PS3 Reviews: Prototype 2 Review

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Prototype 2 Review

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Graphics:

 

7.7

Gameplay:

 

8.4

Sound:

 

8.0

Control:

 

7.9

Replay Value:

 

8.5

Overall Rating:       8.1

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Activision

Developer:

Radical Entertainment

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Action

Sometimes, we need games like this. It offers very little in the way of challenge, pulls no punches in terms of brutality and vulgarity, and doesn’t have a brain in its gleefully sadistic head. It sort of tries to be serious with a storyline that reminds one of Resident Evil, but the gameplay dominates and empowers. We’re not always certain of the reasons behind our destruction and carnage, but we definitely know one thing: It’s a twisted, even addictive guilty pleasure.

Prototype 2 isn’t the best looking game you’ll ever see, but the visual presentation is so over-the-top that we rarely focus on the drawbacks. Clearly, Radical’s plan was to place the gamer into a fantastical yet still gritty and somewhat believable world, where our powers reign supreme and we never tire of executing our favorite unstoppable strikes. The screen will then erupt in a savage orgy of color. The only problem is that it isn’t refined; clipping and other graphical issues are tough to ignore, and the environment can appear muddy and hazy.

The sound is fine, although I got a little tired of Heller’s constant anger. The guy only has one mood, apparently, and therefore I have to assume he has a one-sided personality. It works for the atmosphere, I suppose, but…well, you get my point. The other voice performances are decent and the effects can really smash into your speakers. The balance is a little off, though, and like the graphics, the audio doesn’t have the professional gloss we’re used to seeing in big-budget blockbusters. But yeah, it suffices and again, the focus is squarely on the action.

The city is under quarantine due to a viral outbreak of some kind, and the military is cracking down big time. We learn through the course of the story that in fact, the outbreak is a cover; the military force is only there to conduct bioweapon research and the citizens are nothing more than lab rats. It’s a legitimately frightening and depressing environment, and one that’s just begging for something totally insane. One can sense the continual stress throughout the metropolis; it’s as if the town itself is waiting for an explosive rebellion, and you're just itching to deliver.

Enter Sgt. James Heller, endowed with ridiculous otherworldly abilities, which give him the automatic edge over anything the military might throw at him. You don’t really need to have played the first Prototype to understand the story because really, there isn’t much to grasp. That’s to be expected, though, and Heller’s skills are just so damn entertaining that it’s tough to stop playing. The control is a little loose and the camera isn’t always reliable, but those are small irritations that dwindle and even disappear during particularly satisfying rampages.

As I said above, there really is no challenge. Very little can get you into trouble and escaping from the military is as simple as adopting the body of a civilian. Plus, with each passing mission, you get stronger, which is almost unnecessary given the weak resistance you routinely face. Eventually, Heller gains control of a bunch of brutes (enemies he used to fight in the first title), and utilizing this vaunted Pack Leader ability, hordes of faceless enemies fall in a flurry of bone-crunching activity. However, the pacing feels a little weird sometimes, as the cut-scenes almost seem to intrude.

It’s nice to see flashes of lost memory – regained as you progress – add flavor to the story and there’s a theme of revenge and redemption in there somewhere. But it comes out too late and with the almost complete lack of a challenge, we’re left with constant bashing and slaying. Now, for me, this would usually be a problem. As I said, though, it never seems to get tiresome and in truth, I’d call this a stress-reliever…just the opposite kind of therapy one would receive from Flower. This is all about venting and I like the idea of playing as a God.

The open-world sandbox landscape is appealing and stuffed with missions and collectibles. I had almost as much fun exploring as I did with inFamous 2; it’s just a blast to bounce around, knowing that almost nothing can touch you, your mind reeling with ideas: “Okay, how should I go about this…? Leap with my claw from the rooftop? Go a little stealthy? Bring in the help? Oh wait, I can pilot some vehicles around now…” You don’t have to be pinpoint accurate and you don’t have to worry that you don’t have the requisite power and ability.

The controls aren’t perfect and can become a little frustrating at times, and the stupidity of your enemies can go from comical to boring. That much is true. There’s also the storyline that, while hard-hitting at first, isn’t really fulfilling despite the amount of effort put into those impressive cut-scenes. The bottom line is that you have to turn your mind off for this one; provided you can accept the minor problems and aren’t disappointed at the lack of plot depth and character development, you should have tons of crazy fun. You’re off the leash…go for it.

Prototype 2 isn’t difficult to analyze. With such a heavy emphasis on the violent action and just about everything else fading into the background, the experience survives on intensity and shameless entertainment. Technically, it isn’t exactly overwhelming, and there are other issues that pop up here and there. But with a large variety of attacks, a nice open world, and plenty of reason to experiment with your absurd abilities, you can really lose yourself in this dark, bloody, undeniably titillating world. Just don’t expect much beneath the surface.

The Good: High fun factor. Sense of power is unparalleled. Open environment and diverse skills encourage experimentation. Visceral and in-your-face. Acts as a viable stress-reliever. Collectibles add longevity.

The Bad: Technical elements aren’t that great. Story is a little disappointing. Some fickle control issues. Virtually no challenge.

The Ugly: “Oh, just about anything particularly grisly that you can perform is ‘ugly.’ …but in a good way.”

4/25/2012 Ben Dutka

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Comments (19 posts)

bebestorm
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 @ 9:51:45 PM
Reply

Wow the score is much higher than the first one...I plan to pick it up later because I did enjoy the first one. As I said before I dont like the switch they pulled with Mercer.

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kraygen
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 @ 11:16:12 PM
Reply

So as someone who didn't play the first one until about 3-4 months ago and was horribly disappointed by it, is this one worth a play?

I was a huge fan of Infamous and people were always claiming similarities but personally I found Prototype to be boring and repetitive with graphics that were blurry and uninspired.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 12:02:24 AM

It's certainly better than the first, but not much different. Just think of the first game, only with cooler stuff to do...that's the best I can describe it.

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kraygen
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 1:22:20 PM

probably skip it then, got the first one for free and still found it not worth finishing.

I don't mind a game being a little easy, but it offered no challenge at all, the story seemed incredibly weak and so there really wasn't much to keep my interest.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 @ 11:55:00 PM
Reply

This sounds better than the diet pepsi I spilled on my laptop yesterday =[
No really, like everywhere on it. Ever have the i key print both i and p at the same time? I have. It's what diet pepsi and computers do when combined =p

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dillonthebunny
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 12:01:35 AM
Reply

I liked the first, it was a very cool game imo.. but this is certainly meatier.

every element has been improved, yeah.. ive spent hours just doing stuff and chipping away at the game just having a total blast.

I love the way it starts up from the main menu, instantly. I haven't ever seen a game do this before, its a welcome sight.

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Jawknee
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 1:06:45 AM

They got that idea from inFamous. inFamous starts as soon as you press.

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Palpatations911
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 1:46:23 AM

I loved that about NBA 2K11! As soon as you turn on the game for the first time, you are dropped in to a game playing as Michael Jordan in the NBA Finals against the lakers. It was awesome!

(Yeah I know it's a sports game but it made me think of that and how it blew me away)

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GuyverLT
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 9:55:39 AM

@Jawknee dude God of war does it too as well the batman games infamous was not the 1st game to do that lol Radical could have gotten that idea from many other games.

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GuyverLT
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 9:55:40 AM

@Jawknee dude God of war does it too as well the batman games infamous was not the 1st game to do that lol Radical could have gotten that idea from many other games.

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berserk
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 1:53:02 AM
Reply

Nice review , everything look good beside the NO CHALLENGE part .

I ll buy it for sure after a price drop or 2 and hopefully by then we will get a Difficulty patch of sort . .

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 3:51:40 AM
Reply

What I need to know is if you get bored with it after an hour like most people did with P1, and if there's anything in there that makes you want to keep playing the way inFamous did.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 9:10:08 AM

All I can say is that if the fun factor hits you, you'll never get bored. If it doesn't...you'll be bored in a few hours.

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Temjin001
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 10:25:51 AM

I think this game has your name written all over it World ;)

It's niche, flawed, but innovative enough to treasure up value where many wouldn't look to find it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 12:34:17 PM

Thanks Ben.

Temjin I do love me some "B Games" just like I do some B Movies, but they at least have to keep me interested. I just wandered into a Chinese nation in Two Worlds II, totally didn't expect that :)

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kraygen
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 1:25:43 PM

I thought Two Worlds II was one of the most fun and customizable games with mediocre ratings.

Ratings weren't great, but there are so many different ways you can play that game and there are so many things you can do. As long as you know going into it that the story is going to be kinda old fashion fantasy rhetoric it can be a ton of fun.

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___________
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 6:03:12 AM
Reply

i really cant understand why this games getting such good reviews!
if there is a single game out there that warrants the name DLC not sequel its this!
im so disappointed how little has been improved over the original!
there were so many problems with it from the 2 or 3 different missions, 2 or 3 different enemies, boring gameplay, and cheap feel of the game.
thats all still there!
the ONLY thing improved with this is the combat and the amount of content, the ONLY two things that did not need improving!
i just cant believe that radical entertainment have sat down and said ok lets ignore the 1001 things that were bad about prototype, lets improve the 2 things that were good.
WTF!?
dont you think you should improve the bad things first?

the combats so much better, but the combat in the original was already really good so why improve it over things that were crap?
the content is so much more but again why improve it over things that were crap?
its nice they have added radnet, and some really cool challenges and such.
BUT what would you rather?
a main storyline that is freaking awesome, or a main storyline and some cool friend challenges that were pretty crap?
i know which one id choose!

and not to mention the whole cheap feel the game gives off.
it tries to match the big blockbuster set pieces you expect from games these days like COD and uncharted, but it does it really patheticly!
it feels like a student who has 5 bucks is trying to do big set pieces that michael bay would put millions into!
its just sad!

the game feels like it has no ambition, like everything is there because every other game has it so we have to have it too.
this is a perfect example of whats wrong with the industry these days.
developers doing what they think fans want, not doing what they want.
trying to cram every bit of feature in because it will get more sales then just sticking with one thing and doing it well.
the term jack of all trades master of none comes to mind.
tries to do everything, and does, but very poorly!
a games always a sum of its parts, and when all the parts are mediocre, does not many how many parts there are, the games still going to be mediocre!

its such a shame, because out of all the new IPs out there, out of all the new concepts we have had this gen, THIS is the one i truly believe COULD be the most successful!
IF done properly and well, if done to focus on doing only one thing but extremely well, then this series could be the next GTA!
but sadly the developers seem more interested tacking on every little thing possible, then spending that time polishing whats already there so sadly the franchise with this developer will NEVER reach its potential!
shame!

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GuyverLT
Thursday, April 26, 2012 @ 9:56:16 PM

i really cant understand why this games getting such good reviews!

Maybe because the ppl who played it liked it

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Chamoru_Warrior
Friday, April 27, 2012 @ 9:37:32 AM
Reply

In this day and age of Uncharted 3 and God of War 3, etc it's a tad difficult to be overly impressed by anything less but I honestly feel Ben is being a tad tough on the graphics. It's an 8.5 in graphics imho. I mean, considering that Ben has given other graphically imperfect games significantly higher ratings in the past, I think even an 8 would have been fair. Rage, albeit beautiful at a certain viewing distance away from textures, is a rampant pop-in and texture loading fest (playing it off an SSD has its benefits in performance but there are still problems). Also, as compared to other shooters like BF3 and KZ3, Rage doesn't have very many impressive environmental or destructive effects and its character models are super wonky. Yet despite its many flaws, it received a ridiculously high graphics rating. I just think there is more to graphics than photo-realism or extremely lifelike animations.

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