Prototype 2 (X-Box 360)

May 1, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

I loved Prototype. The game was just insane, with large scale destruction, an ocean of blood, and a lead character that just wanted to unleash his most violent impulses. While some disliked Alex Mercer (Prototype’s focus) and his psychotic behavior, I loved it and was let down when he wasn’t under my control in the sequel. In an effort to have a more relatable (read: lame) hero, we were given James Heller. His family is dead and now he wants revenge on Alex Mercer, but he winds up infected by Mercer and is forced into a chain of brutal, violent events. While that story might be nobler than Mercer’s, the end result is the same. You kill thousands of people, wreck an entire urban locale, and come off as a psychopath. While Prototype 2 was fun, Heller is a watered down lead and pales in comparison to Mercer. You can unlock Mercer’s skin to play as via Prototype 2’s RadNet system, but Mercer should have been the focus here, not weak ass Heller.

That said, I had a blast with Prototype 2. I wasn’t interested in Heller’s cliched personal story, but it was cool to learn about the virus and the game’s world. Prototype 2 plays a lot like the original, with some refinements and a wealth of new destructive abilities at your command. The “murder someone and assume their identity” element is much improved in this sequel, so you’re able to infiltrate and use stealth with consistent results now. You can also absorb memories to fill in the game’s story with that ability, so the web of intrigue element is back. I found combat to be much more fun in this sequel, with tweaked controls, a more durable character, and some wicked new moves. Some of the best combat mechanics from the original return and the overall texture of battle remains about the same, but all the small improvements really add up. Prototype made you feel like a powerful damage dealer, but you were also quite fragile, which hampered the whole unstoppable bad ass vibe. You’ll still face some tough challenges in this sequel, but you’re able to endure a lot more punishment as well.

This game also has a better open world feel, since missions aren’t as linear as in the original. You’re able to just explore at your own pace, take on missions at your leisure, and track down a ton of side quests and objectives. You can hunt down priority enemies, then lay waste to them and claim valuable upgrades. So grab that soldier with a machine gun, absorb him, and you’ll find your skills with that gun have increased. Or track down black boxes to unlock story elements, complete challenges for rewards, or just kill a lot of people for fun. All of the side missions and challenges require some exploration to uncover, but they’re tagged on your visuals when close and you won’t be frustrated trying to find what you’re after. Since the side objectives give you substantial rewards, they’re well worth the chase and add some terrific depth to the experience.

Prototype 2 builds on the solid foundation of the original, making some welcome improvements, even though I think Heller is a weak lead. The combat feels better, you feel more like a powerful force of nature, and the world is packed with valuable side objectives you’ll want to hunt down. I am sure some will lament the visuals, which do look rather simple, but the substance under those visuals is rock solid. The game has good length, but the real depth comes from the exploration, side quests, and the RadNet system. RadNet is included with new copies and rewards you for completing tasks with behind the scenes videos, as well as the all important Alex Mercer skin. And trust me, you will want Mercer after a few missions as Heller. I had a blast with Prototype 2 and the game earns a high recommendation.

Video: How does it look?

As much as I loved the game, I do have to admit the visuals are lackluster. Not much has changed since Prototype and the visuals weren’t that great back then. While the detail isn’t remarkable, I do like how populated the world is and how kinetic the landscape feels. You’ll always have dense crowds of people around and everyone is doing something, which makes the whole experience seem more immersive. The game does look good however, it just isn’t going to compete with the Mass Effect 3 level visual experiences

Audio: How does it sound?

The sound design is quite good, with all the needed explosions and audio violence. The combat sounds visceral and is very well done, while the music pulses to provide an appropriate soundtrack for your destructive ways. The voice work is solid, but isn’t going to win any awards. In the end, the soundtrack delivers on all the needed elements, but isn’t quite up there with the best sounding games on the market.

Disc Scores