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 Home -> Reviews -> Prototype
Prototype By: Forest "Lord Havoc" Hale
July 23, 2009
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Developer :Radical Entertainment
Publisher :Activision
Release Date :June 2009
Platform : PC, PlayStation 3, XBox 360
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

Helicopters and Other Insects

While the game does boast an impressively immersive experience, it is by no means without flaws. From the very beginning one can tell the PC version is a console port, it plays best on a gamepad and it makes no bones about it, accordingly I am playing it with the Xbox 360 Controller For Windows which it plays very comfortably with, although having to press pairs of buttons simultaneously to unleash many of the more interesting attacks gets a little old and is prone to failure (pressing one button a little before the other often results in me pounding the ground instead of shooting giant spikes out of the ground beneath all nearby enemies).

On the other hand, being a console port also means you can crank the graphics to max settings and enjoy a pretty smooth experience, as PC video cards are usually up to the task, my NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT had no difficulty maintaining an enjoyable framerate at 2560x1600 (not solid 60fps however).

The game is plagued with the "checkpoint save" mentality common in console games, which can become infuriating when you keep retrying and botching a mission (by for example accidentally killing someone you needed to consume), especially because the saves occur when you finish a mission, not at any chosen moment, such as before you begin a mission. That said all the missions are generic and can be retried (but they are somewhat different each time), so unless you die there is no major problem here, and you can "quit to free roam" instead of reloading a save-game, so the game is rather forgiving. The checkpoints seem to be sufficiently frequent when playing through the story.

The vehicles are all very slow and clumsy compared to the normal gameplay, frequently being bound by the rules of normal reality to such an extent that you can get stuck on a building corner because you had your tank turret pointing sideways and the physics of the game are letting you know that you really need to rethink your driving strategy. Overall the vehicle physics are very good and pretty realistic but feel slightly out of place in a game that practically defines free movement.

Surprisingly, at least by today's standards, I've only once (in many hours of play) had a technical issue with the game, where a cutscene simply stopped for no reason instead of returning to gameplay and I had to hit Alt-F4 to kill the game and start it up again... unfortunately this brings to light the lack of a true autosave feature in the game, as I had to retrace my steps a bit from the last save (never as recent as you wish it was.)

The difficulty curve of the game is somewhat variable, as it becomes significantly more difficult each time a new type of enemy is introduced, and at certain points in the story you are somewhat restricted in your course of action.

There were a couple frustrating moments when I missed one of the (rather brief) control hints on how to carry out the next action needed to advance the mission, such as missing the details on how to do a stealth consume the first time, but thankfully almost all necessary input is described in the Upgrades screen, similarly the menu shows your current mission objective as that too can go away before you got a proper chance to read it in the heat of battle.

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