[Prototype] is one of the best action games of 2009.
You are Alex Mercer a super powered badass with a thirst for revenge. After a shadowy freak accident Alex is let loose on the streets of Manhattan to take questionable justice on those who did him wrong.
Alex himself is not particularly interesting or complex in any way as you can figure him out in the first few hours of gameplay but everything around him alludes to mystery and conspiracy. A terrible virus has been let loose on Manhattan threatening every person who lives on the island's safety and guess who the U.S government blaims it on ? You eventually realize that a shadowy biological and genetic research company,Gentek an organization Mercer once worked for,is behind the whole thing but decide to point the fingers at their latest experiment: Alex Mercer.
The narrative is presented well through nicely thought of and voice acted characters who may feel meaningless one point,then extremely important the next. However the history behind the virus and other shadowy points in this well though of tale is left too you the player to discover through an interesting tool known as the "web of intrigue".
The "web of intrigue" initially speaks for itself as it is a web of memories of various people that Alex deemed important. There are 131 of these memories to collect and each shed their own light on the recent outbreak on Manhattan as targets vary from civilians,scientists and various military personnel. I say target because the way you get these memories is through the act of "consuming" whom ever had these memories buried deep in their brain in the first place.
Now Alex doesn't literally "consume" the person as in by eating them but rather absorbs there DNA and Bio mass which not only allows him to take on their memories but also their appearance.
You can disguise yourself as any human you please in Prototype which is useful for sneaking into those heavily guarded military bases and areas and general. Be warned however as their are more than a few ways enemies can you tell you apart from the rest. Military bases contain stationary and aircraft scanners which will,after awhile pick up your DNA and set of an alarm alerting every enemy near you to your present. Infected people from the virus however can simply "smell" that you aren't who you say you are and will focus their attacks on you. Not to mention that you can't use any of your powers while in this form and what powers they are.
Claws,Blades,Whips,Hammers and more are all at Mercers disposal fairly early on some that you naturally get while others you have to buy with XP points you gain for doing things like killing enemies,destroying bases and taking out heavily powered helicopter patrols known as strike teams. None the less powers early own can cause a hefty amount of carnage. People are decapitated,horizontally and vertically ct or simply ripped to shreds with lots of blood to satisfy your hidden sociopaths dreams with each power having it's own style. Claws the first power you get are fast and furious easy for cutting away petty military personnel in a heart beat but not so great when facing armored tanks,so you might want to go with the blade a slow but powerful weapon that can take down humans and vehicles a like. The hammer fists may not cause a lot of gore and blood shed but they do the job by taking down multiple enemies with powerful earth shaking smashes. Target a bit far away and getting farther ? Then the whip fist is for you ! Catch those pesky military officers with the sharply tipped whip to dispatch enemies from afar. All of these brilliant powers have various upgrades that add cool knew moves to the arsenal.
Another great aspect to the gameplay is the insane rooftop parkour that you get to do. Alex is extremely agile and with the press and hold of a button you are off running,leaping and gliding on the high sky scrapers of Manhattan feeling like a hybrid spider-man,modern day assassins creed character on steroids and speed. It's the primary way to get around on the island and it sure is a blast.
However even though the parkour is exhilarating and fun it would probably be superb if the game looked better. Though the cut scenes and "web of intrigue" flashbacks are rendered fairly well in game Prototype suffers severely outdated graphics. All of the 7 civilian models are laughable as is Mercer himself. If that wasn't bad enough Manhattan looks equally bad as textures consist of detail no better than a card board cut out. Also note that the only landmark that identifies that you are in Manhattan is central park. Wheres Empire State ? Guess we'll never know.
One of the first feelings you get with Prototype is that Alex is pretty overpowered even in the beginning who can easily kill over 100 humans in 60 seconds while barely breaking a sweat. However this can be contradicted as there can be so many enemies on screen that it may feel a bit overwhelming and frustrating at times. He is pretty tough but Mercer is not indestructible. On normal difficulty you will realize the game can be difficult at times especially with the games final boss while easy mode is so easy I didn't die once. I never played the game on hard but assuming the difficulty scale is the same as it was between easy and normal then hard is going to be very hard!
All and all Prototype is a great action game that fans of the genre or even classics like Hulk: Ultimate Destruction fans will like and with a story that opens up for a sequel this game deserves at least two playthroughs