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Game Reviewed: Prototype
Developer: Radical Entertainment
Platform: XBOX 360 (Also on PS3 & PC)
ESRB Rating: M
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How does climbing buildings and gliding around Manhattan sound? How does falling from any height and not being hurt sound? How about being able to shape shift into just about anything that suits your needs of the moment? What about being able to absorb other people, mentally and physically to take on their look and know all of what they know? These are the things that Alex Mercer can do. He is the Hero, or protagonist of this story.
You see, there is a virus that is tearing through Manhattan. It is also tearing through Alex’s body. To most people it kills them or turns them into a zombie. To Alex, however, it grants him amazing abilities, but it has also taken away his memories. So while the military is trying to stop the virus, Alex is trying to find the man that did this to him, and either help the military or destroy them. Either way, you are a threat to them, and they try to kill you on sight.
The fun thing is that you can shape shift into the last person you absorbed to fool everyone, even when walking right next to them. You can take on the look of military personnel and walk right into a base. You can also shape shift your body into different weapons that can either destroy a tank, helicopter, or super infected mutant.
All these abilities make for a fun, yet gruesome game.
What Parents Need to Know
The most important thing to know about this game is that it is VERY gory. There is a lot of gratuitous violence, blood, and explosions. The graphics are above average so some of the detail is surprisingly good. There is so much of it in fact; there is not room for anything else.
This game is played in the third person, which is to say you look over Alex’s shoulder to see everything. The sandbox term this game uses, means that there is a boundary to where this world ends. This “world” however, is Manhattan and it is very detailed. Within this world, you can do almost anything you want, and the environment will react to your environment. Since it is an action game, everything Alex does is dictated by the buttons your press. Every step, jump, punch, or projectile comes from your pressing a button to make it happen.
For an example about what the violence entails, Alex has these moves galled “devastators.” Just like it sounds, they devastate your enemies. One in particular causes Alex to form his body into a ball and shape shift all of these arms out of his body that travel through anything within a 100 foot radius to do an amazing amount of damage. Everything in the range is either incredibly hurt or dead. Tanks explode, helicopters crash, people are decapitated or sliced in half leaving a blood stain on anything that is around them. Just an example of the detail and the gory violence you will find in this game.
The cut scenes can be just as violent. In an opening cut scene, when Alex realizes he is all but indestructible, he is shot at by a half dozen Marines till their clips are empty. There is enough blood pouring from his body for two people. He sinks down the wall he was shot against and lies lifeless on the pavement. At that moment, his body starts up again and he bounds down an alley with amazing speed and evades all the Marines.
Every bad word that can be thought of is in this game, here is a small list of what you will find. F**k, s**t, crap, b***h, hell, damn, and just about anything else that one could come up with.
There is too much violence in this game to worry about sexual content. There is a scene that has a girl in a bikini. She does not do anything; there is not any sexual conversation or innuendo. It is a part of a flashback to remember a past relationship that Alex once had.
While it is never explained to what it means, the codename the military uses for Alex is Zeus, which is a Greek God. They never say why they named him that or what the significance of the name is.
There is one moment in the game where a military general utters the words “The rest is in God’s hands.” Outside of this line, there is no room for any spirituality through all of the violence.
After all of my descriptions, the simple, singular point of this game is for Alex to find the people that have done this him and make them pay.
For a bloody, gory, mindless entertaining time, this is a decent game. The story is not the best, the graphics are not amazing, the controls can be a little awkward, and the difficulty level is not all that challenging. The one saving grace for me in this game is the ability to take over and control vehicles. You can drive a tank and shoot whatever you want. You can also take over a helicopter and fly over Manhattan and have air fights with other helicopters. That was fun. As for children, however, this is not a game intended for a child; please mind the M rating and the above mentioned content when deciding if Prototype is right for your family or not.