Game Review: Prototype 2

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HERE we go again folks with yet another “must have” (or so the hype tells us) game of the year, Prototype 2 by Activision and Radical Entertainment - and it is back to the good old days of excessive mindless violence, what a treat!

If you played the first one back in 2009 then you will pretty much be aware as to what is to come. If you haven’t then don’t worry, the story is pretty irrelevant and you won’t have missed anything.

For the non-Prototype fans out there, this game reminds me in many ways of the old Incredible Hulk Ultimate Destruction games with running up skyscrapers and leaping over buildings, picking up vehicles and tossing them like toys.

let’s face it, our hero James Heller is pretty indestructible and lacking in personality and humour, which makes this game more good than great.

Prototype 2 is a story of revenge. James Heller is out to get Alex Mercer for killing his family with the outbreak of the Blacklight virus but frankly, do we care? After all the James Heller character is so one dimensional I don’t see the point of having any storyline whatsoever.

There are plenty of inconsistencies with this game. For example, if Heller is the second most wanted man in New York Zero, how come he can walk around without alarms going off everywhere?

Also, when he flies into a restricted area, why you don’t get alarms going off willy nilly? When he is discovered (usually morphed into someone else) all he has to do is turn back into himself and the guards ignore him.

But let’s put the storyline to one side and check out the gameplay, which isn’t too bad. It’s a mixture of Saints’ Row, Incredible Hulk and similar free-roaming, open-world type games.

There are plenty of side missions which generally involve hunting and absorbing certain individuals, or destroying things, by means of your hunting radar, which I found quite frustrating to use. That elemtent just didn’t work for me, the developers could have come up with a better idea to be honest.

There are plenty of missions to complete and you generally end up fighting some boss character, which you then absorb, resulting in another upgrade.

The gameplay can be pretty repetitive and this does make the game a bit of a chore after a while, especially with Heller’s Neanderthal comments littered with bad language.

Heller himself is sort of a Swiss army knife made flesh, with numerous attachments sprouting from him which can make him a pretty fierce opponent. Unfortunately I didn’t feel any kind of empathy for the character - fair enough the bloke has had his entire family wiped out, but he just doesn’t come across as a grieving family man, just a bit of a nutter.

To be honest there is nothing more satisfying than punching a helicopter and slashing numerous civilians into chopped liver but that’s really all there is to this game. According to all the hype over the past few months, this was akin to the second coming. Instead it turned out to be just another open world slash-fest.

It’s not all bad though - if you don’t look too deeply into the game and enjoy it for what it is, which is a smash-em-up gore-fest, if you like plenty of mayhem and destruction, then this is the game for you. Hijacking tanks and helicopters and going on the rampage are indeed loads of fun,

The three sections of New York Zero are nicely done and there are plenty of civilians around to absorb and assume identities (this is how you gain health). With some nice upgrades and plenty of action it’s not exactly dull, just repetitive at times.

Summary

Prototype 2 is the kind of game that should do well because of a vigorous promo campaign and fair enough, the gameplay isn’t the worst around. It just came across as “been there, done that” and really isn’t offering anything new.

I give it 8 out of 10 as I quickly became bored with it, which is a shame as it did have potential. It just never really pushed the boat out, which it should have done.

Prototype 2

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Radical Entertainment

Genre: Open World/Action-Adventure

Xbox 360®

Playstation 3®

PC

Age Rating: 18

Release Date: 24th April 2012

www.prototypegame.com