Saturday, July 11, 2009

Two long overdue reviews: Dead Space and Prototype

I apologize for being lax in my reviews lately. These are the two games I am currently playing; Dead Space and Prototype.

I had been relatively uninterested in Dead Space. I figured it was just another sci-fi survival horror game. In some respects it is just another sci-fi survival horror game. Limited resources, gribbly critters, and a situation that goes from bad to worse in the blink of an eye. In most respects - like those silly little things like story and plot development - Dead Space excels. I'm about half way through the game and though it is a fairly linear game I am really enjoying the story. Hell Dead Space is far superior to most Sci-Fi horror movies I see these days. Quite possibly that is because Warren Ellis worked on the project. That explains a lot.

Prototype is a solid game through and through. It's a sandbox game linked together with linear missions and a good story about evil government genetic projects gone horribly awry. The main character, Mercer, is a morally ambiguous type with a penchant for revenge. I think I'd actually call him a sociopath with little regard for anything except his sister and revenge.

The real draws of this game are the setting and the violence. Prototype takes place in a quarantined Manhattan. Plague has broken out, turning victims into raving, flesh eating loonies aka "the Infected". As the game progresses so does the extent of the plague. What starts as your standard hustle bustle NYC slowly becomes a madhouse filled with ravening monsters, beleagured military forces, and the general public screaming bloody murder and fleeing hither and yon. Every so often I have to wonder - shouldn't people just listen to the nice men in black helicopters and stay off the streets?

Violence in video games, blah, blah, blah...who cares? In Prototype Mercer himself is a bio-weapon, capable of creating blades, mauls, fleshy spiky ropes, and the like. He gains power and health from consuming the genetic code of others - human and infected alike. What's really fun is the wide array of ways to make people/enemies go squish. One of my favorites is the body surf, launch an arial attack then land on your target with enough force to surf on their corpse. I also enjoy the long range whip attack, reel in the target and then chuck them like a bowling ball. Prototype is a pretty bloody game so don't let the kiddies play this.

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