Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shapeshifting Superheroics

Prototype and inFamous, two games strangely familiar, released weeks apart. As a 360 owner inFamous is unfortunately not available to me, but having played the demo at Lachlan's it seemed awesome and was nearly the game to finally get me to buy the dreaded machine. But Prototype came along shortly afterwards and I was hoping it would fulfil those same needs.

Those needs were indeed fulfilled. Prototype is fantastic. One of the things that popped into my head during the first time I played it was, "finally another good free roaming superhero game, it’s about bloody time". Which isn't that surprising when you think this is the same studio that created the Hulk: Ultimate Destruction game. I couldn’t think of another I’d enjoyed so much since Spider-Man 2, a game that Prototype certainly invokes memories of. I’m not sure why exactly, maybe it’s New York, or the art style but there is certainly something there that makes you think of the Wall Crawler’s last brilliant game.

Its shame we have to refer to Spider-Man 2 as the best, a game that’s 5 years old and had 3 sequels since. But then the license has certainly been totally screwed over by Activision of late. After the fantastic Spider-Man 2 each following game seems to be missing something. I had such high hopes for Web of Shadows but the combat system in the game is reportedly so broken that I never even gave it a proper whirl and Ultimate tried to mess with the swinging method, something that was perfect in 2.

It wasn't until my third session on it that I suddenly realised that Prototype wasn't the first time on the 360 we've had the ability to leap small buildings in a single bound and run around a city with outrageous powers. That would be Crackdown. It says something about Realtime's game that it took me so long to remember it when playing Prototype and that it apparently only just broke even. I enjoyed Crackdown but it wasn't without its faults, the lack of mission variation being on the biggest. The Realtime rebels, Ruffian, certainly have their work cut out if they want Crackdown to regain its crown.