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  • Loving Prototype on Xbox 360

    Posted on August 21st, 2009 Shawn No comments

    In my pseudo Rock Band hiatus, what’s a gaming addict to do? Look for a deal on a new and very different game (that’s getting good reviews of course), and play the hell out of it. That’s exactly what I have been doing with Prototype on Xbox 360.

    I will give my take on this game, but it will be a non-conventional review, since Prototype is unlike any game I typically play.

    1. It uses every button on the controller
    One main reason I don’t buy into this current generation of games is due to all the freakin’ buttons required to play a game. I come from the era of NES and SNES. I miss the days of 2 or 3 buttons.

    Prototype is no exception to the excessive button rule.  All 11 buttons, 2 analog sticks each with button, and the D-pad are used throughout the game.  Multiple button combos are used to execute different moves, attacks, etc. As you progress through the game, the character learns new abilities which translates into different uses for the buttons and new combos.  There is a set of buttons used when walking, when in a vehicle, when flying, and when in a helicopter (which I just got access to last night). The basics were easy enough to learn, since button mashing will kill most opponents fairly easily. To start, X and/or Y do all the attacks, A jumps, and RT runs. Oh and Left Analog directs the character, Alex Mercer. Learning those four feels OK, and running the game on “Normal” difficulty allows a reasonable start to the uncoordinated (me).  As the game progresses, you quickly learn B+Y combos plays a big role, LT aims at enemies and clicking the Analog Sticks brings up inventory menus.  So in short, expect to use every piece of your controller.  That’s just how it is.  I’m now about 10% 60% through the game and action scenes are picking up pace, enemies are becoming more aggressive and difficult to defeat.  The need to know button layout is crucial.  Fortunately, there are usually safe places where I can go to practice the button layout.   I could see that taking a break from this game for a few months would require a lot of relearning to get back into it.

    2. Graphics good. Cut scenes are decent, but mouths look bizarre
    I’m a fan of stories in games and good cut scenes.  With Prototype, there’s a decent story, and you get tidbits along the way by consuming (yes, basically eating) specific opponents. Those cut scenes are primarily audio with still pictures, but gets you detail on the games background.  The real cut scenes come at the beginning/end of missions.  Those have good audio, and quite good graphics.  Though, the mouths and teeth all look bizarre.  Almost looks like people are drooling, or have rotten teeth, when they certainly do not.
    The graphics in game are very good.  Very detailed, and lot’s of 3D going on.  Think of it a lot like the look of GTA IV, and others state Crackdown too.  There is so much going on and there is no lag on screen.  There is the occasional camera looking the wrong way issue, but your character is pretty resourceful, and a few seconds of bad camera angle usually won’t get him killed. Also, if you look in the far distance, some objects miraculously appear as you get closer, as if the game is protecting itself from performance lags. It’s not annoying to me, though something you will notice occasionally.  It doesn’t affect game play though.

    3. Open NYC world is fun, and stuff can be ruined
    The reason I bought the game (aside from it being the Deal of the Day from Amazon at $40), was the open-world concept where everything can be destroyed. All people, all vehicles, chairs, fire escapes, fences, streetlights, and more can be destroyed. I like that.  I’ve found only specific buildings can be leveled though.  As I have progressed through the game, I can take out hives and and military buildings, but I have not yet been able to destroy a random apartment building (which I want to).

    You have all of Manhattan to explore, which is fun.  I’ve covered most of it, at least quickly running, and flying.  Though, there are still a few corners I haven’t seen in detail.  I tried crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, and that’s where the world just ends. Your character goes no more, so a little realism is lost there, but I guess the world has to end at some point. Since you have only Manhattan (don’t get me wrong, it is huge), a time will come when you are sick of seeing Times Square, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.

    4. Additional Game Play
    If you are wondering, I’m now on day 10 of 18, in the game.  Past the halfway mark.  I started by playing lots of side missions (there are a ton), and exploring the open world (i.e. destroying, collecting things, gaining random achievements) which isn’t part of the main mission. Now, I’m just on a quest to complete the story mode, and later will come back to try the additional side missions.

    I’ll post some more thoughts as I get further.  Let me know if there is something specific you’d like to hear about.

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