Backlog: Prison Break: The Conspiracy

 

Vitals:Prison_Break_The_Conspiracy
Title: Prison Break: The Conspiracy
Developer: ZootFly (Panzer Elite Action: Fields of Glory and Dunes of War)
Publisher: Deep Silver (Dead Island, Metro, Saint’s Row IV)
Platforms: MS, PS3, 360
Release: March 30, 2010
Genre: Action-Adventure

This game is based on the TV show, Prison Break. If you were not a fan, you can go ahead and give this a solid skip, because without happy memories of the show, the game is not worth playing.

Instead of playing as Michael Scofield, you are Tom Paxton, an agent of The Company charged with ensuring Lincoln Burrows dies in the electric chair as planned. This effectively means stopping whatever plans Michael has. It takes place alongside the first season of the show and includes some of the major plot points.

*Most* characters have been realized in the game with great facial detail and the actors providing their own voices. However, those faces also only have one expression, leading to a complete lack of emotion. Michael looks exactly the same talking to Linc as he does getting assaulted.  Also, apparently they ran out of actor money early since someone forgot Dr. Tancredi is a brunette.

The game itself is very linear. You can skip every cutscene and simply follow the X on your map to every objective. If something is yellow, you’re probably supposed to climb it or open it. If there’s a waist-high box, hide behind it.

Controls are quite wonky, causing Tom Paxton to continue moving without input or not being able to jump to the next cover because the camera isn’t aligned. They don’t make much sense when it comes to AI, either. Crouching behind a table will get you spotted, but putting your back to it (where your head is poking out above the top of the table) won’t.

Besides the iffy stealth play, there are a lot of QuickTime Events. On the hardest difficulty, expect to replay them over and over because they slightest hesitation or mis-press will have you restarting. There are also fight sequences that consist of heavy punches, light punches, and blocks. You can just light punch your way to victory in most cases. The finishing moves rarely make sense, since you wouldn’t really see those moves knocking an opponent out.

Finally, my quirky complaints. The use of valves is completely inaccurate. Whether you are opening or shutting the valve, you’re always turning it clockwise (shut for those in the know). One particular time, closing said valve causes a puff of steam/gas to come out, then stop! Tom Paxton is always speaking into his secret recording device… even when the subject or a guard is standing *right there*.

The security in this prison is deplorable. There are instances of guards who are literally staring at a corner of the room. Finally, there are times when Tom has to unscrew bolts or screws… without tools… quietly. The animations don’t match between Tom and the closeup of the bolts/screws. Every set of bolts in the prison is apparently less than “finger-tight”, and the animation has them just popping out and falling to the ground! Grab the bolts, Paxton!

Overall, the game’s a dud. If you really liked the show, it might be worth a playthrough, and the 1000GS isn’t incredibly difficult… but you may feel like throwing your controller through the TV when you walk in front of a spotlight without touching the sticks for the fifth time.

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