A few months ago, Prototype 2 came out on the consoles. I skipped the game since I had too many games to play as it was. Now, the PC version has joined the fray. I was asked to review the game, so I gave it a shot. After playing the open world game, one thing is clear, passing on Radical Entertainment’s final effort was a big mistake.
You play as Heller, a solider who lost his wife and child to the virus that Mercer was spreading in the first Prototype game. He blames Mercer and goes after him for revenge. Well, needless to say, Mercer is way too powerful for Heller who infects the military man with his own virus. Not only does Heller receive the same powers that players will be familiar with, but also information from his malefactor that the company Gentec and military group Blackwatch are the ones really responsible for his family’s death. Now newly-powered Heller goes after the two groups, hell bent on revenge.
Much like the first game, Prototype 2 takes place in an open world with story-based missions and special side activities and challenges. Progressing the tale will take you on multiple missions that task you with destroying a number of enemy items, tracking down certain people or locating areas of interest.
Heller can level up by obtaining experience points from completing missions and challenges, destroying vehicles and of course, killing and consuming enemies. Consumption is a big factor in this game. By consuming people, you gain the ability to morph into that body. Disguising yourself as the enemy may be the only way to get into facility to take on a mission. You can also escape pursuers by morphing when no one is looking.
Leveling up Heller can grant him with more powerful attacks, faster speed, more health and a number of other attributes. Gaining experience points and choosing what to level up can become a fun addiction. There are also special challenges that you can complete that offer up big experience bonuses and other rewards like mutations. Mutations are a new set of abilities that affect all Heller’s powers. Challenges also come in sets. After completing a set, new and improved powers and mutations become available. Challenges also keep records of your performance. These scores can be compared to your friends on a leader board.
The powers Heller unlocks are truly devastating and include claws, extending punches, blades and other powers. You really get the feeling of power when you play this game. The human characters are no match for Heller and it feels really awesome when you take down an army with just a few button presses. You start off feeling really powerful, and by the end of the game, you feel almost unstoppable.
The mission structure is most often a little bland. You will be tasked to consume a person, infiltrate a facility, kill some enemies/destroy some things, escape and then move on to the next mission that is essentially the same thing. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a ton of fun stuff in between, but for the most part, you begin to see what is required of you early, and it doesn’t often change much. The combat is really what keeps me invested.
The story is not too bad if you have the patience for it. The dialog in this game is so bad, it’s hilarious. Heller is as stereotypical as you can get, and the other characters, including random NPCs, on the street are just comical at times. This is fine, but when the game is trying to tell a serious story, and Heller is spouting off f-word ridden dialog, it becomes a hokey story. Still, if you ignore the stupid words, it is rather enjoyable.
Aside from main story missions, side missions and challenges, you can also collect black boxes around the city. When you’re near one, a tracker will appear to guide you. Collecting black boxes offer up experience points, and collecting all in a location will unlock new mutations and powers to upgrade.
If there’s one problem I had with Prototype 2, it was the animations for Heller. He will do things on his own to help players out while moving quickly. When running, Heller will vault over whatever is in his way automatically. He will also run up walls, jump small gaps, and climb as long as you have the run button pressed. The problem is, those animations take precedence over what your commands are with the controls. You may want to execute a super jump, for instance, but if Heller is in the middle of an animation, the jump may not happen as you anticipated. When doing missions that take precision or missions that have a time limit and you need to hurry, this will sometimes get in the way.
You still get the open world glitches you’d come to expect in sandbox titles. Sometimes NPCs will disappear without warning, Heller might get stuck on something in the environment or any number of other small nuisances may take you out of the experience, but thankfully never break it.
The visuals are fair for the kind of game it is. On a decent PC, it runs very smoothly with almost no frame drops and zero screen tearing. Still, it’s not the best looking game in the world, but it certainly isn’t the worst.
I had a really fun time with Prototype 2. It offers up game pad support, and using the 360 controller worked just fine. The open world portions of the game are nice, and navigating is really easy once you take Heller to the air while running on the side of buildings. The story is there and is actually interesting if you can look past the bad dialog. Upgrading Heller is a blast, and the sense of power in this game is really amazing. You may have a few hiccups here and there, but there’s plenty to do in Prototype 2. More times than not, you’ll have a blast doing all of it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.