Prototype 2 (Video Game)
Developed by Radical Entertainment
Distributed by Activision
Rated M for Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes & Strong Language
Available for PlayStation 3 (reviewed) & Xbox 360
Prototype 2 knows what it is--a highly entertaining open-world action title that wants players to tear up the game's environments and rip apart its inhabitants. This is where the game excels by placing you in the role of another badass protagonist named Sgt. James Heller some 14 months after the events that transpired in the original Prototype. Prototype 2 manages to create a sequel that improves on the original and create a completely refreshing experience despite the relatively familiar setting and character with many of the same abilities.
Sgt. Heller was serving a tour of duty before arriving home to find his family dead from another Blacklight virus outbreak in New York. Heller immediately places the blame on presumed fugitive Alex Mercer--Prototype's protagonist--and sets off on a mission to kill Mercer only to have Mercer inject him with the same viral powers that pump through his veins. Heller then plan to use his newfound powers to avenge his family's death on everyone responsible for the viral outbreak including Blacklight.
The game's storyline doesn't delve much deeper than that. As Heller is simply a foulmouthed, angry loner seeking his own version of justice, there is little character development to go along with the shallow narrative; although, Heller does team up with a few forgettable characters during the game. Luckily, it's easy to look past the game's mediocre storyline for its incredibly addictive gameplay.
Like Mercer before him, Heller is able to perform incredible feats such as leaping over buildings, gliding through the air and gruesomely dismantling his adversaries. Exploring the sandbox version of New York with these superhuman powers is a joy in its own. Of course, you can still hijack vehicles like helicopters and tanks for that added firepower, but you'll sacrifice some speed in getting around the world.
In combat, Heller will primarily utilize two customizable primary attacks to brutalize his opponents. Heller is also able to use tendril powers to pull off all types of strategic maneuvers in combat such as stringing up your opponents in preparation for a killing blow. Through combat, you will gain experience points that can be used to make Heller stronger, faster, gain new powers or any other variety of statistical boosts and enhancements. Some missions will task you with devouring an enemy and assuming their identity through shape shifting. This is a vital mechanic that will also help you elude enemies when things get hairy.
The main story missions in Prototype 2 can get repetitive at times, but luckily, the game gives you plenty of other options to mix up the action. For starters, you will be able to complete bonus objectives during the main missions to earn extra experience points. Of course, you can explore the three areas of New York, battling enemies to your heart's desire, but there are a ton of things to do on the side when out and about as well such as finding missing black boxes and taking out special groups of Blackwatch soldiers.
Prototype 2 is a great looking game aesthetically. Blood and gore are plentiful and the game's animations are smooth throughout combat that can get pretty hectic at times. The game is presented through a nice looking HUD and contains helpful menus as well. The world feels alive thinks to some great voice acting and sound design; a compelling soundtrack rounds out the fully immersive experience.
If you enjoyed the original Prototype or simply love beating the hell out of people, Prototype 2 is for you. The sequel fixes any problems the first game had, adds a new protagonist with some new abilities and throws you into another environment ready to be fully explored and ripped apart. For anything the storyline lacks, it is more than made up for in the adrenaline pumping gameplay. Make sure you pick up Prototype 2 and learn why getting revenge never felt so good!
Prototype 2 released on April 24, 2012 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. For more information on the game, check out the official Prototype 2 website.
4 out of 5