Developer Radical Entertainment
Platform PS3, Xbox360
Release Date Out Now.
It is fair to say when the original Prototype hit the market it had a pretty hard time first it went up against a very similar open world super hero game (Infamous) and then it started to got very mixed reviews. Some loved its mayhem other were put off by its often messy gameplay, but it did enough to warrant a sequel and honestly Prototype 2 is a vast improvement and delivers on almost every front.
Prototype 2 see’s you take on the role of a new hero Sgt. James Heller. Your family has been killed by the “Mercer” virus, there is only one man to blame Alex Mercer. You are going to track him down and kill him….or so you think. In the opening sequence (which is really well delivered using a brilliant visual process of drawing the colour out of most of the on screen objects. This gives a black and white video but some objects like your red jumper retain their full colour) you get to chase down Alex Mercer and in a huge twist he infects you with the mutating virus and tells you that he is not responsible for your family’s death, that it is down to Gentech’s experiment’s and now with the powers he has given you, you will team up to exact your revenge.
Starting with a fresh new character means you get to level up all over again, this is done by consuming others (literally) and extracting their “powers”. These powers might come from other freakishly mutated monster from which you can extract their shape shifting powers. This then combines with your own powers to give you new possibilities, new powers enable your to shift body parts to act as defensive shields or into massive steel claws to slice people in half. The other thing to extract is memories or skills from humans. This might be the ability to improve your gun handling from specialist soldiers or more often it is used to find out more about their past or potential plans from the person’s memories.
Where the original fell down Prototype 2 excels. Moving around the city is incredibly fluid. Simply holding the right trigger (on xbox) gets Sgt. James running, once running nothing will stop him. He can jump over cars with ease, smash past people in the street and should he reach a building he can run right up its walls. As you gain more and more powers your agility increases. Jumping larger distances, gliding for longer and unlocking many more impressive attacks.
The city is probably the most impressive things about Prototype 2, many open world games see a degradation in the quality of the city and the inhabitants but not this game. New York zero is honestly one of the best looking open world cities I have ever seen. The buildings are crisp and clear, the people move around the streets like the real thing. You interact with the city as if it was a living city rather than a back drop to a game.
The gameplay is entertaining throughout if it does become a small bit predictable, seeing you smash X number of Blackwatch soldiers or mutants into a pulp while satisfying is over used. Each section of the city gives you a number of entertaining side missions too. You must find black boxes, clear out lairs, and kill clean up teams. Unlike most games these side missions are quite fun and do stretch the game out to around the 15 hour mark.
When all this is wrapped up in the well presented and very entertaining story line it is very hard to knock anything about Prototype 2.
Overall : Prototype 2 is a lot more polished and accessible than Prototype 1. The controls, visuals and storyline are far better. You are a beefed up soldier hell bent on revenge for the death of your family so expect lots of swearing along with people and mutants getting smashed to a bloody pulps.
Prototype 2 is an over the top superhero blood bath, with a well presented story. It won’t change the world but it will give you 15+ hours of top notch entertainment.