Having enjoyed the original Prototype I grabbed the sequel and stuck it into my console expecting much of the same. To my delight that is exactly what I got…
As with the majority of open-world games the freedom to wonder about and do whatever the heck you’d like to do is one of the best features of the Prototype series. Mix that with the ability to give the main protagonist the powers of a god and you know you’re in for a treat.
Prototype 2 takes place in New York City over 3 different zones (which represent different stages of difficulty), all of which are massive in scale to explore. You play the role of James Heller, a marine who gets infected by the Mercer virus by Alex Mercer himself, who chooses him for a ‘bigger purpose’. Heller wants revenge for the deaths of his wife and daughter, and wants to put a stop to the entire outbreak. Unlike in the original game, James Heller levels up as he gains more experience, and skill point allocation is simplified and easier to use.
You also get extra skills and upgrades by completing side missions and finding Black Boxes, unlike the collectables in the first game which had no real purpose. This is actually extremely easy as the black boxes are marked (roughly) on the map for each of the sections you are in whilst exploring. The benefits from doing these missions are massive and you can unlock some truly brutal moves and executions. This is where the game really shines and there is nothing more satisfying than using the fully upgraded Tendrils’ Black Hole move on an entire crowd of infected. Sheer chaos.
The combat is much more fluid than in the first Prototype, and the Block and Dodge features work well for the speed of the game. One of the main problems I had with the original game was the targeting system – but that too has been improved. It feels more responsive and actually picks the most appropriate target.
Prototype 2 also has allows you to ‘hunt’ targets that you need to consume in the campaign by clicking the left analog stick which works in a similar way to a bat using sonar, something which I found extremely intuitive and fun.
With a brand new copy of the game you will get an online pass to take part in challenges against friends’ high scores and complete missions to unlock more freebees for your avatar and in-game character.
As with the original Prototype, the Parkour is superb; running up the side of a skyscraper at well over a hundred miles an hour with such ease is second to none. Assassin’s Creed did it well, but sadly Altair and Ezio never got infected with the Mercer Virus.
Although I did enjoy the game to no end, I did find that it was actually quite a bit easier than the original. There were no parts of the game that posed a serious threat and the end boss fight was actually rather disappointing in comparison to the rest of the game. The missions can get a bit repetitive as you progress through the story, but luckily you consume and unlock a new mutation as you complete each major part of the campaign. I would highly recommend playing through the game on the hard difficulty if you are expecting at least a bit of a challenge.
If you’re looking for a game with a deep, complex story, Prototype 2 may not be the game for you. Still, the game is in no way bad and is well worth a play if you enjoy games that are epic in scale and where you can unleash your inner wrath. I’m sure most people who picked up Prototype 2 didn’t buy it for the story.