PC prison-break-preview

Published on February 11th, 2010 | by prime

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Prison Break – Preview

There aren’t many games based solely in the confines of a prison and unlike last year’s excellent Arkham Asylum, you aren’t a superhero with Batarangs at your disposal, instead you’re just a regular Joe trying to find your way. Well, that’s at least partly true because Fox River Penitentiary isn’t your average correctional facility, and Tom Paxton definitely isn’t your average inmate. This is the first game ever based on the hugely successful series Prison Break, and even though games based on TV shows are usually mediocre, we’re happy to report that we were pleasantly surprised with this third-person stealth adventure.

You play as Tom Paxton, an undercover agent of the shadowy Company, who has been ‘placed’ inside Fox River to keep an eye on fellow inmate Michael Scofield – who’s looking to liberate his brother from a pending date with the lethal injection. It’s a story which will be familiar to any fans of the series, and those that haven’t experience this American tour de force will be in for a treat as everything is thoroughly explained.

The plot has been penned by one of the series’ many writers, and as a result gamers can expect a very faithful experience. This authenticity is extended to the look as well, with ZootFly successfully recreating key characters and the prison itself.

Gameplay is dominated by traditional stealth elements, so expect to memorize guard patrol patterns, disable CCTV cameras and avoid all knowing canines. It feels very traditional but fits in very well with the low-tech setting. It’s sobering to be so underpowered, and instead of having the options to snap guards’ necks, you’ll need to find more peaceful means to complete the game’s many missions associated with spying on fellow inmates and performing errands for the prison’s respective king pins. Thankfully, Mr Paxton is a very talented climber, so vertical evasion is usually the best choice. Like all stealth titles, you’ll need plenty of patience to successfully navigate some scenarios, but thankfully checkpoints are liberally placed and load times only last a brief second.

Combat is dominated by hand to hand scrapping without a gun in sight

Combat is dominated by hand to hand scrapping without a gun in sight, which is once again fitting with the source material. After punching, kicking and blocking foes, you’ll need to unleash a bone-breaking finisher in order to get the job done.

It would be easy to dismiss Prison Break as easy console fodder, but the exploration and ability to negotiate with NPC’s is a good fit for the PC platform. Mixing with some of the prison’s more disgusting characters – including white supremacists, murder and rapists – is crucial but you’ll feel increasingly uneasy mixing with such unscrupulous people.

ZootFly’s take on the Prison Break series will surprise a lot of gamers, not just in with its high development values and maturity of the content but also the classic stealth gameplay which is a natural fit for the PC.

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