(Activision for Xbox 360)
By Mike Delano
In Prototype, you’re made to feel ashamed for using a gun. Not because it’s wrong, but because there are far more satisfying ways to murder people. As super-mutant Alex Mercer, you really should be thinking more along the lines of morphing your arms into giant claws or hammers to pummel your foes, or chaining combos together with 20-foot-long whip blades that slice your enemies in half. Meanwhile, people on the street will loudly beg for you not to absorb their bodies to refill your health bar. It’s hard to think of a more brutal game in recent years, and Alex plows through the story missions like a battering ram on his quest to find the truth about why Manhattan has been infected with a deadly, freak-creating virus. The gameplay is a brilliant match for the story: Played correctly, Alex rushes through the city in a state of perpetual motion, sprinting up the sides of skyscrapers and gliding between monuments as if it were a jungle gym. The combat mechanics are just as frantic, and the only nagging flaw in the game is that the controls aren’t quite tight enough to give you the feeling of complete control over the battle scenarios. Although, since these skirmishes often take place across several city blocks and involve Alex dropkicking helicopters and treating armored tanks like speed bags, it’s amazing that your brain is able to process any of it without just exploding from the awesomeness of it all.