I am a very big fan of Prison Break, and when I discovered that there was a game based on the show, I jumped at the opportunity to play it. However, I feel I may have been better off just sticking with the TV series.
Rather than playing out the story of the first series as Michael Scofield, you instead play as Tom Paxton, a member of 'The Company'. The game is set out into 9 chapters, and plays out alongside the events of the TV series.
While the game could have used more action, the game instead focuses on the sneaking aspect of the game. While I wouldn't have a problem with this (a majority of the tv series is based around it), it just seems very lackluster, and most of the NPC's that you have to avoid just follow the same walking pattern, meaning that in most cases the game just boils down to watching their pattern, and then moving around it.
The game does have some fighting parts, but the fighting is extremely dull, and very repetitive, with opponents still being extremely easy to be once you know the controls, even on the hardest setting.
The story is reasonably good, and if more effort had been put into the game play, then the game could have been very good. However, the game is still good for achievement hunters, as the lack of difficulty means that it is extremely easy to get most of, if not all, of the game's achievements.
== Prison Break: The Conspiracy ==
Prison Break: The Conspiracy is a computer game based on the first season of the TV series which stars, Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, Amaury Nolasco, Robert Knepper, Sarah Wayne Callies and many of the other from season one. However you don't take the role of any of these characters in the game but you do interact with them all. In Prison Break: The Conspiracy you take the role as Tom Paxton who has been sent to prison by 'The Company' (who intend on breaking down Lincoln Burrows and his brother Michael Schofield), however things don't go as planned and you have to sneak around and find out information on the brothers as they plan on escaping the prison facility. Question is what do the 'The Company' have planned for Tom when his mission is finished? and can he stop the brothers escaping the prison? Withe Prison Break: The Conspiracy it is exactly like the first season of the series except Tom Paxton who you play as because he isn't a character on the show and the developers of the game have based the start of the game as a part the viewers of the show didn't see like a prequel.
=== Gameplay ===
The gameplay to Prison Break: The Conspiracy is actually rather good and it does give you a sense of feeling what the show is like. As you know the game is based in Fox River State Penitentiary where Lincoln Burrows has been wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of Terrence Steadman. As you progress through the game you have to go through 9 chapters, although some of these chapters aren't very big they can take up a fair bit of time on each one depending on if your good at sneaking or even good at lock picking. Throughout the missions you acquire new skills such as lock picking, strength from fighting and others such as climbing. You also can earn money from betting on fights or competing in underground fights against other prisoners and the money can be spent to upgrade Tom, for example getting new tattoo's to make the other inmates scared of you and even respect you more. Also throughout playing the game you will meet and interact with the characters from the show, some good and some bad. Some help you and some try taking you down like T-bag. Also the game is a more stealthy game than any other element and does remind me of Metal Gear Solid but without the guns. Plus when your doing your missions assigned you have to hide in things like cupboards and under things like parked cars/lorries or even buses that are parked in the facility. You have to avoid being detected by guards and other staff. If your seen don't worry to much about it because you get a lot of checkpoints as you progress in the game. There are a total of 45 achievements and only one of them is absolutely ridiculous as you have to complete the game without being seen once. All in all the gameplay to Prison Break: The Conspiracy is rather good and gives the feel of the show.
=== Graphics & Sound ===
The graphics to the game are quite simple but yet quite effective in places at the same time. The design and layout of Fox River is almost exactly the same as the show itself. The infirmary and all the blocks look exactly like they do in the show the only part that doesn't look like the show to do with the layout is when your roaming the roof or in the courtyards. Also the design of the characters are a bit mixed in my opinion. Most of the characters look exactly like they do from the show almost life like, except a couple. Sara Tancredi on the game is blonde where as in the show she is brunette and also her features and other aspects look nothing like her and I am guessing this is due to licensing agreements. Also the scenery when you actually see it does look quite good, with a beautiful sky and many other aspects. I wasn't to impressed with the graphics when your in the underground fights it looks and feels slightly fake and unrealistic but it doesn't spoil the game to much.
The sound effects are slightly mixed to be honest. Most of the cast worked with the developers to put their voices to their respected characters in the game which is great but there are a few that aren't in the game which is a bit off putting. Also some of the sound effects when your fighting sounds a little bit hollow like there is no real intent on the sounds and it gives the feeling its slightly rushed. There are some good bits with the sound effects. I was very pleased with the music in the game, the intro music to the show is used brilliantly in the game and make it feel like your actually watching the program. I was also pleased with little bits like when the movies are on the sound is really good, the footsteps you take sound great especially the way they have made it so when your sneaking around if you make noise your going to be caught. So the sound to Prison Break: The Conspiracy is actually quite average in places and quite good in some.
=== Difficulty & Longevity ===
Prison Break: The Conspiracy can actually be a really difficult game at times and this is mainly due to a few things. You do get to pick your difficulty level before you start the game. There are three options to pick ranging from easy, normal to hard depending on the gamer. Also some of the guards are almost impossible to avoid and start getting even harder as your progress through the game. Another thing that can be difficult is the fact you have to avoid the spotlights and things like that, avoid making noise as well. All of them are tricky to master at first and can make the game rather frustrating. The achievements on the game can be also tricky especially one where you have to go through the whole game without being spotted by a single guard. I have 44/45 achievements and its that very one I haven't bothered with because its to hard and rather stupidly annoying. For the longevity of the game I was actually rather disappointed but not surprised. I was expecting it to be a really short game and it didn't surprise me that it was. However it can take quite a while when first playing it because of the techniques you have to get used to. Being spotted is hard to avoid at first and as you get further its even harder but soon as you do get use to it the game itself will be completed in no time. There is only the story to follow and no side missions Prison Break: The Conspiracy is finished far too quickly.
=== Good & Bad Bits ===
The game itself does contain quite a lot of good bits but it does also contain its fair share of bad bits. I was very impressed with the life like story of the game and I also enjoyed seeing the story play through as a different character that isn't in the series itself. I loved the fact that you can interact with the characters from the show and loved that most of them are designed exactly like they are in season one. I enjoyed the game as a stealth type action adventure game and I also thought the making money part through fighting is a good idea so you can get tattoo's and things. You can weight lift on the game which gets your strength up and makes fights more easier and I believe that is a very intriguing idea. The music is brilliant, just like the show.
Bad bits about the game include the graphics to the fighting can be a little plain and repetitive. There are no multiplayer options on the game which is a bit of a let down. Also 9 chapters isn't the longest game ever and it can be rather difficult at times. Plus the game is quite repetitive all the way through it, with hiding and sneaking for most of it. The thing that I thought was the worst part of the game was that it gets really annoying and frustrating. Other sound effects are quite boring and don't make the game any better, when in fact they make it feel rushed at times.
=== Final Thought ===
I have always been a fan of the Prison Break series and when I first heard about a game I decided to myself I must have it, even knowing that it probably couldn't possibly much good. However when it was released I went to my local ASDA and bought the game for £25 and I knew at that instant being that cheap it was going to be a bit of a flop but I bought it anyways. After getting home I put it straight into my console and gave it a good bash. To my surprise I actually liked it due to the fact it was very similar in many places to show. Interacting with the characters and hearing their actual voices in the game really impressed me and I was beginning to think it was the best buy ever for me. I was then deeply saddened by the fact the next day I had completed the game and was finding myself trying to beat the last achievement but it wasn't happening what so ever. I love playing the games I buy online because its basically the future of games, and when finding out there are no multiplayer or online features I was also disappointed. I have noticed more and more TV series are being made into computer games but they all seem to be very average and the only similarity with their respected shows is the characters and the storyline. I would say its value for money to some gamers, however for the price of £25 I would say its not worth its value because a whole day and I found myself wanting to take it back. However the game is on Amazon for a much respectable price of just over £10 and if your a Prison Break fan or a fan of stealth then I would say its very much value for money if your not it would probably not be value for money because its far to short and very frustrating. The game has a rating of 16+ because it is set in a prison with very violent scenes and some incredibly strong and abusive language. I would give this game a rating of 6/10 not the best ever but for a fan of Prison Break the series I was quite happy.