Preview: Prototype 2
Murder Your Maker.
That’s Prototype 2 in a nutshell. Okay, job done. Let’s go home? Wait, there is no home. At least not for Sergeant James Heller, the protagonist this time around.
Name: PROTOTYPE 2
Genre: Third Person Sandbox Action
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Developers: Radical Entertainment
Release Date: 27 April 2012
Prototype 2 — it’s actually PROTOTYPE 2 but that feels awfully loud and rude, so… — is a direct sequel to the first game, that takes place fourteen months after the conclusion of the story in Prototype.
To explain with as few spoilers as possible, the Blacklight virus was unleashed upon a section of New York, making it entirely uninhabitable by humans if they wished to remain human, while the various creatures that spawned from the virus were free to roam about the area as they pleased. The military presence remained somewhat, if only to stop the creatures from getting out.
Alex Mercer, the man who released the Blacklight virus in the first place, and the protagonist of the first game, is no longer attempting to stop the virus from spreading but instead seems to be spreading it, although his motives at this point in time are entirely unclear. What is clear is that his true nature has been revealed to him, and he knows exactly what he is now.
I loved Prototype. Except, I initially didn’t. It seemed like a silly concept, something I could easily pass on. At least, until I watched this video…
From that point onwards, I simply had to procure and play Prototype, and procure and play it is exactly what I did. And then I played it again a few months later because I had to part with the game but the prospect of one last outing was too exciting to pass up. The game was crazy fun, and with some of the possibilities on offer, some of the things you could do in the game, some of the truly fucked up shit that went on, it was all mindless bliss.
Know this: There are very few games out there that are like Prototype.
There are very few open-world games that are as fun, as well. Radical Entertainment have realised this, understood this, and that is why Prototype 2 is going to be focusing on exactly the cool things about the first game. That is why Prototype 2 is going to be something you should definitely be looking forward to.
The game’s story will centre around Sergeant James Heller, who starts off straight up suicide-rolling into Alex Mercer’s path to get him to answer for his crimes after not only releasing the Blacklight virus and causing the deaths of millions, but also indirectly causing the deaths of Heller’s beloved wife and children as a result of the outbreak. Heller of course couldn’t go any further down the line of things to blame since hating the big bang for the reason his family are dead would be overdoing it a tad. Nonetheless, after a quick and anti-climactic square-up with the former protagonist Mercer, who is again no longer human, Heller is not just infected with the virus but altered on the genetic level such that he himself becomes a form of the virus, albeit a different one to Mercer thanks to a mutated strain. What this then means is that Heller gains the power from the virus that Mercer has had since the beginning of the first game.
This being a mutated strain however, there are some differences. For one, Heller’s abilities are far less metallic and non-human than Mercer’s, with the former having more tendril-like abilities that allow for something a little more focused but nonetheless varied.
I’ll explain that in a bit.
The other rather huge difference is that whereas Mercer spent most of the first game, his power discovery phase if you will, confused and unsure of himself, Heller knows exactly what he is now and his drive and determination to take Mercer down allows him far greater control over his new-found power.
Like Mercer, Heller can shapeshift and assume not only the identities but also the memories of people he consumes — quite literally absorbing them whole, into his person — but this time around it’s going to be a bit more tactical and not just a means of acquiring health and what they call Critical Mass, which is how Mercer was able to use the more over-the-top powers in the first game. Heller is also more agile, owed to the new dodging system that is in place. Along with that, he can also use weapons in the game, of an extreme nature. This includes but is not limited to ripping the cannon off a tank and firing it upon enemies. Because fuck the world. Or perhaps you’d like a more subtle approach in a game with zero subtlety, in which case you are in luck. Heller can also stealth around unsuspecting enemies, if only to walk up to them and inject them with an unstable droplet of the virus that causes their bodies to “BioBomb” and ‘splosions! Everywhere.
It almost feels like a darker version of Spider-Man, with Heller throwing tendrils all over the place as he attempts to go about his business. He is stronger, faster-moving and practicality invulnerable while also boasting the “spider sense” of this game, in sonar sense which now comes with the added feature of a pulse ability that highlights key features of an environment. No more running around a crowded street squinting into your screen and hoping you see an icon above someone’s head.
His affinity for tendrils — and all hentai implications that go with it — allows for some creative ways to kill things, from the more traditional smashing of various objects into other various objects, to something a little more exotic such as stringing up enemies along buildings very much like that of a spider’s web, before finishing them off with the more traditional approach. Dismemberment has returned and is as gory as ever, whether you’re hacking off heads or penetrating every orifice with… hentai, what?
The experience this time around has been crafted specifically to feel more refined and focused on allowing you as the player to carry on exactly as you please, and it’s easy to see that if you’re the kind of person who enjoys beautiful destruction, this game is going to do amazing things for you. Want to hulk out on everything regardless, rather? This game has you covered as well. It’s mindless destruction with method.
Prototype 2.0 in every way.