Back in 2009 when the original Prototype game was released, fans were wowed with the innovative styles and features to the game. It received positive reviews from the majority of critics and was one of the top selling games that year. The original game had you playing with Alex Mercer, but this game flips that completely. The player finds themself playing with Sgt. James Heller, a bad-@ss veteran who is out to rid the city of all the infected…including Mercer. How did Prototype 2 hold up in comparison to the original? Check out our review and see what you think!
The story starts out with Sgt. James Heller returning from Iraq as a hardened veteran — only to find out that his wife and child were killed in the infected New York Zone (NYZ). Hearing this devastating news, Heller decides to rejoin the military and try to take the NYZ back from the infected and restore some order to the once prominent city. It didn’t take long to realize that this wasn’t going to be an easy task, and soon after, Heller himself is infected with the same virus that Mercer has. This virus gives Heller the ability to evolve and mutate to become a genetically-fueled killing machine. Get ready to bring the pain with blades, chains, hammers and more, all built into Heller’s genetics.
As you go through the story you learn more details about how the viral outbreak occurred and just how deep the corruption goes. There are multiple organizations involved here including Blackwatch, the militia-like organization responsible for the virus, and Gentek, the scientists that really developed it. Heller’s new virus allows him to “consume” members of these organizations…and by consume I mean tearing them to shreds and obtaining their memories and thoughts. This is an awesome feature and a really cool way to find intel moving forward in the game.
The story gets pretty in depth and confusing at times with the multiple organizations involved in the plot, but it’s definitely interesting to follow and doesn’t take away from the overall game-play. There are twists throughout that keep you glued to every cut video, and the developers have had plenty of experience so you know you it’s going to be top-of-the-line. Radical Entertainment and the game’s developers have over 20 years of experience and it shows with the final product. The visuals are often mind-blowing, both in videos and in game-play and it really makes the game a pleasure to play.
I won’t spoil anything in regards to the story, but I will say this: the game’s two biggest strengths are the diverse attack abilities and the open universe. As mentioned before, as you play on, Heller attains more and more brutal killing abilities that keep the game fresh. You have the ability to alter your attacks based on the enemies you are fighting at the moment. Fighting a massive infected beast? Consider switching to a power weapon. Fighting a small, quick adversary? Switch it up to a blade. The attacks are all awesome to play with and to experience visually, each offering new and more brutal effects than the one before it.
My favorite part of Prototype 2 was the insane open environment you get to play in. It’s essentially a lifelike rendition of New York City, almost perfectly recreated. You have the ability to roam the environment freely and even climb to the top of the Empire State Building (hint: do this and you get an achievement). In between missions I often found myself just flying through the city, climbing buildings, and just exploring. It is a testament to the game that even without partaking in missions or side-quests the player can still be entertained merely by exploring the environment.
Prototype 2 has quickly become one of my favorite games of the year, and Activision and Radical Entertainment really did a great job on this sequel. I know it is still relatively early in the year, but I feel that this will hold up and remain one of my favorite games of 2012. Between the story, the environment, the graphics and the game-play, Prototype 2 is the complete package with very few shortfalls. If you are even on the fence about it, consider this your recommendation to go pick this game up and give it a spin.