18th July 2009


PrototypeDeveloper: Radical EntertainmentRadical Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Official Site

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation3 and PC
Release Date: June 2009

It was a long wait for me to play Radical Entertainment’s newest title – from the day I first heard about the game at the 2007 Game Design Expo. The Activision – Blizzard merger didn’t help the matter by delaying the game’s release, and my envy grew as there were reports back from various conferences and expos where people were getting hands-on playtime. So, was it worth the wait? Oh yes – although this has been a difficult review to pen, simply because PROTOTYPE is so full of things to do and accomplish.

One bit of caution, though – PROTOTYPE is rated M by the ESRB for a very valid reason. The game is violent and involves massive amounts of blood and gore, which I do mention in further detail throughout this review. If you do not want your kids playing games like PROTOTYPE, the ratings are there for a reason, please don’t blame the industry if you allow your kids access to a game outside of their age rating. Okay, end of brief soapbox stance on that topic. On to the review.

First, a quick plot rundown for those who may still be in the dark as to what the game is all about.

Alex Mercer Concept Art

Alex Mercer Concept Art

PROTOTYPE takes place in New York City, more specifically on Manhattan Island – but in actuality the story began decades earlier in a small town called Hope, Idaho. It appears that the US military was engaged in a partnership to develop a deadly virus – one which affects not only humans but the environment as well, and along the way Alex, who apparently worked for Gen-Tek, the private contractor developing the virus strains, became some type of host, turning him into a part human-part super weapon entity. Or maybe he is a viral PROTOTYPE, released on the American public for in-the-field testing. Even with watching the Web of Intrigue vignettes a few times, I’m still not 100% sure – and to be honest, I kind of like it that way. A little mystery is good – and it makes for good fodder among the conspiracists out there on the web.

PROTOTYPE is a single player game, with the gamer taking on the persona of main character Alex Mercer. Whether Alex is good or bad is unclear at the beginning of the game, but either way it does appear that he has a conscience, which is revealed in mysterious cinematic vignettes between each task – but like all other parts of this game’s story, Alex’s motives remain infected (pun intended) with intrigue.
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