The game takes place in a fairly decently re-created NYC (though some of the graphics look flat). Unlike other open world games where you jack cars to move about, Alex’s superhuman body allows him to run at super speeds and even climb up the sides of buildings! He can also jump incredible distances and glide across the sky. Parkour physics allow you to move and turn on a dime. The feeling is fantastic; this is by far the most realistic Superman game ever made!
In addition to enhanced movement, you can also transform your body into a variety of blunt and sharp objects. These weapons are highly useful against military armor and hulking, over-mutated baddies. Also, each one can be upgraded over time with points you earn during battle. At default, your Whipfist attachment can hit enemies over a short distance. One upgrade allows you to hit multiple enemies at once like a whip. A later upgrade allows you to pull them closer to you. Despite how much fun it is navigating the city, the game suffers from quite a few combat related issues.
For one thing, Prototype is one HARD game! I played on medium and found myself dying regularly. Most missions put you in situations where you’re fighting both the military and mutants at the same time. There are explosions going off everywhere, civilians screaming and running around, and just general chaos. Combined with your super high speed, it’s difficult to keep track of what’s going on; the screen is just a blur of colors. In the middle of all of this madness you’re expected to target just one enemy or so in most missions. Most of my battles involved me running away from the combat repeatedly just to regenerate my health. I don’t know if that was the intention of the game developers but it sure wasn’t fun.
The loading screens constantly tell you to change your strategy if one method isn’t working. Good advice but in practice it’s actually more complicated than it sounds. You have a lot of abilities and each one can be upgraded multiple times. You will need all of these abilities to survive, but memorizing their button combinations (and successfully performing them) is overwhelming. Add to that, certain enemies are immune to certain attacks. You’re expected to switch between your abilities on the fly, in the middle of a battle (keeping in mind that combat in this game is a barrage of colors and loud sounds)! Unfortunately, your enemies don’t stand still and allow you to attack them at your leisure. Combat quickly turned into a chore for me.
Prototype had the potential to be a great game, but its button mashing combat degrades it to the “Street Fighter/Mortal Kombat” crowd. Playing this game for its free roam and side missions almost redeems it ;however, you’re always forced to play those annoying main missions to unlock more powers. Is it worth your time? Take my advice, skip it and wait for Saint’s Row IV to come out later this year. It’s also a superhero game that’ll most likely be a lot better than this attempt.
If you are still so inclined to buy Prototype you can get it on Amazon today: