Game review: Prototype Biohazard Bundle

Prototype's fighting mechanics are enjoyable, but the series has aged badly. Picture: Contributed

Prototype's fighting mechanics are enjoyable, but the series has aged badly. Picture: Contributed

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An underwhelming remaster of a series that belongs in the last generation.

Game review: Prototype Biohazard Bundle

Platform: Xbox One (reviewed) / Playstation 4

Score: 5/10

This is the latest in a series of HD remasters of previous generation games, a trend which ordinarily sees each new release heavily previewed with details of changes, improvements and extra features. Prototype, however, slipped out with very little fanfare, appearing overnight on digital storefronts much to the surprise of everyone logging on. The lack of a marketing campaign is traditionally an ominous sign. The Biohazard bundle is no exception.

The collection comprises the original Prototype, released in 2009, its 2012 sequel, and all the DLC released for each title. The open world action adventure series sees the player assume control of Alex Mercer, a shapeshifting antihero tasked with using his superpowers to get to the bottom of a virus that has turned New York’s inhabitants into a braying brood of zombies. It is a sparse narrative which does its job in setting up the real point of Prototype - to jump, run and destroy as much as possible.

A restrictive game design hampers some enjoying combat mechanics

The series has been labelled in many quarters as a poor imitation of inFAMOUS, an unfair accusation in terms of chronology, given that they made their bow a few weeks apart. Yet it remains fair to say that, for all its parkour freedom, Prototype never quite hit the heights of its competitor, with Mercer’s diverse and satisfying combat mechanics hampered by a restrictive game design which demanded you to repeat them ad nauseum. There were dumb thrills to be had destroying tanks and helicopter with your bare hands, but after a while, even the outlandish became formulaic.

Activision has done little to address these failings with what is a cursory remaster. Graphics that were passable six years ago now are offered up with little effort to disguise their age, despite the publisher’s claim that the titles have undergone full HD rendering and now enjoy an improved framerate and higher resolution. If the animations and environments look a little ungainly, the technical gremlins are even worse, with texture problems and tearing blighting both games, which feel as if they run slower than their Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 iterations.

There are fleeting pleasures to be had, but the package suffers from a lack of care

The wholesale lack of care or attention in updating Prototype for a new audience is a shame. There is, or at least was, a fleeting pleasure to be had from romping around a cityscape when your only obligation is destruction. But even the most basic joys have been undermined by this slapdash remastering job. Hopefully, a new version of Prototype will rear its head in the years to come, but only die-hard fans should bother with the Biohazard bundle in the meantime.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

Collecting orbs is the best way to boost your evolution points as quickly as possible.

Shifting shape quickly can allow you to disorientate opponents and gain the upper hand in a fight.

Use the flying kick ability to hijack helicopters.

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