Business Technology

Saturday 20 January 2018

Game On: Prototype 2

Take every superpower you've ever imagined and implant them in a near-invincible figure hell-bent on revenge. Congratulations, you've just written the script for Prototype 2, sequel to an open-world rampage owing debts to Crackdown and Infamous.

Never mind the flaccid narrative, with your angry protagonist on the trail of the men responsible for infecting New York with a gruesome virus.

Revel instead in the flabbergasting (and gory) range of superpowers (run up buildings, throw cars, impale enemies with your spiked arms, consume innocents to rebuild health, etc). Treat the city as your playground as you sprint, leap and glide from one confrontation to the next.

You are a man who can punch helicopters out of the sky, rip the gun off a tank and eat soldiers for breakfast. Every battle offers a smorgasbord of techniques and approaches for conquest.

Certainly, P2 has appreciably improved from the original but there remains a lack of story-driven focus and your attention may wander after a few pleasing hours of carnage.

Walking Dead

X360/PC

RATING: 8.5/10

More of an interactive drama than a true game, this first episode (of five) based on the graphic novel (more so than the TV version) about a zombie apocalypse gets the series off to a fine start.

Beautifully rendered and sympathetically acted (for the most part), the storyline explores the lives of survivors battling to escape the walking dead. While the gameplay mechanics are limited to simple movement and gentle puzzles, they successfully convey the tension and terror of zombie encounters.

As a cheap download, it's a compelling introduction to a well told tale.

Sniper Elite V2

X360/PS3/PC

RATING: 7/10

Almost as an antidote to the hair-trigger mayhem of Call of Duty and its ilk, Sniper Elite V2 is a shooter with a twist. No prizes for guessing this reboot sets its sights on long-distance kills, focusing on balletic ballistics rather than bullet bombardment.

As a crackshot Nazi hunter in World War Two, you take your time to pick your vantage point and draw a bead on your targets before slowly squeezing the trigger. Shots take into account bullet drop over great distances and can be so accurate as to target a grenade on an enemy's belt, with the inevitably messy result.

Close-up combat is far less well realised, dogged by dodgy enemy AI. But V2's most memorable moments are reserved for its killcam, when a particularly fine shot is rendered in grisly close-up and CSI-style X-rays of, ahem, organs exploding and bones shattering.

Fable Heroes

X360

RATING: 6/10

A chaotic party game tied loosely to the Fable universe, Heroes does itself few favours despite cramming in so many ideas. The central gameplay consists of mindless hack'n'slash where it's so difficult to track your specific character you might as well close your eyes.

By turns lovely to look at and laugh-out-loud funny, there's no ignoring the hollow heart in Heroes.

Irish Independent

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