Intern Matt Noyes takes over Manhattan in this sandbox video game.
Publisher: Activision, Radical Entertainment
Release date: June 9, 2009
Game Systems: XBox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
About a year ago, everybody who pays attention to video games was wowed by what was unveiled at E3, or Electronic Entertainment Expo. One such unveiling was for a game dubbed “Prototype,” the plot for which was kept in shadows. It depicted a hooded man leaping impossible heights, unleashing brutal powers in the form of shape-shifting, running up the sides of skyscrapers and pulling giant spikes from under the ground to impale everything nearby. It looked to be a magnificent, earth-shaking deity among future games. We pray so hard for games to be awesome that we refuse to believe that they could be turds. This is almost the case with “Prototype.”
As I spoke with the clerk behind the desk at GameStop about “Prototype” and how much fun I was bound to have with it even if the graphics were less than spot-on, I was happy. As I booted it up and a devastatingly chaotic (and difficult) epilogue level spilled out of my TV at me, I was a little agitated by the near-vertical learning curve. Right off the bat, the game throws tanks and helicopters, monsters and zombies, and an endless supply of military personnel at you and expects you to immediately be the genetically enhanced weapon of mass destruction that you are in the game. But you are.
Enter Alex Mercer, a malevolent-looking extra from the set of a Michael Jackson (R.I.P.) video. He’s got more issues than a newsstand and one whopper of a case of amnesia. Luckily, all of his sweet powers make “Prototype” a genuinely fun game once you get the hang of it. (Beware: My thumbs hurt very badly by the end of my first day.) Even so, I wanted to keep destroying Manhattan. Being capable of annihilating an entire armored cavalry platoon makes for compelling gameplay. Also, the story isn’t half-bad. It’s maybe 20 percent bad, with an utterly dreadful supporting cast of dim-bulb sisters, dramatic one-armed generals and Sergeant Nick Fury-gone-evil RoboCop. The combat is immersive, boss battles epic and the world is large. And it feels a little unfinished, and fighting isn’t exactly comprehensive. But I liked it.
Photo courtesy of IGN.com.
Matt Noyes is a TulsaPeople editorial intern. Have a video game you’d like him to review? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.