Prison Break Review (PS3)

Right off the bat, we have a confession to make. We've never watched a single episode of Prison Break, but we've heard that it starts off good and then gradually gets rather patchy and then less good as the episodes roll on. We've never been to prison either and certainly wouldn't last long if we ever had to serve time, so you could say that we're not really qualified to review Prison Break: The Conspiracy, Zootfly's videogame episode that runs parallel to the events of the television show's first series.

You adopt the role of undercover FBI agent Tom Paxton, sent to Fox River Penitentiary to keep an eye on Michael Schofield and his brother – the two lead characters from the TV series for those not in the know. After a meeting with your superior - a man with the worst Irish accent in the known universe – you enter the facility on the prison bus, and so the drab story begins.

Think this looks good? See an optician. Now.
Look at this! This looks dramatic, doesn't it?! It's not.

Once you enter the state pen, you're slowly lead to your cell, where like any professional undercover agent worth his salt, you whip out your dictaphone and start recording your thoughts and findings in plain view of everyone in the cell block. Good stuff. It's also worth noting that by this point we've earned several trophies for merely watching a cutscene and walking to our cell.

Next up, we choose to engage in a few random fights, approaching any old inmate, and smacking him in the face to initiate a scrap. Not only are the combat mechanics godawful, but the stony, immovable expressions on the character's faces is laughable. In fact, the only facial movements you'll see on a character's waxen visage, is blinking and mouth movements when they talk. The rest is just blank, which is especially comical when you're engaged in a stressful situation like potentially being shanked in the shower or being strangled to within an inch of your life.

Back to the fights though, which are unintentionally hilarious bouts scored by thunderous, dramatic drums despite the fact that there is no drama whatsoever as a dead-eyed, stony-faced convict tippy-toes towards you in a dainty shuffle. It's quite frankly ridiculous, which goes for the rest of the game, which is unremittingly shoddy from beginning to end, although it has to be said, you'll never laugh as much at a game as you will at Prison Break: The Conspiracy.

Even the fail screen is a constant source of mirth as it zooms in on the doughy, placid faces of the prison guards, who on occasion aren't even looking in your direction when they supposedly spot you. It's like Metal Gear Solid never happened playing Prison Break the game, as not only are the combat bits diabolical, but so too are the more common stealth sections that make up most of the game's agonising run time.

We really can't stress enough how rubbish the stealth sections are. Same goes for the fighting though.
If you've resisted the urge to kill yourself, you can ink yourself up and bore yourself to tears with button-mashing mini-games. Or don't. Please don't.

The lack of quality that pervades every square inch of Prison Break is something quite remarkable, from the plastic visaged, vacant-looking character models to the highly suspect AI and hideous combat with its Matrix-style swooshing sound effects. Even the script is idiotic and patience-wearing, especially given the sheer inanity of some of the dialogue. Even fans of the show will be hard-pushed finding redeeming features or anything to enjoy here. Actor likenesses are uniformly shoddy, slightly-melted waxwork versions that barely deserve to be described as likenesses, and they're badly voiced too, by the original cast no less. They should hang their heads in shame for the emotionless, phoned-in job they've done here, but then maybe they saw the game and the promise of an easy pay cheque.

And that's about all that we're prepared to say about Prison Break: The Conspiracy – a lazily cobbled-together, bargain basement piece of shovelware that deserves neither your time or money. While it's a 10/10 for laughs that never get old, The Conspiracy is funny for all the wrong reasons and should therefore be avoided at all costs. In fact, compared to this, a long stretch in the slammer suddenly doesn't seem so bad.

Top game moment:
Some of the QTE moments are laugh-out-loud hilarious. A particular highlight is falling from the ceiling and being instantly spotted, but you probably had to be there.

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By Revan (SI Elite) on Mar 30, 2010
Sounds like an awesome game! Lol
By Jamie5555 (SI Newbie) on Apr 05, 2010
Haha, great review:-) don't think I'll be playing the game anytime soon though :-)
By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Apr 06, 2010
Might to rent it to see how bad it is.