I hate computers.
Repackaging games from the past generation has become just another Tuesday this generation. Almost every company has jumped on board, and for the most part I have no issues with these “Ultimate Editions” of the games. Then comes the Prototype: Biohazard Bundle, which is a collection of both original games for PS4 and Xbox One. While most of these types of collections feature upgraded visuals, resolution or some kind of technical improvement, this package actually runs worse than its original counterparts in some cases. The resolution has been upped to 1080p but with no tweaking to take advantage of the new machines, we are essentially paying $50 for the privilege of backwards compatibility.
Prototype is a series that came after developer Free Radical’s beloved Hulk title. It was released around the same time as inFamous, which garnered a lot of arguments and comparisons. I always enjoyed the series, and thought it had potential. It wasn’t as polished as Sony’s similar title, but in a lot of aspects, it was a lot more fun to play. The sequel felt more accessible, if not a little more in the way of big dumb fun, even its protagonist was over-the-top – spouting some of most memorably bad lines in gaming history.
Platforms: XB1, PS4
Price I’d Pay: $29.99
I like these games, and I always wished they would have reignited the series, but this collection feels cheap and unnecessary. The lack of visual upgrades really dampens the experience. Like I said it feels like a backwards compatible title that they are charging for again. All of the DLC is included, and some of it is entertaining, but I can’t shake the feeling that the reason no one knew this was coming out, is because of the lack of work done to it. $50 is too much for a collection of these titles, especially considering I can snag them both for less than one of them separate here.
This package is the fear of not having backwards compatibility on these new consoles. Microsoft has started to remedy that, but charging for old games, especially when they haven’t really been enhanced in any meaningful way is just a quick cash grab, which is sad because as I stated, I really enjoy playing both of these games. Sure it was neat to earn Achievements, and being able to take screenshots and stream game play, but those are console level features, and again backward compatible titles on Xbox One, also support that feature.
It also doesn’t help that the games have not aged well. The original is the biggest offender. The controls are stiff, and the mission design is extremely repetitious. The second game benefits more from its blatant lack of trying to be serious and coming across as one long punch line. Still some of the mechanics are still worth checking out. The traversal is great, the moves make me feel extremely powerful, although the stealth and sneak missions, I could have lived without.
I still love these games. While the original Prototype is clearly a product of its time, the second one still holds up surprisingly well. I enjoyed digging back into both, and yes I still really enjoy what they are. Sadly this “remaster” is nothing even remotely close to that. It is two games, somehow coded to run on new consoles, and a reminder that backwards compatibility is indeed a possibility. Nothing has been added, no care given, and sadly these games deserve better than that.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.