Prototype 2 starts off with soldier, James Heller, infiltrating the newly re-infected New York City. Heller believes Alex Mercer, the protagonist from the first game, is behind the outbreak and the murder of his family. Upon encountering Mercer, he transforms Heller into a bio-weapon, like him, and explains the real bad guys are Black Watch. The story is hammy and equally voiced as much, confusing, and Heller isn’t an easy character to like. His motivation for revenge borders on insanity even though we’re supposed to sympathize with him. Bottom-line; it’s a convoluted mess, with some interesting ideas that just don’t pan out.
P2 is an open world action game. Heller is given mission after mission revolving around either stealthily invading bases, or brutality killing people. There’s not a lot of variety in the campaign, or minor side missions. Despite its repetitive nature, the combat is quite satisfying. Heller’s grotesque powers allow him to shape shift into other people, traverse fast, and mutate his arms into blades and tentacles, just to name a few. More powers can be unlocked and upgraded as you gain experience by completing missions and brutality, and I mean brutality, massacring enemies. It’s not the deepest combat system, but its hours of masochistic fun.
The biggest gripe I have with P2 is that it feels more like an expansion pack instead of a sequel. The developers didn’t address the flaws, or innovate. There have been minor tweaks to the controls and combat, but it’s barely noticeable compared to everything they did wrong. The graphics, character models, and environments are as bland as tofu paste. The music fits, but it’s forgettable like the story. While it ran smoothly, most of the time there were a few texture hiccups and bizarre glitches including one that sank my character into the ground. Everything about the total package feels thrown together and unpolished.
Prototype 2 had so much going for it. The first game had a great concept, but was ultimately flawed. I hoped 2 would be so much better, but unfortunately everything bad about 1 stayed the same along with it’s good traits, scratch that, I mean trait: the combat. If you ever want to feel like a badass mutant and have some mindless fun tearing up New York City then I recommend this game for a rent. Anything aside from that is a waste of your time.
Score: 4/5 Stars
Special Notes: This article was originally published on May 4, 2012 via my Examiner account before the website shut down.