Prototype's visuals are good, but they probably won't win any awards. New York City has been rendered quite faithfully, and it's a joy to explore. You'll often see some popping textures and objects (depending on how fast you are moving), but the draw distance is usually far enough to keep you immersed. Overall, character models are decent, but many of the faces leave a lot to be desired. The camera doesn't get in the way that often, although it can be skittish at times. Because the nature of the action is so insane, both the animation work and framerate need to be top-notch. Luckily, they are. Every ridiculous stunt Alex performs (with or without the mutant/tentacle effects) looks as legitimate and realistic as possible, which is a very impressive feat on the part of the artists.
Prototype looks good, but it sounds fantastic. Barry Pepper (Saving Private Ryan, The Green Mile) brings Alex Mercer to life with a delightfully haunted performance. The com chatter picked up by the Blackwatch Special Forces varies from colorful insults and subtle dissent to abject terror. The game's soundtrack alternates between music you'd find in a horror movie and the orchestral score of the latest Michael Bay destructathon. The chaos you'll often create sounds exactly like it should; from the sickening sounds of tearing flesh to the screams of the pedestrians. All of this is designed to make you feel like the ultimate bad ass, and it succeeds.
To all the parents out there: Prototype wears its M rating as a badge of honor. This is one of the most violent and profane games of the current generation. There are two kinds of explosions in Prototype: the explosions that tear people into pieces and the explosions caused by F-bombs. The mature gamers who dig this kind of stuff are in for a real treat. Allow me to put things in perspective: multiply Ninja Gaiden 2's body (and limb) count several times, and you'll have a general idea of how violent Prototype is.