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PC, Playstation 3, XBox 360

Reviewed on: PC

Radical Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Rated: "M" for Mature

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

Remember when just being open-world was enough to make a game unique? My how times have changed huh? Now-a-days it seems like every other game on the shelf has its own sprawling world to explore. Nowadays, an open-world game has to be unique and offer us something different to garner any kind of attention.

Enter The Prototype. Ermm..Kinda…

Activision’s latest open-world title is heavy on action, destruction and strangely familiar game mechanics.  There’s a lot to like here -- at times. When handled right, the game is a blast, but all too often that fun gets dragged down by fidgety controls, repetitive missions and unpolished gameplay.

Prototype places you in the role of one Alex Mercer, a New Yorker who wakes up on the autopsy table with no recollection of how he got there. Presumed dead, Mercer flees the underground lab and soon realizes that not only has he gained super strength, speed and agility, but he can also shape-shift into anyone he consumes (read: obliterates). Herein lies Prototype’s first problem - upon discovering his new abilities, Mercer seems mildly surprised. Now, I don’t know about you, but if I found out that I could shape shift into literally anyone, I’d be a bit more excited. Luckily, most of the voice cast does a more impressive job than our protagonist.

"’ll be able to go about these missions in multiple ways.."


Your job in Prototype is not just to find out what happened to you – but, in the wake of a quickly spreading monster-virus, save the city as well.  The missions, which nine times out of ten are of the typical go here and destroy this or go there and kill this person, will take you throughout much of an impressive New York City.  Luckily, you’ll be able to go about these missions in multiple ways – from run and gun to stealth. Now, this isn’t a completely realistic New York (I don’t recall running into a sprawling military base in the middle of Manhattan), you’ll find yourself running into landmarks like Central Park, Rockefeller Center and The Empire State Building.  The whole New York City setting is getting a bit old, but it’s forgivable when it’s done so well.

Sure, your ultimate goal is to find out what happened, save the city and all that jazz – but let’s be honest; you’re in no hurry to do that. I’ve always thought that the true goal of any open-world game is to be the biggest douche-bag you can be, and Prototype doesn’t disappoint.  Most everything from the cars right down to the buildings are interactive and at your disposal. Try not to laugh as you assume the shape of an old lady, grab someone and run them straight to the top of the Empire State Building, only to throw them right off. The developers were even kind enough to include a tally at the end of each “level” that shows just how much money you’ve cost the military. I often found myself ignoring my objectives to try and create a bigger tally than last time. The best moments in Prototype channel those of the GTA series – you wonder “Can I do this?” and then giggle with destructive joy as you realize you can.

"’re pulling off acrobatic maneuvers and insane combos."


For the most part, the controls in Prototype are what you’d expect them to be, and feel quite natural. In fact, at the very beginning of the game you’ll be thrown into a hectic level where you get to play with an all but maxed-out Mercer and though you’ve presumably never touched the game before, you’re pulling off acrobatic maneuvers and insane combos. Much of that can be attributed to an innovative “run” button that makes movement so fluid it can feel like a rail-shooter at times.  This all may seem like it would make the game too easy – but Prototype does a decent job throwing enough curveballs at you to keep things interesting.

Prototype may not be the prettiest game – in fact some of the character models are downright embarrassing – but it does have an interesting art style to it. As you’ll see in the tutorial level I spoke of earlier, a mixture of the virus affecting New York and the Government’s efforts to contain it have caused the city to look eerie hazy and red, which happens very gradually as you go through the game. The game doesn’t feature realistic graphics, but at the same time, they’re not cartoony – the game finds a respectable middle ground with its graphical style.

I’ve never been as conflicted as to whether to recommend a game or not as I am with Prototype. It’s glitchy, cheap and unpolished – but damn is it fun. Even though it’s not as good as it should have been – Prototype could be that game that gets you through the long summer gaming drought, as long as you don’t set your expectations too high. 



CHEATS USED: Unlock All Abilities, Evolution Points, Modify Game Speed

Cheats in open-world games are often very predictable – you’ve got your unlimited health, ammo and vehicle cheats; but Prototype adds special abilities to the mix and as a result – the cheats rival that of the Grand Theft Auto series.

Prototype truly comes closest to reaching its potential when you start unlocking abilities and powers – which because of some of the cheap gameplay, could take a while. Using the cheats found in the trainer, you can unlock all the abilities, along with a slew of evolution points (the game’s version of experience points).  You truly feel unstoppable after using these cheats.

What I didn’t expect I’d enjoy as much as I did was the time slow down cheat. There’s some pretty cool destruction in Prototype and watching it unfold in all of its cinematic glory is truly something special.



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