Prison Break: The Conspiracy
Posted 3 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
What’s worse than a bad videogame based on a movie? A bad videogame based on a TV show. While it seems like every single TV series or reality show has to get its own videogame (Alias, Dark Angel, CSI, LOST, Grey’s Anatomy, Desperate Housewives...), the list of decent ones is as thin as the polar ice cap. Now, you can add FOX’s Prison Break to the group. Does Zootfly’s latest effort continue the trend of horrible television-to-video game adaptations or does it get a passing grade, elevating it above most of the other drek?
First things first, you won’t be playing as Michael Scofield. Instead you’ll take control of Tom Paxton, a Company agent sent undercover into the Fox River State Penitentiary to check on the new inmate and ensure that he will not jeopardize the Company’s plans for Lincoln Burrows; whom they have framed for a crime that he didn’t commit. And yes, you guessed it, the game takes place during the events of the show’s first season. Throughout your eight-hour mission, you will cross paths with other notable characters (Abruzzi, Sucre, T-Bone and C-Note among others), each having their own personal needs at the Pen. You help them and they will help you in return.
What you need to know about Prison Break: The Conspiracy is that it’s far from being a game that requires great skill or uses advanced gameplay mechanics. It’s an almost 100% fetching experience, from beginning to end. Talk to this guy; go get what he needs in a room somewhere in Point B. Once you successfully get the item or clear the objective, return to Point A...and so on. In between, you will get to fight whoever gets in your way, enter QTE (quick time events) instances at certain points to escape from near-death moments, or use your stealth skills to sneak by guards and avoid detection in order to get to your objective without being seen. You will even get to upgrade Tom’s physical abilities by hitting the punching bag and weightlifting stations, customize your appearance by getting tattooed and win money during organized underground fights.
However, this is the part that I don’t understand: none of the three aforementioned elements add anything notable to your experience. You won’t require extensive training sessions to win your fights. Once you get to master the countering system after the first level, you will be able to beat anyone with ease. You win money by participating and winning underground fights but you can’t buy weapons for Tom, only tattoos which again doesn’t add any particularity towards the gameplay whatsoever.
And did I tell you the game has a two player offline fighting mode? Yeah, and there’s nothing compelling about that mode either. It feels like it was all added just to give the player something to do.
Besides the fighting and the unnecessary training, stealth is what dominates the larger part of the Prison Break experience. Sadly, we are not talking about Splinter Cell here. There’s very little room for improvisation and everything is laid out in way for you to succeed and move onto the next section as quickly as possible. If you happen to get caught by a guard or spotted by a surveillance camera, the game will say that you’ve failed and will reload a checkpoint that takes you right before your bad move. Not that you will fail a lot though. Truth is, whether you have a stealth gaming background or not, you will realize after the first hour that if you stay in the “shadows” and look at your map to trigger the A.I’s walking pattern, the rest of the game will be a walk in the park. If you get caught more than once in a level, it will be because you would walked right up to the enemy and stood beside him.
Graphics & Sounds
The gameplay may not be groundbreaking but the visual/sound department isn’t too shabby. Fox River State Penitentiary, whether you are inside or out, is well rendered. Despite having to deal with subpar character animations and textures, the character models themselves bear a striking resemblance to the real-life actors.
Voiceovers might seem odd at times, especially the guy that voices Tom Paxton, but at least, fans of the show will be happy to hear recognizable voices as most of the cast has been brought over. Yes, that includes Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell. The whole Prison Break cast definitely gives their best to deliver great voiceover work, something we are not used to seeing in the world of TV/Movie videogame adaptations.
As I said before, when a publisher and a developer agree on making a game that doesn’t intend to compete against or or even being compared to other AAA games in the genre, then they certainly shouldn’t carry a AAA price point. Prison Break: The Conspiracy could have easily been offered up as a bargain title, not only as a favor to the hardcore gamer, but mostly to please the diehard fan. At launch, the game carried a US$40 price tag and as of today, you might get lucky and find it for $30. I think that $20 would have been perfect for the kind of experience it offers.
Despite the stiff stealth/fighting mechanics, the mission’s linearity and the trial/error experience, Prison Break: The Conspiracy somehow ended up being enjoyable. Ever face the awful feeling of frustration and disgust when you’re an hour or two into a bad game? Well, for me, it didn’t happen. The gameplay mechanics are dated and I’m sure Zootfly could have done something much better, but in the end, the final product was purposely done with the intention of giving the fans something incredibly easy to play.
It’s definitely not the most outstanding gaming experience out there. But, since there are plenty of games out there on the market that offer much less than this one does, I found myself less inclined to write a destructive review. Trust me, it’s really easy to bash on games like these. Games based on television shows are strictly aimed to one market: the show’s fan base. It doesn’t mean that the rest of gaming world won’t play it and that’s why you need to approach those titles with a bit of caution. After CSI:Deadly Intent and SAW, this is the third game based on a movie/TV property that I’ve played in the last twelve months. And while I won’t recommend it as a must-buy, I will definitely put it in the “good rental” category. Whether you are a hardcore gamer or just a simple fan looking to relive key moments of your favorite show, I think that you’ll be pleased with the result. Just don’t expect to be blown away by it and you’ll be fine.
+ Character likenesses
+ Simplistic mission structure
+ Gameplay remains somewhat interesting...
- Mission structure maybe a bit TOO easy?
- Forgettable AI
- Sub-par character animations and environment textures
- Physical training, tattoos and fist fights feel unnecessary
- Pricing could have been cheaper
- Replay value non-existent
4 weeks ago :: (PSN) Fuel Overdose
4 weeks ago :: (PSN) Darkstalkers Resurrection
1 month ago :: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
1 month ago :: (PSN) Alien Breed
5 months ago :: Assassin's Creed III
6 months ago :: FIFA Soccer 13
7 months ago :: Resident Evil 6
7 months ago :: NHL 13
7 months ago :: (PSN) The Expendables 2
Download us here!
Game Junkies podcast and audio interviews
Release Date : 2010/03/30
System : PlayStation 3
Publisher : Deep Silver
Developer : ZootFly
Category : Action
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10