over-the-top cartoon motion, where the laws of physics aren’t even treated as suggestions. Everything seems unnaturally fast, including the movement of pedestrian bystanders. Eventually you get to scoot to the top of skyscrapers in a few seconds by simply repeatedly jumping upwards, with the vertical walls as purchase.
The differences in combat are also quite extreme. In inFAMOUS you slowly develop your super-powers; they are relatively small in number, and gradually power up. In [Prototype] you quickly get a bewildering array of different attacks, each with its own combination or sequence of buttons. I generally found myself sticking to one of three or so attacks that actually worked reliably and weren’t too fiddly to trigger. It just wasn’t worth remembering all the others.
I found inFAMOUS annoying on rare occasions, mostly when I had to dashacross the map in a short space of time. [Prototype] induced rage far more consistently. Enemy nests and larger enemies require that you pick up large objects like cars, target the enemy with L2, hold down circle to charge your throw, then release circle to actually complete the throw. There are a number of issues with the game that make this frustrating, however:
So in practice, you run across the map to grab the nearest object, and end up facing away from whatever massive mutant you’re trying to kill. You spin around 180 degrees, and half the time discover that the mutant is right there and will leap over and smack you before you can ready a throw, causing you to drop whatever you picked up so you have to start your attack sequence again. On occasions when the mutant is far enough away that it can’t ruin your attack, you hit F2 and the cursor focuses on something entirely harmless that happens to be closer. It’s incredibly frustrating, particularly in the final “boss” battle–which has the added irritation of an arbitrary time limit.
Helicopter combat is frustrating too, because the right stick not only turns your helicopter, it also refocuses the L2 targeting on other objects. So if an enemy copter isn’t quite close enough to your sights for a missile to hit, you start turning, only to find that your missiles are suddenly targeting a different copter that they’re even less likely to hit.
So while inFAMOUS lacks vehicle combat and the range of weapons of [Prototype], it’s a far better game as a result of the added focus and polish. While I finished both games, I completed the last 25% or so of [Prototype] out of sheer bloodymindedness, rather than because I was actually enjoying it.
Both games got sequels. inFAMOUS 2 is already out; [Prototype 2] is due soon, but barring stellar reviews I think I’ll give it a miss.
© mathew 2017