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Image Quality Settings

Prototype Performance Analyzed

There are only two detail controls in Prototype: Graphic Quality and Shadow. Each has a low, medium, and high setting.

On the low setting, shadows are nonexistent, which really flattens out the landscape and removes depth from the game world. The distance at which objects like cars are rendered using low-detail models is fairly close to the player's point of view. Only at the closest ranges are high-detail models displayed. For example, look at how the detail of the automobiles drops off as the distance increases from the viewpoint.

At medium detail we see shadows, which immediately increases the graphical fidelity of the game world quite a bit. The distance at which the game reverts to low-detail models is somewhat improved, with the high-detail models remaining farther from the viewpoint.

High detail increases the shadow resolution, but it doesn't make all that much of a visual difference compared to the medium setting. Objects are also rendered with high-detail models at increased ranges from the viewpoint, although, in the distance, low-detail models can still be seen.

Unfortunately, from the rooftops, even the high graphics quality setting isn't sufficient to prevent the camera from seeing the hard line where the streets & cars revert to a flat texture instead of 3D models. However, this drawback isn't very noticeable during game play.

All things considered, Prototype certainly doesn't reach for the leading edge where graphics are concerned, as it looks more like a title from a year or two ago rather than an A-list game in 2009. It's not particularly ugly, but there are a few places where low-resolution textures and overly-simple prop models bring down the fidelity. In general, the lighting model is a little outdated as well, with shadows completely missing from certain situations even when the highest detail level is selected. Having said that, when you're enjoying the game's action, the visuals are good enough so that these things won't detract from the fun.

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