Prototype Performance Analyzed

Image Quality Settings

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 In general, the lighting model is a little outdated as well, with shadows completely missing from certain situations even when the highest detail level is selected.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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  • Wayoffbase
    I don't see anyone upgrading from a C2Q to an i7 for a game that's just not all that great looking on high settings, the performance discrepency there was odd. The gameplay itself looks like it might be interesting though.
  • Ramar
    Already beat the game a week ago, but it was a thrill-ride. Not sure why the article's so late getting up though.

    At the least, it'll convince people that their older rigs -can- run it. It's basically an optimized and mostly un-buggy Web Of Shadows engine; I'd expect a 7800GT could probably run it okay.
  • Ramar
    Wayoffbase...just not all that great looking on high settings,...

    In action it's much better than these screenshots. It pulls a lot of the same tricks MGS4 does on the PS3, where you can tell it's not actually doing that much processing but it looks like it is. Screenshots don't do the game justice because you rarely see a texture or polygon for more than a few seconds at most; in action the particle effects are actually pretty impressive.
  • apache_lives
    could this be the first game that takes full advantage of an i7's 8 threads?
  • mcbowler
    Hmm.. all its takes is an XBOX 360! $200.00 It is a great game.
  • neiroatopelcc
    What happends if you add 8gb ddr2-1200 (ballistix or similar) to the old quadcore ? the i7 had 50% more memory available as well after all - if the game's 64 bit enabled, perhaps the difference isn't the cpu alone - since even at 2.4 the difference is huge.
    Even saints row, which has shit for graphics, runs close to the 2gb memory limit of 32bit games all the time - so perhaps this actually uses whatever is available?

    I saw this game a few weeks ago running great on a laptop that usually does inventor stuff ... I don't know what processor was in it, but I bet no more than an old dualcore T something processor
  • radium69
    My Q6600 @ 3.0 Ghz and Geforce GTS 512 runs this game flawless on high settings. I've tried with aa on 4x but found it runnign at 20fps sometimes. It's a fun game. And not to hard on resources.
  • Tknockers
    p.s. not so great difference between i7 and core2quad on that site..
  • chovav
    my Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz and 8800GT 512mb run the game smoothly at 1980x1080 with anti-aliasing x4 and high details.. I actually don't mind the graphics so much, i think they are better than GTAIV's..

    One of the best games ever BTW!!
  • Anonymous
    Apache Lives: It barely takes advantage of more than 2 real threads on the Core2 quad, why do you think it's using all 8 virtual threads on the i7? It seems Intel want's to push i7 as a gaming CPU(even though everyone knows that C2Q and PhII are just fine), perhaps they struck some kind of deal with the devs? There's no logical reason for how such a CPU spread could happen.
  • neiroatopelcc
    chovavmy Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz and 8800GT 512mb run the game smoothly at 1980x1080 with anti-aliasing x4 and high details.. I actually don't mind the graphics so much, i think they are better than GTAIV's..One of the best games ever BTW!!

    It's not fair to compare a pc game with graphics from a pocket calculator. gta if anything sports only gameplay. Graphics aren't a selling point for that title.
  • JeanLuc
    I see on this page you were a bit stumped by the poor showing of the 8800GT/9800GT when the 9600GT was out preforming it.

    I think the answer is the lack of VRAM on the 8800GT which I believe only had 512Mb where as the 9600GT has a full 1Gb which eliminated any bottlenecks when processing all those textures with 4x AA being applied.
  • goalguy02
    Should throw in a phenom II 940 or 955 as well as test SLI and Crossfire cards. I want to see how well the game scales using SLI
  • San Pedro
    Well, I can run the game maxed with my core 2 at 2.8 ghz and a 512 4870, including 4xaa at 1680x1050. I wasn't impressed with the graphics at all though. I think GTA looks much better. The gameplay didn't do anything for me, but I only gave it about ten minutes of my time, in which it had already felt repetitive. However, maybe I'll go back and give it a longer try.

    Anyway, keep articles like these coming.
  • cracklint
    4870 512, pII 720 black, 4 gig 1066 memory no over clocking - game runs maxed out with v sync enabled. I have yet to find a game that needs more with the exception of Crysis and maybe Far Cry 2. Crysis was good, but not great. Far Cry 2, well... it kinda sucked. I couldn't justify the hundreds of dollars more it would cost to get a good 50fps with max settings out of these 2 games.
  • fadirocks
    Directx 10.1 vs 10.0 anything interesting in that aspect like CPU usage, frame rate...etc?
  • jp182
    I have a phenom II Triple core AM3 running on an AM2+ mobo with 4gigs of ram (really less since its XP 32bit) and an 8600GTS videocard and with high detail and medium shadow at 1680 x 1050 the game runs flawlessly (no AA) and fast. I don't think the frame rate has ever dropped past 25fps.

    So unless this CPU is the business (which it isn't on this platform), anyone with a computer that made in the last 3 years can run this game no problem.
  • jp182
    btw, I'm not really impressed by the game as I thought Infamous was more engaging.
  • doomtomb
    I have a Core 2 Quad (Q9550 @ 3.6GHz), 8GB of RAM, and two GTX 275s. I should be able to play this game maxed out no sweat. It is fine but I drop below 60FPS at many points in the game and I tried using FRAPS to record and it is unplayable, like 5fps. I can in-game record for Left 4 Dead and even GTA IV but this game is unbearable! With my setup, Prototype should be crushed!