Prototype: It Doesn’t Look Pretty, but It’s Still Great Fun

Prototype is a third person action game released by Activision in 2009 for the PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. The game centers around Alex Mercer, a man who is desperately trying to figure out his past. The game centers around the cliche amnesia plot device, but still manages to be ridiculously fun.

The game is similar to a lot of free-roaming superhero games, including almost all of the Spiderman games and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, the latter on which Prototype’s engine is based. So while the gameplay itself isn’t original, it’s still a ball. In most games like this, there is a limit on how much havoc a character can create. Alex Mercer has no reservations about killing and absorbing innocent people, which actually adds an entirely new dimension to the game: you can absorb enemies even neutral bystanders. By absorbing the enemies you might open up a web of intrigue, which progresses the story, or just gain health.

Another stand-out of Prototype is the ability to shapeshift. Mercer can take on the form of the last person he absorbed and he is also able to unlock a myraid of powers and upgrades using evolution points, which are gained form defeating enemies and completing missions. If you think completing missions is lame and would rather just destroy everything in sight, then that’s fine because ample points can be gained both ways. That said, the infection spreads further as the story progresses, so that increases military and zombie presence (giving Mercer more things to kill).

There are several reasons to pick Prototype off the shelf. First, the game offers the player so many ways to kill opponents that it never really gets old, and although some upgrades are much more effective than others, all of them can be used against pretty much any foe. If you want to run around in Guyver armor with a giant arm blade, elbowing dropping onto takes and civilians, then you are free to do so. Or you can forfeit the armor and use your increases speed to jump across buildings and outrun helicopters, while flinging around an organic whip that is almost similar to something found on the super villain Carnage from the Spiderman franchise.

That said, the game is not perfect, or even close. The graphics and draw distance are very uninspired, which makes the game much less immersive. There is also the inability to destroy most buildings – you can drive around in a tank that’s able to level an enemy base in a single shot, but it’s somehow only effective on said enemy bases. It won’t destroy any buildings of similar size or cause any noticable damage. Even scorch marks are missing. There’s also the annoyance of enemy helicopters, especially late in the game. They carry homing missiles that can be annoying, espcially since they keep flinging you into the air and can be utterly relentless.

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