[Prototype 2] User Review
In case you hadn’t guessed from the title [Prototype 2] is a sequel to Activision’s superhero/villain title [Prototype] You play as Sergeant James Heller, returning home to find your wife and child murdered by victims of the Mercer Virus. James is torn apart by the loss of his family and goes on a one-man killing spree in an attempt to track down Mercer and have his revenge.
Somehow, unlike the various other military types that have tried the same thing, Heller succeeds in tracking Mercer down, but at the crucial moment instead of killing Alex, he is infected with the Mercer virus himself. Heller survives the virus relatively unscathed and continues with his quest for revenge.
That in itself is the entire premise of [Prototype 2] you’re a wronged man with violent tendencies out to get your revenge against the man that was behind the death of your family and for turning you into a freak of nature. . .
The Mercer virus isn’t your standard biological threat, a select few who contract the bug don’t get sick, they get stronger, Alex Mercer was one of those few, James Heller is another one (Which is lucky really otherwise the game would be quite short-lived) in those few, the virus changes their body on a genetic level, they find themselves able to leap tall buildings, run up walls, fly, camouflage themselves and morph their arms into enough sharp spiky things that the Swiss Army Knife people would be decidedly jealous.
If you played the first game, then it’s very easy to say that this is just more of the same, although there have been some definite improvements to the controls and gameplay, so let’s take a look at what’s been done.
The first big change between the two games is movement, as in the first game, holding the run button automatically allows you to run up buildings for those who haven’t played either, this could be likened to the free running from Assassin’s Creed (and if you haven't played Assassin's Creed, think of it as Hold R1 to run across EVERYTHING).
While Alex was a bit of a pig to control once buildings got involved, Heller runs up them as if they weren’t there. The Glide has also been improved, Mercer was a bit slow with the gliding and his distance left a lot to be desired, Heller is a pigeon in comparison, able to stay in the air for a lot longer before he starts to feel the effect of gravity.
Combat controls have also been revamped, instead of having to press the d-pad to change your selected power, Heller can map two mutations to the face buttons, this allows for changes on the fly, up against an enemy that needs the hammer-fist? Fine that’s on the square button, suddenly need the whip-arm? That’s fine too since that’s on the triangle button.
That being said the hammer-fist has been upgraded as well, it’s now a lot easier to use and allows for more fluid movement, the only thing wrong with it is that they removed the drag and throw move to allow for long distance travel.
Heller it seems is also a bit more evolved than Mercer, this is evident in some of his standard powers but also in the form of a devastator, this powerful attack can be used to destroy or severely damage any enemies in the immediate vicinity by sending viral tendrils shooting out from Heller’s body.
There are various other powers and skills available let’s keep the spoilers to a minimum shall we?
Aside from the powers there are some other means of getting from A to B, these include tanks, ATV’s and helicopters, all of these have their own controls systems but they feel very intuitive, they don’t exactly play with simulation controls but they do make for an enjoyable way to get around.
There’s not a great deal to be said for the sounds in this game, guns sound like guns, cars sound like cars. Some of the squishing noises are very effective and can enhance the gameplay, but as with a lot of story-based games, the let down is in the form of the voice actors, some of the side characters are so bad it’s laughable and Heller has a tendency to over-swear, by this I mean that F#@k is almost every other word from Heller’s mouth, it gets to a point where it feels as though Heller may have found another side effect to the mutation process, chronic tourette’s syndrome.
Regarding music, without wanting to upset a few people at the sound development department over at Activision, it’s not memorable at all, after playing through the game to completion 3 times, the only music I can remember is from the start and end of a challenge and even then it was nothing to write home about.
I never thought I would see the day that I would be using trophies as a reason for lowering a review score, to be honest, if games didn’t have trophies I would have still scored it lower for my next point; this game is too easy to 100%, in fact, this game is too easy full stop. For the trophy hunters out there, this game can be pushed to a platinum inside of a week.
For those that aren’t that interested and just decide to speed run through the story, the story can be finished even quicker, the length of the game depends entirely upon the player, if you’re the sort of player who needs to get every collectible, clear every side mission and upgrade your character to full, then you’re looking at around a week or so. If you’re just interested in the story, you could most likely clear the game in a few hours and that includes those of you who like to play the game on hard.
Sadly the overall length of the game is its downfall, it’s enjoyable while it lasts, but it just doesn’t last long enough, especially not for a full priced game and this will reflect on the overall score given to the title and it is a shame, [Prototype 2] is an improvement over the first title in almost every way, the main character is more realistic (despite his potty-mouth), the controls are streamlined allowing for a better experience and it is a great deal of fun.
Easily a 80-85% star title if there was more substance to the story.
This user review does not reflect the views of the PSX Extreme Staff.