As I’m riding along with my unit we are suddenly attacked and my whole world is turned upside down. I have no idea what happened but when I came to I saw Alex Mercer in the distance. The bastard that killed my family and the reason I asked to be reassigned to this hell hole. Without hesitation I chase after Mercer and from that point on my life has never been the same again. Prototype 2 is a story about revenge. Revenge for a family that has been killed and Sgt. Heller will stop at nothing to achieve his goal. The problem is though that nothing is as it appears. Or is it?
In addition to having to deal with Mercer you will also have to contend with Blackwatch once again as well as various forms of Infected. The Mercer virus has returned and Blackwatch is using the civilian population to try and control it. They are performing inhumane tests on people while at the same time spewing out propaganda about how they are here to help. As you progress through the game you will find out what Blackwatch is really up to as well as other entities associated with them and Mercer himself. The story does take some twists and turns and there will be some moments where you won’t be sure who really is “good” or “bad”. There were missions where I had to go eliminate someone only to find out once I got there that they would be far more useful to me alive than they would be dead so we actually worked together. The game takes place in New York Zero (NYZ) once again and happens 14 months after the events of the first game.
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original Prototype as I felt it had quite a few problems. Fortunately it seems that the development team really was listening to gamer’s complaints and they seem to have fixed the vast majority of the problems that plagued the original title. The original Prototype featured an insane difficulty curve that at times would make some sections almost impossible to complete. This was toned down for Prototype 2 to give you a more balanced experience however there is still plenty of challenge (depending on the level of difficulty you are playing on of course). The controls feel smoother and all of the rough edges that the first game had seemed to have been smoothed over. I had a lot of fun soaring through the city whether it was jumping from rooftop to rooftop or rolling through the streets after hijacking a tank. As Sgt. Heller you will unlock various powers as you progress through the game and all of these are a lot of fun to use. One of my favorite powers is the bio-bomb where you turn someone into a living, breathing bomb and then throw them into a group of Infected and then watch as everyone explodes. It’s a fantastic sight however it also illustrates the fact that this game is a mature rated title and is not meant to be played by kids. Prototype 2 is an exceedingly violent game with a lot of blood and general gore. While I personally had no problem with it you will want to think twice before playing this game with any kids in the area. There is also a substantial amount of cursing to back up the violence so just be prepared for that.
Despite the amount of fun that I was having playing this game it still has its share of problems. There are going to be some gamers that find the mission structure really repetitive. A lot of the missions really do boil down to consume a commander so that you get his DNA, use your new identity to get into a secure facility, wreak havoc in said facility and then escape. Once you are in the facility things might change up a bit but not by a whole lot. I was also annoyed by the few missions where I was facing a powerful enemy and right before I was able to finish him off he would run away so I had to chase him throughout the city to get in the final killing blow. As I got further in the game there actually was a little bit of variety and I enjoyed the change of pace. There were some missions in a tank and some where I got to fly a helicopter around the city. It would have been nice to have some more of these missions to change things up. There were also times when enemies would appear out of thin air for no apparent reason. It wasn’t a huge issue as I would immediately dispatch with them but it did briefly take me out of the experience. Another thing that really needs to be worked on is the enemy intelligence. I generally give open world games some more leeway in certain areas but this is an area that definitely needs some improvement. I could stealth consume a Blackwatch with his partner two feet away from me and he wouldn’t even blink an eye. I realize that I was in “stealth” mode while doing so but you would think that someone would notice their partner that is two feet away is getting killed.
There is quite a bit to do within NYZ. The team over at Radical Entertainment did a tremendous job of making the city feel alive. There are always people around whether they be trash talking or running away from you in fear. The color palette is much better in this game and the entire game is much more colorful as opposed to how the original Prototype looked. In addition to the main story quests there are a bunch of side quests for you to do utilizing the Blacknet. There are also a bunch of collectibles that you will get by finishing side quests such as finding black boxes, wiping out field ops teams and more. Then there is the new Radnet system. This is the multiplayer aspect of Prototype 2. There are different events for you to complete and you will be placed on a leaderboard to see how you stack up against your friends. There are different sets to complete and you will get rewarded by completing each set with different vignettes, mutations and character skins. There is a rewards section where you can check and see what you have unlocked at any time and, if you pre-ordered the title, this is where you can take advantage of those pre-order incentives. Then there are the Radnet Challenges where you can once again see you how fare against your friends. There is the “bloodshedder” challenge to see who can spill the most blood as well as the “untouchable killer” challenge to see who can get the most melee hits on brawlers without getting hit and much more. If you are a competitive person it should definitely keep you busy for quite a long time.
After finishing the game and thinking about it for a little bit I really did enjoy my time with Prototype 2. While it still has some problems it is a much better title than the original and is a step in the right direction. The development team has done a tremendous job of making you feel like a bad ass within NYZ. It felt pretty amazing when I could jump on a tank and destroy it in one blow or use my whipfist to knock a helicopter out of the sky. If I was in a tight spot I could even jump on to a tank, tear the missile launcher off and use Blackwatch’s own weapons against them. If you are a fan of open world titles than you should definitely check this game out. If, like me, you weren’t the biggest fan of the original title I urge you to, at the very least, rent this title and see what you think. You might be pleasantly surprised. When Prototype 2 was initially announced I was really surprised and didn’t know how it would turn out. Now I am left wondering as to whether we will see a Prototype 3 as I would like to see where this story goes next.