We had already heard rumbling that a PS4 remaster was in the works, but it appears Xbox One gamers will be able to relive the over-the-top action of the Prototype series right now. Without any fanfare to speak of, the Prototype Biohazard bundle is now available to buy on the Xbox Live Marketplace. It is admittedly at a rather pricey £39.99, but you will get both Prototype and Prototype 2 for the price of entry. Don't worry, Playstation fans - we expect it will be on the PSN store in the very near future.
As long as you're after brutal open-world combat with ridiculous rampages you'll find much joy in the Prototype games, but don't go in expecting a good storyline or even likeable characters. For more info you can check out our Prototype review and Prototype 2 review for more details.
Super Crate Box developers Vlambeer have turned three this month, and they've brought party bags for everyone. You can browse a selection of downloadable goodies on the official site, some of which are only available in limited quantities, but perhaps the most exciting of them all is the original prototype for Wasteland Kings.
The frenetic isometric shooter/RPG-lite is slated to release on PC, PS4 and Vita later this year, and though an incredibly early prototype, the free PC download gives you a decent idea of what to expect. Five classes, randomly-generated maps and loads of enemies to brutalise await you. Why not give it a whirl?
As always, the Steam Summer Sale is running 8-hour long flash sales, one of which is voted for by the community. Here are your current highlights until 18:00 tonight, including PAYDAY, Deadlight and Prototype. Not the best clutch we've seen from this year, to be honest, but we've got the links below.
Some of these deals may be reprised towards the end of the sale.
Microsoft's Cambridge research division has unveiled a gloveless prototype device that provides incredibly precise hand gesture recognition, which could theoretically be used to enhance the accuracy of the Kinect sensor amongst wider applications.Click here to read more...
This week, after rummaging around a couple of rumours from the week just gone, we take a look at maturity in games, and ask if adults are being short-changed. We look at how the industry often panders not only to teenagers, but to the lowest cultural denominators, how money and the bottom line have fuelled an unbalanced demographic. Fianlly, we look at David Cage's suggestions that gaming really hasn't evolved much over the last couple of decades, and ask what this means for next-gen.
PWNCAST | Season 1: Episode 14, Recorded: May 17th, 2012
Some of the things that get covered this week:
...and much, much more.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be quite a few instances of strong language.
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Indie puzzle-platformer Vessel released last month to massive critical acclaim. It's one of the most cerebral, most competent - and best value - puzzle games we've played since the original Portal, and we lavished it with steaming dollops of deserved praise in our 9/10 review.
In order to give players an insight into the development process behind the sensational fluid physics and modelling, Strange Loop Games have proffered some prototype tech videos that show off the liquid physics engine deftly handling surface tension, viscosity and pressure. Definitely something to enjoy while you're buying and downloading it.Click here to read more...
The Soul Calibur franchise is famed for its fluid combat and pixel-perfect mechanics... but since the second game, it has become (in)famous for its platform-exclusive guest characters. We've had Todd McFarlane's Spawn, Tekken's Heihachi Mishima, Nintendo's Link and even the Star Wars crew getting involved in the eternally-retold tale of souls and swords.
We know that a new Soul Calibur is in development, and naturally, one of the biggest questions is who'll be bulking out the roster this time! Project Soul have got videogames, films and even comics from which to pluck their characters, so without further ado, here are the top ten heroes we'd love to see in the next game.
You might be surprised by some of the choices.
This one's a bit unlikely, what with the God Of War already starring in the PSP version of Soul Calibur and turning up in Mortal Kombat. But you'd better believe that Project Soul are thinking about it signing him again. His varied arsenal, brute strength and surprising speed make Kratos an unstoppable force of bloodthirsty horror, as well as a perfect fit for fighting games.
Plus, let's face it, PS3 fanboys would have thrown a right old tantrum if I hadn't put him in the list. Moving on... to another fan favourite.
Sigh. You knew this was going to happen at some point, so let's get the big green galoot out of the way early. Bungie created a whole new female Spartan for the Dead Or Alive series, but we reckon that 343 Industries wouldn't be above pimping out their favourite cash cow for some more exposure. We've had anime shorts, Marvel comics... so why not a cameo?
The idea of wielding a plasma sword and Hunter shield sounds pretty good to us, actually.
Yes, we know that Star Wars has already been done. But it hasn't been done properly. Darth Vader is slow and ponderous, Yoda is a cheap little sod and The Apprentice is instantly forgettable despite his cackhanded fighting style. If only there was a Star Wars character who wielded a unique double-bladed weapon... and blended his strikes with balletic and fluid movements.
Wait, what? Darth Maul does exactly that? Well then, it's time for a mulligan.
The psychopathic and charismatic star of MadWorld has a retractable chainsaw on his arm.
Job done.Click here to read more...
Alex Mercer's freestyle slaughter-fest genuinely feels like a prototype in many ways. The combat and shape-shifting weapons are absolutely incredible; arming the player with an array of blades, bludgeons and the nifty ability to consume enemies to gain their appearance. Spending half an hour kicking helicopters out of the air, cracking tanks like eggshells, sprinting up skyscrapers and surfing gormless soldiers down the streets on a wave of their own guts will frequently make you forget all about the story and context. Unfortunately this is a good thing... since the story, premise and characterisation are dull and po-faced to the point of being deeply boring. Employ Mark Hamill for a sequel!
Alex Mercer is a deeply boring and apathetic individual... but boy, he can kill. Prototype takes the sandbox+ genre to gory new heights with bloodthirsty combat and some of the most satisfying brutal freeform rampages you'll ever embark upon. A weak story and some horrible voice acting mar the package, but you'll probably be having far too much fun to notice. Seriously, being able to leap off a skyscraper, karate kick a helicopter and surf a soldier down the street on a wave of his own guts is worth the price of admission by itself. Credit to tombarrettuk at Hot UK Deals.
If you're the sort of the individual who, when roaming the streets of GTA, you randomly shoot a passerby or mow down a flock of civilians at a bus stop, just for the sheer homicidal fun of it, then Prototype might be your kind of game, and at £13.60 at Tesco Entertainment, it's at its cheapest price yet! Just input the promotional code FTSL15-1 at checkout.
Prototype was a hotly anticipated title when it released in June of last year, but due to a number of glitches, shoddy design and mediocre visuals, it could only average a 79 on MetaCritic. However, it's vast city, numerous challenges and unlocks, along with brutal, bloody combat, wowed many a critic, and for fans of violent videogames, Prototype is something of a messiah.
It's set in New York, where as Alex Mercer, a gravelly voiced hooded emo prone to internal monologues, you wake up on an operating table with a couple of doctors about to perform an autopsy on your supposed remains. Except you escape, and as you're pursued by a relentless military force, you discover a range of abilities you can perform. Superhuman leaps, allowing you to bound from rooftop to rooftop, or hurl cars into pedestrians. Alex can also absorb passersby and significant military foes, assimilating their form and function, allowing him to access their most private and deep-seated of memories.
Which ties into the game's pretentiously-titled 'Web of Intrigue', where Alex must solve the mystery of his death and ressurection, and the growing mutant problem plaguing New York city. Violent freaks of nature with abilities similar to Alex are laying waste to the sprawling metropolis, and Alex can only grow stronger by absorbing them and their powers. By absorbing characters and monsters critical to the story, he unlocks nodes in the 'Web of Intrigue' splintering the story into coherence.
Prototype's problems stem from the overall lack of polish. New York is huge, and you can pretty much go wherever you can see. But it's design is uninspired, which is made only worse by a drab colour-scheme, low-resolution textures and a shoddy draw-distance. The carnage you can wreak on the streets is excellent, however. Alex can barrel down a busy road, hurdling cars or swatting them aside, surf a corpse, kick it into an enemy, slice a tank until it explodes, and hurl a tentacle at a swooping helicopter and smash it into the ground. The frame-rate is mostly solid, but the lackluster animation and poor particle-effects mean it lacks those explosive cinematic touches. It's functional, just not fantastic.
But as I said, if you're in the mood for something chaotic and mindlessly violent, then Prototype is a sure thing. It's been built around the entire idea of causing chaos and bloodshed. For fans of pulpy, fan-fiction-esque narratives, with clandestine organizations, secret military experiments, escaped mutant epidemics and an anti-hero with a voice so gravelly it's a wonder stones don't spit from his mouth when he speaks, then this is a no-brainer at such a price.
Prototype is a bit of a throwaway title but enjoyable enough to make it well worth the sub £15 price that Blockbuster is currently asking for it.
It's not a massive bargain for the PS3 version as the next cheapest is only just over a pound more at £16.15 from Tesco Entertainment. The next best price for the 360 version (£19.85 from Shop To) however, chucks a fiver on top of the Blockbusters price and so is a pretty hot deal.
Alex Mercer is an intriguing and mysterious protagonist who awakes to find himself in a morgue with no recollection of how he came to be there or even who he is. He walks into a Manhattan in military lock-down thanks to a strange virus which is causing its citizens to change in drastic and often monstrous ways but it seems that no one has been affected quite so radically as Mercer himself.
Prototype boasts an interesting story set in an open world which is filled with a good variety of missions. Mercer's powers are awesome and at least half the fun comes from just playing around with them and discovering all the different ways in which you can obliterate everything that gets in your way.
It's a lot of fun but Prototype is seriously lacking in polish. The graphics leave a lot to be desired and the design suffers from a serious imagination drought, with samey environment after samey environment. The controls can occasionally feel a bit off or overly fiddly at times and despite the sandbox play, the game just doesn't last very long. Overall, however, there's plenty here to ensure you get your money's worth now that it's available so cheaply.
Thanks to [email protected] at Hotukdeals!
Ever fancied jumping into the shoes of a shapeshifting murderer who can kill people with tentacular tendrils as a result of a bioengineering experiment gone badly wrong? Well now you can; as military guinea-pig Alex Mercer you'll get to prance around New York City's metropolis sandbox filleting and skewering soldiers and zombified abominations at will in ultra-violent and gratuitously gory fashion. If you were a fan of Crackdown then you'll probably want to give this a look as the premise is broadly similar, only with mutated powers that Venom can only dream of instead of guns.
The good news is that Tesco has now taken the price below the twenty quid mark to £17.87, which is much cheaper than the nearest competitor (Amazon - £22.05). It might take a day or two longer for delivery, but a bargain is a bargain.
Prototype is one of those games that doesn't really take itself too seriously and is great fun - if a little shortlived - for precisely that reason. You're a disillusioned hoodie who just happens to be a genetically-modified anti-hero superfreak with psychopathic tendencies. You can scale the empire State Building in a couple leaps and bounds. You can turn your arm into a bulletproof shield and then slice someone in half with it. You can consumer and ingest other characters into your DNA, possessing them utterly for health boosts and tidbits of info. Things are a little bit warped.
It's by no means perfect, as you cut a swathe through fellow infected guinea-pig mannequins and puppet-masters alike looking to find the answer to the all-encompassing 'Why me?' things get a little repetitive. Prototype is only really a one a trick pony and it looks nowhere near as pretty as its more attractive cousin inFamous, but in many ways it's a lot more fun and well worth a look for under £20. Spider-man once got told that with great power comes great responsibility....but then Spider-man never met Alex Mercer. More hack'n'slash than true sandbox game, Prototype puts a smile on your face and, as I've found, is really good for stress relief.
Thanks to Lemming from HotUKDeals
It's midweek and the media gears are churning. A surprising acquisition of a prominent games company promises big things, whilst an even bigger name loses some brand awareness due to a name-change. And finally, Brutal Legend finds its box-art, Dragon Quest’s dominance of Japan goes on, and Yahtzee crucifies Prototype!
Bethesda, developers of the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series, have bought id Software, the makers of the Doom and Quake franchises. ZeniMax Media, Bethesda’s parent company, claim no corporate or organisational changes will be made to id Software, whose technical and creative leads respectively, John Carmack and Todd Hollenshead, will remain and seem happy about their company’s acquisition.
Carmack claims he’d been tired of wrangling budgets and publishers, and so the key allure of being bought by ZeniMax Media was the freedom and consistency he could enjoy with a guaranteed publisher. [Eurogamer]
Box-art isn’t often a newsworthy piece, but when it’s for Tim Schafer’s rock-epic, Brutal Legend, it demands an exception! The box-art sees protagonist Eddy Riggs, a roadie who is transported to the ancient land of rock and becomes a hero, standing atop a mound of bodies, guitar and axe held up triumphantly, with arms of lightening scarring the blue-sky backdrop. [GamerCenterOnline]
According to tracking firm OTX, Modern Warfare 2, the sixth instalment in the Call of Duty series, has lost brand awareness by removing the series name from its title. OTX estimates 20% of customers do not recognise Modern Warfare 2 as a Call of Duty game, despite the Modern Warfare subtitle being present in the fourth game.
OTX claims including the Call of Duty name in a questionnaire related to Modern Warfare 2 doubled customer awareness, but upon dropping it, a similarly sized reduction occurred. Activision, the game’s parent company, may have been seeking to avoid a long-winded and potentially hard-to-remember title, but in the process have shot themselves in the proverbial foot. [VG247]
Fans of Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw, the infamous Zero Punctuation reviewer, famed for his swift and ruthless deconstructing of games, has posted a video-review for Prototype, pitting it against its rival sibling in the superhero sandbox genre, Infamous.
Anyone familiar with Yahtzee’s reviews knows what to expect. It’ll be hard-hitting, hilarious and a tad over-critical! [TheEscapist]
Final Fantasy may be the most famous Japanese game in the West, but on its home-soil, Dragon Quest reins supreme. A recent survey in Famitsu magazine reveals 95.5% of Japanese people, aged between 16 and 49 are aware of the Dragon Quest brand.
A total of 32.2 million copies have been sold in Japan alone, and that number will inevitably rise with the release Dragon Quest IX, which has claimed the top spot on Famitsu readers’ Most Wanted list 62 times! [1UP]
After being infected by a deadly virus and losing all his memories, everyman Alex Mercer makes the only sane choice: to kill everything in Manhattan until he remembers something about his former life. New York has been quarantined by a shadowy military force and mutated freaks roam the streets- providing a bloody canvas upon which to perpetrate some creative and imaginative rampages.
Rather than a chesty cough and some sniffles, Mercer's virus has gifted him with a bewildering array of upgradeable shapeshifting powers. Spiked claws, massive bludgeons, a massive sword, chitinous armour and an astoundingly useful spiked tentacle can all be used to hilariously gory advantage- especially when mixed with an ability to effortlessly run up skyscrapers and glide immense distances on jets of blood. A slew of unlockable techniques also provide an enormous variety of nasty combat options, though they have admittedly been squashed onto the controller in a cluttered and uncomfortable way. Having to press X and B together feels like medieval torture rather than an intuitive control scheme- but this doesn't stop Prototype being an immensely enjoyable slaughter simulator that delivers cathartic stress relief by the bucketload.
Normal sandbox games just don't cut it any more... after being able to run up the Empire State Building, karate-kick a helicopter out of the sky, plummet onto a tank and cracking it like an egg. And then surfing a hapless soldier down the streets on a wave of his own internal organs for fun. Hell, you can even hijack vehicles and commandeer regular firearms if the situation calls for it. It's easy to get carried away, and Prototype actively rewards players for taking half an hour off to commit mass carnage all over the city. Gory mass murder has rarely been this much fun.
Mercer's most subtle ability is also his most important. He can consume soldiers and civilians to gain their appearance- meaning that stealth is a viable alternative to balls-out butchering. Alex can also absorb memories from over a hundred respawning civilians to gain insight into the overarching Web Of Intrigue that surrounds the virus outbreak. These short interlinked videos are much more interesting than the main story itself... but more about that later.
This gloriously over-the-top combat provides the perfect framework for a gloriously over-the-top experience, but unfortunately this is where Prototype ultimately fails. Every aspect of its presentation is dreary and boring enough to trigger chronic narcolepsy in even the most unimaginative veteran gamers.
Let's start with the visuals. Prototype is built around an ageing engine with a foggy draw distance, grainy textures and an overall lack of detail... which could have been compensated for by providing a colourful and vibrant sandbox playground. Just ask Crackdown. However, Prototype's Manhattan is is uniquely dull and uninspired; dominated by rusty tones and samey vistas that will leave most gamers screaming for a little colour and variety. Sure, we like gritty- but not at the expense of fun.
And then there's the story missions. You'd think that Mercer's skillset could be leveraged into imaginative objectives, but the main missions all boil down to killing the same kind of targets over and over and over again. Some deeply unpleasant timed escort and defence challenges also rear their ugly head, with cheap bosses that soon turn the exhilarating action into an unremitting grind. There's a lot of content on offer (including timed challenges and side missions), but they're all variations on a repetitive theme.
The story and characterisation are the worst offenders. The plot, premise and basic context are actually fairly sound, but it's delivered with grinding and overbearing exposition that soon becomes a chore to wade through. Emotionless voice acting and truly unlikeable stock characters further compound the problem. Put simply, Prototype refuses to have any fun with its premise. For future reference, developers: if you don't have an interesting story to tell, don't bother telling it. Just let us run up buildings and kill stuff for the sheer fun of it. It doesn't help that Alex Mercer is easily one of the least interesting protagonists in videogame history. Seriously, he makes AC's Desmond seem genuinely charismatic and charming in comparison. His stoic, gravelly one-liners were clearly intended to lend him an cool edgy vibe, but they only manage to convey the overwhelming impression that he's bored with the whole situation. If Alex doesn't care, why the hell should we?
The Short Version: Much like Alex Mercer himself, Prototype lacks enough personality to be truly interesting. The gleefully OTT combat jars with the humdrum presentation and repetitive missions. Break through the apathy, however, and there's a lot of content to enjoy- making it a perfect choice for a weekend rental or to satisfy a lull in your gaming routine.