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Prison Break: The Conspiracy Review

Oh dear, for some strange reason any game that has been released which incorporates parts of a Movie or a TV show seem to be rubbish. Now I don't mean to tarnish the name of TV or Movie tie in games but if you look over the list of these offenders, you really can start to see a pattern. The latest 24 game, the Lost game, all of the CSI games, Avatar the game, all great in their native format, but all of them are rubbish games. I could go on but I'll refrain from doing so, but I think am making my point here all of these games were rubbish, so will Prison Break finally buck the trend and allow us to finally have a good tie in game? No it doesn't and damn its almost as worst as the rest of them.

 The Conspiracy 

The first thing I found weird is the fact on how late this game has been released after the TV show. Normally these games are released at the peak of the shows ratings or in time with the release of X movie in an attempt to maximise the potential returns from the sales to all the fans of the show/movie, however the show Prison Break has been off our screens for a while and has definitely passed it's peak ratings. So I feel that this game has already missed it best chance to at least try and shine.

The storyline is based on the first season of the TV show, which also happens to be the best one of the lot. Instead of playing the main character of the TV series, Michael Scofield, you take the role of Tom Paxton, an agent with a covert organization called "The Company". In this game you will go undercover in the Fox River State Penitentiary as a prisoner to ensure that the character Lincoln Burrows make his date with the electric chair even if he was falsely locked up; so set course for a grueling slog of linear missions and straight forward gaming that makes your mind go numb and your body go limp, it's almost as if we were serving time ourselves.

The first thing I think I must address is that if you have seen the TV shows first season then you know exactly how this game is going to pan out so there is no reason for you to look at this game twice; no seriously don't even look at it, just walk away put it back on the stand and run. To be honest if you ever do want to revisit the first series again I suggest you do via your DVD player, not this game as you will seriously not be entertained. Its not so much the fact that the storyline is copied from an old, though good TV series, it's maybe the fact that the graphics look like complete and utter tripe.

Its sad to say with all the power of the games console it seems that the graphics engine has been ripped out of a past generation game and used through-out. There are many issues but I must at least praise them that everything is done within this engine and therefore there are no cut scenes that are rendered. The bad news is that you really do want something that looks like it is maybe actually pushing your games console to its limits, rather than just what feels like it is doing a slow jog. Sad fact is that over the course of the time I played this game, the graphics never really seemed brilliant - yeah okay all the characters have been well done and are easy to spot but there is nothing that makes it stand out - you would think that they would have some cutting edge graphics system, especially for the fact that it is trying to keep up with some of the better stealth games on the market, such as Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell.

 The Conspiracy

The voice acting is okay but not great. I do however feel that a lot of stand ins have been used for this game rather that the actual actors that played the original roles. This is maybe because of the fact that they saw this coming and ran for the hills or the fact of the budget who knows, but it does stop the game from feeling complete when some of the voices you hear don't exactly sound how they should do. A lot of the NPC lines feel rushed and don't really show any emotion at all, they just feel wooden in places.

The control system is all wrong. Instead of moving your character, you simply move your camera which means you can do the impossible and run sideways as fast as you can forward. Again the controls are simple and don't feel well throughout. For example during the fighting mini-game there is only two punches you can use, a heavy punch, a normal punch and there is a block and a dash button. That's it really and it isn't exactly Street Fighter IV for its attacks either. All the fights can be won pretty much by just countering and making sure you vary your punches. However there seems little point in playing this game anyway for all you can use the currency for is to have a random tattoo done on your characters body, which doesn't really do much apart from unlock a reward if you manage to get a tattoo on every single place you are allowed to place one on the body.

 The Conspiracy 

There are also three mini-games for this title, which includes pressing buttons which appear at random on the screen which then makes your character hit a punching bag. The only problem with this is the fact that the commands come up so slow one after another that I got bored quite quickly. The next mini game is a weight lifting exercise which involves you wearing out your face button as you mash it with all your might to try and get the weights up. However, if you think this seems to simple, you are very much right but wait, to make this a lot more trickier you have to balance the weights as you lift them up, using the Sixaxis motion you say? No of course not. You use the analog stick to try and keep your weights balanced, however even the slightest touch can make the weight move from left to right. the fact of the matter is though, it doesn't make a damn difference to the exercise which pretty much gets boring after a few minutes of watching your player wangle the weights from left and right as they slowly go back up to the position which they need to be to gain a little bit of experience to become a certain level of fighter. Even when you do level your character up there are no new moves or weapons to unlock and use throughout the game. There is simply no point to this factor and seems to be just another way of making you spend time for no real reward.

 The Conspiracy 

With the missions in the game there is no real variety in them at all, you are simply fetching items back and forth throughout the game using the stealth system to sneak in and out of areas which you shouldn't be in. It seems that the whole guard unit, as well as the design of the building, has been built with moving around undetected as a side feature. The simple rule of thumb is that if there is a cupboard, hide in it, if there is a vent, climb into it and if there is someone like a guard or an inmate standing in your way no matter how much you try and punch them there is no way through so you are at a dead end. After doing a lot of sneaking around and climbing in and out of vents you will normally end up with a quick-time event to complete the last part of the mission and this is why I hate games like this. There is no major skill involved in this, it is just a game of SIMON after crawling around in a vent for 10 minutes and after you have grueled your way all over the prison you really don't feel like you have achieved anything apart from successfully becoming someones prison bitch. Even if you do end up getting detected, don't worry, a screen pops up saying press X to continue you will be put back to your last checkpoint to try the whole thing over again.

 The Conspiracy


There is no stealth in this game whatsoever, if you have ever played any other game of stealth where you can distract guards or even knock them out allowing you to continue on your way, you may be a bit disgruntled because it does not exist in this game. Any NPC that isn't an inmate, which can detect you can make you restart back from the checkpoint. Like I've said there is no way of distracting them so you just have to walk around them very slowly. Also at some points you may see security cameras which will be blocking your way, no matter, just simply knock the cameras to temporally disable them and off you go. I am pretty sure that if you did that in a real prison you would end up getting shot; repeatedly.. In the face... By someone called Gordon.

So what is there to like? Well nothing really, if you really want to share the pain of this game you can always play the fighting mode in two player which will either leave you with no friends by the end of it or in a real fist fight of who can eject the disc the fastest from the games console.

When its all said and done this is another reject TV game cash in that will be in the bargain bin quicker than you or me can escape from jail. If you really want some real entertainment from Prison Break I really suggest that you go and buy season one on DVD. Not only will this be more entertaining for you but it also may last longer than the game itself.

4.00/10 4

Prison Break: The Conspiracy (Reviewed on PlayStation 3)

Minor enjoyable interactions, but on the whole is underwhelming.

There is no stealth in this game whatsoever, if you have ever played any other game of stealth where you can distract guards or even knock them out allowing you to continue on your way, you may be a bit disgruntled because it does not exist in this game. Any NPC that isn't an inmate, which can detect you can make you restart back from the checkpoint. Like I've said there is no way of distracting them so you just have to walk around them very slowly. Also at some points you may see security cameras which will be blocking your way, no matter, just simply knock the cameras to temporally disable them and off you go. I am pretty sure that if you did that in a real prison you would end up getting shot; repeatedly.. In the face... By someone called Gordon. So what is there to like? Well nothing really, if you really want to share the pain of this game you can always play the fighting mode in two player which will either leave you with no friends by the end of it or in a real fist fight of who can eject the disc the fastest from the games console. When its all said and done this is another reject TV game cash in that will be in the bargain bin quicker than you or me can escape from jail. If you really want some real entertainment from Prison Break I really suggest that you go and buy season one on DVD. Not only will this be more entertaining for you but it also may last longer than the game itself.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Steve 'Rasher' Greenfield

Steve 'Rasher' Greenfield

Editor-in-chief

Steve tends to do more work in the background these days than on the website. Keeps him out of trouble.

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COMMENTS

POBmaestro-1428097466
POBmaestro-1428097466 - 11:44pm, 3rd April 2015

It is a shame that fond memories of a great TV series are tarnished by another lacklusture game tie-in. Even the box-art makes me cringe somehow!

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