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Platform

Xbox 360

Genre

Action

Publisher

Activision

Developer

Radical Entertainment

ESRB

M (Mature)

Released

April 24, 2012

 

 

- Many improvements over the original, especially combat and the camera

- A much more coherent story this time around and hung on a character that is much more sympathetic

- Re-affirms that Alex Mercer is an a-hole

- Don't have to grind out side missions to feel powerful

- Mini-game activities can be a hoot

 

 

- A few really convenient story turns

 

 

Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (360)

Review: Prototype (360)

Review: inFamous 2 (PS3)

Review: Alan Wake (360)

Review: TRON Evolution (360)

 

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Prototype 2

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

prototype 2          prototype 2

 

*Review may contain story spoilers.*

 

Prototype 2 is a sequel that does a great job completely one-upping its predecessor and shining a great big spotlight on what was wrong with the original or needed retooling, like the combat, but still extend the fiction of the Prototype universe where a manufactured virus has "evolved" some people into marauding zombies and turned a select few into killing machines, some lithe and small but many are

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huge hulks. It's an open sandbox, filled with combat options and a lot of blood spatter.

 

As dynamic as the combat was in Prototype, it lacked a camera intelligent enough to keep track of Mercer a lot of the time and mashing one attack pretty much meant success. With Prototype 2 there's much more nuance involved (target

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management) and making use not only of Heller's moves, but also knowing when to grab a weapon or a car to crush someone. The acrobatics and explosiveness of Heller's ability sell the power fantasy extremely well. Leaping high into the air, smashing down on a target, knocking aside a rocket upon landing, grabbing a pedestrian and "consuming" him to earn back a health boost, then crushing a group of Blackwatch soldiers with Heller's hammer fists provides a good supply of thrills. And because Heller's abilities are so simple to switch up, even on the verge of finishing the game a feeling of repetitiveness has yet to appear.

 

Prototype 2 highlights one move in particular on a sporadic basis, which is ripped right from the X-Men Origins: Wolverine, where Heller "pops his claws" and leaps upon a target. The camera often cuts to a different, more dramatic angle. It seems the developers restrained its use somewhat so it doesn't get tired.

 

Oddly enough, it's not all about ripping mutants in half.

 

prototype 2          prototype 2

 

The story has Heller hot on the hoodie head of Alex Mercer, the jack-ass protagonist of the original game, for the slaughter of his family. And while most of his problems can be solved with an explosion or pack of hulking mutant dogs, Heller will actually have to fight alongside Blackwatch soldiers or make use of his ability to change into human targets he's consumed (i.e. stealth missions) along the way to the ultimate showdown with Mercer.

 

Maybe one of the best minor additions in this hunt for Mercer, is a Heller's ability to locate marked targets. A pulse emanates from Heller, which races out and bounces back off the target. It reveals the general location of the target so there's still some actual hunting involved. It's a great solution to simply slapping a big blinking arrow in the sky, plus it fits with the "evolution" that Heller undergoes through the game.

 

Rather than the cumbersome upgrade system of the original game, Prototype 2 strips it down to the bare essentials.

 

Heller levels-up and the player gets to choose something to upgrade. To create another level of mostly optional upgrades, is the ability to grab targets marked with specific DNA. Consume a specifically marked sniper and Heller will get a boost to his aim (when a rifle response might be necessary). It eliminates the need to grind experience points to level up, which was a hallmark of the first game.

 

prototype 2          prototype 2

 

If players want to do some grinding, there's an option to do that via Blackwatch terminals scattered throughout the zones of the city and there are a myriad of "just for fun and high score" side distractions. There are also infected lairs to clear out and blackbox recordings to collect. Just moving through the story should be enough for most players.

 

Radical Entertainment has delivered on their promise of improving the foundation laid by the original Prototype.

 

Fans of that game, will appreciate the tweaks and betterments, including the camera but especially the combat options and more coherent story. The detractors that bagged on the original should give P2 a chance based on those same reasons because P2 is a great open-world action game.

 

- Aaron Simmer

(April 23, 2012)

 

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