Prototype Review 2 – Hostile Game Design


 
Slack's Rating: 7.5
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Okay well, I'm thinking, I guess I just need some more practice with Prototype. I'll just replay mission three until I get the hang of how to handle Alex. So after miraculously completing mission three by the skin of my teeth using a carefully concocted recipe of eight parts running-around-like-a-chicken-with-its-head-cut-off and two parts panic-button-mashing, back to the game menu I go only to discover that my save slot has been automatically overwritten to the start of mission four.

What?! You can't be serious, Radical Entertainment!

In a game this chaotic with controls this finicky and you're not giving me a chance to replay the last level without having to play through the entire game again? That's the save system you managed to think up? Okay so now I have to go through this horribly counterintuitive process of remembering to create a new save slot at the start of every mission if I want to replay that mission. Then to replay that mission once I've completed it, I have to load the second last save slot and then remember to overwrite the last save slot before starting the mission again (yeah think about it). Heaven help me should I wish to replay a mission three save slot while the game is currently at mission six. The management of save slots suddenly becomes a mind boggling process.

At this point, I'm already regretting starting the game on Normal difficulty and I sincerely apologize for secretly laughing at someone who posted on my Youtube channel that they played through Prototype on Easy just to get the hang of it. In retrospect, this is actually a brilliant idea. So onward I plowed through the game all the while increasingly getting the distinct feeling that Prototype was resorting primarily to cheap trickery to make gameplay more challenging.

And no, I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat. For proof of this, one has only to consider the fact that the data that you acquire in the so-called Tutorials tab in the game menu Logs section which basically tells you some key things you've learned in each mission is —get this— deleted after completing each mission!

(*double face palm*)

In other instances, Prototype will simply out-and-out cheat. An example of this occurs near the end of mission two where you're tasked with consuming the agent exiting the APC but after the cutscene showing the agent exiting the APC, the game will always turn Alex around facing the opposite direction from the agent regardless of which direction he was facing before the cutscene. Like, come on!

At one point about halfway through Prototype, I became so infuriated at what appeared to be a collusion of badly designed Prototype game elements that I started (I kid you not) literally banging on my keyboard with both fists in a hysterical rage while bellowing filthy expletives at the top of my lungs. No video game has ever done this to me before in all my 35 years of gaming. Congratulations Prototype. You take the cake.


 

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2 Responses to Prototype Review 2 – Hostile Game Design

  1. Major Slack says:

    Alex,

    I'm 50 years old.

  2. Alex*masturbator says:

    Yeah, prototype really is a bit annoying. The second mission took me over an hour to complete.

    p.s: 35 years of gaming?! How old are you?

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