I picked up my copy of Prototype and started playing. I must admit, I dropped the game and moved back to playing Valkyria Chronicles, so I'm still not quite done as of writing this review.
As is customary, let me start with plot. You are Alex Mercer, a guy who woke up on a slab ready to have an autopsy performed. As dead characters, with the exception of ghosts, are generally boring, Alex wakes up and starts meandering about trying to find his lost memories. Honestly, beyond this and a government conspiracy, there's not much to the plot. Granted, there is an entire side quest-esque thing dedicated to the discovery of new memories, but honestly, I didn't care enough. Alex is just a boring character overall, and the side cinematics are not well enough voiced for me to care. There is a decided lack of dialogue, except between Alex and a "mysterious" person he talks to in the events after the gameplay.
Ok, on to gameplay. I expected another lame superhero set of superpowers with little variation from the usual fast attack-slow but powerful attack-medium grade attack-obligatory ranged attack combination. I wasn't disappointed, but I got a couple nice treats. You start with a claw power that fills the medium attack role, but has a nice trick where you jam them into the ground and make a spike tree with your enemies as the leaves. A big hammer fist is the powerful slow attack...that is entirely forgettable. The musclemass boost to throwing and punches is likewise forgettable. The blade...more interesting, and the whip like tendril is kinda funky. Really, it's all a matter of how you like to slice or pummel your foes. Sure, the game says to mix it up, but it makes little difference. You can use guns, rocket launchers and vehicles, but apart from the tank and the helicopter, your powers are about 10x more effective at killing helpless infected. Admittedly, one of my joys is to absorb a poor sob, sneak into a base, accuse him of being me, and watching everyone open fire on him.
Prototype suffers from a single flaw, and that is it can't decide what it wants to do. There are obligatory stealth sections where you have to absorb someone and sneak about. Most missions are go-here-kill-this, with very little variety. The side missions are wholly annoying for the most part since they normally limit you to a single armament or vehicle. There are also glide missions which are pitifully easy and race the clock missions which are conversely very difficult.
I suppose I should mention one tiny thing: Prototype is not a bad game. It really isn't. It's just...lackluster. I will admit that going into hordes of enemies and civilians and causing mass chaos was fun, but it loses its appeal rather quickly. If I want mayhem, I'll go play an FPS. Or fork up the money and buy Overlord II. Still, there are worse games out there. The mechanics are decent, the controls are tight, and the action is fast paced. I just couldn't care enough about the characters or their perdicament to care. I personally didn't enjoy it, but you might have a different experience.
What did you think of this review?