Prototype 2

_-PROTOTYPE2-Xbox-360-_
8 Overall Score

Adds to Prototype's arsenal I Feels like a true sequel

Heller's character too flippant

Written by on May 8, 2012 in [, , , , ]

Revenge is a dish best served cold and in the case of James Heller, the protagonist from Prototype 2, revenge is not enough. Prototype 2 is about avenging lost friends and family, discovering the truth behind Blackwatch, the infectious Mercer virus, and painting the town blood red.

Prototype 2 begins one year after the events of Prototype. James Heller is on a helicopter ride into the red zone, a portion of New York City ravaged by the Mercer virus. If you’ve played Prototype then you should remember the virus that Alex Mercer unleashed and killed thousands with. Heller is unstable after losing his wife and daughter to the virus and vows to seek revenge upon Alex Mercer, the man responsible for the spread of the virus. As the story unravels we see flashbacks of Heller’s life, how he interacted with Blackwatch, and the pain he has gone through up to this point. Mercer easily can overpower Heller, but Alex Mercer isn’t your typical bad guy. Mercer sees potential in Heller and when he is attacked he chooses an alternate method of disposing with Heller. Instead of killing Heller, Mercer infects him. It is through this transformation that Heller gains the ability to wield the virus like Mercer does, violently transforming his body into a killing machine like Mercer, exactly what he swore to kill.

 

As the virus takes over James’ body he blacks out and wakes up later in a Gentek laboratory. You’ve gone from soldier to test subject overnight. As you cling to consciousness you overhear a conversation from Dr. Koenig, a Gentek scientist in charge of Mercer virus research, and Colonel Rooks, the man behind the military’s presence in New York. It turns out there are conflicting opinions about whether you should be kept alive or not, but ultimately it’s up to you to escape the facility and pursue Mercer. Along the way you will encounter other special evolved characters like yourself, mutated monstrosities, and a story with more twists and turns than you can count.

As Heller learns the truth behind Blackwatch and Mercer’s motives, he will upgrade and gain new abilities. There are six main offensive abilities you will be using throughout the game, each offering a different use. Going up against a tank? Use your “hammerfist” ability to pound through the armor. Want a more agile approach? Use your claws and hunt your target like a predator. Every time you kill an enemy, complete an objective, or find a collectible you will earn experience points. Earn enough experience points and you can level up, upgrade your abilities, and choose one new ability ranging from increasing your health, to boosting your speed, or even elongating your attacks.

A nice addition to Prototype 2 is Heller’s ability to weaponize vehicles by ripping off cannons, missile launchers, or heavy weaponry from helicopters and tanks. As you progress in the story you will see more and more armor coming your way, so being able to weaponize and quickly finish the enemy off is key. Heller is able to pick up soldiers’ weapons and use them as well, but why use bullets when you’ve got knives for arms?

The most important trick in Heller’s bag though is his ability to absorb people and assume their identities, view their memories, and learn their abilities. Just like Mercer, Heller has the ability to shapeshift and disguise himself as virtually anyone in New York. This is helpful for when you need to sneak into guarded areas or need someone’s security clearance. Simply find a Blackwatch trooper or Gentek, absorb their identity and pose as them as you walk right up to the enemy’s doorstep. You can also use this shapeshifting ability to your advantage when trying to evade enemies as well. If you are trying to escape you can run around a corner, transform into your alternate form, and nobody will be the wiser.

The visuals in Prototype 2 left me a little squeamish at times. The amount of blood and guts on the screen when Heller consumes an enemy or decapitates someone is a little unsettling. It is wise to play this on an empty stomach. Normally my wife will sit on the couch with me while I game, but for some reason whenever I play Prototype 2 she tends to stay in the other room. Overall though, the cutscenes are where the graphics really shine in the game. Real life video is weaved into the cutscenes showing events from different people’s perspectives. The major cutscenes are also devoid of any color except a subtle highlight of red on Heller’s jacket or bright blues on people’s armor. It is an aesthetic choice that really evokes emotions during the more intense action sequences.

 

The good news is that I found very little to complain about with Prototype 2. The gameplay really sucked me in with its infectious tendrils and didn’t let go. The story was hard to follow at times with Heller being so flippant about whether he was going to seek revenge on Mercer or not, and I wish they would have given Heller more interaction with Mercer himself along his journey. My only other gripe was with figuring out whether Heller is meant to be a stealthy character or not. There were a few bonus objectives that had me remain undetected while entering and exiting enemy bases, but I never could figure whether the best strategy was to go in guns ablazing or whether to pick people off one by one and be more of a stealthy assassin. The game is open to both strategies and it’s not a big hassle to smash your way through an objective because Heller can easily evade any alerts.

I remember playing Prototype and quitting after a few hours because it wasn’t an enjoyable experience. I am happy to say that Prototype 2 delivers with a variety of missions, mesmerizing cutscenes, epic abilities, and dynamic characters. For those of you who were fans of the original Prototype, or for those of you who have been looking for a good game to play over the summer, you are in luck because Radical Entertainment went above and beyond to bring us a game worthy of your time and dollars. Prototype 2 is out now for Xbox 360, PC, and Playstation 3, and is rated “M for Mature”.

A copy of Prototype 2 was provided to The Married Gamers for review and evaluation.

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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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