Prototype is a great game, with a few unfortunate flaws
That said, let me start off by saying while I do agree 'somewhat' with IGN's actual written-review, I disagree entirely with its score. A 7.5? You've got to be kidding me. If Prototype is a 7.5, then what about Xmen Origins Wolverine? Spiderman Web of Shadows? Wanted WoF? Even Godfather II?
Prototype is better than all of these games and more. Admittedly, the game has some glaring flaws in specific departments, but as an overall package, the game is still pretty darned fantastic. Let me first explain the 'hit or miss' nature of some portions of Prototype.
It's funny because there's just so much 'hit or miss' in this game. The graphics for starters: absolutely beautify at times, specifically with Alex Mercer's move animations. At the same time, however, sometimes the graphics can look pretty glaring, especially in certain cutscenes. This also applies for character models; sometimes they look great and other times...not so great
Funnily enough, the same could be said for the story. On paper, the plot is very interesting (I had to look up some parts because I didn't complete the Web-of-intrigue). There are also some really impacting moments as the game progresses, and you generally have a pretty good 'drive' to keep moving. However, with that said, I do have some issue with the story -delivery-. Basically, sometimes I feel as if cut scenes skip too much content. This 'disjointedness' can occasionally kill the immersion, and thus, weaken the story's impact.
While we're talking about flaws, let's just say, character development isn't really a 'hit or miss'. It's really just...a miss. Character-wise I didn't really feel anything for anyone. Though the writing is pretty good overall, the execution was a little flat. In addition, gameplay had the potential to be frustrating at times. IGN's claim of 'getting juggled' is very true towards the -end- of the game (and there only; doesn't at all apply towards the beginning). But still, it exists and it can be pretty darn frustrating because it makes you feel so weak.
'All these complaints and still a great score of 8.5?' What are we missing? Well...
The game's main achievement -by far- is its gameplay (juggling at end-game aside). I mean, seriously, I don't even know how to put it into words. How about this: it totally works. It just does. The game's pacing is terrific: as you progress, you gain EP to spend on leveling your skills...and boy are these awesome skills. Tendril launches? Mass devastation? Blades and shields emerging from you body? Would you like to slice up the infected or pulverize them? Everything from the blood to move animations look awesome.
Even more impressive is the way Alex moves around the city; specifically, the way he jumps over obstacles and streaks across buildings. The missions, in addition, are rather varied, which is all thanks to the complex nature of Prototype's core gameplay. You can stealth kill, order air-strikes as a false-commander, jack helicopters while in flight, consume infected, etc. etc.. Really, I don't know how people can say it gets boring really fast, because in the whole 12 hours or so that I've been playing, it -never- got old. I've played many games of this nature, so it might mean 'something' when I say: they NAILED the gameplay department. Just simply -nailed- it.
That said, there are issues. Like I said, there are some rather frustrating missions where you are juggled like crazy. Also, I can see certain portions turning off casual gamers, because I had to authentically try my hardest to avoid getting massacred at certain segments. Boss fights are cool, but hard as well. Also, a little nitpick is that I would've liked to see a moral system incorporated in the game. The game seemed to put -very- little emphasis on the lives of innocent civilians. I can imagine arguments for why civilians wouldn't matter much anyway, but still, I didn't want to feel like a jerk. There are just some missions where killing innocents seems absolutely necessary. But meh, it could just be me. I can understand why a lot of people wouldn't care.
All in all, Prototype is rather terrific. It has some flaws here and there, but as an overall package, it has one of the most satisfying hack 'n slash gameplay experiences I've ever run into. Even with its problems, as a whole, Prototype packs quite a punch. Pure...awesome...fun.