OXCGN’s Prototype 2 Review
Will it ‘consume’ you?
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Much like Hollywood and their current love affair with remakes, reboots and unnecessary sequels, we find ourselves in a similar situation with Radical Entertainment‘s Prototype 2 and question whether this franchise warranted a sequel or not.
In my non-comparative review of Prototype I praised it for its enjoyable gameplay which was fluid with the freedom to roam the city as you wished.
This pushed it past its clichéd storyline and cheesy dialogue.
Prototype 2 is set once again in the most over used city in gaming, New York, which has seen yet another outbreak of the Mercer Virus, setting up the premise for the rest of the game.
Upon catching up to Mercer in the game’s opening sequence and trying your luck at eliminating him and failing, rather than kill Heller, Mercer decides to infect him with the Mercer virus to help find and eliminate all the parties involved with Blackwatch/Gentek.
As you plow through the countless bodies and deep into the story you’ll uncover darker secrets regarding Gentek, Blackwatch and Mercer, which will have you question whether you can truly trust anyone in such a dire time.
Whilst it won’t be winning any awards for its story, it does do its job in feeding you just enough information to encourage you to continue playing to uncover the truth behind the latest outbreak of the Mercer Virus.
I got the power!
As you progress through the single player campaign in Prototype 2 you’re fed new powers at short intervals: at 35% it felt as if I had already obtained every possible power attainable, but alas I was wrong and the game just kept on giving.
Here are some:
- Hammer fists
- Impenetrable shields
All the usual suspects are back in action to aid Heller in his quest to become the ultimate bad ass.
New York is filled with various high value targets with yellow icons above their head to signify what they reward you with upon ‘consuming’. Because you can consume them and take their identity.
The DNA symbol upon consumption gives you a high amount of experience points whereas the arm icon will upgrade any one of your mutated arms or weapon skills.
Gaining enough experience levels up Heller, and after looking like he’s about to turn into a Super Saiyan you’re given the option to upgrade any one of the your attributes from health, sprinting/air dashes to health regeneration.
There are an array of activities which will also grant you the ability to upgrade Heller into the baddest evolved out there.
You can access Blacknet terminals which require logins via specific targets which you can hunt down by pressing the left thumbstick and consuming to gain their logins.
The hunting feature is a sweet addition to Prototype 2. Upon pressing the left thumbstick Heller emits an orange pulse and if your hunting an enemy then the return pulse will emit back from them.
Collecting all the audio black boxes, entering and destroying all the lairs within a section or eliminating specific groups of enemies that are scattered all across the city will again grant you the ability to upgrade any of your mutations.
There are a total of 46 mutations from extra damage for your arms, longer reach, faster running and much more- if you miss out on any from either of the 3 zones you can always access them via the helipads which you unlock early on in the game.
This is the lazy man’s way of traveling around the world if you don’t wish to fly or glide. I wouldn’t be surprised if many take this option of travel because New York city and its design is extremely bland.
There aren’t many awe-inspiring buildings or great pieces of scenery so more than often you’ll neglect almost everything that isn’t your objective.
With an open world game of this nature I feel that it would have perhaps been better for Radical Entertainment to have created their own city for us to explore.
It is however always fun to sprint around the streets jump a good 20 metres in the air and glide above buildings and enemies to quickly reach your destination.
One of the more baffling ones would be the game’s use of stealth.
In Prototype 2, however, as long as no Blackwatch soldier or Gentek scientist is directly looking at the target you wish to consume then you have absolutely no worries.
Regardless of if they’re right next to them or metres away, you will never get caught and if you try to consume an enemy when they are being watched the game will notify you of this so as to prevent you breaking your disguise.
I don’t dislike the game for this entirely, but I do feel as if it would’ve been good to incorporate a better stealth system since most of the game you’ll be consuming and using the identity of others to gain entry to places you wouldn’t as Heller.
Secondly, for a game that incorporates the use of stealth the military equipment that Blackwatch wear must limit their vision. If you run into a Blackwatch base they will open fire almost instantaneously, if you glide directly above them though it’s a different story.
No one will open fire or call for back up; it’s like they can look in any direction but up.
This completely nullifies the point of having the stealth system in place because it’s a joke.
Sum better than its parts?
Despite the stealth missteps, average story and bland environment, the negatives stop there so don’t worry yourself too much. There are definitely enough positives to warrant purchasing this game and setting aside a good 10-15 hours to complete it.
Audio-wise and visually the game is a step ahead of its predecessor, and Radical Entertainment have improved most aspects of the sequel.
While the consumed memories and dialogue are still cheesy, there are some genuinely funny moments.
If you’re looking for a game to play through the mid year drought that’s fast approaching, I highly suggest you try out Prototype 2.
Even if you haven’t played the first game you won’t be handicapped in any way.
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Filed under: Console gaming, Game Impressions, New Xbox 360 Games, PS3 Reviews, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Game Reviews Tagged: | Activision, Heller, James Heller, Mercer, New York, New York City, Prototype, Prototype 2, Radical Entertainment