f13.net General Forums => But is it Fun? => Topic started by: UnSub on February 20, 2010, 01:43:43 AM

Title: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: UnSub on February 20, 2010, 01:43:43 AM
Have you ever been playing GTA and thought to yourself, "Boy, this game really respects civilians too much. I really wish it was much easier to kill truckloads of innocent people without really trying"?

If this is you, 1) seek help and 2) Prototype is your game. In the midst of doing your missions, you'll be killing a lot of ordinary people by accident. You can't even stop doing it. If you drive a tank you'll be running over cars without hesitation and people will be diving under your wheels. Your area of effect attacks are going to eviscerate everyone unfortunate enough to have stood around you. You will kill these people with all the casualness of chewing gum.

Of course, in doing so you slaughter a lot of US Army soldiers and / or infected citizens too, but Prototype is really a superhero game without any kind of 'hero' part.

Prototype does some things very well - the city is huge, you can control / commandeer a range of vehicles and your powers are a great mix of shapeshifting bio-weaponry. Running around the city allows a lot of freedom as it is very simple to run up buildings and leap or float long distances. Combat (which you'll spend a lot of time involved in) offers some variety, especially if you switch things between military ordinance and your bio-weapons, but before too long you'll have picked your preferred options and be murdering hundreds of people with it. The infiltration aspect of Prototype does switch things up a bit - as a shapeshifter, the protagonist can absorb people to gain their abilities and appearance - but suffers from repetition and later on is filled with frustrating discovery mechanisms.

On the negative side, is Prototype's protagonist Alex Mercer, who is generically angry with everything and not particularly engaging. Since you'll not give a damn about him, the plot twists of the game really lack any punch, despite the game narrative threatening to be interesting at particular points. Although satisfactory when you are just running around, Prototype's control system has all the fine balance and sensitivity of a drunk with an inner ear problem, so trying to pull off precise movement nears smash-your-controller-on-the-ground frustration levels. If you just run through the game it is probably a fairly short title too, but the Events scattered around the map (with more unlocking as you progress) offer diversions and extra advancement points, meaning play time is extended if you do them.

You unlock the in-game story as you progress through the game by 'absorbing' people who are marked as knowing something, while absorbing citizens / military personnel / infected citizens gives back your health and can unlock extra abilities. It's something different, at least - I can't remember many titles where cannibalism is a key game mechanic.

Overall, Prototype shows off some new ideas - the shapeshifting, the super-powered freerunning movement, 'absorbing' people - but still has a great amount of room for improvement before it could be considered a great game. At best, it is a title you'll play, finish and forget.

Rating: Rent it.

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: Azazel on February 20, 2010, 02:33:57 PM
WoW! A Prototype BiiF! Imagine That!  :why_so_serious:

When I first put this one in, I was pretty impressed. Naturally, it was one of those "we start you off fully-powered in the prologue" bits, but still, it was filled with win.

However for me, that  :drill: when you initially play was long ago replaced by the  :uhrr: :ye_gods: of the shitty story, and now I'm at the point where I have to force myself to play it, since the shiny wore thin and underneath that it's simply pretty fucking tedious. I've been trying to do the sidequests and activities and crap to earn xp to buy the upgrades. Perhaps I should just make a run to the end of the game instead. Not even worth achievement whoring this one, since it's one of the harder 360 games to do so in.

As Unsub says, the story threatens to be interesting occasionally, but the fact is that Alex Mercer is just so unlikable that you don't really care about his predicament. It also strongly appears that the cutscene writers did not have much contact witht he guys doing the actual game, since Alex is constantly trying to act like a brooding hero in the cutscenes with dialogue along the lines of "We'll get those bastards, so they can never do to anyone else what they did to me." Then you go out on a mission, and kill 1200 infected, 2400 U.S. soldiers and 2600 civilians. Those numbers, by the way, are made up, but very much in the mid-range of what you'll often actually be doing in a mission.

Of course, some of the soldiers are a bit evil, like the ones in Hulk, crossed with Blackwater and CIA SAD, though the game makes no bones about many of them being Marines, which the evil blackwater-esque ones are happy to use as cannon fodder, and Alex Mercer, our heroic antihero is quite happy to run through like a woodchipper on legs. Seriously though, while this is just a videogame, and a dumb one at that, I could really see Soldiers/Marines and their families not liking this one all that much. It just seems an interesting contrast to all the "We support the troops!(?)" stuff you see many Americans displaying these days.

The gameplay is actually a lot of fun and pretty engaging at first, and for awhile, but does become repetitive and painful all too quickly. NYC is pretty well done, and from playing games like HULK I actually kinda know my way around the place by now, at least when flying around amongst the rooftops, which I'm sure will be very useful if I ever visit the place. I was disappointed to see the way they took on the "what do we do about the WTC site?" question - Hulk had the massive hole in the ground without any of the "reconstruction" stuff there, but it at least recognised the site. (WTF are they doing with the hole, exactly? 8+ years later?) Prototype just has some generic buildings in it's place.

I agree very much with Unsub's summing-up sentence, though I'd also throw the word "tedious" in there as well, but at the same time, consider it worth a deep bargain bin purchase if you really enjoyed the rental.

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: UnSub on February 20, 2010, 11:32:48 PM
Regarding the events, they can be fun... except for the race-against-time ones. One of your key moves is your air dash, but it seems to dash you forward according to the direction your character is facing, not the camera and you will easily find yourself speeding off in the wrong direction, or whipping right by where you need to land. Running in a straight line is hard in Prototype.

I've got Gold ratings in all events and have been trying for Platinum, but holy hell are those racing events just painful.

Also, the final boss fight is just cheap.

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: bhodi on February 21, 2010, 09:15:14 AM
I agree on all counts. I disliked the racing events, but overall the game was passable.

The mass carnage was fun, and the story COULD have been interesting if the main character was at all sypathetic. It was like there was some horrible directing disconnect between the script and the actors. It was still better than infamous, because you could actually wade into the fight instead of having to snipe people's heads off with your lightning from 2 blocks off.

On the one hand, it was was slightly too long and contained mindless violence against innocents, but on the other hand, you get to karate kick a helicopter out of the air.

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: Pennilenko on February 21, 2010, 09:21:54 AM
I preferred the Hulk to this game to fill my super powered free running destructo goodness.

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: Azazel on February 22, 2010, 01:07:18 AM
The two games at their heart are very similar, though proto is a lot more
polished visually. They both suffer quite a lot from too much inertia and what Unsub referred to in terms of jumps and leaps
being based on whatever odd angle your character is facing instead of the camera. 

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: Morfiend on February 24, 2010, 10:33:09 AM
I think the best part of this game was the video cut scenes when you absorb someone's memories. Those where well done.

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: Azazel on February 27, 2010, 05:33:39 PM
Made myself play this again for a few missions this morning. I think the first two words there are quite telling.

Got stuck on some bullshit mission where the combination of all the military, tanks, helos, and turrets going for me while I run around using murky-o-vision while the camera flails around spastically. Tried it a few times, then just turned my xbox off.

I was going to force myself to finish the game, so I checked to see how far there is to go. Something like another 10 missions aka 1/3 of the game left. But the sad fact is, that aside from frustration at this one mission, the game's simply not fun anymore, and hasn't been for quite some time.

I'd drop the difficulty level down to easy if I could, and just blast my way through it to see the ending, but I've spent so much time collectng (almost) all the sandbox collectable bullshits and maxing the character up to almost all the skills, that there's no way in hell I'd be willing to replay this from the start.

I wonder how much I can trade it in for?

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: Azazel on September 12, 2011, 07:04:08 AM
So. 19 months later and I've picked this up again. Mostly out of a feeling that I really should finish up some of these damned games before starting new ones. Gotten a few more missions in, though I'm quote aware that I need to earn a bajillion more points from side missions in order to purchase the last strength skill in order to have half a chance of finishing the final boss fight (though from reading about it, I figure I'm just as likely to quit forever once I get to it).

The inertia still sucks, you can't control where you're running properly with all of the auto-lock-on-target+inertia. Still quite tedious. Challenges still vary between "how the fuck can that be done?"-hard and reasonably easy. On the positive, I do feel like going back to it, but more out of a wanting to finish the game than any particular enjoyment.

The parkour is still pretty well done, though, for the most part.

Title: Re: Prototype - Radical Entertainment - Xbox 360
Post by: Azazel on September 12, 2011, 07:04:58 AM
I think the best part of this game was the video cut scenes when you absorb someone's memories. Those where well done.

And yes, that's more than half of what's keeping me interested. Those are indeed well done.