- Posted: 12:12 PM, May 16, 2012
Serving as the direct sequel to 2009’s Prototype, Prototype 2 brings back all of the things that made the original a hit and adds to the party, making the second go-around with the Mercer virus one of the most fun experiences of 2012 to date.
Prototype 2 puts you in control of Sgt. James Heller, who returns to NYZ following a tour in Iraq to find his wife and daughter slaughtered following the second outbreak of the Mercer Virus. Heller, who is assigned to one of NYZ’s Red Zones, quickly comes across Alex Mercer, the first game’s protagonist. Heller is then infected by Mercer and the events that unfold pit the player against Mercer, Blackwatch and Gentek, with very little direction in terms of who to really trust.
ActivisionPrototype 2’s story while fairly entertaining, does leave something to be desired, and I believe this has something to do with the lack of diversity in the mission-style format in which the single-player experience unfolds. While there are additional objectives that can be achieved during each mission, earning the player more experience and upgrades, there is never any real need to complete these extra tasks in order to finish any particular mission.
Despite being a bit bland in terms of mission variety, Prototype 2 does introduce a unique story-telling method that adds a layer to consuming targets. In addition to being able top assume their identities, Heller will often advance the story and retrieve key pieces of information by absorbing key figures throughout the duration of the game. The telling of the story via memories is one of the many improvements Prototype 2 has made to enhance the overall experience.
What Prototype 2 also does very well, and this is the franchise’s bread and butter, is make you feel nearly invincible and allow you to utilize your various powers and unique skill set in battle and while traversing NYZ. Once you are cut loose in NYZ, Heller can leap high into the air, glide from building to building, scale skyscrapers and leap over obstacles in a super-parkour style. Even when you aren’t playing through a mission or completing a specific task, just travelling through NYZ is a rewarding experience.
ActivisionAs I wrote in my preview of Prototype 2, there are several new transformations, mutations and attacks that players can utilize while controlling Heller. Also, players can now equip two different powers at the same time, allowing for a more controlled, technical and strategic approach to different situations. Switching between these powers and utilizing them is easier than ever before with the removal of the move store. Instead, players will now level up and can access their different abilities via the Power Wheel, which works similarly to the skill/weapon wheel seen in the Mass Effect series. Overall, the combat and upgrade system has been improved upon immensely to make things feel more fluid and comfortable than they did in the last game.
From an audio and visual standpoint, Prototype 2 certainly impresses and earns its Mature rating. The game is graphic in terms of monsters and mutations and there is a fair amount of gore associated with almost everything that you do combat-wise in the game. The game’s soundtrack and voice acting are superb, although there are times that the dialogue does seem to be lacking and cliché-filled. Nevertheless, Prototype 2 carries a production level that we have come to expect from an Activision title.
With the introduction of Radnet, there is a higher level of replayability in Prototype 2 than there was in the original. Radnet introduces new mini-games throughout the course of your playthrough that provide challenges to complete in order to gain unlockables and other in-game perks.
ActivisionFinal Thoughts: Prototype 2 is one of the most fun experiences I have had with a game this year. While the story and missions at times can become a bit bland/cliché, they are engaging enough to keep gamers entertained for the duration of the game. Prototype 2 has tweaked combat and navigation to make everything more fluid and comfortable to the point where you can spend hours just wreaking havoc across NYZ without ever finding yourself overwhelmed or frustrated.
Final Grade: B/B+
Prototype 2 is Rated M for Mature and is available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC