Prototype review

  • Running amok in a huge, detailed city is a lot of fun
  • More superpowers than you'll probably ever use
  • Cutting down crowds of civilians is a guilty pleasure
  • Controls can be really imprecise
  • Bosses are ridiculously tough
  • Visuals are gray and unpolished

So… Manhattan again?

While we’re on the topic of exploration, it’s worth pointing out that games set in Manhattan – particularly sandbox games – are anything but novel at this point. We’ve played in versions of New York’s central borough dozens of times, as superheroes, cops and criminals, and by now it’s old hat. Prototype’s version, however, has three things going for it: it’s filled with crowds of civilians who scream, scatter and panic when you start unleashing ultraviolence. The scenery usually goes by so fast that any familiarity you might have with it doesn’t matter. And it’s the most detailed rendition of Manhattan in a superhero sandbox game to date.

If you need further proof, we’ve grabbed hold of three other Manhattan-set superhero games of varying quality – The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man 3 and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows – and compared them on two arbitrary criteria to see how Prototype stacks up.

The skyline


Above: Alex’s view into the distance is hazy during the day, but becomes a little clearer at night when the lights snap on 

The Incredible Hulk

Above: The Hulk’s version of Manhattan is beset by a horrible fog that turns all buildings into vague gray lumps. That, or he has horrible eyesight and it’s extremely realistic 

Spider-Man 3

Above: Tobey Maguire’s skline stretches into the distance a little more uniformly, but seeing its ugly buildings in sharp relief does them no favors 

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

Above: The Manhattan of Spidey’s make-up outing doesn’t look all that great up close, but damn does it ever look sharp at a distance


Times Square


Above: Prototype’s Times Square keeps the lights on even in the face of disaster, sending a clear message to the world that New York will not let the giant tentacle monsters win 

The Incredible Hulk

Above: Hulk’s version of Times Square is nothing special, but at least you can hurl stuff at all those paid ads and knock them off their buildings 

Spider-Man 3

Above: There’s nothing wrong with Tobey’s Times Square, but the rest of the game is terrible so we’re going to declare this awful 

Spider-Man: Web of Shadows

Above: Web’s Times Square is a hell of a lot prettier than the last two versions, but that’s not really saying much. Also, try not to stare too hard at Spidey’s ass

More Info

Release date: Jun 09 2009 - PS3, PC, Xbox 360 (US)
Jun 12 2009 - PS3, PC, Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PS3, PC, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Radical Entertainment
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
PEGI Rating:


  • SpartanOfficer89 - July 30, 2009 6:17 a.m.

    This game is the most awesome super hero game ever gore swearing this has it all.
  • Sareith - July 14, 2009 1:11 p.m.

    It was a great game playing and even with the starting over with all your abilitys is great and all but a little disapointing i figured it would take me longer to beat it. Although alot of the missions were difficult to achieve without screaming random profanity at your TV. Overall great game
  • AceDynamo - July 5, 2009 6:21 a.m.

    Prototype is an awesome game nevertheless, but can you imagine it with the same game engine as GTA 4, better swing cameras, minus the small would have been the best game of the year!! It definitely is a worthy 9. Alex's power's are insanely awesome, awesome, AWESOME!! Don't need to change his abilities at all. Maybe add some. If you enjoy herbs, play it when your stoned... It will BLOW YOUR MIND!! Big-ups and kudos to the developers with this game!
  • SativaSeeds - July 2, 2009 4:58 p.m.

    The simple truth is if you own both, the PS3 is only good for collecting dust.
  • SativaSeeds - July 2, 2009 4:55 p.m.

    Sorry, but If you still own a ps3 and not a 360, you are a fanboy. I spent about 45 minutes each last weekend on Resistence 2, Killzone 2 and Infamous. I was quickly back to Modern Warfare and Prototype, not to mention gamestop with my trades. Sorry about all you who spent your only $$$ on the playstation and you still dont have a single good exclusive. At least you get call of duty.
  • TheStingingScorpion - June 29, 2009 10:44 p.m.

    Awesome attack powers but all most no defenseiv abilities.Id give it a 8.
  • xXShadeXx - June 20, 2009 9:10 p.m.

    Sorry for double post, but had to add something. I love this game, and infamous (witch I played on my bro's PS3)is good, but is no comparison, prototype is amazing. Oh and by the way the graphics seem fine to me? I don't know what your all talking about, Try watching the video in the review again and you tell me what is wrong with the graphics
  • masterbubble - June 18, 2009 9:23 p.m.

    yeah this game is good i like it
  • LieutenantCipher - June 16, 2009 6:11 a.m.

    This game fuckin rocks, I do agree that the boss battles can be a bit hard(damn you elizabeth, damn you! >.8D @ EvoAnubis: Well of course you're not seeing what we see, you only played 30 minutes of it and last time I checked, video games weren't only half an hour long XD
  • gatornation1254 - June 16, 2009 3:18 a.m.

    sorry for posting twice but IGNs review was bullshit all he had to say about it was hey the environment is to big and i'm to big of a dumbass to press two buttons. fuck you asshole ReCAPTCHA: typical portugal damn portugese are so typical
  • Spectre - June 14, 2009 9:20 a.m.

    Great review as always, I gave it a 7.5 though. Definitely liked it better than inFamous, but I think they could have had longer story cut-scenes. Everything is a 30 second conversation, reminds me of Bum reviews on Nestalgia critic's site. Half the time Im wondering why I should care about a character and the other half Im trying to remember who the hell a character is. Its like if you blink you might miss that an intrigal character even exists until you're hunting them down. I think with a little more character developemnet this could have been one of the greatest games of all time, they certainly had the story, they just forgot to tell us what it was...
  • EvoAnubis - June 13, 2009 7:58 p.m.

    Played this game for about half an hour at GameCrazy. I really wish I could see what all of you see, but I just don't. At 30 minutes, I really didn't see why I needed to play it any longer than since the second 15 minutes was simply a repeat of the first.
  • joshdaman123 - June 13, 2009 7:41 p.m.

    i was able to play this game for about 2 and a half hours at a friends house and all i can say is its AMAZING. the graphics are top notch and the "imprcise controls" will be in the back of you mind if your not reviewing it like gamesradar (not that i dont like you guys, u guys are awesome!) the story is very imersive but nothing we havent seen before but it still a 10 in my book and the action is the best iv ever seen this game is very innotive (spell check GR?) with its disquise system and what not all i can say is this game derserves a 90 out of 5 and its worth for anybody to pick up just plain AWESOME
  • RageGreen - June 12, 2009 11:06 a.m.

    Look's AWESOME :D Feel's AWESOME :D Play's AWESOME :D Spot on review
  • cubsfan101 - June 12, 2009 1:39 a.m.

    this game seems interesting. might rent it tomorrow.
  • sinkingfeeling - June 11, 2009 11:52 p.m.

    9 for this. 7 for infamous. bullshit. and in comparison all you wright is maybe one is better. poor guys. show some site continuity. ive yet to try either but both look good. i just cant believe how lop sided these reviews seem.
  • CreeplyTuna - June 11, 2009 8:08 p.m.

    i havenn't played infamous(i don't hav a ps3) but it looks like it should have gotten a better review. the graphics are kinda crap, but the game play is pure chaos and brutal destruction, that's wat sets the two games apart
  • Skykid - June 11, 2009 7:09 p.m.

    This game is soooooo badass it should be criminal.
  • IronGuy410 - June 11, 2009 5:16 p.m.

    well gamesradar can suck my well tanned behind cuz there's no way prototype is better than inFAMOUS. inFamous is funner, more fast paced, more balanced, it has better controls, the story is better, and by god it is much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much much prettier in terms of graphics.
  • crimson_soulreaper305 - June 11, 2009 4:26 p.m.

    prototype< closed. alex mercer triumphs as our next game of the year. the game is awesome! nice review! and IGN is full of idiots, i mean 7.5, thats harsh.

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