Prototype 2 Review

Paul Goodman | 1 May 2012 18:00
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If there's one thing that can be said about Prototype 2, is that it does a good job of letting you raise some serious hell. Whether you're punching tanks into little pieces, eating people or slicing up sociopathic soldiers in a variety of gruesome ways, Prototype 2 doesn't beat around the bush on what its gameplay is all about.

Prototype 2 starts off about a year after the first game, where a second outbreak of the deadly Blacklight virus is once again devastating New York City. You control Sgt. James Heller, a soldier whose wife and daughter are killed by infected monsters, and who, despite suffering from some severe post-traumatic stress disorder on top of a pretty big deathwish, volunteers to help keep the New York outbreak contained. After a rather nasty encounter with Alex Mercer, the "hero" from Prototype who's responsible for the whole Blacklight mess, Heller ends up infected with the virus and gaining super powers as a result. Turns out Mercer actually wants Heller's help in taking down Gentek, the company responsible for the creation of the virus, and the brutal military organization known as Blackwatch.

Prototype 2's story is likeable in a cheesy, B-grade action movie kind of way, with some interesting plots twists and a few predictable moments (you can kind of tell that Alex Mercer isn't telling you the whole truth right off the bat). The story doesn't offer up any kind of examination of right or wrong or moral dichotomy like Infamous or similar games in the genre, and Heller's character is more or less that of a stereotypical angry black guy. Essentially, Prototype 2 focuses straight on combat, which is the game's best feature. You'll start off punching and kicking your way through enemy soldiers, but as the game progresses, you'll gain access to more and more powers ranging from clawed hands to tentacles to giant rocket-repelling shields. You can do some really crazy action movie moves like ripping a gun off of a tank or turning people into living bombs. You're also given the ability to run up buildings, jump extremely high and glide across the cityscape with relative ease. Once or twice, I found myself getting snagged on an overhang, but its enjoyable being able to leap up tall buildings and glide above the city with ease.

Most of the infected abilities you have will be earned in a linear fashion, but there are a few RPG elements in play. You'll gain experience for absorbing people or killing tanks, and as you level up, you'll be given points to boost things like your health, movement speed or unlock instant-kill finishing moves. You don't have a whole lot of control over the various abilities and mutations available to Heller as many are locked based on where you are in the story or what side missions you've completed, but it's a nice touch to have a little flexibility over how Heller's super powers play out.

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