Wot I Think: Prototype

By Alec Meer on June 16th, 2009 at 3:45 pm.

On sale now is the oft-delayed open-world anti-hero killathon by Radical Entertainment, they of the hugely enjoyable console romp The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. Prototype’s concept is similar, but it now stars a surly guy in a hoodie rather than the unjolly green giant. Promising an absurd level of mayhem and violence, can this possibly achieve the omnipotence it promises? Here’s my take on it. I even wore a hoodie while I wrote it.

“Do whatever you want” says the cackling devil on my shoulder, as I impale 40 people with bio-spikes then throw a lorry at a helicopter. “Anything“, it whispers, as I cleave a tank in half with my bare hands.

“No, you’re enjoying this too much” says the frowning angel on the other shoulder, as I’m knocked on my arse before I can reach my target again. “Do what you’re told”, it orders, as the game announces it’s turning off my superpowers for a while.

Angel? Devil? I’m not even sure which is which. Morality is non-existent in this game of mass, consequence-free killing, after all. All I know: half of Prototype wants me to have sustained, undiluted fun. The other half wants to keep that fun from me at all costs. This is a game that regularly strikes close an unprecedented degree of fantastical wish-fulfilment, but similarly seems determined to punish anyone with the temerity to play it.

It grants a slew of incredible powers, a sort of superhero greatest hits, then elects to remove most of them for an infuriating two hour stretch. It grants absurd amounts of health, and the ability to recharge it anywhere and anywhen, and then besieges you with so many knock-back attacks that you can barely hit half the stuff you’re supposed to. Prototype offers a sense of locomotion and destruction that gamers have bayed for for years (Crackdown and City of Heroes are the best touchstones here), then puts you in the shoes of a characterless, unsmiling goon based on some half-formed (prototype, even) idea of urban cool. It’s the game with two brains – and if only they’d been fused, this could have been one of gaming’s highest-ever watermarks.

We want the game that lets us do anything: it’s why GTA is so big. Against that is the problem of challenge: when there’s no serious obstacle to your crazed orgy of destruction, all that unbridled fun soon collapses into tedium. Prototype gives you the tools to pull a helicopter from the sky with a tentacle shot from your shoulder. Prototype gives you the tools to devour ten-foot monsters or to dropkick men into the horizon. Prototype gives you the tools to power-jump and glide across the length and breadth of New York in minutes. Prototype gives you the tools to assume the form of anyone you encounter. In free-roam mode, you can clock up jawdropping kill counts within moments, and become an unstoppable engine of carnage. But what then? How many tanks can you trash with a single elbow-drop from the top of a skyscraper before your interest wanes?

And so, Prototype understandably builds in purpose – a central campaign, telling the tale of the curiously unlikeable Alex Mercer and his similarly characterless comrades and enemies. There are bosses, there are daring chases and escapes, there are twists… It’s paperthin, but bar the relentlessly grim tone and Mercer’s disappasionate actor, it’s a workable enough loose structure for a game that’s only really about splatting people. He’s been infected with something dark and sinister, the military wants to kill him because of it, and meanwhile an even more ‘orrible strain of the malady is gradually spreading across the populace of New York, creating zombie-like creatures who also want to kill him.

Where this really works is in the effect of the tale upon the city – it begins as a crude Liberty City, wherein box-faced civilians bimble around doing nothing important and failing to react to anything, but as the infection spreads, turns into hell on earth. As Mercer glides across the skyline, screams echo up the concrete valleys, explosions and unearthly gas clouds flicker in the distance, while helicopters or hulking fleshbeasts will occasionally attempt to pull him to Earth. Many games – especially of late – have shown us the post-apocalypse. Prototype shows us the apocalypse itself, as it happens – this is an Armageddon simulator.

Perhaps that’s why its characters are so cold – this isn’t a game interested in hope or humanity. It’s only interested in decay and destruction. And punching a man clear through the chest then absorbing the bloody remnants of his body into yours, of course. This is a remarkably brutal game, though I didn’t realise quite how gruesome it was until I saw the screenshots – freeze-framed moments of the horror I was causing. At the time – well, I was just doing it. It’s why I’m here. I didn’t notice, didn’t even think that I was killing. I’m not sure I ever do, really – I’m either removing an obstacle or pressing a button to watch a man-shaped collection of pixels dance spectacularly.

Anyway, that’s another, well-trodden argument – the point is that Prototype takes its carnage very seriously indeed. To that end, there is very little colour and zero humour. The end of the world is hardly a happy place, but the dispassionate bleakness becomes wearying. As soon as you drop down from that birds-eye view of the end of the world, New York becomes an unwaveringly dreary city. Its cheek is entirely without tongue – which seems a terrible shame, given the open insanity of what you get up to in the game. The billboards advertising medicines in a time of bio-horror, the pedestrians failing to even blink at a man with a sword for an arm plunging towards them from the skies, that the areas of the city still free from infection seem oblivious to the fact there’s a zombie outbreak a block away, the fact Mercer is dressed like middle-class Britain’s bogeyman of the hour…

It all goes unremarked on, and even just a touch of GTA-esque satire would have made it an infinitely more characterful game. Its mechanics of movement and violence are glorious, but stylistically it’s hard to call it anything other than a failure. Additionally, jittery controls and and a cavalcade of pointless “are you sure?” pop-ups in the menus will do little to endear it to PC gamers convinced consoles are a halfwit blight upon the gaming landscape. It’s true this isn’t the most loving port, but really, on a technical level it’s all fine, and the controls eventually feel more natural.

Just as well, as there’s a lot of controls. As it wears on, your powers will escalate to godlike levels – able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, roundhouse kick a helicopter out of the skies, take down entire armies in a single move… The unbridled power is glorious, ludicrous and, much of the time, an entirely adequate substitute for the game’s absent charm. Follow the core missions, however, and it’ll do everything it can to undermine this omnipotence. In the late game, you’re knocked infuriatingly off your feet every other second, while there’s a clutch of bosses so punishing and grindy they prevented me from having a single good thing to say about the game when I first attempted this write-up yesterday.

One, a mammoth slug/anus creature who takes over Times Square, seems to have been designed by a guy thinking “oh, there’s still a chance the player might be having even a tiny bit of fun here. Let’s add an insta-kill attack. Nope, he’s still smiling. How about infinitely respawning henchmen? Hmm. Let’s throw in homing rockets. Huh. Alright, make most of Mercer’s hard-earned powers useless against the boss. And then make him repeat the fight three times. There! That’s it! There is absolutely no chance whatsoever that he’ll enjoy even a millisecond of this encounter. My work here is done.”

The angel and the devil. That a game can be so much fun and yet so jawdroppingly cruel makes little sense – I would guess it was the problems inherent in finding a compromise between omnipotence and true challenge. Prototype is one of gaming’s all-time greatest playgrounds for sure, a veritable ode to obliteration. A more individual art approach and an acceptance that most people who play it want to mash buttons and watch amazing things happen would have elevated it to one of the best experiences of the year.

As it is, I can gladly recommend it to anyone curious to see what action games are like when they do earnestly try to grant their players’ every wish. You’ll have fun. You probably won’t remember it a year hence, for better or for worse. You may walk away from it after one too many frustrated goes at one of the vertical-learning-curve bosses. But, God help you, when you make Mercer erupt into a hundred 50-foot spikes that instantly dismember anyone within range, you’ll have fun.

Oh yeah – the lack of multiplayer of any kind is absolutely criminal.

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189 Comments »

  1. Noerart says:

    note to self… there is a quote tag for a reason… and who nicked the edit..?

  2. Dominic White says:

    Think of Alex Mercer as more like a miniature Godzilla. Morally neutral, but so ridiculously powerful that destruction follows in his wake. Even if you’re trying carefully not to hurt people, you will. But at the same time, you’re going to be saving the city – it’s just not going to be pretty.

    There are some actually rather good plot reasons for this morally-detached destruction though. There’s actually some fairly nice elements to the plot that most people ignore/gloss over.

  3. Turin Turambar says:

    “click the right button of the mouse a few times” is not a QTE.

  4. Sunjammer says:

    I think it’s bloody awesome. Call me a terrible person but i LIKE seeing new york covered in decay, panic, death and ruthlessness. I think the mood is amazing. I even like the throwaway plot, because it’s just so damn bleak.

    I was a giant fan of Radical’s Ultimate Destruction game, and this is like that on steroids. I think it’s absolutely killer entertainment.

  5. Taillefer says:

    @Noerart

    Aha. I always forget there are actual “Achievements” in many games. I’m only on PC and I’ve never really paid much attention to them. Completing the game without killing any civilians would certainly be hard, yes. I was actually going to attempt it next play through before I knew it was an official thing, heh.

  6. Sunjammer says:

    Perhaps it is worth adressing that i too find the story missions all kinds of bollocks. I just run around and fuck around. It’s amazing.

    Also, it runs well on my computer, which is absurd. It runs better than Sims 3.

  7. Dominic White says:

    The ‘nice guy’ achievement is actually for consuming less than 10 civillians. I’m fairly sure it’s impossible to not kill anybody, as they’re apparently suicidal. Hilariously so.

    Apparently when the zombie mutant apocalypse comes, New York cabbies will become the second-greatest threat to life on earth, as they will not stop at ANYTHING to get their fare where they want to be. Even when Times Square is a cordoned off safezone, packed with black-ops military troops, and surrounded by mutant monsters, those cabbies will still try to get people to the Hard Rock Cafe.

    It’s side-splittingly funny to watch those guys sometimes. I once saw a single cab power-slide through two civililans, three zombies and a soldier with a missile launcher.

  8. Sunjammer says:

    Gah i’m drunk, sorry about the multiposts. But Alex is a total dick. And that’s why i morph into an old lady for most of my destructive escapades. He is a total villain. I think it’s cool that a game allows you to be not an anti-hero, but a complete bastard villain altogether. He terrifies his own sister at one point. There is nothing good about him.

    One anecdote. In the middle of a fight, i just grab whoever is in front of me and take them somewhere relatively quiet to devour them. Most of the time they just yell incessantly and in the cacophony of explosions and monster roars that’s easily ignored. Once, however, i grabbed some old woman and as i’m stopping to eat her alive, she whimpers “you’re hurting me”. And i instantly wished for a way to simply put her down. Hulk: UD was vicious, but it let you at least let people go if you wanted to. In Prototype, the one way you can let go of anyone is at 300mph into the horizon.

    I wonder if that’s sort of a point of the game. I had been murdering thousands. And here’s this one woman making me feel incredibly bad for doing it without caring.

  9. Kadayi says:

    This game did just kind of just sneak out there (I thought it was a while off yet tbh). Would you say its a must have purchase, or an of the moment can wait till its in the 2 for £25 section?

  10. manintheshack says:

    Who knew the RPS community was so jam-packed with scruples? Am I the only one here to launch an old woman from the top of a skyscraper just to see if I could race her back down?

    I’m thoroughly enjoying fulfilling my sinister King Kong fantasies. Grabbing a civilian whilst dodging a thousand bullets and taking them somewhere quiet to snack on is deeply satisfying.

    Also, dropping several hundred feet with the sole intention of crushing some poor sod in their car is a lovely way to pass the time.

    I have to say that Prototype has given me more joy in the first couple of hours than GTA 4 did for the entire duration. It’s a refreshing change from the overwrought stylings of that increasingly annoying series. The morally corupt sandbox actioner lives again!

  11. Funky Badger says:

    Challenge for the group: launch a civilian – or even better, a cop – off a High Place, then base jump after them and catch before they hit the ground.

  12. TheSombreroKid says:

    I’d like to say from someone who’s done most of the game but not finnished it yet that so far i disagree with a lot of what alex said.
    However i can totally see that if i came up against any boss battles that were like the ones i’ve already done but were longer, i’d quickly grow to dislike the game.

    The super hunter or whatever it was called particularly grates because the whole game up until that point has been about exploring the tactical opertunities of your vast array of moves and the super hunter turns round and says “if you use any except the one i’m thinking of, that you may or may not of unlocked, i’m going to smack you down for even thinking the rules of the game learned thus far apply to ME!!!!!”

  13. TheSombreroKid says:

    ohh btw i meant to add that i find the story telling technique a refreshing stab at non linear story telling and in that respect is one of the best examples of it there is, despite being a bit vauge and boring.

  14. Aubrey says:

    Hmm. I just used devastators a lot. Run into the alleys, juice up, run up a building, devastate from the sky. Definitely got grindey, but I dunno. I just really like the combat and how much variety there is to it. It’s possible to spam the same moves over and over, and render the game dull to yourself. If this is happening to you, I suggest trying things you haven’t yet. Took me ages to even realize there was an X,X,Y/X,Y,X style combo system, where each attack can be individually charged. There’s lots of wonderful little subtleties. Chain grappling is pretty fun (grab a human, get in the air, press Y, tap left trigger if you like, for some impromptu bullet time, press B to grab the guy you just pile-drove, and then you do it all over again). Unfortunately, I don’t think you can pile drive->grab->throw. The pile driver into a grab forces the chain piledriver on you. Maybe there was an exploit to that? Otherwise, seems a minor inconsistency.

  15. malkav11 says:

    I love the Web of Intrigue cutscenes. Unfortunately, the main story cutscenes have been little more than peculiarly truncated mission briefings thus far.

    And for what it’s worth, Hulk: UD was full of really annoying missile knockdown attacks too. It provoked considerable swearing from me on a couple of missions. And it was still a glorious, glorious game. One which lacked lovely things like eating people. So I’m confident Prototype will pan out in the long run.

  16. undead dolphin hacker says:

    Prototype is one of gaming’s all-time greatest playgrounds for sure, a veritable ode to obliteration.

    Yeah, no. Go play Red Faction: Guerilla. You have to wait til August if you insist on playing it on the PC, but come on, we all know you’ve got an XBox 360 or PS3 that you keep behind a secret wall. It’s OK, we forgive you. Most of anything interesting these days is coming out on the consoles anyway.

  17. Wulf says:

    Prototype isn’t so much of a game…

    [i]It’s therapy.[/i]

    For those days when you lose all faith in mankind, and the last bit of optimism for the good in people has been wrung out, and you despair at the cruel complexities of the World… there’s always Alex Mercer, waiting with a bastard’s grin and a merry willingness and readiness to fling some fancy-dressed yuppie off the top of a skyscraper.

    [i]Look at that Earthcancer fly![/i]

    And yes, I’m just honest about it. More games like this, please.

  18. Wulf says:

    Oh, whoops, wrong kinds of tags, damn!

  19. Evil Timmy says:

    I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve put into Prototype. There are certainly some frustrating bits, especially with mouse+keyboard, but the side missions and enjoyable variety in combat keep it from being really annoying. The Greene battle was supremely easy for me with the aerial spikes, just consume a hunter, jump nearby, and the little tentacles are half gone with one Devastator. If I found the combat getting a bit samey, I’d just switch to a new set of powers and it’s instantly fun again, like Crysis taken to an insane extreme. A sequel, with new powers and a more non-linear main story, would be awesome. But more than anything, the sheer madness and over-the-top action of the game are a refreshing change.

  20. Unlucky Irish says:

    Currently playing this on the 360 and I have to admit that there are some seriously frustrating aspects to it. The boss fights all essential seem to be the same, run around and throw random detritus at which ever uber-nasty you’re up against.
    The writing and direction of the main cut-scenes are awful. a prime example being an early one which is meant to convey your sisters disgust at the fact you’ve killed more people that a particularly motivated Harold Shipman, but it just comes across as intense sexual tension between the siblings. Admittedly this would have been a much more interesting and surreal take the relationship than the ridiculous amount of unqualified loyalty Dana and Alex show for each other, particularly puzzling concidering one is a certified sociopath.
    Another annoyance is the fact that the “Web of Intrigue” and Consume event devourees often turn up in heavily infected parts of the city; so by the time you make you way to them they have usually been eviscerated by a passing Hunter. This is extremely annoying and leads to may a rage quit.
    However, the single most frustrating thing about the game is the fact that the player seems to have very little effect on the environment, it’s like the game doesn’t even care that your there. Alex is meant to be this cluster-fuck incarnate, the kind of guy that makes Norse Gods feel slightly inadequate, yet all the damage you do Manhattan is reset minutes later. Hives and Military bases spring back into existence after you destroy them, streets repopulate, buildings go undamaged and Infected, Marines and Blackwatch troops always appear no matter how many you’ve previously killed. After creating the biggest mess imaginable it’s a tad galling to have it quickly and quietly cleared up before your eyes when all you want is some attention.

  21. Unlucky Irish says:

    This being said; the game does feature the world best Leather Jacket, ever.

  22. Gabe McGrath says:

    Hmm, I’m a long time RPS reader, but a very infrequent commenter, so I think I’d better start with a couple of caveats.

    1. No, I haven’t played this game.
    2. No, I’m not here to troll. (I wouldn’t have typed in real information in the info boxes if that was the case, would I?)

    OK. Deep breath.

    I watched the trailer of this game, and I find parts of it pretty sickening.

    I grew up playing Doom, Duke3D, Half Life, GTA3, etc… so it’s not like I only play Solitaire. I just wonder if it’s necessary (as seen in the trailer) to be able to “skateboard” another human being along the ground with realistic grisly results?

    I love the “open world” ability to do interesting things, but personally I don’t feel the need to kill/maim/eviscerate with such an incredible degree of realism & glee.

    I can see that (in this comment thread) I’m in the minority. I know my thoughts on Prototype will not dissuade “the fans” – and likewise… their enthusiasm is not going to change my feelings. I just wanted to say my bit.

    Thanks RPS – for the chance to have a decent discussion about aspects of our favourite hobby.

  23. Thiefsie says:

    Well.. not much to comment as I haven’t played this.. but Ninja Gaiden stands out singularly in my mind as a hard game as it is the only one that is soooo damned hard, yet soooo damned good. You don’t ever feel ripped off and honestly are completely satisfied that you are using skill to win, and also being beaten by legit moves/tactics.

    If prototype is anything like that I will love it.

    I dunno what it is but Ninja Gaiden nailed it totally, 2 got close, but nothing else has really come close, except for DMC 3 maybe but with that godawful music and emo story I can’t force myself to play through it.

  24. Simon says:

    IMHO, Prototype is nothing like Ninja Gaiden. The complexity/difficulty of the combat doesn’t compare. If you’re looking for a NG/DMC/etc type game, this isn’t it.

  25. malkav11 says:

    Red Faction: Guerrilla is a brilliant game. The new GeoMod engine is something that should be copied widely. But you are not a superpowered walking death machine in it. You are a regular guy with some homebrew explosives and a railgun or two. And you can die -so- fast it’s not even funny. Especially when the EDF is spawning 8 turret cars per second on you. So as full of splodey goodness as it is, I don’t feel that it reaches the insane playground of delights that Prototype is at its best. I also have to mark it down for not being able to eat people.

    I may yet change my mind when I am further in both games, but it’s not seeming likely.

  26. TheSombreroKid says:

    @Gabe McGrath

    i think if you played it you’d see that, at least to my mind, this game is much less graphic that GTA ever was, because the approach is so fantasy as alex said the people are little more than health packs, you don’t see them as human and grinding them on the floor is just another way of getting a kill while avoiding the hellish knockback.

    @Thiefsie
    The key difference is that when prototype works like ninja gaiden it’s easy, too easy maybe, and to make it hard they remove all the tactics and force you to endure a war of attrition against an enemy that will only accept 1 attack that does more damage than a slither and to do this you have to get your health bar up to full by eating other monsters while he pleasantly smacks you down every time you try, and the game doesn’t tell you what you’re not allowed to do until after you’ve taken damage for trying it, despite being taught for several hours the benifits of a whole range of moves you could use.

  27. Thiefsie says:

    Fair enough. That sounds like you are expected by trial and error to figure things out… which is of course maddening most of the time. I’ll still check this out when i get some $$$. The carnage sounds like fun regardless… though I think I’ll be plugging in my x360 controller to play this on PC.

    Does anyone know whether Infamous compare favourably or not to Prototype??

  28. Mr.President says:

    Aaaw, does the lady you’re pulling a Darth Vader on in the 3rd screenshot have cartoonish stars circling around her head? This is so cutesy; I thought the game was supposed to be sombre and grim.

  29. Danny says:

    Even the mindless killing of pedestriants and throwing with cars and roof ventilators becomes boring after a few hours. Sure, you can hunt down all the landmarks, challenges and game tips there are in he game for exp so you can get more powers, but after that there’s just the missions you write about – which indeed come out as not only frustrating but also kind of trivial.

    But then again, handing a general whoop-ass to innocents is oh so rewarding after a long day at work!

  30. Ashurbanipal says:

    Aaaw, does the lady you’re pulling a Darth Vader on in the 3rd screenshot have cartoonish stars circling around her head? This is so cutesy; I thought the game was supposed to be sombre and grim.

    No, actually. That’s a quest marker hilariously out of place.

    I’ve only played a few hours of this game, but I’ve savoured every moment. The mayhem is just so satisfying. Occasionally I’ll decide I’m sick of evading authorities and start throwing cars at civillians. It does nothing; I know I don’t even get an xp boost. But it’s so fun and satisfying that I’ll do it anyway. I’ve not had so much fun mucking about like this for a very long time. It’s also very much a console beast, so the fact that it’s even on PC makes me infinitely grateful.

    I’ll add that I’ve yet to encounter a bossfight so I might like it significantly less enthusiastic about it later. And I’m quite happy to forgive the control scheme, and think I’ve adapted to some of its idiosyncrasies (air-dashing was troublesome for a time). So far it’s everything I expected it to be.

  31. no says:

    Wow. Not buying a game because the wife will complain about the violence? Remind me NEVER to get married.

  32. The Sombrero Kid says:

    I should say that i love the game cause i don’t think that comes across lol, and a gamepad is a must, i’m not going to say a 360 controller cause i’m not a monopolist but it is what i use.

  33. DMJ says:

    Looks entertaining, but it also looks like it’s going to get a worse sequel.

    It always works this way. The men in suits look at the game and think “Hmm, just think how many projection-positive-plus units this SKU would move off-shelf to our core demographic if it didn’t have all these stupid, expensive, innovative features scaring off Joe Sixpack!” and promptly send out an order for more of the stuff they like.

  34. Pemptus says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed the game. The controls (mouse+keyboard) were precise and fluid enough, gliding and running up buildings never got old and combat was varied and properly over the top. Hell, I even liked the bosses. I died a couple of times, sure, but never rage-quitted because of them. They kept me on my toes – parkouring around crazy fast while constantly looking for a way to effectively hurt them was FUN. Even the Greene tentacle blob – skillfully avoiding the green stun orbs IN THE AIR and successfully coming down with a tremendous drop attack? Satisfying.

    And I *like* the bleakness of it all. GTA-style fratboy humour would ruin it. I *like* the characterlessness of Alex – it fits him (it?) nicely in this particular situation.

    It’s not to say the game’s without its flaws, but its good parts greatly overshadow them. And its AWESOME parts repeatedly elbow drop ‘em from a skyscraper. Nuff said.

  35. Jazmeister says:

    Tei said:

    “You are half-beowulf, half-grendel.”

    That… that is awesome. Now I want to play a game called beoGRENDEL.

  36. -Spooky- says:

    Wife update 2.0 ftw! j/k ..

    @Topic
    Compares to GTA | Crackdown and other open world games are totaly useless imo. PT is a very nice game, with easy learning controls (X360 pad) and very nice combos. :D

    Jumping around the city, grab ppl on the move, throw them across the whole street. Use the devastator moves to destroy the everything around you.. Come on!

    When you like mature comics and good b movies, this game is for you. Fo´sure!

  37. Demikaze says:

    I have to agree with the truncated mission briefings. There were quite a few moments during a mission briefing where Alex would say something along the lines of ‘[insert name here], he is the key! We must find him!”. I’d never heard this person refered to in the previous mission. It just came out of nowhere – and it wasn’t signalled by a Web of Intrigue target, no flashback memory, nothing. All the briefings seem to come out of the blue with no foreshadowing.

    Yet, the gameplay is great. You’re given an ourtrageous toolset – yes, there are abilities and moves more powerful than others, but I think you need to approach the game playfully and really mix-up your moves and skills to get the most out of it. It really is more of a playground than a lot of other games. You have to experiment or I can imagine it would get a bit dull. And the mission design / design choices seem to be against this idea of ‘play’ in some fundamental areas. And those complaining about the Elizabeth Greene boss fight, yes, it’s possible to take her down, but it’s pain-staking and irritating. It’s not that difficult; it’s just bad design to have a boss fight than can last over 20 minutes. But to also have the boss use the same attacks the entire time rather than have different phases, such as morphing into another mode, or something along those lines, is even worse. Where’s the satisfaction?

    It’s a very schizophrenic game and consequently my feelings towards it are as equally contrary.

  38. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i see it as assassins creed meets devil may cry.

    thin open world with polished streamlined getting around and very little thinly veiled mechanics with devil may cry combat and ludicrous story.

  39. JKjoker says:

    im surprised nobody mentioned the game’s tendency of having you run through half the city every freaking mission, yeah its a LOT of fun on the beginning and you can spice it a little by pulling the shield or the armor out or just jumping building to building or jacking a heli but after a few hours it got really really boring, was it that necessary not to make you start the “new day” right next to the “mission giver” ?

    another thing nobody mentioned, lack of enemy variety, the military could at least TRY some new weapons every now and then after you killed thousands of them, it takes them half the game just to get detectors and heavy tanks out

    but i have to say i really loved the caos you can witness and create in the game, i feel that if they had spent a little more time with the AI and adding a little more variety this would have been in my top5 of all time

  40. Noerart says:

    @Dominic White: ah right, sorry. My memory != good – sometimes.

    (pretty late reply, but what the heck…)

  41. Thermal Ions says:

    Sounds like what I feel is the pointlessness of it when I see my son playing a game completely through in god/cheat mode.

  42. Mman says:

    “im surprised nobody mentioned the game’s tendency of having you run through half the city every freaking mission, yeah its a LOT of fun on the beginning and you can spice it a little by pulling the shield or the armor out or just jumping building to building or jacking a heli but after a few hours it got really really boring, was it that necessary not to make you start the “new day” right next to the “mission giver” ?”

    You can literally cross the entire city in a few minutes, and that’s without a helicopter; most sandbox games make travelling between points far slower than that.

  43. JKjoker says:

    making you waste 5 minutes instead of 10 doesnt make it fun

  44. Jeremy says:

    I enjoyed it much more when I found Agnes.

  45. Tei says:

    He… I have played with Agnes too!… how amazing. Yea, is a face you can’t forget.

  46. sana says:

    Complaining about the work done on porting Prototype to the PC? Really?
    Holy fuck people, Prototype loads, runs and works SO much better than all those PC titles you praise so much.

  47. Hax Medroom says:

    I feel like the core gameplay and the rest of the game were developed by entirely different dev teams. The actual base game is solid and consistently fun, but the rest gets worse as you go on – the main missions thus far are fun but sometimes have bits of frustration in there, and the side missions, almost all the same, are almost all exercises in utter frustration (and this is prior to unlocking platinum challenges).

    Some of that is by design but other parts are due to the port being unaltered in terms of goals. One side missions, Aerial Assault, is a good example. In it, you need to shoot down as many helis as possible. On the 360, you hit next target button, shoot, and repeat. On the PC, you have to look at a target, hit tab, hope it picks the right target, fire if it does and repeat. The controls don’t work the same and it makes challenges like this much harder rather than making them easier.

  48. Wulf says:

    Some thoughts after playing the game further…

    Earlier today I had a random urge after reading the comments the last time, and I’m a nosey parker so I dragged out my Xbox for Windows pad and plugged it in.

    The horror… The horror…

    The gamepad controls are an abomination, an attrocity, abhorrent, abnormally abstract and alien, have abandone accuracy, would require an altered-state of awareness, and are just plain bloody awful.

    I find myself saddened by this too because it came as a real shock to me, as having played it with the keyboard & mouse thus far, I’d enjoyed a game which was the exact opposite of what a gamepad provided: I had accuracy, I had no targeting or throwing issues, I had no problems with running angles or specific jumping, and I’d found parts of the game easy that others had complained about.

    It got to the point where I was wondering if all of those complaining about controls were playing a different game, as I was having a marvellous time.

    What occurs to me is how many PC gamers would’ve spotted what they’d have thought of as a ‘console port’ and would’ve reached for a pad before even bothering to give the keyboard & mouse controls a fair go (big mistake), and it has to be said that I feel sorry for those poor bastards who bought this for the consoles and have no choice but to play it with that nasty pad implementation.

    When people talk about control issues, I see where they’re coming from now, and it’s honestly stunning as where I kept fumbling with the pad, even just to put on a bloody disguise whilstin the middle of a glide, I found intuitive and natural with the controls I was using before. I mean, really, one would have to be ambidextrous to reach for the D-pad whilst gliding or running. What bloody stupid controls!

    To PC gamers: I ask you to trust me this once, if you never do on anything again. Try the keyboard & mouse controls and turn targeting toggle on. You’ll never have another problem with playing the game.

    If this tells me anything though, it’s that despite the visuals regarding quick-selecting powers and such, this was obviously designed to be a PC game, played with PC controls, and when I tried that experiment today, it became painfully obvious. This is a PC game that was ported to consoles. Don’t believe it? Just try what I asked.

    The other thing I’ve noticed is how well crafted the city is, there’s a lot of variety and I’ve had exploring it. Some of the buildings are beautiful and architectural wonders, earlier on I actually ran around every block in the game just to take it all in. And I’ve done a lot of running around before too, I’ve got a good amount of the landmark orbs already.

    I’m going to call bluffs here, in my opinion, anyone who thinks this game looks dull must fall into one of four categories.

    1.) They have their settings so low that things look like shit, this applies to every game.

    2.) They’re bitter about the controls and/or how it ran on their computer, but they don’t want to seem too obvious with hating it, so they’ll pick other stock and generic complaints just to “Tell it as it is, mang!”, and stick it to the game.

    3.) They aren’t easily inspired and probablly don’t have an artistic shred within the fibre of their being.

    4.) They saw it running on a friend’s console which is more powerful than their computer (look at the info Steam collected) and they got machine envy, and bitterly wish to live in a World where consoles that can outmanoeuvre their PCs simply didn’t exist.

    Yes, I’m calling people out on that because Prototype looks stunning, and the sheer variety of types of building and architectural wonders puts most city-based games to shame and happily rivals the likes of GTA IV.

    Plus, there’s still no experience quite as gratifying as picking up some rich and well-off looking yuppie, heading to the top of a building, and then with a careful throw literally skipping their bodies over a set of even rooftops.

    Who needs real World violence when they have that to unwind with?

  49. Mman says:

    “On the PC, you have to look at a target, hit tab, hope it picks the right target, fire if it does and repeat.”

    You can just hold tab and the game auto-targets (I’m guessing that works on the console version too).