I've been looking over the debate on various sites, including this one, about the whole inFamous versus Prototype tussle and thought I'd throw my thoughts in.
I've played and finished both games and the reality is they are very different beasts. I said this in our exclusive review of Prototype this issue.
The difference is one of scale and pacing.
Prototype never leaves the sandbox. Every mission remains in the open world and gives you dozens of ways to achieve your goals - by stealth, brute force or hi-jacking military tech. Prototype is an intense and playful game that gives you a bunch of tools and says: "Go play!"
On the flipside, inFamous is a more traditional sandbox game in which the open world is used as a means to get to the mission, at which point it invariably leads to a set-piece event, on-rails shootout or linear platform mission. In many ways inFamous has more in common with Uncharted. Which is a very good thing. But it's very traditional in its approach to the open-world genre.
If I had to weigh down on one side, I'd go with Prototype. Though it's very close. While inFamous is good, there's a lack of scale and ambition that holds it back. The electric powers are underused and don't offer the same level of sheer madness and experimentation that Prototype can deliver.
Cole as a lead hero doesn't engage in the way Alex Mercer does. Compared to recent game leads, Cole hasn't the charisma of a Nate Drake, though the animation is superb. Mercer is a richer character and it's good to play a hero who doesn't lean on one side or the other of the good/bad divide; Prototype isn't so simple. There's a massive plot twist that resets your whole view of the Protoype world and urges you to keep playing. InFamous rarely surprises.
Both, I would add, are worth playing though. Just for very different reasons. Read more about both games in PSW on sale now.