We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews

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.

  • Prototype 2 review

    Prototype 2

    The incredible sulk

  • Age of Conquest Lite review

    Age of Conquest Lite

    Age of Conquest Lite is a fun military strategy game with a fair amount of depth.

  • Operation Flashpoint: Red River review

    Operation Flashpoint: Red River

    Operation Flashpoint: Red River is a tactical first person shooter that lets you play as an American military unit caught up in a conflict in Tajikistan.

  • Flight Control for iPhone review

    Flight Control for iPhone

    Flight Control wouldn't exist without the iPhone. The unique gameplay is perfectly suited to the device, and I'm hopelessly addicted.

  • Modern Combat: Sandstorm for iPhone review

    Modern Combat: Sandstorm for iPhone

    With Modern Combat: Sandstorm, the first-person shooter genre on the iPhone takes a giant leap forward... then trips over its shoelaces and tumbles into a landmine.

IDG UK Sites

4G to get faster and cheaper with Freeview spectrum: We're in for a wait though

IDG UK Sites

Why you shouldn't buy your gadgets at launch: Wait and pick up a bargain

IDG UK Sites

Artist creates a geometric rave in a chapel for The House of St Barnabus

IDG UK Sites

Mac mini (Late 2014) 1.4 GHz review: Mac mini is sort of upgradable, but is it any good as it is?