Prototype 2 Review
Open world adventures aren’t quite the force they used to be but can Prototype reverse the trend or is it not the finished article?
By Leo Stiles
Prototype 2 is like one of those movie sequels that just seems to be an outright remake of the original. Think The Hangover 2 and you are close.
Fortunately, where that movie was a pale imitation of its funnier, less brain-dead progenitor, Prototype 2 is an improvement in almost every way. Let’s get the new stuff out of the way”
Players are again tasked with controlling a gloriously overpowered mutant and allowed to rampage around a New York that has seen significantly better days.
Whereas in the first game you controlled the anti-hero Alex Mercer, Prototype 2 puts you in the boots of Sgt James Heller, a soldier who just wants to get home to his family. Heller is fun in a Sam Jackson kind of way and his quest is a lot easier to be drawn into than the self centred Mercer.
Mercer himself is now cast as the bad guy along with his army and returning scumbags Gentec and Blackwatch. You will get to fight all of these factions as well as the horde of unimaginative mutants that have overrun the city.
The setting of New York has never looked so good or as worse for wear and the blocky empty streets of the first game have given way to a more vibrant physical environment that is a pleasure to belt around and smash to pieces.
The open world gameplay is nothing you haven’t seen before with missions given in the GTA style and plenty of collectibles and side missions to go around. What stops this structure from becoming boring is the constant flow of upgrades and powers you receive to the point where even building sized mutant behemoths are no match for you powers of destruction.
Even just getting around the city is a pleasure unto itself, with Heller running up skyscrapers and leaping half a mile into the air with ease. The controls have been tightened up since the first game and combat is precise, fluid and full of dismemberment.
The stealth options are much improved and in fact are to easy with almost no chance of accidental discovery to force a reload on you. The weapons that were so much fun before are all back with the Whipfist proving as fun as ever.
Even better are the new additions such as the horribly addictive Bio-bomb power that allows you to infect any unfortunate soul you choose with your virus only to see them erupt with tentacles that pull anything in reach into a messy and bloody explosion of gore and body parts.
There is no denying that the game is a huge amount of fun but you very quickly become so powerful that even in the late stages of the game when whole armies of troops and beasties are being thrown in your direction, you almost never feel like you are in any danger. Tanks are mere annoyances when you can beat the down with the press of a single button.
Despite a more agreeable protagonist, the story is utter bilge with Resident Evil looking like a hard-hitting factual drama by comparison. In fact the gleeful destruction and the lure of further powers is the only thing that keeps you going.
Radical, the developer of both games, seems to understand this with the addition of Radnet Challenges that are suitably challenging and reward you with further upgrades. Your scores are also part of a leader board to further encourage play. We doubt that this will keep you playing once all the powers are yours to play with but it’s better than nothing.
On Normal, the game should take you about seven hours and while I could say that they were pretty entertaining, there is nothing here that will have you remember the game for more than a day after you finish it.
Prototype 2 fixes all of the structural and technical flaws of the original. The game looks good and plays very well but has nothing going on beyond the large-scale destruction. Fun but forgettable.
Format: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC
Developer: Radical Entertainment; Publisher: Activision