Review - Prototype 2

As a big fan of the original Prototype, I was pretty excited to hear there would be a sequel. Unlike many others, I had a blast with the first game. To me, it felt like the perfect open-world superhero game - even though Alex Mercer was no superhero. You could fly around at will around New York City, fight giant monsters and evil government agents and their tanks and helicopters, and just have an all-out blast. I hadn't enjoyed such super powers in a sandbox game since Spider-Man 2 on the PS2.

For better or worse, Prototype 2 is essentially more of the same...just cleaned up a bit.

Out of the Frying Pan, and Into the Fire

As you probably know from the ad campaigns, Prototype 2 has a new protagonist in the form of Sgt. James Heller. He just got back from a tour in Afghanistan and returns to find that New York City has become New York Zero. It's one year after the events in the original Prototype and the city is divided into different zones, depending on the level of infection.

Unfortunately, the viral outbreak that Alex Mercer (the protagonist from the first game) supposedly kicked off resulted in the death of Heller's wife and son. And now he wants revenge.

Which would probably be the end of the story were it not for the fact that Alex Mercer himself soon infects Heller in hoping to make a powerful ally. Instead of gaining an ally, Mercer gains a powerful new enemy in Heller.

Powered by rage and his mutations, Heller sets off the take his revenge. There's a vast conspiracy tale running throughout the game, but suffice it to say that the majority of what you'll be concerned with is tearing the crap out of the landscape and using all your cool powers.

And Oh, What Power It Is!

Prototype 2The first Prototype had some cool powers that let you play around with what type of character you wanted to play. You could do a light and quick, hit-and-run type of guy or you could do a slow, hulking tank of a character if you wanted. You could switch between the two, but doing it on the fly was a bit of a plodding affair involving a power wheel, etc.

The second iteration takes this and just makes it all around better. You can hotkey your favorite powers and access them very easily as a result and there are new powers such as Pack Leader that lets you take control of a bunch of hulking Brawlers to do your bidding. When you're done with them, you can dismiss them by causing them to explode into piles of goo.

The combat is also just all-round smoother and better in every way. The enemies have less cheap "juggling" moves and you aren't running away to recharge as much, as you're given better powers with which to defend yourself.

Of course, you can still hijack choppers, tanks, and change shape to infiltrate enemy strongholds.

Only Play This Game If You Like Feeling Uber-Powerful

Prototype 2 puts you in control of a "rage monster," to quote Tony Stark. You may not be a force of nature like The Hulk, but playing as Sgt. Heller you come pretty darn close. Heller isn't the most inspirational or likeable hero we've ever seen, but the story and characters of Prototype 2 get trod into mush under the boots of the sheer fun you'll have playing around with it.

In the end, this game isn't going to break any new ground per se, but if you like your sandboxes full of super smashiness you can't go wrong with Prototype 2.

Article by - Brett Huffman

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