Posts Tagged prototype
I just spent an hour or two playing Prototype after a friend picked up a copy. I have been playing inFAMOUS quite a bit, and comparisons between the two games are inevitable. Both involve a quarantined city, a regular guy suddenly given super powers, and that guy trying to figure out what happened. The comparisons made in the video game media are really quite apt, and somewhat creepy:
- Free roaming city with location based missions and side missions
- Experience gained on kills / missions to upgrade abilities
- Lots of wall scaling and building hopping movement
- Pedestrians all over, with scattered enemies
- Super powered hero who doesn’t know how he gained those powers
- Semi-generic, mostly realistic graphics with exceptionally well done cut scenes to show the story
However, both games are getting quite good reviews, both are hovering around an 85% average, according to gamerankings.com. After a few hours on Prototype, and far more than a few hours on inFAMOUS, I must agree – both are very good games.
While they are very similar in their approach, controls, graphics and character advancement, they do differ in some areas. Prototype is much faster paced, with an emphasis on melee combat. In Prototype, the main character – Alex Mercer, can transform parts of his body into weapons and consume enemies to gain their powers or looks. The combat is far more frenetic and harder to keep track of, but it is balanced with a target lock system that helps you aim in the most chaotic of times. While there are projectiles (you can pick up enemy weapons, like rifles and rocket launchers), it seems like the best weapons are all the melee weapons. In contract, inFAMOUS is slower paced, with no target lock, but less of a need for one since the combat rarely reaches the fever pitch that Prototype regularly dishes out.
This change in pace applies to movement, as well. In inFAMOUS, movement speed is only moderately above that of a regular human at a full sprint, and building scaling is done in a more Mirror’s Edge style, with ledge grappling, rail climbing and other urban exploration techniques. Prototype ditches any such system and lets you literally run straight up a wall with the press of a button. This change is speed makes it far easier to get to the top of the buildings in Prototype, but since you are under fire from far more well equipped foes, you need that boost in speed.
In general, the pacing of Prototype is faster than inFAMOUS, but the rest of the game (enemy count, enemy capabilities, general on screen chaos, target locking) adjusts, so neither game seems more or less difficult or boring due to the general pacing.
Right now, I can’t really judge the story of Prototype – I am way too early in it to tell, but I can say for sure that I like the setup with the web of intrigue. As you find special targets and consume them, you can get their memories and get bits of the events leading up to the start of the game. Each consumed memory opens up a few more people to consume, but this is all done optionally. This compares to the dead drops that inFAMOUS used, where you find recordings left by John, the FBI agent, and listen to his diary of events prior to the blast.
I like Prototype’s setup on this a bit more, but I haven’t really seen how well this works through the whole game, in terms of how often you find these targets, how easy they are to find and so forth. I think it would be quite frustrating to try to find your last few memories, if there was no indication as to where to find them. inFAMOUS has a radar system that you can use to find dead drops in a certain range, but the dead drop setup just isn’t as well laid out as the web of intrigue. However the brilliantly done comic book scenes at certain points are just as good as the web of intrigue. There are fewer inFAMOUS comic book scenes than Prototype web of intrigue scenes, but that is balanced by each one being longer.
All in all – they are equally good, but for slightly different reasons. Prototype is fast, frantic and a hack-n-slash at heart. inFAMOUS is a slower paced shooter with emphasis on wall scaling and more subtle movement.