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Games software Reviews
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Prototype review

£39 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Activision

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5 User Rating: Our users rate this 4 out of 10

At the outset of Radical Entertainment's game Prototype, black wormy tendrils slither around a taxi, nudging it, goading, as not-quite-vigilant-enough policemen patrol a decimated city square.

At the outset of Radical Entertainment's game Prototype, black wormy tendrils slither around a taxi, nudging it, goading, as not-quite-vigilant-enough policemen patrol a decimated city square.

The game packs in over 130 total potential targets, and if it means anything, by the end of the game I'd only collected half. They're actually pretty important if you want the broad picture, so they're one significant reason to keep playing - since you can - after the finale.

Another would be the sheer number of unique "events," aka optional diversions littering the map. You'll unlock these as you go in categories that range from straightforward acrobatic challenges to more sophisticated strategic ones. Depending on your performance - bronze, silver, or gold, generally derived from time-driven or running total factors - you're awarded a commensurate number of evolution points, which you can then spend on powers, moves, and abilities.

It's worthy noting that many of the challenges are ridiculously (though never quite unfairly) difficult, something I personally loved, but which some of you may not. The good news is that you can finish the game without drilling too deeply on most of these, and still secure all the most salient upgrades.

Occasionally awkward design issues or glitches manifest, say if you need possession of a specific vehicle to complete a rescue mission, but you lose the vehicle just as the mission transitions past a checkpoint. The mission then reloads from that checkpoint, but now you're without a vehicle or - because of circumstantial parameters - a way to get one, ergo no way to complete the mission short of abandoning it altogether.

The game's also not without at least one "just kidding!" moment, where you've just finished smacking around a major opponent, and then a cutscene trots out an infuriating "Nope, you lose." There has to be a better way to carry off scripted challenges without having all your hard work arbitrarily undone.

But - to invoke the classic qualifier - now I'm nitpicking, which is all you can do when a game's as well designed as this one.

NEXT PAGE: our expert verdict >>

Prototype Expert Verdict »

PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Microsoft Windows
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Do you want to race around an urban jungle gym the way you'd expect a fairly potent comic book superhero would? Prototype's your game. Not even Treyarch's Spider-Man free-roamers offer this much super-powered physical leverage over Manhattan's overgrown skyline. Just remember while playing: if someone ever says there's nothing else they can do to hurt you, trust me when I say there is. Most definitely.

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