time you've got on your hands) and then return it so you can get something you really want.

PLEASE BE AWARE: There are some graphic scenes in this clip. Viewer discretion is advised.