Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Grahf Rolls out the Backlog - Prototype

Alex Mercer puts the Purple People Eater to shame.

Just to make this clear, this isn't a review, although once I finish Prototype you can probably expect one ... not that I'd imagine it would be terribly useful given the age of the game, but still. No, rather these are just some of my impressions that I've gotten from playing around in the game for a couple of days. I think that these will lead to something more, but if they only turn out to be ramblings then that's okay too. They can't all be gold, I guess.

I'm probably about a rough 25% of my way through the game, although it's hard to tell. My initial impressions have been mixed but mostly positive. I'm sure that heading from this to inFAMOUS I'll notice quite a difference, but one of the main things that I'm pleased about is an absolute lack of a morality system in the game.

Certainly there's the odd time or two that I'll activate armour then charge down a crowded sidewalk, watching the people fly (note: I enjoy this because I'm obviously an asshole). Still given the seeming lack of morality from just about any other party -- someone needs to tell the military in this game the meaning of collateral damage -- although I do realize that they have in game reasons and that Blackwatch are bigger dicks than me, is actually somewhat refreshing. There's nothing really stopping you from being as nice or nasty as you please, although the former is mostly limited to not eating or disembowelling or throwing people around like toys for a larf.

The movement in this game is also very impressive. When I played the original Assassin's Creed I was highly impressed at the amount of mobility that the game offered, but Prototype takes the whole parkour concept and puts it on roids. Leaping 70 to 100 feet into the air? Fine by us. Running straight up the side of a building without losing momentum? Sure thing, buddy. These things combined with the fact that there's no fall damage means that running around is often quite an entertaining experience, which is a good thing because you're going to be doing it, a lot.

This might just be a side effect of only having really begun the game, but a lot of New York seems ... sparse. There's the handful of side quests like the checkpoint races, the kill x amount of dudes, and others, as well as the military bases and hives to dick around with if I feel the need for some quick EP, but even with that stuff there seems like a lot of space that's just not being used. At the moment I'm cautious about being too hard on it because I'm guessing that things will probably improve by the end of the game, but it still seems strangely anemic at the moment.

I think perhaps that in some cases this is the biggest problem of the sandbox genre as a whole; at times there are too many things to do and too many places to do them in, while during other occasions the far worse situation of too little to do and too many space in between rears it's ugly head (I still remember the long, fairly boring treks to the other cities in Assassin's Creed). This isn't to say that Prototype is bad. Hell, I'm having a lot of fun being a fairly cruel asshole, as mentioned above. It just seems that at the time being at least that there's not a whole lot in terms of stuff that actually has a point.

But hey, eating people really never gets old.

1 comment:

  1. I see you mentioned parkour. If you enjoy that kind of movement in games I highly suggest Mirror's Edge that is pretty much the whole game is just doing parkour around the city.


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