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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Prototype - New Zombie-ish Game Hands-On Review

Not hands-on by me, I'm afraid. But has one of the best reviews I have read. It's thorough, tells a little about the story, and a lot about the game play. Because let's be honest, zombies or not, if the gameplay stinks who's going to buy it? Written by Wesley Yin-Poole, the original review as well as screen shots and video can be found here. Below, I have "borrowed" some of the key elements of the review. But, again, I encourage you to head over there and read the entire thing!

Alex “hoodie” Mercer, Prototype’s emo protagonist, can not only do all the open world stuff that you’d expect, like scaling skyscrapers like a squirrel on speed and leaping off of them like a monkey with wings, and can not only do all the superhero stuff you’d expect, like slicing soldiers with Wolverine-like claws and chucking tanks at helicopters like The Incredible Hulk, but he can consume his enemies, too.

Alex’s ability to consume is what makes Prototype stand out in the packed open world crowd. Not only is it a cool thing to do in of itself, but it sprinkles some variety on the traditional go anywhere do anything gameplay. Consume a soldier, for example, and Alex’s DNA will rewrite itself T-1000 style so that he looks exactly like that soldier. He’s then able to walk about undetected among the very people who are after his genetically altered derriere. In fact, given that there’s a detection system in place that shows you how close you are to being sniffed out, you might say that there’s more than a little Metal Gear Solid in Prototype.

The game opens with a tutorial that sees him enjoying the use of many of his super powers, including razor sharp claws, a devastating ground pound and the raising of spikes from underneath the city concrete, in a packed Times Square. The city is devastated, overrun by feral zombie-like creatures spawned from a mutagenic virus. The Black Watch, a shady special wing of the military, is desperately trying to contain them.

This being an open world game, you can choose to follow the main story missions, take on side missions that give you the evolution points needed to upgrade or go off the beaten track and just smash the crap out of tanks and helicopters and put as many craters in the concrete as you can muster. Causing mindless, thrilling mayhem will, we imagine, be what consumes most of our time with Prototype.

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