Prototype is quite simply one of the most overlooked games I have ever managed to stumble upon. Have you ever wondered what would happen if a superhero decided to go on a killing spree? Well these are the types of things I think about, and Prototype takes all the “super” aspects of your normal hero and gives them to a remorseless killing machine. You play as Alex Mercer, a man infected and forever mutated by a virus that sweeps through Manhattan in under a month. Inhabitants of the island are turned into zombies that resemble a cross between Resident Evil and 28 days later. The story begins half a month after 90% of the population of Manhattan is infected, allowing you to quickly try most of your abilities unlocked later in the game.
The game itself blends a nice mix of fluid action and fighting (like that of Prince of Persia or the two most recent Batman games), as well as stealth and the occasional escort mission to keep the story interesting. You’re able to mutate your body to upgrade and enhance your play style as the story progresses. Many missions involve consuming other infected people or creatures to either heal yourself or gain certain characteristics of the enemies. Gentek, the company that released this virus on to the island of Manhattan, introduces various different enemies throughout the game that test your play style and ability to adapt to different combat situations. There are also many side missions included that allow you to simply abuse your superhuman abilities for hours of additional fun. The main story is somewhere between 8-10 hours of play time, however I found myself spending more and more time simply destroying entire blocks by leaping off buildings and leveling dozens of enemies at once.
The graphics, while slightly dated by today’s standards, are still fairly impressive despite the fact that it was ported directly from consoles to PC. This direct port also lends itself to slightly clunky controls at certain points of the game, and does make it seem as if playing with a controller would be slightly beneficial over a keyboard and mouse. There are no multiplayer options available for Prototype, and being that the developer Radical Entertainment is now defunct, there will be none added in the future. This is sadly a matter of a game just ‘flying under the radar’ after the studio sank far too much money into it.
I managed to find this game on Steam for a meager $4.99. Even at its list price of $19.99 (and despite any shortcomings, age, and being a port to PC), it is still well worth the money, and I found it very hard to put down – playing it through from beginning to end in a single session.
Prototype for PC is Worth It!