Prototype 2 Review
by Wylie Dean
I’ll start this off with a little story. The original Prototype was one of the very few games I had purchased for my PS3. I was so excited for that game, all the little memory based events and the shapeshifting gameplay just seemed so amazing to me. So when the game finally came out I played it non stop for a couple days. It was flawed and lacking because of how much they were trying to do. The city felt hollow and everything was brown. Needless to say, I was let down.
And then PROTOTYPE 2 CAME ALONG!
Prototype 2 is an open world action adventure game that lets you take control soon to be ex military bad ass with a family/soon to be bulldozer with super powers JAMES HELLER!
The game is based around exacting revenge on BlackNet. Who is Black Net? They are a government corporation who feel weirdly similar to the Nazis. They try to kill you early on and that’s a good thing because it allows the game to start at 70% and build from there. The gameplay in Prototype 2 is simple. You get powers, you use powers to kill/consume bad dudes and a bad woman and that’s it. There are some real upgrades from the last game though. Radical Entertainment did away with awkward button combos and a “one of your choosing” weapon wheel. For Prototype 2, you still have that weapon wheel, except now it’s a much tighter mechanic that allows you to map powers to two of the available buttons instead of pre determined placement. Also done away with, is the huge upgrade menu. Prototype 2’s upgrade system is based on one upgrade per level, with another set of 5 mutations and that makes for a far more refined version of what we saw in the original Prototype.
Side Note: Vehicles control exactly how you think they would
The running around feels just as good as the first. The flying and sprint feel more precise but not slowed down and stealth consumes/sneaking become boring. At first the stealth missions provide for a fun and somewhat welcome slow down to the game, but as they go on the missions devolve and become harder only because there are objects you’ll accidentally grab that are surrounding the person you need to consume. That being said, there are some other stealth missions around halfway through the game that provide a great variety, the best of which is fighting alongside other Black Watch soldiers in the ruined streets of New York against mutants. Which leads us to the gunplay. The gunplay in Prototype 2 is simple. Lock on. Hold trigger. Switch enemies, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Aside from a small issue with where you are locking onto, the controls overall are a more than welcome upgrade to the first game.
The sound of Prototype 2 is good. The city sounds alive, the military communications are great and believable, and the guns sound.. well they sound like guns. My only real issue with the sound design is the main character. James Heller. Often times more than not you’ll hear James cursing in places you’d think he would want to remain quiet, like when he’s trying to access a computer in a military base disguised as scientist. This part actually made me take light of Heller instead of taking the character seriously for the next few missions. However, the dialogue of enemies both military/mutant sound great. These monsters sound like they are actually monsters instead of just animals with an effect placed over.
Prototype 2 is in no way a showcase of what the 360/PS3 can do. The game looks a little better than it’s predecessor but ultimately looks like nothing special. Cutscenes have a nice heightened black and white effect that I sometimes wished carried over into the gameplay just to give it a little something. The times it looked it’s best were actually during certain scenery. There was a point during the game where I was flying a helicopter through the Red Zone and saw a building leaning over onto another building. The grey ashy smoke was believable and the rain matched with the light on the specific damaged area of the building was truly fantastic and made the world more believable. A lot of the time, that’s what will set the tone of this game. Destroyed buildings, people dying in the streets and black watch patrolling the city.
Ultimately, Prototype 2 is nothing to write home about. The game is fun but only for a short time. I personally went through it twice but that was just for the hardest difficulty achievement. With an at times unlikable character but fast paced gameplay, Prototype 2 makes for a great weekend binge game that’ll leave you wanting more. I highly recommend buying the first Prototype at the same time so you can finish both and feel satisfied.
A great single player experience