User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Prototype (Xbox 360)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
81
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
2.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pixelspeech (955)
Written on  :  Jul 11, 2011
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Summary

Interesting for a few hours, but dull when taken as a whole

The Good

I like it how the story is told by Alex Mercer consuming the people who have information regarding the situation, it's a new and interesting way to tell people a complex conspiracy-story in a way that makes it easier for the audience to keep up. They also gave Alex Mercer amnesia to minimize the amount of story told through actual dialogue and after completing a set of missions we get a cut-scene where Alex talks to some guy who sounds like the Combine from Half-life about everything that was discovered during those missions.

The way Alex moves is fast and stylish, the way he jumps from building to building, dashes through the air and walks on walls is amazing to see and it looks like a movie until you realize that you are holding a controller and doing all that stuff yourself. It's also a lot faster than in other sandbox games like Crackdown 2 where you have to climb each individual building, Alex can just run up that thing in seconds and doesn't have to plan each jump, fearing that he might mess up and have to climb back up all over again.

I just love to consume people and then walk around disguised as them, this allows you to walk among the people or right into enemy bases, it is probably meant to be a tactical thing, but I mostly just used it to mess around and have forty year old women jump down skyscrapers. I understand you can also use it to take over military commanders which can call in air-strikes, but I never figured out how that is supposed to work and I never really needed it.

The Bad

There is just no challenge anywhere in this game, there was one sequence right at the start where I had to fight several hunters with only my fists and the first weapons you can use, but you pretty much keep fighting the same enemies throughout the entire story while you keep unlocking new ways to deal with them more effectively. I also ran into a "Leader Hunter" which was a stronger version of normal Hunters, but that wasn't really something new nor did it matter anymore because the game was pretty much nearing the end at that point.

You have a ton of powers which you unlock as the story progresses; giant fists, blades, tentacles and so on. This may sound like something positive, but there is no reason to use more than two of them; one to deal with Tanks and one to deal with pretty much everything else. I never really had an urge to be creative with how I deal with my enemies, even more so since the button used to switch powers is broken on my controller. Here is my advice: Take the fist power and the blade power at the start of the game and you can play the entire game using just those.

You have to do the same side-quests over and over again in order to unlock points which are needed to upgrade your powers and tricks like air-dashing. These side-quests always involve killing a certain amount of enemies under a special condition or racing, none of which are really interesting because you do both of those things all the time only without a time limit. The real missions are a little bit more interesting, but most of them are pretty much the same ones every sandbox game has done (chase this, kill that target, defend this etc.).

The city doesn't really seem to give a damn that at the point where I stopped playing almost 50% of the population was dead, they just walked around and thought it was weird that the guy that must be all over the news by now was looking weird at that nearby military base. Mafia II might have been a decent game and not really much of a masterpiece, but it at least showed us how well we can present a city with our current technology and knowledge. I want a population that at least seems to care about me using them as target practice.

The Bottom Line

Maybe Prototype was just about to blossom into a great game right before I stopped playing it, but any more of it and I would have gone insane. The combat is boring, the missions are boring and the town is boring, the only two things that are interesting in this game are the story and the way you can free-roam through the town. I have seen better stories, but I have to admit that I am still amazed by the moves you can pull-off in this game, it's simply amazing.

I suppose it's just a fact that I don't like and probably will never like sandbox games in the style of Grand Theft Auto, but I doubt even fans of this genre will think this game is amazing. It's decent at best and below-average at worst, but you could do a lot worse for the money it will cost you and I'd much rather play this then another freaking Call of Duty game.