Prototype 2 Review

If you are interested in playing through a story of a man who loses his family due to the government’s inability to protect them and his subsequent quest for revenge, you will be sorely disappointed by Prototype 2's actual story.

In reality, the shallow plot consists of a new viral outbreak thought to be caused by Alex Mercer (the protagonist of the previous title) about a year after the events of the first Prototype. James Heller, the Samuel L. Jackson-esque main character, is an Iraq War veteran reinstated to active duty to prevent the spread of the Mercer Virus. While en route to the infected area of New York City, Heller’s transport is attacked by Alex and -- blaming Mercer for the death of his family -- Heller attempts to kill him. Alex passes along his powers to Heller rather than killing him for reasons unknown. Heller then starts a 10-15 hour journey to find the truth of Mercer’s plan for the world. The plot is far too bare to be worth full retail price and often times it is not worth sitting through the cutscenes.

Despite the lack of a compelling storyline, Prototype 2 is still fun. Over the course of the game, Heller gains five main weapons his hands can morph into: claws, tendrils, hammerfists, a blade, and the highly entertaining whipfist. Other attacks include the black hole, where tendrils pull nearby objects toward a target to deal damage, and the bio-bomb, an attack similar to the black hole that causes an explosion. 

Meet the Whipfist.

Traversal is one of the things that Prototype 2 does extremely well. Holding RT will cause Heller to sprint and, if you run into a building, Heller immediately begins running up the side. Heller can also leap great distances, glide, and air dash. The entertainment found in taking down enemies with god-like powers and flying around the city is one of the game's most redeeming qualities.

Graphically Prototype 2 doesn’t stand out, but it holds its own alongside other recent sandbox games such as Saints Row: The Third. Loading times are very fast, except when skipping some cutscenes, and there are little to no problems like screen tearing or drops in frame rate. Marked targets did not appear at times in my playthroughs, but reloading the checkpoint was all that was needed to fix the bug.

Prototype 2 is average in the graphics department.

The biggest problem with Prototype 2 is that it is not a lasting memory. While my time with it was fun, the story is highly forgettable and the voice acting is subpar. It was hard to believe how often the word “unfuck” or a variation thereof appears. Near the end I found myself skipping not only cutscenes from consuming targets, but also some of the story scenes. Prototype 2's average execution resigns this ambitious sequel to a rental or cheap buy at most.

**TIP: This game is great for achievement/trophy hunters. I was able to get about 800/1000 gamerscore in one playthrough on Easy. At the most this games only requires two playthroughs to 100%.

Developer: Radical Entertainment
Publisher: Activision
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Platforms: Xbox 360 (Reviewed), PlayStation 3, PC

Josh Kowbel's picture

While I do believe you nailed what makes Prototype 2 average, I think the readers could use more elaboration into what makes the story so uninteresting and what makes the gameplay fun -- merely mentioning the available weapons isn't enough. Also, you contradict yourself when you say, "Graphically Prototype 2 doesn’t stand out," then proceed to comment on the last photo, "Prototype 2 is no slouch in the graphics department."

For future reviews, try and leave out the price component. Suggesting a rental or so is fine, but it should be the reader's choice as to what dollar amount a purchase would be justified.

John Tarr's picture

I liked the review. You didn't pull any punches, but I don't think the overall score really reflected your written opinion.

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