Many television shows and movies over the years have been turned into videogames. Most of them turn into a horrific display of rushed production and failed plot attempts. Normally the game is based on something current or upcoming, in an attempt to give fans of the product a chance to play what they are going to go and watch on the small or big screen. Lost and CSI are two franchises that have done this in recent memory with mild sales success. They each followed the show fairly well with their own storylines that involved the player as one of the parts of the story. Prison Break : The Conspiracy is different as it is based on a dead television show, and one that was huge at first but ended up being fairly drawn out. Not exactly the recipe for a huge sales success. It seems like it is more of a title to satisfy the few Prison Break fans that still enjoy watching re-runs on DVD/Blu-ray as they will probably be the only ones that end up purchasing the game.
The story starts out with Tom Paxton an agent for “The Company” given the task to make sure Lincoln Burrows serves his death sentence. Through various twists and turns in the story, you come to learn much more about the company and the inner workings of the Fox River State Penn. In the end you are left right back where you started with little resolution as to why you just went through the last 6-8 hours of stealth-type game play. Being a short game is the high point of the whole experience, as there is little content to make you want to play it any longer then you have to. There is single player and local multiplayer game play. There is no co-op play; there is multiplayer in the form a two player fighting mode only. This mode is so tacked on that the tacks are still half exposed or missing all together. If you can convince a friend to play this game with you instead of a real fighter that would truly be an amazing feat to behold.
Single player, as stated, is an under 10 hour game even if you are the most lacking in stealth skills. The stealth portion is so broken that you can be at times standing right in front of a guard and they will not see you and others that have the gift of X-ray vision. There is a very obvious problem with the stealth though. You can not attack the guards, watchmen, janitors, or cooks. If they see you at all, you are toast. Why not add the ability to take out the people that are in your way? It would add a lot to the overall experience but alas it was left out. The controls are slow and the quick time events are unforgiving at first, the patterns are always the same though. One part it does do well is the removal of panels while in stealth. If you go too fast you will get caught, so you have to make sure you find the sweet spot to move on. The sneaking around is done both during the day and at night, the night ones being easier as you can track the flashlight movement and adapt to the pattern of the guards. The spotlight portions are beyond pointless though. It is simpler to just run and dodge the beams then it is to sneak around them, which totally breaks the point of even having them in there to begin with. There are also fight portions as well. Some which are part of the story and others that are completely optional battles. The fights break up the repetitive stealth missions that the other inmates have to perform for them. The variety in the fights is lacking, but having the chance to beat the hell out of someone that had you go steal them a bolt is a satisfying feature.
Not is all bad with the presentation of Prison Break. The game features the voices of all the main characters from the show. That includes Wentworth Miller (Scofield) and Dominic Purcell (Lincoln), which is a nice touch for fans. The audio seems to be original to the game and not just rehashed from the show so it is a nice touch. The graphics are dated looking but the collision detection is well done. You will not get stuck on or see parts of your body going through objects, if you get stuck on an object it is because you are pressing the incorrect button not due to programming errors. The voice acting actually seems to match the mouths of the characters as well so at least Zootfly did that correctly.
Achievement wise they are progressive with the game, complete a part and the achievement is yours. There is a couple of farming achievements as in lifting weights for ten minutes or fight one-hundred guys. The most annoying one though is to finish the game with out being spotted. Given that the AI is so broken and the stealth function is so lacking, this is the most frustrating part of the game. Reloading a checkpoint will not wipe the fact you got caught. You need to dump out to the dashboard and restart the game from the previous save point to be able to reattempt that section of the game. If you can get through that it is a relatively easy thousand gamerscore that can be had in around a total of twenty hours of playing.
After you play though it all you will see how lacking and broken the game is as a whole. It only will be enjoyable to people who liked the show and even then this title may disappoint even them. It also shows how television shows and videogame integration just simply does not work and making a game about a dead show is a bad idea.
Prison Break is rated T (Teen) by the ESRB for Language, Sexual Themes, Violence.